Stabler Girls: Jerry

Part of the Stabler Girls series.  Breanna meets Lenore’s friend, Jerry, who ends up causing them more trouble than he’s probably worth.  But Lenore loves him like crazy, and it’s really all Great Aunt Mildred’s fault!


It was spring break, and Lenore and Breanna’s Great-Aunt Mildred (not to be confused with great Aunt Mildred, because this woman was definitely not great) was staying the night. Breanna was kind of peeved, because she had to give up her precious room for the old hag, but not before grabbing her playstation and guitars to rock out all night. She was setting it up when Lenore came in after her bath, dressed in her pjs.

“Everything ready?” Lenore asked her sister, unable to constain her excitement. “I can’t believe Daddy said we can stay up all night!”

“Yep, just got it set up.” Bre handed her sister a guitar and put in her favorite Guitar Hero game. “This isn’t the one that Dad got for you to play, but I’m tired of that one. So just don’t repeat any of the lyrics from these songs. They might have bad words, k?”

“Okay!” Lenore replied eagerly. “I won’t. I promise!”

Bre turned off the light and piled on the bed with her little sister, adjusting the volume and putting it on her favorite song.

Lenore grabbed up a guitar and prepared to play. She loved this game!

And they played for hours. It was wee into the early hours of the morning when Bre, noticing her sister’s 50th yawn, decided that it was time to go to bed. “Come on, sis, we’ll play more tomorrow,” she said, turning the tv off.

“Aww,” Lenore whined, then yawned. “I’m not the least bit sleepy.”

It didn’t take much for Bre to pry the guitar from her sister’s sleepy arms, and she set them both on Lenore’s desk. Then she lay back down, hearing something. From all the guitar hero, they hadn’t noticed it before, but now it was loud and clear. Great Aunt Mildred was snoring… and loudly!

Lenore made a face. “Who can sleep through that?”

Breanna giggled. “I think she could wake the dead!”

Lenore giggled too, as she flopped onto her bed

“Ughhhhh… do you think all old people snore that loud?” Breanna asked.

“I hope not,” Lenore said, making a face.

“Me too.” They were silent again, listening to the old hag for about two minutes before Bre spoke again. “So. I was sleepy, and now I feel wide awake. How ’bout you?”

“Wiiiiide awake!” Lenore giggled. “I said I wasn’t sleepy.”

“You’ve been yawnin’ for like 3 hours!”

Lenore shrugged. “I yawn at school too.”

“That’s because school is boring. You don’t yawn during fun things like Guitar Hero unless you’re sleepy, duh,” Breanna replied, rolling her eyes.

Lenore shrugged. “I’m just weird like that.”

“Hmmm. Okay.” Bre lay there another minute, staring at the shadow of the trees on the hardwood floor. It didn’t look like it was very windy outside, she noted, as she stared, trying to think of something interesting to say.

That’s when she saw it. The shadow moved. And then moved again. And then she realized that it wasn’t a shadow… but a mouse! “Ohmygod!” she whispered loudly. “There’s a… there’s… a…. m-mouse!” Bre stood on the bed, trying not to shriek.

Lenore sat up, sliding off her bed. “It’s just Jerry, Bre. He’s my friend.” She dug some food out of its hiding spot and crouched down, letting the mouse climb into her hand to eat.

“J-Jerry?” she stammered, then stooped down and giggled a little. It was a cute little creature. “You’ve been hiding a mouse?”

“Uh-huh,” Lenore nodded. “I didn’t think Daddy would let me keep him, if he knew. So I never said anything.”

Bre was about to say something, but a loud snore cut her off. She glared in the direction of her room at her Great Aunt Mildred and then had this brilliant idea. “I wonder if Jerry could shut the old hag up for a little while.”

“What do you mean?” Lenore asked cautiously.

Bre stepped down from the bed and peered down at Jerry. “I bet it would be funny to send him in there with Great Aunt Mildred. She’d flip out and be freaked out and not be able to go back to sleep in fear of the mouse.” She giggled evilly. “And then we could get some peace and quiet around here and be able to sleep.”

“Jerry won’t get hurt, will he?” Lenore asked worriedly. “I don’t want anybody to kill him.”

“He’s smart enough to have trained you to feed him every night without getting killed, right? He’ll know to run back to his hole in the wall, don’t worry, sis,” Bre promised.

“Daddy won’t know it was us?” Lenore fretted.

“Daddy’s slee…” Bre began but upon hearing the loud snore, she decided to bite her tongue. How her father could be asleep through all that racket was beyond her, but sure enough she heard his soft (in comparison) snore echoing that of her Great Aunt’s. “Sleeping,” she continued. “Did you hear? Besides, you know it would be so funny.”

“Well….I guess it’d be okay….” Lenore trailed off, still a little worried about this.

“If you don’t want to do it, it’s fine,” Bre said. She heard another loud snore and crawled back into bed. “Doesn’t matter to me.”

“I think Jerry needs an adventure,” Lenore said after a long moment. “Let’s do it! She’s a mean old hag anyway.”

Bre perked up. “Really? Okay let’s do it!!” She tiptoed to the door, opening it up and peeking her head out. She heard a loud snore from both sides and motioned for Lenore to follow her.

Lenore foowed her, holding Jerry.

Breanna made her way to the door to her own room. It was cracked open, which made this so much easier to do. She pushed it in farther, looking around to make sure no one was watching, and then motioned for Lenore to go inside. “Put it on the bed with her,” she whispered.

Lenore silently did as told, praying for Jerry’s safety. Soon as she’d set him down, she scurried on out of the room.

The loud snore made Bre jump a little, and she had kind of been expecting that to happen. She was about to ask Lenore a question on the way back to their bed when something she didn’t expect happened — a howl erupted from her room, even louder than the snores. She realized that Great Aunt Mildred had found Jerry, all right. And she was not happy about it.

Now, Bre should’ve been expecting this, but she hadn’t thought Jerry would get the job done so quickly, nor that the old hag would really legit scream. So it made her heart stop a little and she couldn’t really figure out what to do. When she came to her senses to run to Lenore’s room, she heard the doorknob of her dad’s room turn, and grabbed her sister to hide on the stairs, ducking in the shadows.

Lenore watched siently, fearing for her little mouse friend. Especially after hearing their Aunt scream for someone to kill it.

Elliot heard the screams and his first thought was that someone was after the girls… so he jumped out of bed, grabbed a baseball bat, and ran out in a rush without putting his robe on or anything. He finally realized that the shouts were that of no other than his aunt, who seemed to be having some sort of issue involving a rodent. He turned on the hall light, exposing the two culprits, Breanna and Lenore, both of which looked up at him with worried eyes. He gave then a stern look, returned the bat to his room, then jogged to Great Aunt Mildred to find out if she was okay.

Lenore bit her lip. “Bre? Do you think Daddy’s really mad?” She whispered, as their Aunt kept screaming.

“Uhm, I think so,” Bre said, feeling this really uneasy knot in her stomach. Meanwhile, Elliot managed to calm Great Aunt Mildred enough to get her to stop screaming. “There was a rodent in my bed!” she claimed. Elliot turned on the light and Bre saw that the old woman was standing fiercely, tennis shoe in hand, searching for Jerry. “Are you sure, Aunt Mildred?” Elliot asked. Bre was glad that for now he seemed to not think that they had put it in her room. “Yes! A big black rat!” Aunt Mildred shouted.

Bre nudged her little sister. “Hey, we’ll just say that we followed Jerry out here… that he ran out of your room, and that we were going to try to stop him from going in there…!”

“Kay,” Lenore nodded eagerly, as she heard Aunt Mildred scream and suddenly Jerry came scurrying out of the room and straight for his human friend. She quickly scooped the little mouse up just as their father and Aunt came into the hallway.

“Kill it!!!!!!!!!” Aunt Mildred yelled. “Don’t you touch that filth, child!”

Elliot, in a much calmer tone, said, “You two have some explaining to do.”

“NO!” Lenore exclaimed, hugging Jerry to her chest. “YOU’RE NOT KILLING HIM!”

It was quiet for a moment as Elliot debated what to do with this situation. Aunt Mildred seemed to have calmed down enough now that the mouse had been caught, so that was a good sign. “Aunt Mildred, I’ll get rid of the mouse. Why don’t you go back to bed and let me have a word with the girls.”

“I’d say more than a word is needed,” Aunt Mildred muttered, turning and going back into her room.

Lenore quietly turned to disappear as well, Jerry still clutched tightly to her.

Elliot ushered his daughters to Lenore’s room. He turned on her light and asked them both to sit on the bed. “What’s going on?” he wanted to know.

“Well,” Bre began, “we saw the mouse, and followed it out of the room, and it went in there with Aunt Mildred and we were going to try and get him out but we couldn’t find him and were leaving and that’s when she started screaming.”

Lenore nooded quietly, patting the mouse’s head.

Elliot didn’t believe it. He could always tell when they were lying. “First time you ever seen this mouse?” he asked Lenore, staring down at her.

Lenore shrunk under his gaze. “No, Sir…..he’s my friend,” she admitted. “We saw him run out and went to try and stop him.”

Elliot nodded, looking back at Bre. “First time you ever saw him?”

Breanna felt like she was being interrogated by the police… well, in theory she was, but anyway… it made her feel super uncomfortable. “Yes, sir,” she said.

He nodded again, inching closer to the girls, towering over them. “Lenore, are you *sure* that he ran out and you went to try to stop him?”

Lenore squirmed slightly, as she remembered all those awful spankings she’d gotten for lying to him. What if this one was going to be worse, because they had discussed it so many times? She kept her head down, staring at the mouse in her hands. “You can’t prove otherwise, Daddy,” she replied softly.

Elliot folded his arms. He looked down at Breanna now, posing the same question, wearing the same stern look.

“Yes, sir. That’s the truth, it’s really what happened,” Breanna said.

Elliot backed up, pacing now a little. “You know, you two have gotten in trouble plenty of times before for lying, and if I find out that you’re being untruthful, it’s going to be much, much worse.” He stood in front of them once again. “Final chance. I want to know the truth. What is it that you two are hiding?” He folded his arms, waiting.

Lenore felt her eyes tear up. She really didn’t know how he could solve the mystery, but she really didn’t want a worse spanking for lying. And she was tired, and when tired, highly over-emotional. She chewed her lower lip nervously. “It was just a prank, Daddy. Jerry didn’t mean any harm. He likes people.”

Bre tensed up. She knew that Lenore was going to (no pun intended) rat them out! “Elaborate, Young Lady,” Elliot said firmly.

Lenore kept her head down, as she kept playing with Jerry. “Bre said it would be funny. That nobody would know it was us, and Aunt Mildred would stop snoring so loud, so we could get some sleep.”

Elliot turned his gaze to his oldest daughter, who was now chewing on her thumbnail, squirming with nervousness. “Did you influence your sister to put the mouse in there with your aunt?” he asked.

Bre found it hard to look him in the eyes and stared down at the floor, heart racing. “I’m sorry, Daddy,” she said weakly.

Elliot loosened up. He looked around the room and saw an empty shoebox. He grabbed it and opened it up. “Put him in here,” he said to Lenore.

“What’re you going to do with him?” Lenore whimpered. “He’s my friend, Daddy. I even taught him to do tricks. He’s special.”

“I’m going to make sure he doesn’t get in bed with Aunt Mildred tonight, and tomorrow we will set him free.”

“But Daddy, I wanna keep him!” Lenore protested, as she started to cry. “He trusts me.”

“Tonight we’re all going to sleep, and we’ll talk more about it tomorrow.” He paused. “And you are both already getting a spanking, don’t make it worse, Lenore.”

Lenore gently placed Jerry into the box, as she started to sob. Why couldn’t her father understand just how much Jerry meant to her?

A few tears slipped down Bre’s cheeks and she hurriedly brushed them away. “Dad… please…” she said softly. “Don’t be mad at Lenore.”

“Oh, don’t worry, she’s not the one that should be worried,” Elliot answered, closing the box. “You, little miss, are the one I’m upset with. Convincing your little sister to do something that she knew was wrong… you should be ashamed of yourself.” Bre looked down at the floor. “Both of you, to bed, right now. We will have a talk tomorrow morning after Aunt Mildred leaves.”

Lenore flopped down onto the bed still sobbing. She should’ve never done the prank – now she was never going to see Jerry again.

And Breanna felt like the worst sister ever. Why hadn’t that stupid mouse run away instead of into Lenore’s hands? What kind of weirdo mouse was he? She climbed over her sister and lay down, too, then Elliot turned off the light and left.

Lenore cried herself to sleep, hoping her sister wasn’t angry with her for ratting them out.

The next morning, Elliot woke the girls bright and early. Aunt Mildred had gone to her doctor’s appointment in the city and now it was time to take care of the girl’s mischief before he had to work. “Get up,” he told them. “It’s time to discuss last night’s events.”

Lenore sat up, not in a good mood from lack of sleep. She hoped they’d be allowed to go back to bed after this. She stifled a yawn.

Bre sat up, too, grumpier than ever, but then remembering the amount of trouble they were in and deciding to obey rather than try to fight. “Do you two have anything to say for yourselves?” Elliot asked.

Lenore rubbed her eyes tiredly. “It was just a mouse, Daddy. He wasn’t gonna hurt her. ‘Sides, she was snoring much too loud.”

He looked from his youngest to his oldest, who stared at the floor as she said, “it was just an innocent prank, Daddy.”

“If she wasn’t such an old fuddy duddy, she woulda laughed,” Lenore grouched. “You woulda laughed too, if she hadn’t screamed over a little mouse.”

“Enough,” Elliot said, folding his arms. “Do either of you girls want someone putting animals in your bed at night? Moreover, Aunt Mildred is elderly and has a lot of heart problems. What if she’d had a heart attack last night? How would you feel then?”

“It woulda been her fault, for being dumb enough to be scared of a mouse,” Lenore muttered, not wanting to admit she would’ve felt horrible.

Elliot took his little girl’s chin in his hand, forcing her to look into his angry eyes. “Excuse me, Young Lady?”

Lenore shrunk a little, averting her gaze away from his.

He didn’t worry with Breanna for the moment, instead took Lenore’s wrist and pulled her toward him. “I am very disappointed that the two of you would act so irresponsibly and childish and then pretend like you’ve done nothing wrong. It might have seemed like a harmless prank at the time, but anything could have happened — rodents spread diseases and one of you could’ve gotten bitten and ended up really sick, or you could’ve caused Aunt Mildred to hurt herself. And you both know better than to pull these kinds of stunts.” He sat down on the chair to Lenore’s desk and pulled her closer, looking her in the eyes. “You did something wrong, and now you need to act like a big girl and admit it, then accept the consequences.”

“What if I don’t wanna be a big girl?” Lenore challenged softly, gazing up at him momentarily.

“Then you won’t be treated like a big girl,” Elliot answered, pulling her over his lap.

He then tugged down her pajama pants and panties, beginning the spanking without another word. Bre tried to hide her gaze from the punishment that was happening in front of her very eyes. She felt awful for having pushed her sister into putting Jerry in bed with their Aunt Mildred.

Lenore yelped with each swat to her behind, as she squirmed over her father’s lap, trying to get away.

Elliot tightened his grip and increased the intensity of the spanks. “I cannot believe that you two would act like this,” he scolded, glancing up at Breanna. “And you, Young Lady, should be watching your sister’s punishment because it’s mostly you’re fault that she’s getting this,” he scolded. Bre lifted her head a little to see her sister’s pink bottom feeling the wrath of her father’s strong hands, then looked away again. “It wasn’t a request, it was an order,” he told her. “And think about how you’re next.”  He concentrated once more on spanking Lenore, delivering a few swats to her sit spots. “Lenore Edna, are you starting to learn your lesson?”

“Yesss!” Lenore wailed. “Oww! Dad-dyyy!”

He continued coloring her bottom until it was sufficiently reddened. Then he looked at Breanna. “Go get the wooden hairbrush.”

“But…” Bre began, only to be cut off.

“Now, Young Lady!” The teenager slid off of her little sister’s bed, scampering to the bathroom and opening the drawer that contained the big heavy hairbrush. She shivered upon seeing it, knowing that the small object would inevitably cause both she and her sister to sob uncontrollably. Her heart began racing and a tear slipped down her cheek at the thought.

Meanwhile, Elliot had stopped spanking Lenore for a moment and continued the lecture.  “I know that you look up to your sister, Lenore,” he said gently, “but whenever she pressures you to do something that you know is wrong, you have to stand up to her. If she wanted to put the mouse in Aunt Mildred’s bed, you should’ve let her do it on her own, and then you wouldn’t be in trouble right now.”

“But then she won’t wanna hang out with me,” Lenore whimpered, tears streaming down her face. “I want her to still hang out with me….”

“She’s your sister, she doesn’t have a choice of whether or not to hang out with you, and even if she’s mad, she’ll get over it.” Breanna came back in the room now, hairbrush in hand. “But it’s up to you, Lenore. You know what will happen when you do something wrong,” Elliot said, taking the brush. “And you know how disappointed I am in you when you misbehave.”

“I don’t mean to be naughty so much,” Lenore whimpered. “It just happens.”

“I know, sweetie,” Elliot said. “But you’re going to have to start thinking about it more and making better decisions, or you’ll be making this trip over my knee more often than you’d like.” He then pointed to Breanna, “you, hold Lenore’s hands while I finish the spanking.”

“No! No! No!” Lenore protested, throwing her hands back to cover her behind automatically.

Elliot popped Lenore’s thigh with the hairbrush. “You will let your sister hold your hands until the spanking is finished,” he said firmly, giving Bre another look so that she did as she was told. Bre moved in front of her sister, squatting down to where they were almost looking each other in the eyes. Seeing the tears made her feel even worse, and she was sure this was part of her father’s punishment.

Lenore howled, her one hand flying to the thigh that’d been smacked. “Dad-dyyy! Nooo! Pleeeeeease!”

“Where are your hands supposed to be?” he asked.

“But it hurts!” Lenore sobbed.

He gave her other thigh a pop with the hairbrush and asked again, “where are your hands supposed to be?”

Lenore shrieked loudly, her one hand grabbing for her sister, though the other went to her other thigh.

Elliot gave her a moment before pushing her hand away. Breanna, now taking both hands in hers, tried to help her little sister out. “It’s almost over, sis. Just hold on tight. I’m here with you,” she whispered.

“It huuuurts!” Lenore sobbed, clinging to her sister’s hands desperately.

Bre felt heartbroken that she’d gotten her sister into so much trouble, and she wanted to demand that her father stop spanking her. But she knew it wouldn’t work, and it’s not like he gave her time to, anyway. Within seconds, he had lifted the hairbrush and gave her a loud swat, not too hard, but hard enough to make an impression. He then continued with a flurry of swats, covering all of her tiny little bottom.

Lenore screamed at first, then just began to sob heart-brokenly. If he was going to treat her like a little girl, didn’t he remember that little girls didn’t get spanked so hard? “I’m sorreeeeeee!”

“I’d hope so, Young Lady. And I also hope that you’re learning to think before doing something that you know is wrong.” He gave her a few final swats, then set down the hairbrush.

Lenore lie there sobbing, unable to say anything at the moment. Once she felt slightly calmer, she slowly eased herself up and buried her face into her father’s chest, her arms wrapped tightly about his neck.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Lenore repeated over and over.

Elliot held her tightly. “I know, baby,” he said gently. “I hope you don’t ever do something like this ever again.” He kissed her forehead, holding her a little longer so that her cries subsided. He then pulled her away and pushed her hair away from her tear-stained cheeks.

Lenore looked at him curiously, as she rubbed her eyes.

“You may pull your pajamas back up and have a seat on the bed.” He turned to Breanna. “Your turn,” he said firmly.

Bre’s stomach dropped and she almost instantly began crying. It’d been torture watching her sister get punished, but now it was time for her own punishment, and she wasn’t ready for it at all. “B-but Daddyyyyy… I’m s-sorry,” she stammered through tears.

Lenore whimpered as she gingerly just barely sat on her bed, her gaze upon the floor.

Bre tried to wipe the tears away, but they kept falling. She was so scared — as bad as her little sister had gotten spanked, she knew that her father was serious, and she would probably get double the amount that Lenore had. And even though she knew she deserved it, it was just so hard to get over his lap.

Elliot took hold of her wrist, and guided her over his lap, after seeing she wasn’t going to be moving on her own. “you’re sixteen-years-old Breanna. You ought to know better than to pull stunts like this. I’m disappointed in you. And what’s worse, you convinced your sister it was all right!”

“I know, Daddy, I’m sorry,” she cried, hanging onto the legs of the chair for dear life. She knew once this spanking started, it would be difficult to keep from reaching back.

He pulled her pajama bottoms and panties down, and immediately went to town on her behind with his bare hand.

Bre tried not to squirm or kick too much even though the spanking hurt like crazy. He definitely meant business this time… it was probably one of the hardest hand spankings she’d ever gotten! “Oooowwwwww!” she yelped, still crying. “Owww Daddyyyyy, I’m sorry!”

“You had better be, Young Lady,” he stated firmly, as he began smacking her thighs much harder than normal. “You deserve every bit of what you’re getting.”

Lenore looked down, shielding her eyes from the scene before her.

“I know, Daddy,” Bre said, kicking a little now and yelping each time her thighs were swatted. She began crying harder, wishing that this were over.

Soon as her bottom was a nice shade of red, Elliot picked up the hairbrush and started in on her with that. He made sure to pay extra attention to her upper thighs and sit spots.

Bre began squirming so much that she thought she would fall off of his lap. “Ow, ow, ow!! Daddyyyyy… Oooowwwwww, I’m sorryyyy,” she howled, her hands threatening to reach back to protect her poor aching bottom.

Elliot paused long enough to lock her legs between his and picked back up with gusto. “I know you are, Breanna.”

“I… won’t… Owwww do it again!” she promised, now sobbing hysterically.

Elliot finished up and rubbed her back gently as she lie there.

Bre tried to compose herself, but she felt awful. Not only did she feel horrible for what she’d done, but now her bum was sore and her head throbbing from crying so much. And she had this aching feeling that the spanking wasn’t even over yet.

Lenore squirmed on the edge of the bed, her panties and pajama bottoms not helping her any.

Elliot finally lifted his oldest daughter up and looked her in the eyes. “I don’t want to ever hear of you convincing your little sister to do something she’s not supposed to.” Breanna nodded, rubbing her bottom. Elliot then stood up and began to unbuckle his belt.

Lenore’s head shot up, her eyes wide and scared, as she quickly scrambled over to the other side of her bed.

“I want to be sure you both understand the seriousness in what you did. You could’ve killed someone,” he scolded, glancing at both of his daughters. “You’re both getting a final spanking with the belt, and,” he continued, knowing Lenore’s history of running away, “the sooner we get this finished, the easier it’ll be on you both.”

Lenore was standing there, hugging herself, as she began to shake. She was subconsciously shaking her head no, as tears filled her eyes. Nothing scared her more than that belt, when it came to spankings.

Bre wiped her eyes, desperately wishing that this wasn’t happening, but she had to be strong for her sister. After all, it was her fault they were in this predicament. “Come on, sis, I’ll hold your hand,” she promised in a whisper, reaching out to her.

Lenore kept moving back until she walked into the wall, her eyes glued to the belt in their father’s hands. He was never cruel about spankings, but she still felt scared. She could feel herself slowly starting to panic, and didn’t know what to do.

“Does Lenore have to have it bare?” Bre asked her dad through tears as he pulled off his belt and folded it over.

“No,” he replied. “Lenore’s can be over her pjs.” He felt a soft spot for his youngest daughter who looked at him fearfully, and really didn’t want to spank her more, but knew that the belt would be a good deterrent from being swayed by her sister in the future.

“D-D-D-Daddy….” Lenore managed to squeak out, as she tried to calm down and breathe normally. “I-I-I…” Her eyes filled with frustrated tears, when she realized she couldn’t get her words out. She needed a moment – a little reassurance even – before any of this could happen. She needed to be able to breathe normally again. She was grateful it wouldn’t be bare like last time, but she’d gotten herself so worked up, she didn’t know how to calm down again.

Elliot could see the anxiety, and walked towards her, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. “I love you, baby girl, and I don’t want you to ever do something like this ever again. This is just a small reminder so you’ll have something to think about next time your sister tries to convince you to do something you know you’re not supposed to do.” He gave her a gentle hug. “Now, I want you both to bend over, elbows on the bed… and you can hold hands if it helps.”

Lenore buried her face into him, hugging him tightly, calmly some as she took in his scent and felt his hand on her back. He could scare her a little sometimes, but he still made her feel safe, no matter what. She gulped a little, peeking a nervous glance over at her sister.

Tears were still slipping down Bre’s face, but she held out her hands as if offering to help Lenore make it through this, but also asking Lenore to help her make it through this.

Lenore managed to let go of her father, and slowly inched over to her sister, taking her hands tightly in her own. Her lower lip trembled dangerously, but she didn’t say a word.

Together, they bent over, elbows on the bed, as their father had ordered. Bre latched on tightly to her sister’s hands. “I’m sorry for getting you in so much trouble,” she said in a shaky voice, beginning to cry again.

Lenore leaned a little closer to her sister. “I love you anyway,” she whispered softly.

“Love you too,” Bre said. Elliot then lifted up the belt and gave them each a swat, Breanna’s significantly harder than Lenore’s. “I hope that you will both remember this belting the next time you want to do something so irresponsible,” he said, then gave Breanna three swats, and Lenore one. He continued this rhythm until his eldest daughter had received 15, and his youngest 5.

When it was all over, both girls were once again a sobbing mess. “I’m sorry Daddy,” Bre wailed.

“I’m sorreeeeeee!” Lenore sobbed, her bottom throbbing.

“It’s all over now,” Elliot said, gathering the two girls in his arms. He sat on the bed and sat Lenore on his lap, holding her tightly with one arm while throwing the other around Bre, who was now sitting beside him.

Lenore buried her face into him, clinging to him tightly. She definitely wasn’t going to be letting her sister talk her into things anytime soon.

When they had settled down and Bre was redressed, Elliot said in a gentle voice, “now, about Jerry…” he began, smiling slightly at the name that his youngest had given that dreadful mouse.

Lenore looked up at him, a hopeful look on her tear-strained face. She really did love that little mouse.

Elliot couldn’t finish his statement; instead he stood Lenore up. “Come here for a sec,” he said, taking her hand to lead her to his room.

Lenore went with him quietly, hoping beyond all hope he’d taken good care of her little friend.

When Elliot opened his bedroom door, there sat Jerry in a hamster cage, staring up at Lenore with his big beady eyes. “I decided that you could keep him… found this old thing in the basement from the hamster you girls had before your mom died.”

Lenore hugged him tightly in her excitement. “Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you, Daddy!”

Bre walked in behind them, a wide smile on her face. She was happy that Lenore could keep her mouse… after all, it wasn’t his fault that the old hag was scared of him.

“But you know you have to take care of him and feed him every day, okay kiddo?” Elliot said, ruffling her hair. He looked up at Breanna and smiled at her, too, then embraced them both in a hug.

“I will, Daddy, I promise!” Lenore enthused, smiling up at him. She moved over to the cage, and watched as Jerry stood on his hind legs sniffing the air, and then moving his paws to wave at her.

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