Previous: Chapter 14a – Molly’s Self Care
“Geez, did you need to come so early?” I muttered, stepping aside for Toby to pass.
He was still dressed in workout clothes and drenched in sweat, Adidas duffle bag over his shoulder. “Busy day, and I’m not sure when a more convenient time would be for you…” There was a hint of sarcasm with the serious expression he gave, and my tummy twisted into knots.
“Thanks for coming back… I know, um, I should’ve talked to you yesterday.”
“Take a nap while I shower,” he said, excusing himself.
I laid in bed, obviously unable to sleep because my mind was racing with what he might do — it’d been so long since I’d been spanked, and even longer since being reprimanded by Toby. A shiver crept down my spine remembering his no-nonsense way of scolding, the disappointing glare he didn’t bother hiding as he tailored the session to punishments I’d despise most.
Ugh… I hate Vic for convincing me to send that message last night…
It didn’t take long before I heard the clatter of my beaded door and Toby poked his head in to see if I was awake. His wet hair was spiked in a million different directions — the sexy messy look, without even trying. He was dressed in a tight black T-shirt and relaxed jeans, still barefoot.
Sitting on my bed next to me, his compassion finally came out. “What’s going on?”
I sat up, leaning against the wall, knees to my chest. It was hard being on the opposite side of the therapist chair nowadays. But Toby knew the look that would get me to open up — eyebrows slightly raised in curiosity, not too somber, nor too joyful.
I sheepishly gulped and twiddled my thumbs. “Since… you know… everything with Violet… I’ve not been…. um… keeping up with my stuff.”
He said nothing at first, now a flatter expression that made me fidget in my seat and avert my gaze, unable to speak. “What ‘stuff’?”
Chewing on my lower lip, I threw my shoulders up in a shrug. “I dunno… like… work….” I glanced up at him. “I got kinda behind on paperwork… especially at my other job…”
Finally, he sighed and shook his head, sitting up straight. “Molly, I understand you’re nervous, but at this rate, we’ll be here all day. Please make this easier on us both and just tell me what’s up. If you wanted to stall, you should’ve taken me up on the offer last night. Today we don’t have time for games.”
Tears welled in my eyes, but I took a deep breath to keep them in a few seconds longer. “I think since she moved in, I’ve been triggered. Back in the day we used to party hard together…”
“Yeah, I remember.”
There was a long pause as I wondered what to say next. I was getting cold feet, but Toby’s silence urged me to continue. “I haven’t kept up with any of my notes or treatment plans. And I missed the registration deadline for the classes I needed to take…” I stared at my thumbs. “And… like usual… smoking more than I should…” A voice in my mind told me to leave it at that — Toby doesn’t need to know more, or it’ll jeopardize my new position. Another part of me recognized I had to confess everything. “And okay… at my old job I skipped a day of work for no reason and took my vape pen with me to the office… I mean, I didn’t smoke much, and never right before seeing a client… I gave myself time…”
“Don’t make excuses for my benefit.” His terse remark caused my head to lift. Now his gaze was less flat and more serious, slightly disappointed.
“I don’t want you to think I’m going to fuck up the opportunity you gave me…”
“If you were really worried about that, someone else would be here right now.”
I nodded. He was right — I trusted him. “The other day I took a few hits off my pen and like two minutes later my supervisor came in… I was so scared that he could’ve caught me…”
“Does Adam know about this?”
“No… he’s going through so much with the divorce and emotions about all the drama.” Vic had been the only person I’d told so far, ashamed to admit my misdeeds to anyone else.
“How do you feel about that?”
I noticed a tightness in my chest as I chewed on my lower lip and stared at a rip in my quilt, not wanting to cry yet. “Guilty. I wish the affair hadn’t happened. It’s my fault they’re broken up.” I paused, hoping Toby would fill the silence, but he perceived there was more I needed to say. “And am I stupid for loving him? Will he eventually leave me, too?”
Toby remained quiet while I wiped my teary eyes, then glanced back up at him. “So you’re dealing with fears of abandonment on top of Violet’s destructive energy, and seeing her out of control after a breakup likely doesn’t help your anxiety.”
“Is there anything else troubling you?”
I considered his question, searching my mind for clues. Life really wasn’t all that awful — no actual problems besides helplessness with Violet and Adam. “I’m frustrated with myself. If I can’t handle this shit at my easy, lower-paid job, how will I manage working full time in the city? Rich parents won’t spend so much money for me, especially if I can’t give 100% effort because I’m too depressed.”
He shook his head, ready to argue. “It’s okay to be upset with yourself, but depression isn’t the problem, your behavior is. I can guarantee you won’t have many patients, wealthy or otherwise, if you continue skipping work and getting high before sessions.”
I hung my head again, unable to face him.
“What happened last time you went through a depressive episode and started ditching work?”
Now I felt even smaller. “I was asked to resign.”
“What were the effects of that?”
“Burnt a bridge, it’s like I was fired.”
“You were fired, regardless of what they call it. Sit with that for a moment.”
The stillness in the room was so intense I could hear my heart thumping against my chest. A knot formed in my throat, threatening to make me cry at any second. “But technically I wasn’t.”
“What else happened after you were fired?”
Biting my lower lip, I looked at him pathetically, not knowing how to answer.
“Come on, think back. You and I were together a lot during that time.”
My mind wandered to those days with Toby — when he was already a doctor and had his shit together. Details were hard to recall, but I remembered him always being there for me, supporting me. “Losing my job made the depression worse. I hated myself. Finding work was a chore… I had to take the first offer at a subpar place because I couldn’t pay rent. And building a caseload took forever. Thank goodness for you and Vic… I wouldn’t have survived.”
“If you’re ready to transition to full time in the city, then figure out how to do it. Or if you want to only focus on working at the clinic, decrease your cases. Don’t jeopardize your career by burning another bridge and having to go through what you did before.”
“Obviously I wasn’t thinking about it like that when I did it…”
Toby’s eyes narrowed at me as he stood. Now he was legit annoyed. “That’s why we’re having this conversation, so you won’t forget about it next time. I don’t care how much negative energy you’re getting from Violeta, create your own positive vibes or whatever.”
My eyes rolled playfully. “I can see why you don’t specialize in working with teens…”
“Oh? I’ll show you what I do specialize in. Stand up.”
“I don’t really need to…” But I was already pushing myself up from the bed, now on my feet before him.
“It’s called behavior modification. We identify the behavior that needs to change — in this instance, cannabis dependency.”
“I’m not dependent though….”
“Wait,” he said, holding up his hand to stop me from speaking. “It’s not time to argue yet.” He then reached for my pajamas and jerked them to my knees, my panties following shortly after. My shirt was so short that it didn’t reach my creamy bottom… it barely grazed my belly button. I subconsciously covered myself, blushing when I saw Toby notice my discomfort. “Hands on your head, little girl. Be aware of the embarrassment so it will influence your future behavior.”
I did as told, biting my lower lip as I placed trembling fingers on the part in my hair. My face heated, and I squirmed in place, noticeably uncomfortable.
“Getting high before and during work is unacceptable, Molly Riana Collins,” Toby scolded as he paced around me. “And frankly, I’m disappointed. Your career means a lot to you, and you’re willing to fuck it up over something that’s ‘not an addiction’.” He paused, positioning himself at my side and taking a hold of my upper arm.
The cool, wooden implement rested on my bum.
“What’s that?” I asked, struggling to look back, but felt its impact against my butt and instantly yelped in surprise.
“It’s what happens to errant little girls who start going down a dangerous path.” The wood splatted against my plump bottom again and I shrieked, realizing it was the bathbrush, one of my most hated implements.
“Wait, Toby nooooo… not that! I thought you’d use the belt or somethingggg…” All the tears I’d been holding in started streaming down my face as I danced in place, trying to keep my hands on my head as swats rained against my backside.
“You were saying earlier that you don’t have a cannabis dependency? Now I’d like to hear your arguments,” he said almost tauntingly, smacking me after every few words to drive his point home.
“OW! I just don’t!” I cried.
“What do you call smoking at work? You’re in the healthcare industry with a master’s degree, not a teenager at Denny’s. If your supervisor had caught you, what would have happened?”
More tears streamed down my face at his questions, which almost hurt more than the fucking bathbrush.
“Not sure? I’ll tell you. Fired. Lost your license. Unable to practice as a therapist. You’ve got depression, I understand, but take control over it. And get real medication if you need.”
“Weed is my medicine.”
He stopped spanking me for a moment to make eye contact. “That’s why you called me instead of the others, because you know I won’t fall for that bullshit excuse. There’s zero scientific evidence to support that theory.” The bathbrush fell against my bottom again.
“But it really helps!”
The swats became harder and quicker now, alternating between cheeks and sit spots. “I believe that you believe it helps. I’m well acquainted with the placebo effect. However, if you’re caught smoking at work, the consequences are severe enough that I want to encourage you to find another medicine.” I was jumping all over the place, having a tough time keeping my hands away, but succeeded enough when the spanking came to a halt.
My pjs and panties were bunched at my feet, backside throbbing. I hoped it was over but somehow seemed too easy, so I wiped my eyes, crying but trying to preserve a little dignity (sorta) since I’d earned this.
Through my tears I saw Toby now unbuckling his brown leather belt, then he slid it through the loops of his jeans. “Lean over the arm of the sofa, keep your legs straight, bottom up.”
I obeyed, jelly legs hobbling towards the gray couch. When in position, my pathetic green eyes glanced up at Toby. Underneath his tough demeanor was a trace of concern for me, which was part of the reason I’d wanted to have this conversation with him instead of Gabe or Izaak. They all cared, but Toby was more selfless, empathetic. Having gone through it himself, he knew exactly what I needed.
“At running group, I discussed the community idea with Izaak and Chloe, and they’re open to trying. I’m sure Gabe and Violet will agree.” The thick leather rested against my tender skin. I wanted to comment, but Toby lashed the belt down against my bottom, prompting a shriek instead. “If you behave like this when we’re having regular meetings, you would also receive the punishment in front of everyone.”
The belt cracked down again, this time on my sit spots, and I howled. Then, catching my breath, I said, “Wait… I don’t want to be spanked in public! It’s supposed to be for them, not me. I’m a moderator or whatever.”
A third blow was delivered. “You are a mentor and must have higher standards for yourself.”
“But Toby…” I began, breaking off into a sob. All my friends knowing what I’d been up to with work would be super humiliating, and I instantly understood why Violet’s intervention had been so effective.
Instead of continuing to speak, he focused on the belting. Each lash stung intensely on top of the pain I already felt from the bathbrush swats. My face stayed buried in my hands as I accepted my punishment, shivering at the thought of my friends watching. By the time he gave me a break, I was bawling like a baby.
Toby stood in front of me, demanding I look up at him. His kind, hazel eyes were full of authority, belt in hand as if braced to strike again. Then he stooped down to my level and reached for my shoulder. “Find a more constructive way to cope with people’s bullshit. I respect you as a friend and a professional… your ability to empathize and connect with people. Put up boundaries, or you’ll see what it looks like having none. Public spankings aren’t your thing. It would be very effective for behavior modification.”
My tummy jumped at that statement, fearful of the idea. “It won’t get to that,” I promised.
He stood and gave me a final ten swats for not confessing last night, then put the belt back on and helped me to my feet. I was sobbing and hiccupping, falling easily into Toby’s warm embrace. He squeezed me against his chest as I rubbed my sore bottom, trying to accept his comfort even though I didn’t think I deserved it.
“You’re all forgiven, little girl. And I expect improved behavior in the future. The ‘family’ will hold you to high, but realistic, standards.”
I nodded weakly. “I’ll behave.”
He kissed the top of my head and detached from the hug, looking me in the eyes. “For what it’s worth, Adam would be an idiot to cheat on you. And if he does, there’s a huge gang of us ready to kick his ass.”
While it didn’t perk me up much, at least I let out a tiny laugh, knowing he was right. Then he ruffled my hair and had to leave, encouraging me to get back to journaling as he waved goodbye.
I’d been writing in my diary for a couple of hours about my mixed feelings when I heard a loud knock at the door. “You’re actually awake?” Gabe greeted with surprise. Within minutes he correctly guessed that Toby had visited earlier in the morning and shook his head at me. “I ought to give you another one for disobeying me last night.”
Tears welling up in my bright green eyes, I gave him the most adorable puppy face ever (which works on him sometimes hehe) and apologized for not telling him sooner about Violet. Then I latched onto him in a hug, feeling him soften and finally agree not to spank me.
We sat in my room for a few minutes chatting. I told him about the punishment from Toby (omitting details about my infraction, though I’m sure he could fill in the blanks) and our idea for the family meetings. He wasn’t as concerned with the nuances of actual behavior change like Toby and me, more intrigued at the prospect of new torture techniques for Violet.
“Speaking of which… I guess it’s time for me to wake that brat up…”
I giggled. “Here’s the bath brush… just in case.”
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