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or "All the Lurkers Support Me in Congress"
Marianna sawed furiously at the slender cherry branch, the dull pocket knife denting more than cutting the flexible green wood.
"There oughta be a law," she muttered under her breath. Of course there probably was a law and she was certainly the one breaking it. But as a lobbyist, Marianna had always needed to get her votes. And this branch was her key to Senator Jacob Indiana's long-term support.
Fearing being caught and cursing her own stupidity as well as Indiana's perverse desires, Marianna finally dropped the knife and tried to twist and then finally tear the branch from the tree.
As she struggled, a uniformed guard approached her from behind.
"Can I help you, ma'am?"
One stupid mistake. That was all it had taken. Marianna had worked on the student grant and loan project for months, painstakingly building a reputation as a persistent and honorable negotiator. The project was a revolutionary bill which would truly open all universities to students of ability, whatever their means. She had organized a massive grassroots campaign by putting in long hours of phoning and e-mail writing. E-mail. She cursed herself again.
The project had extended well beyond her working hours but she'd uncomplainingly taken work home in paper files and on her laptop. Her own personal laptop. The same one Marianna used to read and post to her favorite newsgroup. In the end, the lobbyist had been so eager to send off a personal plea to Jacob Indiana when she heard a rumor he was swaying her direction that she had forgotten to switch the preferences back on her computer. So the congressman had gotten an e-mail signed by Marianna the interest group lobbyist. But the sending address appeared as "MsGdBttm@firebrand.com."
"MsGdBttm" was well known in a number of other circles and had a distinguished writing history of her own on an adult, sexually oriented fetish newsgroup. Still, there wasn't any way anyone could know that without doing some research. Marianna had followed up with a brief apology and crossed her fingers that this could just be passed off as coming from her personal account. Really, she told herself, what were the odds of Jacob Indiana recognizing MsGdBttm's address?
Still, Marianna's heart was in her throat after a personal call from the distinguished Congressman. Indiana had requested a private meeting to discuss his supporting the bill. She hoped for the best, despite the fact Indiana had never even attended, let alone requested a private meeting with any lobbyist unless he was fundraising. And her student group had plenty of heart, but could barely make rent. Marianna dressed carefully and conservatively for the meeting in a longish kilt, starched high-collared white shirt, knee socks and loafers. This was her trademark lobbying uniform, designed to remind the senior congressmen that they were dealing with a student cause and all its attendant idealism.
Indiana's outer chamber was empty. His receptionist hadn't been called in for the meeting. Neither, Marianna noted, had the officious assistant who usually blocked her access to the congressman. Swallowing hard she found herself longing for the assistant's irritating presence.
Crossing the outer lobby, she noticed the inner office door was ajar. Marianna drew the meager comfort of her leather satchel closer as she summoned up her courage and knocked.
"Come in, come in, Miss Delgado."
Marianna took a deep breath and entered, annoyed with herself for feeling less like a professional than a naughty schoolgirl. Maybe she should have worn those pumps after all. Maybe the extra height would have given her courage. Not that it would have mattered. At six foot four inches, Jacob Indiana towered over most of the men and all of the women he had ever met. His shock of white hair and air of restrained authority made him seem still larger. His entire air said "this isn't someone who loses easily."
After an exchange of pleasantries, Congressman Indiana gestured the lobbyist into a chair. He seated himself behind his desk, across from her. She felt his eyes trace over her dark hair and small figure as if he were running his hands over her neck, shoulders and body. He let them linger long enough to watch her color, to know her tongue was tied in knots.
"That's a very interesting piece of legislation you're asking me to support."
"I think so, sir. I can promise you you'll never regret a vote for it -"
He cut off the rest of Marianna's speech with a wave of his hand.
"No, I can see its strong points. And of course you have a very influential supporter with Brace signing on to sponsor. It can't have been easy to get a family values conservative 'behind' such a progressive cause."
Marianna felt as if a cold finger was running along her spine. Had she imagined it? Or had the congressman laid special stress on the words "family values" and "behind"? She swallowed hard and tried to begin her lobbying pitch again only to be cut off once more.
"Come come, Miss Delgado. You must know I didn't bring you here to listen to you prattle half truths about who your 'strong' supporters are. I've been playing with the grown-ups since before a schoolgirl like you was born."
Marianna felt her face flush a bit.
"Then why did you have me come here, Congressman? Your message indicated a desire to discuss the bill and your support of it. Isn't that why we're both here?"
The congressman looked across at her and smiled almost cruelly, leaning slightly forward in his leather chair.
"Isn't it? You are an optimist aren't you? This town spins on information, as I'm sure you're well aware. And I have some on you, as you certainly know." He paused. Even with her eyes downcast, Marianna knew he was watching her and forced herself to look up and meet his gaze. "Information is power, young lady. I'm here to find out how best to use the plum which you've dropped in my, so to speak, lap."
This time Marianna had no question. "Lap" was definitely stressed. She shifted in her chair, suddenly aware of her bottom and aware of his awareness. She wondered what he made of her movement.
"Google News provides a most useful and interesting service, don't you agree?"
Not waiting for her answer, Indiana slid a file folder across his mirror-smooth walnut desk. When she paused, he urged her to read its contents. Marianna opened it with trembling hands, finding in it what she most feared - the first pages of at least ten of MsGdBttm's stories. Stories that were, of course, Marianna's fantasies.
"I didn't bother to print them all out - not sure I have that much paper at home. But I assure you, Miss Delgado, I've read every one of the "Good Bottom" stories. Word for word, top to bottom." She gritted her teeth as he laughed softly at his own private joke. "So, are those the traditional family values my colleague Brace is, shall we say, embracing?"
Swallowing feelings of nausea, Marianna shook her head.
"Congressman Indiana, I can only assure you that nobody -"
His wave cut her words short again. Marianna found herself unable to meet his eyes.
"I think I liked 'sir' better. For now at least."
Marianna caught her breath. Was he saying he wanted her to -? No, surely not. She glanced quickly around the book-lined chamber, feeling her inner life suddenly intruding on the outer. Her eyes stopped on his lap a split second too long and she knew he'd noticed.
"Sir, please, no one knows about this but you. It's a mistake I've never made before. And swear I won't again."
He stared at her for quite a while. She felt his eyes burning into her skin and finally raised her brown eyes to gaze into his blue, tried to plead her case without words. Marianna watched his face soften as he seemed to hear her silent plea. Later she would wonder what it was she had really asked for. Was it really what he gave her?
"My dear Miss Delgado, you're truly a very charming and attractive young woman. I find I really do want to protect you. You awaken in me a certain feeling, something almost paternal. You know, you're actually almost young enough to be my daughter."
Marianna bit her lip to keep from saying "I'm too young really." Her relief was palpable. Whatever it was he wanted, it wasn't her public humiliation. Still, her heart skipped a beat when his voice went stern.
"But whatever would a father think of finding his daughter writing these sorts of stories for such a nasty newsgroup? A naughty newsgroup devoted to spanking and other godless perversions?"
Indiana stood, raised his hand slowly and brought it down with a hard SMACK on the file folder. Marianna couldn't help jumping a bit at both the noise and his speech. His voice was that of a puritan minister, and in it she heard tell of her own sin and damnation.
"I'm - I'm not at all sure, sir."
"Let's try and play it out between us, naughty girl. Let's say, just for today, I'm your father. I've caught you somewhere no father would want to find his little girl. Whatever am I to do with you? Finding that out will be the object of this little exercise."
Marianna swayed dizzily in her chair. She felt her bottom tighten, tingle, wanting, much to her surprise, to play along. And yes, needing to be punished for being so stupid and careless. But her brain intervened before her mouth could say yes.
"What's in it for me?" A hard voice, the voice of an experienced lobbyist.
Indiana laughed and leaned back in his leather chair, relaxed as if she were the most charming woman seated next to him at a dinner party.
"Why, I'll be giving you what you clearly want most. Of course." He tapped an heavy ruler on his palm.
"Your support of this bill?"
"Sure," he said arrogantly. "I'll throw that in as well. But decide, little girl. Right now."
She looked down at her feet as she tried to keep from squirming on her seat. Dear God, she wanted this. Could he really know how much? Marianna hoped not.
"Yeah, fine, okay."
"You mean of course, 'yes please, Daddy.' Don't you?"
Marianna felt a surge pass through her and gave herself over to its heat. Daddy.
Just like that. The game had begun just like that.
"'Yes, Daddy?' You mean you admit you've been a naughty little girl? Tell Daddy what you've done now."
Marianna sighed, her attitude not completely the act of a petulant teen. This was always the part she hated most. Asking for the correction as though she somehow deserved it. Yet, she thought, didn't she deserve it for wanting it? Deserve it for that naughty squirming feeling in her stomach when she finally asked?
"Yes, Daddy. I've been a naughty little girl. I've, I've been careless about my responsibilities. And, and, I'm biting my nails again."
Marianna blushingly held out her hands for inspection. The nails were indeed ragged. She thought back to that first spanking, her panties pulled down as he held her across his lap, his hand then ruler lighting a fire in her bottom as she cried. Remembered too her enjoyment of the successful vote.
"What have I told you about doing that? I expect you to set an example for others. People depend on you, missy. How dare you not live up to your responsibilities?"
"I'm sorry, Daddy."
"I'm not sure you are now, but I'm sure you will be when I finish with you. And as to biting your nails, that's another naughty, dirty habit. Maybe a fire in your backside will burn these nasty acts away?"
This was the hardest part, always. She took a deep breath and damned him for making her ask again. To seemingly beg for the punishment.
"Yes, Daddy." Her voice wasn't the firm negotiator or the pert lobbyist. Instead it lisped and trembled like a child's. Marianna tried not to roll her eyes at herself.
She looked down, unable to bear the smile that she knew greeted her submission. For Marianna, the degree Indiana enjoyed watching her discomfort was the greatest humiliation of all. She gritted her teeth, fighting her own body's response to and enjoyment of his control over her.
While Marianna stood there, head down before his desk, Indiana rose and moved an armless wooden straight-backed chair to the middle of the room. It was a gift from a university in his state, had been made higher than usual to fit the tall man's proportions. He had had it moved to his Senate office two years ago. No one else ever sat in it but Indiana, and he did so only for one purpose. This purpose.
"Come right here, missy, and stand in front of me."
She went reluctantly to her place before him, her knees almost touching his. He held her gaze for almost a minute before reaching under her short pleated skirt and sliding his fingers into the waistband of her simple cotton panties.
"Please . . . " she murmured, her voice breaking as he began the lowering.
"'Please' what? Surely you don't think I'll let you keep these up for your punishment you naughty girl? In fact, I don't think you'll be needing panties again tonight."
She bowed her head again, a tear trickling down her cheek and falling unchecked to the carpet. Not waiting for an answer, Indiana slid her white cotton panties down her legs, indicating with a gesture she should step out of them. When Marianna complied he tucked the garment into his coat pocket.
"I'll just keep these to remind you who's in control here, little girl. Girls as naughty as you lose their right to be modest."
Marianna felt rather then saw him lead her over to his right side and pull her across his lap, far enough that her legs left the floor. As he lifted her skirt she automatically gripped the chair rung for support and tried to ignore the feeling of blood rushing to her face. She made herself promise not to let go, promise not to give him an excuse to pin her hands in the small of her back, a gesture that made her feel even more helpless.
Though her brain told her body she'd done nothing wrong, Marianna's body answered with a longing for the spanking, for burning punishment and absolution that belied the lack of sin. She wanted to be punished so she must deserve her punishment.
His hand came down hard on the base of her bottom with no real warm up at all. Marianna squirmed in response to the sting, but the next spank caught her. Indiana's arm wrapped around her body in a practiced gesture, holding her in place as his hand painted dark pink palm prints on her bottom and then her thighs. When she started to cry gently Indiana paused only long enough to pick up the ruler from his desk.
It came down with a hard smack right on the back of her thighs. Marianna yelled a little, her body going rigid from the stinging pain.
"You will learn some self-control! Marianna, you will not bite your nails or next time your palms will feel this ruler as well. Do you understand me?"
His words were underlined by sharp whacks from the ruler. She bit her lips to keep from sobbing aloud, but could not stop the tears that streamed from her eyes.
"Please - please stop!" Marianna heard herself whimper only to realize he had already stopped and was now tucking up her skirt.
"Now march yourself over the corner, young lady, and think about how irresponsible you've been and how many times I've had to discipline you for just such carelessness."
Indiana helped her to her feet and led her to the corner. As they walked, Marianna was careful to keep her hands away from her still bare bottom.
She stood in the corner, bottom on display and wondered what he thought as he watched her. Though Marianna wouldn't admit it for anything, she hoped he found her bottom attractive, hoped he enjoyed spanking her, hoped against hope that he didn't know how much she enjoyed being punished.
"Marianna?" his voice startled her out of her corner thoughts and she turned her head slightly.
"Marianna, I want you to take your skirt down and come over here to me."
She complied slowly, letting her skirt fall over her bare, punished bottom, ashamed for feeling sorry the punishment was already over.
"We've discussed your irresponsibility over and over. Obviously I'm not making an impression on you. But tonight I will. You take this," he handed her his pocket knife, "and you go cut me a switch. A cherry switch from one of the capital cherry trees."
"Sir! I can't do that!" Marianna heard the shock and betrayal in her voice. How could he put her at such risk?
"I thought you promised to do as I tell you." He did not raise his voice, but still, the steel in it echoed in the small office.
"Yes, sir . . . Daddy, I mean."
Indiana softened. "Trust me, little one. You'll be safe."
"I said 'can I help you ma'am?'"
Marianna stood frozen, her heart thudding. As she watched in horror, the officer reached past her and snapped the cherry branch off with ease, and then handed it to her. She shivered as a breeze blew under her skirt, finding the hot skin of her reddened bottom.
"Was this what you were after?"
"Ye-ees," she stammered. "Thank you." Marianna held the branch awkwardly in her right hand. Could he, she wondered, guess its use? Did he somehow know she wasn't wearing panties? What could he be thinking?
"Senator Indiana told me to escort you back to his offices, ma'am."
Marianna looked more closely at his uniform and realized he was one of the night guards at the Senate building. Frank . . . Fisher? She passed by him almost every week. Though, she suspected, never again without blushing. She glanced up at him again, noticing his handsome, broad shoulders.
"Yes, yes of course. Thank you."
He gently took her left elbow and led her in silence back to the building and up the long steps to Indiana's office. As they walked, she wondered if he could tell she'd already been spanked. And if he guessed she wasn't wearing panties. She thought of stepping ahead of him and flashing him her bare bottom, of letting her skirt flick carelessly upward. Marianna was sure it was still pink, still showing the wide stripes from the ruler which always left raised welts. As she began to step forward however, Marianna suddenly thought of what Jacob Indiana would do to her, with her, if he knew. She fell back in step and let herself be led quietly to the outer office door.
It swung open as they approached. Somehow he'd been watching.
"Thanks for helping her get back safely, Frank. Marianna, thank Officer Fisher for helping you."
"Thank you for helping me, sir." Marianna ground her teeth a bit as she spat out the words. But her tone was perfectly polite.
"It was nothing. She was right where you said she'd be, Senator. If you don't need me for anything else . . . ?"
"No, that'll be all. And thank you again."
With that the guard turned and walked from the room, leaving the couple alone. The silence stretched the time between them. Marianna felt her body tremble as she stood there before him. Felt herself become smaller.
"I believe you have something for me, young lady."
Slowly she nodded and offered him the cherry switch.
"What am I going to use this for?"
"To spank me . . . ?"
Marianna's heart lifted a bit. Maybe her going to get it was test enough? A punishment in itself? Relief tinged with disappointment washed over her.
"I'm going to use it to thrash some sense into your bottom. To make sure you remember this night every time you go to sit down for the next month. You're going to have marks from your waist clear down to your knees. Do you understand?"
Marianna's breath caught with alarm. To be thrashed, striped with that switch. To be marked and feel punished. He was asking her - asking her if she knew she deserved it. Such a bad bad girl to deserve this punishment, to want and need it. Excitement and shame flooded through her. This was her moment. She could end this here and walk away.
Just say no. I can just say no, Marianna told herself.
"Yes, Daddy," Marianna whispered. "I understand."
She looked him in the eye and slowly placed both hands behind her head, her elbows making wings at either side. She heard his gasp as he drew the air into his lungs.
His eyes never left her face as he stripped her. Indiana removed her skirt and stared at her nakedness before he tied her across his desk. Bound her hands, arms and feet so she could barely move, barely struggle, barely touch the floor with the tips of her toes. The switch whipped the air, startling her, making her shake with fear and cringe in anticipated pain before he even began.
And then Indiana started. He striped her bottom in sharp criss-crosses, the red lacy welts rising as he quickly painted her skin, across her bottom, up and down her thighs. Marianna strained against the bonds, struggling to get up, to cry, to scream. But she could only feel and hear.
"Such a naughty girl! Do you think your Daddy enjoys punishing you like this?"
She sobbed quietly and Indiana stopped switching her for a moment and walked around the desk so he could lift her chin in his hand, forcing her to look into his eyes.
"I asked you a question, young lady."
She blinked hard. This was new. "I - I don't know what you want me to say, sir."
He circled back to her blazing welted bottom and slashed the switch down twelve more times, the final strip across the back of her calves. Then he came back and took her wet face in his hands again.
"I always want the truth from you, Marianna. You know that."
Her sobs had found depth and volume.
"I - I - I - yes, Daddy. I think, I think you do like it."
She closed her eyes, fearing what she might see in his. Indiana stroked her cheeks gently, collecting the tears with his finger tip, then walked back around the desk, finally swishing the switch through the air and watching Marianna flinch in response. She could think of nothing but the pain, nothing but her desire to have him stop, her wish that the punishment be over.
"You're right, little girl. I do enjoy being the one who punishes you. Holds you accountable. Because you're mine."
And then the switching began again. Marianna lost track of time, could hear nothing but the sound of the switch beating the air before whipping her skin. She became so absorbed in her pain that at first she didn't recognize the scream as coming from her lips.
Indiana heard the scream, and laid on a final twelve strokes just at the base of her bottom. The slender cherry switch broke on the final one and he tossed it into the waste basket before untying Marianna and carrying her over to his chair, holding her on his lap. She wept into his shirt as he held her and he whispered small words of comfort into her hair.
This was how she came back to herself. Naked, her bottom a tapestry of layered lacy welts, held carefully on Indiana's lap. The difference in power between them never seeming clearer or greater.
"I love you," was whispered in the air between them. A statement of one needing no answer from the other.
He helped her dress, slowly and with great care, as though she were the smallest child.
"Senator Indiana?" Frank's voice made them turn at the building's exit.
"Yes, Frank?" Indiana's voice was polite, but its undertone made his desire to leave clear. Marianna stood perfectly still at his side, his arm supporting and restraining her.
"I just wanted you to know that you have my vote, sir. I've never wanted to vote for a candidate more."
"Thank you, Frank. That's always good to hear."
"You're welcome, sir."
The exit door was closing as they heard Frank's closing farewell.
"- and Mrs. Indiana will be a First Lady we can all be proud of!"
Indiana let the door swing closed as he laughed, pulling his young wife close, kissing the top of her head and smacking her sore bottom through her pleated skirt. Marianna gave a small squeak.
"Well we had better be, miss!"
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