Previous: Chapter 9 – Chloe at Dominic’s
If you would like a soundtrack to go along with this, check out my playlist on Spotify or YouTube. This chapter’s songs: “Another Way Out,” “The Devil Within,” “Phantoms & Friends,” and “Young Liars.”
Vivid illustrations of being arrested and thrown in jail plagued me as I tossed in bed. Every few minutes I woke with a startle, drenched in a cold sweat, heart racing. It’s just a dream, I reminded myself, taking deep breaths to settle back to sleep, only for the nightmare to repeat. When Izaak finally shook me awake, I was grateful despite a pounding headache and horrible taste in my mouth.
“You’re already dressed… What time is it?” I asked as I rubbed my eyes and stretched, sitting up.
He handed me a mug of hot tea and a plate with dry toast and a hard-boiled egg. “A little after six-thirty.” His curt tone made me tremble.
Taking a bite of bread, I attempted to keep the conversation going, ignoring the blanket of tension hanging over us. “Running group is over?”
Izaak’s face remained stoic and unamused, furrowed brows and tensed muscles hinting that he was still pissed. Dark half-circles rested under his annoyed eyes. “We didn’t go. Working early today.”
I nodded, continuing to eat and deciding to address the elephant in the room. “I am sorry for last night, ya know, I was just… wasted.”
“Not as sorry as you’re going to be, ya know.” He stepped closer, taunting me with his height as if I were part of an interrogation. “I sense there’s something you’re not telling me.”
My heart jumped and I turned away, biting my toast to stall. What does he know? I wondered, taking my time with swallowing and having a sip of tea before looking back up at Izaak’s fiery scowl. “What do you mean? No, there’s not.”
The uncomfortable silence was heavy as I ate more, listening to my loud crunching and watching the teabag swirling in my cup, determined not to answer. What was I expected to say, anyway? I couldn’t confess to stealing, and the rest was Violet’s story.
Impatient with my lack of response, Izaak heaved a sigh and shook his head. “I guess we should wait and discuss it tonight in greater detail. But look at me.” My blue eyes peered up to meet his serious gaze. “I expect the truth. Either way, I’ll find out, but it’s better I hear it from you.”
I nodded meekly, tummy grumbling and appetite lost.
“Don’t be late for work. And come straight home after, do you understand? No detours.”
Izaak softened long enough to lean forward and kiss my forehead, then pivoted to leave, forcing me to stay alone with my feelings. It kept me in bed long after my plate and mug were empty, ruminating over the trouble I was in. Fears from the nightmares echoed in my imagination, catastrophizing every worst-case scenario.
What would happen if he finds out the truth? Would he turn me in? I’ll end up in jail, record scarred, never able to find a job or home, stuck in the same cycle as my dad, but without Granny to bail me out. Or if he doesn’t rat on me, would he send me back to Michigan? Then I’ll be on the streets, no friends or family to turn to, always running from the cops and looking over my shoulder. Or maybe he’d help me hide? No, that’s not realistic. His career comes first.
I slumped under my blankets, ready to call in sick. I should escape while I can, before I bond too much with everyone, before my true identity is exposed. Eyes closed, I fantasized about life as a gypsy, never settling down and cutting off all social connections. I’d con all the assholes who deserved it, gifting half my earnings to their victims while using the rest to disappear over and over.
My body relaxed at the unrealistic illusion, and my breathing turned light as I drifted back to slumber, snapping out of it when my phone buzzed angrily. It was Molly.
Thx again for helping with Vi. I told Gabe to go easy on you today since we had a ‘family emergency’… LMK if he gives you shit and I’ll smack him for ya, haha. Luv ya, sis! ❤
I ignored it and rolled over, squeezing my eyes shut and grimacing at the hangover pains. When I tried to dream of freedom again, my brain wouldn’t let me, instead dancing to images of laughter in the Suburban, cheesy sitcoms with Izaak, deep talks with Toby at running club, hugs with Molly, even poker with Violet. Having companions the last few days had been pleasant.
I’m obviously attached already, I concluded with a sigh and rolled out of bed. I’ve survived this much of the ‘trial’ month… I can do this!
“You’re late!” Gabe growled when I pushed open the door to his office, black coffee in one hand, cherry danish (his favorite) in the other.
With my sweetest smile, I handed him the breakfast as an apology and promised to never let it happen again.
Before accepting my treats, he eyed me up and down, figuring out the extent of his annoyance. My lower lip stayed poked out, eyes big and adorable, hoping for forgiveness. Finally, he sighed and took the gift with a half-smile. “I hope you had an extra shot of espresso this morning because chaos awaits.” Then gave me a stack of folders, barking orders in a softer tone than normal, and sending me off with a set of instructions and pack of Tylenol.
Ugh, it’s gonna be a long day, I muttered to myself as I swallowed the two pills.
And it was. My hangover was so distracting that I did everything wrong. Clients fussed at me virtually and in person, making the headache worse. My only saving grace was an endless stream of apologies and my low-cut blouse that showed off nice cleavage when I bent over.
After six grueling hours of labor, the little red light on my phone brightened up. “Chloe, my office, now!” Gabe bellowed over the intercom.
My heart skipped a beat as I hurried to his office, closing the door behind me and bracing for a verbal lashing. After being late and fucking up, I deserved it, but secretly hoped Molly’s influence would prevent him from being too harsh.
“Have a seat,” my boss commanded, intertwining his fingers and sitting up straight. Gabe thankfully looked more amused than angry (huge contrast from everyone else), humor in his brow as I complied, not breaking eye contact. “The next time you come in this hungover, I’ll use my rattan cane on you,” he warned in a neutral tone, making it hard to decipher how serious he was. “What’s the story with Winters?”
I froze for half a second. “It’s been difficult getting in touch with him…”
He cut me off. “Bullshit. I saw him today and he hasn’t received a message from you.” His fingers tapped on the desk in annoyance as he continued. “So either you forgot or deliberately neglected to set up the appointment as I directed.” He paused, perhaps hoping that I would throw myself under the bus, but it was easier to keep quiet, and my silence appeared to impress the Harvard-educated lawyer. When he grew impatient, a lecture began. “This is a high-profile firm, and sometimes our clients have a bad rep. Regardless of your feelings towards them, I expect you to follow my instructions. Otherwise, I can’t imagine that our working together will last.”
The sudden passion in his tone caused me to gulp. “It won’t happen again,” I assured.
“It better not.” He gathered papers on his desk and stacked them. “Don’t believe the allegations on the news, these leaked documents are likely a fraud. Once we’re on the case, we’ll get to the bottom of it. Liars don’t go far with me. The truth always comes out.” Gabe stood and buttoned his suit jacket. “Go home, rest, and come back on time and at one-hundred percent tomorrow. First thing in the morning, set up that appointment with Winters. Got it?”
I noticed the gleam of his belt buckle and wondered if he would spank Violet now. “Yes, sir.”
Grabbing my bag, I hurried out of the office, shaking with anxiety. My heart was pumping and breathing shallow, palms sweaty. As if it wasn’t bad enough Izaak was pissed at me and I’d been yelled at all day, now I had Winters to worry about. Avoiding was supposed to make it go away! But obviously that hadn’t worked. What am I going to do?
Instead of heading directly home as ordered, I took advantage of getting off early and kept walking, headed uptown to nowhere in particular.
It’s time to figure out a plan to stay out of jail.
But seeing as planning isn’t my thing, I opted to relish my last bit of freedom, strolling up Varick St. As it turned into 7th Avenue, I passed through the tree-lined streets of Greenwich Village, making mental notes of bars and restaurants to visit. Buildings grew taller again when I approached Midtown, sidewalks more crowded. That’s when a loud pounding in my head reminded me that I’d been walking for an hour and couldn’t avoid my roommate forever. As with Winters, he wouldn’t go away.
The aroma of roasted nuts lured me to a food cart in Times Square next to the bus station. I ordered a bag of peanuts and bottle of pop, a luxury Izaak didn’t allow, leaning against a wall to enjoy my snack as I people-watched. My eyes scanned the environment, subconsciously finding easy targets to pickpocket. Tourists are so bad at hiding their belongings.
With a few wallets, I could buy a bus ticket to Canada and leave, never looking back.
My phone vibrated inside my bag. It was Izaak, as if he knew my thoughts: I wasn’t joking. Straight home.
Something tugged at my tummy and I gulped with a grin, knowing that I wouldn’t run away. Starting over again, but alone, seemed like a horrible idea. For once, it felt nice to have someone by my side. Unfortunately, that meant there was no getting out of this spanking.
The pit of dread inside me grew exponentially as I neared home, feet dragging. My heavy body ascended the marble stairs as if carrying me to the guillotine. I can do this, I recited doubtfully, taking a deep breath before pushing the front door open.
Izaak sat on the sofa with his laptop, not looking up from the screen. An icy chill settled in the background as I confirmed his fury was still present.
Acting natural, I tossed my keys into my bag and slipped off my shoes. “How was your day?” I asked in a peppy voice, pathetic attempt to make conversation.
An awkward silence enveloped us, Izaak typing away, and I wondered if he’d even heard me. But then when I locked the door, he spoke: “Come sit, we need to talk.”
“Can we not? I have an awful headache.”
The laptop clicked shut and Izaak set it on the coffee table, eyeing me seriously. “It’s important.”
I groaned and pounded towards him, considering a tantrum. “I shouldn’t have partied or left so suddenly, but I needed some fun and…” I arrived at the couch and poked out my lower lip, trying to be cute.
He wasn’t buying it, face straight, not entertaining my childishness. “Sit.”
With a huff, I plopped to his side and folded my arms, staring at the ceiling in annoyance.
“Enough whining,” he snapped, tone cutting into me so I sat up and looked at him. “You’ll have plenty to cry about when we’re finished here.” He let that sink in before continuing. “What happened last night?”
I shrunk into my seat, blushing and wondering how much I’d need to confess. “Don’t you already know?”
He huffed an exasperated sigh and stood, rubbing his hands together as he towered over me. “I’d like to hear the full version.”
“But you saw,” I grumbled.
“Okay, if you wish. I’ll tell you the narrative that’s running through my head.” Izaak paced, counting my misdeeds on his fingers as he spoke. “You left paintball without a word to anyone, went to a bar in a dangerous part of town, drank and used drugs for hours, illegally gambled, ignored my calls and messages, then stood around outside in the middle of the night talking to gangbangers with guns. What am I missing?” He stopped walking and turned towards me, giving me a look that could kill.
“Sounds worse when you say it. Let’s just call it partying.”
“How many cigarettes did you smoke?”
“I don’t remember. I was too drunk,” I said hurriedly, sucking in a breath.
“You’re lying.” Izaak stooped down to my level, face centimeters in front of mine, arms on either side of me, locking me in. His black eyes were like coal sizzling in a fire. My tummy twisted into knots and throat dried up as he looked me directly in the eyes and asked again: “How many?”
Chewing on my lip, I mumbled my response.
His harsh tone caused me to flinch, tears welling as I cleared my throat. “Twelve.”
“And you used cocaine?”
I turned away, but he reached for my chin, forcing me to face his disappointed stare. The uneasy pit in my stomach grew and a teardrop streamed down my cheek. “Izaak… please don’t…”
Lips pursed, he said, “something tells me this would move a lot quicker if you were over my knee.”
“Nooooo,” I begged.
“Then answer my questions and stop making this difficult.”
Now I really started crying, so forcefully that I wanted to hide in shame, but my friend didn’t allow it, clasping my wrists together with one hand, keeping a hold of my chin with the other. My eyelids closed as more tears spilled out and I steadied my breathing. “Yes, I used coke,” I finally whispered.
“What were you talking to those gangsters about?”
Another pain shot through my stomach and I squeezed my eyes shut even tighter. “I already forgot.”
Izaak let out a grunt of displeasure. “Let’s see if I can help you remember.” Then he sat next to me and in one quick motion, jerked me over his knee.
“Wait! N-no… Please…” I gasped, struggling to push myself up. He put an arm around my waist to keep me in place and lifted my skirt. “If the problem is my memory, how will this help?”
“Oh, it’ll help,” he promised, tugging down my panties. The brisk spanking began, Izaak’s steel hand pounding against my defenseless bottom. “I warned you this morning that I will find out the truth, even if we do this the tough way, kiddo.”
The swats stung so intensely that I was kicking and squirming within seconds. “Owww! Please noooo,” I pleaded, reaching to block. My efforts were useless, as he just dodged my pathetic barrier and peppered my cheeks and sit spots where I couldn’t cover.
“I’m done with your stalling tactics. If you’d answer honestly, this would be over sooner.”
The speed and intensity of his swats increased and I squealed. “But I already told you that Violet owes them money!”
He stopped the thrashing for a moment and leaned down to make eye contact. “What else did you talk to them about? There’s something you’re not telling me.”
“No there’s noooot!” I whined, blinking away a few tears.
“What was Violet referring to when she said you saved her life?”
Shit… he heard that?! “I don’t…” Before I could get the next word out, Izaak’s eyebrows and palm raised, so I reconsidered my response. “I mean… I used my charm to convince the guys to give her more time to pay. She was thanking me for that, I guess.”
He sighed in disbelief. “If you insist.”
I was cut off by the loud clapping of his hand against my unprotected, already sore bottom, significantly harder than before. He hadn’t punished me so severely since the night we made the stupid agreement, though now it was worse. I writhed over his lap, gripping onto the cushions as my legs kicked in fury. Tears spilled freely, no hint of ending soon. Guilt was eating me alive and mixed with the pain, I needed to confess everything, only held back by fear of how he’d take the news.
The spanking stopped so Izaak could speak. “I went to the precinct today and discussed the evidence discovered on the perps last night. Do you know what they found?” He didn’t give me the chance to answer. “Two guns, lots of drugs, and a bundle of money they believe to be connected to laundering.”
Another assault was launched on my bottom, and it sunk in that Izaak had already figured out my crime. Gabe’s words echoed through my mind: The truth always comes out.
“I’ll ask again: What was Violet talking about when she said you saved her life?”
Bawling and defeated, I replied, “I paid her dealer off.”
“Where did the money come from?”
My hesitation earned another barrage of hard swats to my burning backside, but prompted the confession he wanted: “I stole it!”
As the words spilled out, I covered my face in shame, racked with sobs. Heart knocking against my ribcage, I feared the worst — he’s going to kick me out! But prayed that after the spanking I’d just received, he’d forgive and forget.
Izaak’s body felt rigid as he waited for my cries to subside. He didn’t rub my back or soothe me like normal, which put me on edge. How mad was he? “Get ready for bed while I make dinner, and then we’ll take care of your punishment.”
“No buts, kiddo. You’ve earned it.” He paused to see if I’d argue, and I desired to, wondering how Violet would respond. But before I could think of anything, Izaak continued, growing more annoyed. “You put yourself in multiple dangerous situations — that guy had a gun, Chloe. A gun. The area is known for its gang presence. Why would you steal money from one of those guys? What if they come looking for you?”
“How was I supposed to know that? And why are you acting like such a dad? I’m not a child.”
He rained down a few more swats to my bare bottom and I squealed, regretting my words. “Do I need to remind you of our arrangement again? We have over two weeks left.”
My legs kicked as I squirmed so he’d stop hitting so hard, but it was useless, so I just resigned to crying again.
“You are a smart young lady, I’m sure you could have figured out that the neighborhood wasn’t safe. I also warned you to be careful with Violet. She doesn’t have a clean track record — I thought it was obvious.”
“Izaak, stoppppp,” I begged, reaching a hand back to block.
The chastisement halted. “You’re getting the spanking of your life tonight, kiddo. Now, get ready for bed.” He patted my throbbing backside and I rolled off his lap.
I dried my eyes and walked to my half of the living room, pushing the privacy screens away to squeeze inside. Sounds of dishes clanging in the kitchen distracted me as I searched for pajamas, opting for blue cookie monster and a matching tank top in hopes it’d help my spanker feel sorry for me. Though I knew it wouldn’t.
As I changed, I took a peek in the mirror at my butt — it was glowing and tender, very well-spanked. All the way from the tops of my cheeks to the bottom of my sit spots. Ouch. And this was only the beginning!
“Are you ready?” Izaak called from the kitchen.
His booming voice startled me, snapping me to reality. “Yeah, coming!”
It was an awkward meal, neither of us talking much. I struggled to keep a conversation going, but his answers were short, irritated. His brows stayed furrowed as he jammed salad into his mouth, focused more on eating than me. The hurt reminded me of the amazing rush from last night’s law-breaking, yearning again to run away. But it was too late now.
After dinner I cleaned up the kitchen, meticulously scrubbing the marble counters, washing the glasses and plates with care. Izaak cleared his throat at some point, reminding me to hurry.
When I returned to the living room, he was seated on the sofa, wooden hairbrush resting on the coffee table. Next to it was a small wooden paddle with holes. I stopped when I saw it, hand over my mouth. “Don’t do this, please…” I begged. “I learned my lesson earlier.” I reached to rub my still sore bottom.
“You smoked twelve cigarettes. How many swats is that?”
Still massaging my bum, I muttered, “One hundred twenty…”
“Since you also used drugs among other illegal things, I will use the wooden hairbrush tonight.” When I protested, he halted me. “Tomorrow morning you’ll run an extra two laps during our workout and…”
“What! No way!” I stomped my foot, knot forming in my throat.
“And after, I’ll give you a final paddling before work for stealing and putting your life in danger.”
Like a little girl, crocodile tears fell down my cheeks, not happy about the extra harsh punishment. And having to do it all over again tomorrow morning? I wouldn’t be able to sit all day, maybe all week! “Izaak… noooooo…” I pleaded, breaking off into a sob.
“You know better than to behave as you did. I suggest in the future, you think before acting. Now, come here.”
I remained frozen in place, so he leaned forward, reaching for my elbow and jerking me towards him. My body quivered, eyes unable to move from staring at that evil wooden hairbrush. He’d never used it before, but it looked brutal — dark brown, solid wood, about half an inch thick. Mixed with Izaak’s disapproving frown was a recipe for disaster. I started crying even harder. “Please don’t! I’ll be a good girl, I promise!”
He nodded. “We’re doing this, kiddo, there’s no talking me out of it.” With that, he tugged down my pajama pants and panties to my knees, leaving me exposed only for a second before dropping me over his knee. He put a leg over mine to lock me in, already reaching for my right hand as he circled my waist.
“Not too hard…” was my last plea, but I’m not even sure if he heard me because the wood popping against my flesh was too loud. It hurt a million times worse than the plastic paddle brush he’d used before, and I was wailing with the first ten quick swats.
“You are not to smoke cigarettes or use ANY drug while under my protection, do you understand?” he asked, landing the next hard and fast.
“Oooowwww, yes, Sir!”
He then concentrated on my sit spots and I shrieked with each blow, wrestling to break free from his grip and stop the assault on my backside.
“Pleaseeee, it hurts!”
“We’re not even halfway finished yet.” Then landed another ten.
The pain throbbed so intensely that eventually I slipped into an unfamiliar headspace, feeling like a kid with zero control. I sobbed, unable to struggle, though my hand gripped onto Izaak’s, squeezing it with each swat. The punishment felt well-deserved, the only way to absolve me my wrongdoings. All of my guilt came to the surface.
“If you choose to continue being friendly with Violet, I suggest you figure out a strategy to evade her negative influence,” Izaak scolded over the deafening cracks of the hairbrush.
I blubbered a response, too submissive to argue. I’d lost count by this time, the spanking never-ending. My butt was probably black and blue, and my cries were so strong that hiccups took over.
“Tonight you will work on art school applications, do you understand? You need to stay busy to keep out of trouble.”
“And to be clear, if I ever find out you’re using drugs again, the penalty will double.” With that, he gave me the final blow, an extra-hard swat on the middle of my bottom.
His grip on my hand released and I lay over his knee like a rag doll, hair matted to my face.
When I regained my composure some, Izaak tugged my pjs back up and lifted me up to sit on his lap, cradling my limp body in his arms. I pressed my head against his hard chest, listening to his heartbeat. Now his muscles relaxed, and he breathed with ease. A fresh set of tears pooled as I considered confessing everything to him. If he stuck with me after all this, perhaps he would help me stay out of trouble for my past.
I didn’t consider what to say, just opened my mouth. “Hey, Izaak…” I began.
I pulled away from his grasp and looked up, sniffling a little. Just say it! a voice inside me screamed. But the words were caught in my larynx, refusing to come out, body frozen.
Then the loud vibration of his cell phone shook the sofa, distracting us both. He dug the device out of his pocket, glancing at the screen. “It’s work,” he grumbled, tossing me off his lap so he could go to his room to answer. I sat there rubbing my warm bottom.
I guess the universe doesn’t think it’s time to confess.
All likes. ratings and comments are greatly appreciated! 🙂