The chaos the night of the accident superceded anything I had witnessed before, and I've been the Witmore's head of household since 1972. Brittany came in drunk, giggling, and panicked. She would not speak to me but insisted on waking her father. Soon the story was tearfully told, the entire building awakened, Dr. Scott telephoned, and the driver sent to fetch the body.
The hitchiker was alive, thank God, but he was seriously injured. Dr. Scott and I both tried to convince Seymour that the boy should be taken to a hospital, but the old man was determined to protect his silly daughter. We would care for the boy there, and no one would be the wiser.
Dr. Scott finally relented. He'd been the family doctor for so long he could not refuse. He stayed all night with the young man, bandaging him and giving him shots of morphine to let him sleep. The boy had a broken ankle, which the doctor set. In the morning he left early, indicating the young man would live.
Brittany showed little remorse for her actions of the previous night. She shrugged when I told her the boy would be all right, and complained that her head hurt.
"Get me some asprin, will you Charles, dear?" she asked, giving me her sweet little girl face.
"Yes, Miss Witmore," I said, but since I longed to give her something else. What would the brat do when her wealthy father was no longer around to solve all her problems for her?
The injured man's name was Brad Wiley. To our relief he did not remember the accident or anything leading up to it. He was out walking and he woke up at the Witmore's mansion.
The young man did not fit into the Witmore household by any measure, being brash and bold and prone to foul language and common tastes. He was hitching because he had no job or home, or any future for that matter. He did odd jobs, he told me, gardening, carpentry, mechanics, whatever. He never stayed anywhere long. I told him Mr. Witmore insisted he stay with us until he was better, which in the case of the ankle meant the boy would be with us for at least six weeks. Young Mr. Wiley did not seem to mind, though he was puzzled why we were being so nice to him.
"Mr. Witmore is a kind and generous man," I said.
"But why me? And why here, in his home? Wouldn't I be less of a burden in a hospital?"
"Mr. Witmore likes to do things his way. That's part of why he's been so successful in his business endeavors."
The boy took another bite of filet of sole and frowned. "Did the police find out who hit me?"
"There was no trace. By the time we found you the driver had long since left the scene. I'm afraid it's hopeless."
Brad looked me sharply, and then continued eating. He seemed to be thinking. I left, leaving him to finish his meal in private.
Two days later it became obvious the boy knew. He became arrogant, domineering, confident. He wasn't sure who was behind it, but he had figured out it was someone in the household who had hit him. At first he suspected Seymour himself. Then he hit upon Brittany. The two were seating in the parlor sipping iced drinks when I accidently overheard their conversation.
"It's so hot," murmured Brittany, pursing her perfect lips and glaring at Brad. "I need another drink." There was an expectant silence, as though she was waiting him to leap up and hobble on his crutches to fetch her a drink.
"I think you've had enough," he said sternly. "Like the other night."
"What are you talking about?"
"The night you hit me. You were drunk."
"I was not!"
"You weren't sober. You would have seen me if you'd been sober."
"It was dark! You were wearing dark clothes." The incredibly stupid girl was sullen and angry, unaware that she was being played. A large smile came on Brad's face.
"So it was you..."
"No, I - " the girl stopped, her cheeks flushed. She hastily stood and left.
I immediately went to Mr. Witmore and told him what I knew. He did not speak for a moment. "What does the boy want?" he asked.
"I don't know."
"Money? Offer him money."
So I went to downstairs and found Brad, still seated in the parlor. "Do you enjoy it here?" I asked.
"It's not bad."
"Mr. Witmore is concerned that you are not happy."
"For now, yes. But what about in the future? Wouldn't it be nice to leave here knowing that your needs were met?"
"Are you offering me money?" He spat out the word as though it was disgusting to him.
"Don't you need money?"
"I've gotten along without it so far. I reckon I can continue."
"There must be something you'd like."
The boy studied me for a moment. "In exchange for what?"
I shrugged. "Your cooperation. You leave quietly, without a fuss. We want no trouble."
"You've got trouble. Does Daddy think he's going to buy his daughter a way out again?"
"That is a crude way to put it, Mr. Wiley."
"It's the truth. And it's not going to work this time."
"What do you want?"
"I want her to pay. It's time she grew up."
I nodded. "She has her own money. That would be fair."
"I don't want her money. I want her body."
The boy laughed at my shocked expression. "Not like that, Charlie Boy. I have something different in mind."
"I doubt Mr. Witmore will agree to it."
"Why don't I ask him?"
"I can convey your message."
"No, this I shall do myself." With that the irritating boy handed me his empty glass and left, heading up to Mr. Witmore's office. Though I was still on duty I couldn't help myself - I went and poured myself a drink.
His conference with Mr. Witmore lasted more than a half hour, and though I occasionally overheard loud voices, I could discern nothing specific. When Brad emerged, however, he appeared confident and pleased, and I suspected he had achieved whatever he intended.
"Fetch the girl," he said bluntly.
"I beg your pardon?" I asked in my haughtiest voice.
"He wants his daughter in there now!"
"Oh. Yes, sir."
Brittany was in the private swimming pool. She did not answer when I knocked several times, so finally I was forced to enter. As I suspected, she was bathing in the nude.
"What are you doing in here!" she screamed at me. "Get out, now!"
"Miss, your father wants you in his office immediately."
"I don't care. You have no right to come in here."
I shrugged. "Yes, Miss Brittany. I will tell your father you refuse to come."
"Uh, no, wait!" There was the sound of splashing and out of the corner of my eye I saw lithe form of the twenty-four-year-old scramble from the pool. "Throw me that towel, please."
The towel was on the wooden bench near me. I lifted it carefully and attempted to pass it behind me. Brittany giggled. "Embarrassed, are you Charles? Didn't you change my diapers?"
She was right, to an extent. I personally hadn't changed her diapers, though I had observed the task. I certainly knew this girl inside and out but I still felt awkward now that she was fully grown.
Brittany felt no such shame. She wiped her face with the towel and paraded naked in front of me, her delicate breasts pressing close to me as she leaned forward and kissed my cheek. "Do you want to do it, Charles?" she whispered seductively in my ear.
"Awwk!" I lost all composure, sputtering in horror and backing away. The girl laughed and turned her backside to me, flaunting the soft curves of her arse as she dried her front.
The girl was shameless, an embarrassment to herself and her family. What she needed was an old-fashioned six-of-the-best while bent across the headmaster's desk. "I wonder how cheeky she'd be with half-a-dozen weals across her rump?" I thought rudely, and then felt bad. The poor girl could hardly help being a brat - her parents had spoiled her rotten and never once made any move to discipline her.
Brittany put on her swimsuit (a light blue one-piece) and we left the pool. We went straight to her father's office where he impatiently ordered us inside. I turned to go.
"You may stay, Charles," said Mr. Witmore as I started to leave. "I want you to hear this. You can help ensure that Brittany keeps her agreement."
"What agreement?" asked Brittany, glaring at her father.
"The agreement I just made with our guest on your behalf," said her father sternly. "And you'd better listen and obey unless you'd prefer spending your next year in DeYalow Women's Prison."
"What!" gasped the girl.
"Indeed. Mr. Wiley knows all about the accident and he seems to have also learned that you are on probation. An incident like this will not be overlooked by the courts, I'm afraid. You'd do time for certain."
"But Daddy," whined the girl.
"Shut up! Now listen. Mr. Wiley has refused my attempts to compensate him for his suffering. He blames you and you alone for the accident, and insists you must pay."
"What do you mean?"
"He insists you must be punished."
"What? What gives him the right? I ought to - "
"You ought to shut up!" scolded the old man. The girl's mouth snapped closed and tears glistened in her eyes. "You will cooperate with him. You will allow him to punish you. Do you hear me? I will not allow you to embarrass the family name by exposing this scandal."
"Be quiet. Here is what is going to happen. Brad and I have discussed this and while I still think it is far too severe a punishment, I have agreed to it."
The girl's eyes were wide and frightened. "What are you going to do?"
"He is going to do it, Brittany, not me. Starting tomorrow morning you will submit to a week of punishments from him."
"What kind of punishments?" Resentment and a touch of fear echoed from the girl's voice.
"I'm afraid he insists upon corporal punishment."
There was a stunned silence. The astonishment upon the face of the spoiled girl was indescribable. Her mouth stood open, her nose wrinkled in puzzlement, her eyes bright with fury. I could almost hear her thinking, "I can't have heard that right. It's a mistake. It's got to be!"
Finally she spoke. "C-corporal pun-punishment?"
"Yes. He's going to spank you. I've agreed to it."
"You can't be serious!"
"I'm completely serious."
"I won't do it." The girl folded her arms over her breasts and glared at her father.
"You will do it," said the older man, his voice ringing with steel and ice. Brittany crumbled before my eyes, bursting into tears. She fell to the ground at her father's feet and hugged him, weeping and begging to be forgiven, to somehow get out of this. Her father ignored her and in a toneless voice told her what was to happen.
"For the next seven days Mr. Wiley will be in charge of disciplining you. I have agreed to the terms. Here is what will happen. Every morning, when you first get up, you will go to him and accept a ten-minute hand spanking across his lap. You will be completely naked during this spanking."
Brittany sobbed and whined loudly but Mr. Witmore did not change his pace. "After your wake-up spanking you will shower and go to breakfast. During the day you will face three paddlings with my old wooden fraternity paddle, the severity determined by Mr. Wiley. Each paddling will be between 10 and 30 strokes with no more than 60 strokes in an entire day. Your first paddling will be just before lunch, your second just before dinner. The third paddling will be given whenever you choose, but you must go and ask for it, and you must take it before you go to bed at 10 o'clock at night.
"During these paddlings you may wear whatever clothes you'd like, but you must wear a different outfit for each paddling and you may only wear jeans to one paddling. Do you understand so far?"
"Daddy, please..." begged the girl.
"Good. Any disobedience by you, any tardiness or reluctance to accept your punishments with the dignity of a Witmore, and Mr. Wiley has my permission to add extra paddlings.
"Now, each night, before you go to bed, Mr. Wiley will give you one last punishment: a thorough caning. You may chose how you are dressed. If you are naked, you will receive six strokes. If you wear just your panties, eight strokes. And if you stay dressed and receive your caning over one layer of clothing, it will be ten strokes." The man paused. "Do you understand?"
"No, I don't," whined Brittany, sniffling and wiping her eyes. "You've never spanked me before - you said you didn't believe in spanking."
"I don't. I think it's cruel. But prison's a lot crueler. A week's worth of spankings is a fraction of what you'd have to endure in prison. And who knows, a few spankings might do you some good."
"Daaaddy!" cried Brittany, shocked at the way her father was treating her. "This isn't fair!"
"I'm sorry, Brittany, but life isn't fair. You're just going to have to go through with this unless you'd rather go to jail. And if you go to jail you can count on me never speaking to you again - Witmores do not go to jail."
Brittany argued a bit more, but in the end the conclusion was already written. The girl was going to have to endure the punishments Mr. Wiley had outlined. And I, at the request of the master, was to observe them all, to insure that Mr. Wiley conducted the affair in proper order and did not violate any parts of the agreement.
I was up at dawn the next morning, eager to witness the application of the first discipline Brittany Witmore had ever experienced in her entire life. At seven sharp I knocked on Miss Brittany's door.
It took her ten minutes but she finally answered, a grumpy, semi-conscious young lady with an annoyed expression. She wore a petite teddy that did little to conceal her voluptuous body. "Oh. Charles. What is it."
"It is time, Miss Brittany."
Yawn. "Time for what?"
"Hem. Your, er, spanking, Miss."
I couldn't have shocked the girl more if I'd slapped her. Her half-closed eyes sprang open with alarm and she began to cough violently, her face pale and strained.
"I thought I'd dreamed that," she sputtered. "Daddy can't have been serious!"
"I'm afraid he was very specific, Miss. You had best obey."
Miss Witmore looked for a second like she intended to slap me, but then she sighed and her face went hard. "Fine. Let's get it over with then. Where is the idiot?"
"Right this way."
Brad was waiting for us in his room, sitting on his bed, checking his watch. "It's seven-twenty," he growled. "You were supposed to be here by seven-fifteen."
Brittany shrugged. "I forgot. Now can we just get this over with?"
"Tardiness warrants extra punishment," said Brad sternly. "I think an extra ten with the paddle will do nicely. But not now - later. I'll let you pick the time. It must be during one of your other paddlings, though. Let me know when."
Brittany stood sulkily to one side, glaring at the young man. "You can't do this," she said slowly, as though just her saying it would make it be true. "You can't do this."
"Come on. Get that scrap of silk off and get over my lap."
"You can't be serious!"
"Brittany, your father explained the rules to you. Your morning spankings are given across my lap with you naked."
Whining and protesting, Brittany removed her teddy with a rough jerking movement. She stood brazenly naked, her magnificent body revealed. Her large breasts were high and remarkably firm, the nipples thick and pronounced. The smooth skin of her slender waist swelled at her hips, curving into a voluptuous bottom that made me weak.
Frowning bitterly, she laid herself across Brad Wiley's lap. Stretched out in such a position made the slender girl look very pretty, her pert bottom poking upward and her long legs smooth and fine.
Brad caressed her bottom a few times and then nodded to me. "If you could time us, please. Ten minutes."
Then the young man began to blister the bottom that lay spread out before him. The spanks were loud and frequent, each smack drawing out a cry of pain from the naughty girl and leaving an appropriate pink circle on Brittany's behind. She kicked and fussed and pleaded for mercy but it did no good. The spanking continued for a full ten minutes, and then I motioned for Brad to stop. He did so reluctantly, though I could see his hand was swollen and sore.
"Master Wiley," I said, grasping his hand and examining it. "We shall have to attend to your hand."
"What about my ass?" screamed Brittany, squirming and rolling off Brad's lap. She scrambled to her feet and clutched her bottom frantically, rubbing and squeezing it.
"You, young lady, deserve everything you've gotten," Brad said to her. "Now go get dressed and be down for breakfast promptly at eight o'clock. If you are late I shall add to your other spankings."
"Oh, God, no!" cried the girl. "I forgot there's supposed to be more. With a paddle! Oh, Brad, please..." Brittany fell to her knees in front of the boy and begged with him, but he only smiled.
"For a girl who's earned five spankings a day for the next week you don't seem very brave," he laughed. "Now hurry and get downstairs for breakfast!" Slowly Brittany stood and walked away, still sniffling and crying pitifully. She did not bother to put her nightclothes back on but walked bare-assed down the corridor, her blushing cheeks a vibrant pink.
After breakfast, Brad reminded the girl she had a paddling before lunch and supper and a third one to be given when she asked for it. "Don't wait too long," he said, "or I'll have to spank you two times in a row!"
Brittany didn't say anything, but went off to play tennis. Twice that morning I asked her if she wanted to take her paddling, but she refused. Finally at lunch it was time for her noon-time spanking.
"Since this is your first paddling I will go easy on you," said Brad. "Just twenty swats. Now bend over the table."
A terrified Brittany stood next to the dining room table covered with seven delicious varieties of deli sandwiches, several salads, and a salmon pate. She was hungry but there was business to attend to before she'd be allowed to eat. She glanced down the long table at her father, but he did not return her gaze. Finally she went to the table's edge and bent across it, her bottom looking wonderfully pert in the petite tennis skirt.
Brad took up the heavy fraternity paddle, a memento from Mr. Witmore's college days, and stepped behind the trembling girl. "Do not get up or attempt to protect your ass," he said sternly, "or I'll add extra strokes."
Then, without further fuss, he began to paddle Brittany's arse as hard as he could. The girl shrieked and cried out for mercy. The paddle walloped her again. She screamed and kicked, dancing as the heavy board vainly attempted to flatten her pert rump.
"Please, that's enough!" she cried after the tenth stroke, but Brad just laughed.
"Silly girl! We're only halfway done."
Amazingly, the girl stayed in position for the entire twenty swats, though she certainly fussed a great deal and never once stopped screaming and yelling. She was weeping when Brad finished, and gratefully stood upright.
"Hold on there a second. You have ten extras from this morning. Do you want them now or later?"
"Oh, God," breathed Brittany in terror. "My ass is on fire. I can't take any more!"
"All right, then later. Perhaps at supper, or during your free-time spanking."
Lunch was a quiet affair, with Brittany not speaking but wiggling in her chair and occasionally crying. At first she didn't want to eat claiming she wasn't hungry - I think she felt reluctant to sit down - but as soon as her father informed her that she was required to sit at the table whether she ate or not she ate heartily, polishing off two sandwiches and three glasses of fruit drink.
After lunch, Brittany took a short nap. I was in the family room chatting with Brad when she appeared, dressed in agonizingly tight denim jeans. "P-please, sir, may I have my spanking now?" she asked Brad politely.
"Certainly. Fetch me the paddle and we shall begin."
Brittany ran off and I'd swear I saw a slight smirk of triumph on her face. I wondered why she was pleased.
It soon became obvious, however, when Brittany attempted to bend over, that she must have been wearing armor under those jeans. Her bottom was still round but she seemed to have the idea that extra pairs of panties would protect her ass.
Brad made sure it did not. He gave her thirty wallops, and while it was obvious it wasn't as painful for Brittany as the lunch spanking, it certainly hurt. She couldn't stop sobbing when it was over, and twice ignored Brad's question about the extra ten. When she did answer she refused, promising to accept them at dinner.
"Don't forget to wear something different for supper," called Brad after her. Brittany didn't answer.
At supper, however, she wore a long white dress. It clung to her body like a wetsuit, revealing every curve. She didn't say a word when Brad ordered her to bend over the back of the sofa for her supper paddling. If she'd expected the sexy dress to earn her mercy, her ploy failed miserably. Brad gave her ten of the hardest smacks I've ever seen, every one lifting Brittany to her tiptoes.
"There, that wasn't so bad," said Brad when he'd finished.
"For you!" hissed Brittany, her hands rapidly massaging her butt. "God that burns!"
"Don't forget the your extra ten," murmured Brad. "You must take them now."
"Oh, please, can't we just forget about those?" said the girl, leaning her body against Brad. Her eyes promised volumes, but Brad only laughed.
"Over the sofa, tramp!"
Sobbing and whining about how unfair it was, Brittany went back over the sofa. This time the spanks weren't quite as hard, but every one made the girl howl in pain.
Supper proved to be a quiet affair. Brittany, usually gregarious, was silent as she picked sullenly at her food.
"I take it the spankings are going well?" asked her father at one point. Brittany shrugged, but Brad nodded, and I confirmed. "Good," said Mr. Witmore. "I hope you're learning a good lesson, young lady."
I didn't see Brittany again until bedtime. At five minutes to ten she appeared at Brad's bedroom door wearing a bathrobe. Underneath she wore only panties and a bra.
"I'm here, uh, for my bedtime... caning," she whispered. Her eyes were large with fear and she seemed astonished, as though she couldn't believe she was doing this.
"Excellent," said Brad. "Over your panties, I take it? Eight strokes?"
"Then bend over and grab your ankles. Hold on tight because if you rise up the stroke doesn't count."
Brittany had obviously chosen her fullest pair of panties. The result was delightfully humorous, for even these were nearly transparent lace, and though they covered most of her generous ass, they certainly provided no protection from the cane. Her ego, it seemed, insisted she take the two extra strokes.
The caning started off badly. Brittany rose at the first stroke, sputtering with fury and dripping tears.
"Ooohhhhh! That huuuurrrrrtts!" she moaned, her hands clutching her bottom. She refused a direct order to get back in position. "I can't! You can't make me!"
"You just earned an extra stroke!" snapped Brad grimly. "Not get back in position. We haven't even started yet."
The poor girl earned two more before she got back down, but then she immediately rose up after the cane cracked across her haunches for the second time.
"That one doesn't count either," scolded Brad. "This is going to take all night!"
Finally the sobbing girl got in position and stayed down for three strokes. On the fourth she rose, weeping and begging for mercy. Brad gave her none. Back over she went for more sharp cuts of the cane. Even through her panties I could see the red marks from each stroke.
THWACK! went the cane. Brittany howled but stayed down. THWACK! THWACK! THWACK!
"One more," murmured Brad, and I saw him pull back for what was obviously going to be the hardest yet.
It was amazing. So hard was the stroke that I was certain Brittany would rise up, but instead she gritted her teeth and moaned, wiggling her ass frantically and shaking her head. The girl had more in her than I had expected.
"Now for the two extra," said Brad, drawing moans of protest from the girl. He acted surprised. "You don't want the two extra?"
"I'll tell you what. If you take down your panties, we'll make it one last stroke instead of two."
The girl's brain whirled and she thought. Brad didn't move but waited patiently. Finally her answer came in the way of her hands dragging her panties down. As her voluptuous buttocks came into view I saw they were vividly marked from the paddle and cane. The debutante's once-smooth skin was swollen and welted, and the stripes from the cane were reddish purple.
Brad put the last stroke right in the crease between her bottom and her thighs. It was an agonizing stroke, one that Brittany would remember forever. She sobbed and sobbed, and when I attempted to help her put her panties back on she refused, kicking them off.
"They hurt too much," she moaned, and so she was naked as I helped her down the hallway to her room. There she crawled into bed and wept. As I started to shut the door she called for me.
I paused. "Yes, Ma'am?"
"Am I... am I really such a brat?"
I was surprised, to say the least. Could she be developing a conscience? But I hesitated to answer her query. There was really no tactful way to honestly answer such a question. My pondering solved my dilemma.
"Never mind, Charles. You've answered it."
I nodded and started to go, then turned. "For what it's worth, Miss Brittany, tonight you were less of a brat. You took your first day of spankings quite well, considering. I'm honestly impressed."
The girl beamed at me. "Thank you, Charles."
"Good-night, Miss Brittany."
The next morning, Brittany was at Brad's door promptly at seven o'clock. She was nude beneath her robe, and though she was trembling, she obediently went across his lap for her morning spanking. It was a good one, perhaps less intense than the previous day's, but Brittany's bottom was already tender and bruised. She cried constantly, but when it was finished she gave Brad a kiss on the cheek and thanked him. She kissed me, too, as she departed.
Brad and I stared at each other in disbelief. "Who was that girl?" asked Brad, and I had to smile.
"She can be quite sweet at times, sir," I said. I paused, then plowed ahead. "May I speak frankly?"
"When don't you?" grunted Brad, but he was smiling.
"What you are doing... I thought at first you were just taking advantage of the situation, but perhaps I misjudged you. It's certainly having a positive result in Brittany's case."
The young man nodded somberly. "She's a good kid. Damned attractive, too. I want very much to like her as a woman, but she's got a lot of growing up to do."
"You think a week will do it?"
"Can't hurt to try."
The next few days proved interesting indeed.
Brittany became a collage of contrasts. She willing came for her regular spankings, paddlings, and canings, but she wasn't exactly submissive. She came more out of fear, and she didn't stop pleading for mercy and attempting not-so-subtle manipulations of Brad to get him to go easy on her.
On Tuesday she wore a thong bikini all morning, and when Brad paddled her as hard as ever at lunch, she went naked all afternoon. She lay by the pool and openly masturbated, her eyes watching Brad the whole time. He seemed impervious to her displays, and he gave her thirty whacks at supper. She was annoyed and angry, but didn't push it. That night she wore jeans to her caning and accepted all ten strokes in cold silence.
By Thursday the tension between the two had grown so intense it was like the air was clogged with dust. Neither said a word to each other during the morning spanking. At noon Brittany showed up in jeans and took forty whacks with silent tears. In the afternoon she took ten over her tennis skirt, and she wore her riding outfit to supper that night. As the two prepared for the bedtime caning I couldn't hold back any longer.
"Excuse me, but this has gone on long enough," I said. Both were startled, staring at me in surprise. "The two of you are in love. It's obvious."
Brad looked like he wanted to murder me, and I can't think Brittany's expression bore anything so nice as that.
"Don't deny it," I said. "It's true. If you'd stop fighting each other you'd realize it."
"I'm not fighting!" snapped Brittany. "He's the one with the big stick."
"Of course you're fighting," I retorted. "Your submission is only pretend. You don't honestly think you'd accept spankings from him if you didn't have to, do you?"
The question caught them both off guard. Immediately I knew my blow had been sound.
Brittany made a sour face. "You're saying I'm supposed to want to be spanked by him?"
"If you love him, yes."
"What about him? He just gets to spank me all he wants and I've got no say in the matter?"
"If you trust him, you trust that he'll treat you fairly," I answered. Brittany fell silent.
"You," I said turning to Brad, "need to let her go. You're trying too hard. If something's going to happen, it will. You can't beat her into loving you."
There was a flicker of profound emotion across Brad's face. He glanced at Brittany, then at the floor. "My God," he said dully, sinking onto the bed. He let the cane fall to the floor. "Go to bed, Brittany. There'll be no caning tonight."
For a second, hope clashed with disappointment on the pretty girl's face. "Nooo," she whispered. "You must do it. It's part of the contract."
Brad shook his head. "I'm emotionally involved. I'm too close. I thought I could do it, distance myself, but I can't. Every time I see you wince, every time I hear you moan in pain, it tears me apart inside."
"Really?" gasped Brittany. "It hurts you to hurt me?"
"You don't know how much," said Brad forlornly. "I just wish you were a nice girl I could love."
The words were out before he realized it. It was worse than if he'd taken a knife a stuck it through her heart. Her face went ashen, and in a blink, she was gone.
In the morning, at seven, I was at Brad's door. But he didn't rise and Brittany didn't show. Neither acknowledged my knocks. Noon came and went, and still neither presented themselves. I tried to deliver food, but neither would come to the door.
Finally, in the evening, I knocked on Brittany's door
"Fuck off," she called.
"It is Charles."
There was a long pause. "Oh, come in."
I entered. Brittany was a mess. It appeared she had spent the entire night weeping. She sat before her dressing table and looked the very image of misery.
"My dear child," I whispered. "You mustn't let him get to you."
"I can't help it." Her bloodshot eyes turned to me. "I love him, Charles. I really do. As far as I'm concerned he could beat me every day if that made him happy. But obviously he doesn't love me."
"He does, Miss Brittany."
"Then how could he say that?"
"He wasn't talking about you."
"What do you mean?"
I smiled and sat down on the bench next to her. "When he first arrived, he met a certain Brittany Witmore. Do you remember her?"
"Yes," answered the girl, her cheeks going red with embarrassment.
"She wasn't a nice girl, was she?"
"Is that girl you?"
Realization dawned and Brittany's mouth opened. "I've changed!" she gasped. "You're right. It happened so fast I didn't even realize it. But you're right! I'm no longer that vain, self-centered girl interested only in momentary pleasure - I want more from life, I want to prove to Brad that I'm a real woman, that I'm smart, that I can be a good wife -"
She broke off in amazement. "Wife. Did I just say that?" She laughed. "I never, never thought I'd get married. Not for a long time. I always thought marriage as the end, but with Brad, it would just be the beginning, wouldn't it?"
"I think you know the answer to that."
Brittany rose. "I must tell him. I must -" She paused. "What am I thinking? What I am supposed to say to him? He'll never believe me, never believe I've changed."
That's when I brought out the cane. I'd held it behind my back, waiting for the right time. Brittany's eyes glistened when she saw it.
"You're an angel," she whispered. "Thank you!"
Taking the cane from me she went down the hall. I'd never seen her so excited about anything. Her face shown with a wonderful gleam and her eyes glowed. She knocked softly.
The door opened. She didn't say a word but merely held out the cane meekly. A second later she was inside, and I had no doubts about the outcome of this reunion.