By: Measha Stone
© 2009

Chapter One

“Pick,” a harsh voice was heard in the darkness.

Sara jumped slightly at the tone of her husbands voice. She dropped her necklace onto the nightstand and turned to look at his figure standing in the door way. The light from the hallway was coming in from behind him which made it difficult to make out his features. His tall frame took up the entire length of the doorway and his legs were spread slightly as if he were about to engage in battle.

“Marc,” Sara tried to keep her voice soft. She knew the tone he was using, knew that she was in trouble, and she wanted no part of it. “What’s wrong?” she questioned as she sat on the edge of the bed and folded her hands into her lap.

“Did you really think that your behavior was going to go unnoticed?” he asked in a dangerously low voice. “Did you think that I would some how forget how you talked to me tonight? That the rudeness you showed me in front of all your little feminist friends was going to fly over my little man brain?”

“Marc, I didn’t mean to get you upset. I know I wasn’t really on my best behavior tonight. It’s just, well, those ladies they don’t understand marriages like ours.” Sara tried to explain her attitude.

They had spent the evening at a dinner party that a co-worker had given to celebrate the firm’s five year anniversary. Out of the ten lawyers in the firm seven of them were women, Sara being one of them. The women were strong and no-nonsense when it came to work and to their relationships. She had seen more then one of them chew out their husband on the phone or even in the office and she had also seen them devour any woman who seemed weak in their eyes. She was not about to let them think her weak, least she loose her chance at partner.

“I don’t care how those women see our marriage, if they understand it or not. My concern is you. My issue is with us, our marriage, our relationship and your disrespect for it.” He didn’t move from the doorway, knowing her well enough to know that if she was given the opportunity she’d flee the room in order to get more ‘talk’ time in.

“Marc, I’m sorry, really, I shouldn’t have been so rude to you. I know that, but it’s my work-“

“Your job does not entail you to treat your husband with disrespect,” he stated pointedly.

“I’ve already apologized,” she remarked with a wave of her hand in the air as if to dismiss the issue.

“I’m aware of that. Do you even understand what you did? Do you understand that the way you treated me tonight made you look like a cold-hearted bitch who could either take her husband or leave him. You could not have been more hurtful or more disrespectful to not only me but to us as a couple,” he reached over and flipped the light switch on so that he could see her better. She winced slightly at the brightness of the light.

Her hair was still pulled back in the tight bun at the nape of her neck. The usual feeling of wanting to bury his his face in her neck to smell her scent and to kiss her soft skin was missing. The urge to pull her over his knee and spank the bobbie pins from her hair was beginning to dominate his emotions.

“I hate that firm,” he folded his hands over his chest.

“I know you do. We’ve been over this before, Marc. If I’m going to make partner this is the place to do it then I can move on to a firm where my values fit in a bit more. For now, I’m stuck at this place. How often do you have to see those women, barely ever.”

“You don’t see it, do you?” he asked softly. “Your attitude has been changing over the past few months. You have been more head strong, more stubborn, and have fought me on more then one issue regarding our marriage. Where once I was sure who was the leader in this home I am not so sure anymore.” his voice held a sadness that tore at her heart.

“Marc, don’t say that. Of course you are the leader around here,” she stood from the bed and padded over to him in her bare feet. She laid a hand on his arm and smiled up at him. “I haven’t changed that much,”

“Yes, Sara. You have. My wife wouldn’t have treated me that way six months ago. My wife never would have sent me to ‘fetch her a drink'” he pointed out and he noticed her flinch at the memory of her words.

“I’m really sorry, babe,” she flashed him her most seductive smile and lightly pressed her freshly applied lipstick lips to his arm. He pulled away from her quickly and she nearly fell over in the process.

“That’s another thing. You keep trying to use sex against me!” he sidestepped her and walked over to his night stand.

“How is giving you some affection using sex against you?” she demanded with a tone of her own that left no questions about how she was feeling at that moment.

“Affection? What is that? I haven’t seen any for weeks, unless you are trying to work your way out of trouble. Well, I’m done,” with nothing else to say he jerked open the drawer to his night table and pulled out his arsenal.

She watched as he laid out on the bed the rubber paddle, a short round wooden paddle, a square hair brush, a well worn leather belt, and the small hand held cane he was so fond of. She was about to protest when he put his hand in the air to stop her.

“You have a decision to make. You decide right now. If you want to be this head strong, stubborn feminist-man hating woman that you seem to be turning into you can pack these things up and put them in the closet. I will never impose a punishment on you again and our entire relationship changes. If you decide you want to keep the marriage we have, the one we agreed to from the very beginning then pick which one you think should be implemented and come down to my study and ask for your punishment.” Marc stood beside the bed watching his wife.

She was looking frail. She had been working extra long hours at the firm with the hopes of making partner by the end of the year. She took on more cases then she could handle and he knew it. He had long ago agreed to stay out of her career, to do nothing but simply support her in it. So he quietly watched as she brought home boxes of briefs to go over, contracts to write, and closing arguments to prepare. It seemed like the harder she worked the less headway she made. When one petty law suit was over she was handed three more to handle.

“Marc, your not being fair. I love our marriage. I love the way things are, you are totally over re-acting,” she accused and placed her fisted hands on her hips.

“You make your decision and let me know,” was all he said as he walked passed her and out of the room…..

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