Diane had waited long enough. She was tied securely, I’d warmed up her bottom and thighs with the strap. She was psychologically ready. There was only one person in the room who wasn’t ready. But I’d procrastinated enough.
I picked up the birch and held the twigs to Diane’s mouth. You can’t kiss a birch the way you kiss a strap or a cane, but she nuzzled amongst the twigs in a kissy way.
I said, “Good. Diane, you don’t have to count the strokes. You can cry out if you like. I don’t mind the neighbours knowing you’re getting a whipping. It’s up to you whether you mind.”
“And if you run into problems, remember to say Alucard.”
“I won’t say it.”
“Well, it’s there if you want it. Turn your head and look at me.”
Diane turned her face so her left cheek rested on the blanket. Her eyes followed my every move.
I gave her a show, raising the birch above my shoulder, holding it for a few seconds. She kept her face blank, but I got alarm when I raised myself on tip-toes. Then I lashed it down.