I touched her cheek again, the flat of my palm, very gently. “You can call me Sir. At least while we’re doing this. Unless you’ve got a problem with that.”
“No. I’ll call you Sir.”
“Then you’re a good girl.” Raylene smiled. Not ten minutes earlier, those words had made her angry. Now we were in a new place, and they were praise. She wanted to be good. I said, “Your bedroom’s upstairs, isn’t it?”
“Yes. Oh. Yes Sir.”
“Good, we’re going there now. But in this kitchen somewhere, there’s probably a wooden spoon. Or a wooden stirrer. Maybe a heavy ruler.”
“Oh? Oh god.” Raylene was clearly shocked. It was probably something she might expect, in theory, after surrendering. But here it was in actuality: she would be under my physical discipline, even if only for this afternoon. But the idea did not seem to displease her. And all she had to do was refuse. Still, she said, “Sir?” But she didn’t dare to ask her question.
So I asked it for her. “Why are you going to bring me a wooden spoon, Raylene?”
The tattoo fluttered like a trapped butterfly. She was so pale. I dare say I was too. “In case I’m – ? In case you want to punish me, Sir.”