It was exactly a week to the day since my fortunes were enhanced by a classified ad that I answered. As a newly-hired ghost writer, I’d been preoccupied with thoughts of Alexandra, the young English horsewoman who had given Brett Farrington his introduction to discipline.
Countless times my mind was taken over by the strikingly tall equestrian he’d met in his youth and I could hardly wait until our next appointment, when he would continue detailing his life story.
Farrington was due to arrive shortly for our first work session, and I was tense.
My daydreams were interrupted when I looked out the window and saw a taxi pull to the curb in front of the Manhattan high-rise apartment building. It was 10 a.m. He was right on time. Moments later, the intercom rang and I promptly buzzed him in.
“It’s good to see you, my boy,” he said as I took his hat and coat. “I trust that the accommodations are satisfactory.”
“They’re great,” I replied. He seemed pleased. Farrington looked dapper in a dark, three-piece suit, though it wasn’t the same one he wore when he interviewed me.
“By the way,” he said, “although I saw to it that your refrigerator and pantry were well-stocked, I also opened a charge account for you at the grocer’s on the corner. He’ll deliver whatever you want and send the bills to me.”
I began to thank him, but he motioned me to take a seat.
“Shall we commence our work?” he asked.
We parked ourselves in the pair of brown leather wing chairs framing the tiny, but working, fireplace. Farrington settled himself and laid his attache case on the table beside him. He opened it and pulled out some papers and an old wirebound notebook.
I put my feet up on the large hassock and readied my legal pad and new rolling ball pen, bought especially for the occasion.
“Let’s see,” he said, “I believe we left off where I had mentioned my plans for traveling the country in search of women who possessed those attributes I admired in Alexandra.”
“Yes, that’s right,” I confirmed.
“Well, just to keep things in order, I should explain I didn’t start my travels immediately,” Farrington said. “I first decided to do some research, misguided as it turned out to be.”
I waited. From my experience during our earlier meeting, I knew that Farrington was a natural-born story teller and required only a good listener to proceed.
“It was by happenstance one afternoon, while crossing Times Square, that I chanced to glance in the window of an adult book store,” he recalled. “Through the glass shop windows, I noticed several books and magazines whose titles and covers featured female domination and female-administered discipline. I stepped inside, feeling a bit uneasy, and began browsing. After a half-hour, I departed with an armload of reading material. I couldn’t wait to return to my apartment and pore over my new found treasures in privacy.”
Farrington drew out a pipe and tobacco pouch.
“Unfortunately, they turned out to be a disappointment,” he said. “Most of them were sleazy at best, and I quickly realized that while the target market for these publications were men with interests like mine, they fell miserably short of fulfilling my requirements. Especially frustrating were the classified ads. The women who advertised in those columns were, without exception, professional models and the like. They were seeking to do business, if you catch my meaning.”
I nodded and continued taking notes.
“You see, engaging a woman to merely play a role wasn’t what I had in mind,” Farrington said.
“Of course not,” I replied.
“But, then, just as I was about to dispose of that pile of rubbish, my eye fell upon a brief announcement printed on the back page of one of the tabloids. There was this one-paragraph notice of a meeting of The Society of Diana. It was scheduled the following week at one of those alternative lifestyle churches on Long Island.
“You know, of course, that Diana is the Goddess of the Hunt,” said Farrington. “And judging from the few extra words of description in the article, I concluded that this was a group I would find interesting. I was proven right.”
“Great,” I said.
“Well, yes and no,” Farrington replied. “The problem was that the audience consisted of nearly all males except for two middle-aged female coordinators. One of them was a counselor and the other a therapist. It’s likely they were there to expand their clientele.
“Anyway, it was a bona fide discipline interest group. Problems were discussed, information exchanged and warnings issued about all the various traps of which to beware.
“The highlight of the evening’s program was a demonstration in which a husband and wife team assumed the roles of pupil and headmistress. The setting was a Victorian classroom, complete with costumes and props. Old-fashioned implements of punishment were displayed and each appropriately used.
“The wife was quite proficient in her disciplinary skills and did not hesitate to apply them in a convincing fashion. Though, the demonstration was intended for the benefit of the audience, it also provided meaningful punishment for the husband. I recall that he was not left unmarked by the experience.
“The bonus of the evening was the social hour which followed. Most of the men departed after the demonstration, having noticed the lack of women. However, I decided to stay. I struck up a conversation with an older gentleman. I say ‘older’ because I was then in my late thirties. Arthur was middle-aged. We ended up talking for quite a time.
“I subsequently discovered that Arthur and I had a great many experiences to share.
“When the social hour ended, Arthur invited me for a drink. We walked to a quiet tavern nearby, where he began to unfold his life story. A spinster aunt had disciplined him as a teenager and he carried his passions concealed for years, even during two unsuccessful marriages. It wasn’t until he was forty, when he overheard two women on a commuter train discussing spanking and discipline that he found himself, so to speak.
“When the train reached the station, he approached the women. He learned that one was unmarried and he arranged a date. The relationship lasted for many happy years.
“Arthur enjoyed talking, and due to the intriguing nature of the subject matter, I hung on his every word. There didn’t come a time for me to talk about myself, though that was just as well. However, I did tell him of my plans to travel the land. He encouraged me, saying it was the only way to reach my objective. It was his strong belief that meetings — such as the one we had just attended — were an unlikely place to meet the type of woman for which I longed.”
Farrington paused briefly, then reached for the wirebound notebook with faded green cardboard covers, which I suspected served as his diary.
“My boy, could I ask you for something to drink?” he asked.
I offered coffee.
“A mineral water with a twist of lemon would be much preferred,” he said.
My hand needed a rest from note-taking. After a few minutes, we were back at work again and Farrington, now relaxed in the easy chair with his feet stretched out on a hassock, continued.
“Arthur and I talked until the bartender called ‘last round,'” he said. “I learned more about myself that evening than I could have ever imagined. A veritable shroud of shame fell off my shoulders. It was a relief to know finally that I wasn’t alone in my yearnings for a strong, yet loving woman.
“We’ve remained in close contact over the years. He’s often provided me with invaluable advice and he enjoys sharing stories and experiences,” he said.
“Several months later, my first real life experience as an adult came about rather unexpectedly.
“I had heard a great deal about the attractions of the San Francisco Bay Area and decided to see for myself. One Saturday morning, I was hiking solo on a wooded trail in the Santa Cruz Mountains on the San Francisco Peninsula. As I walked, I side-stepped occasional piles of horse manure, a sign that the trail was also used as a bridle path.
“Suddenly, my ears caught what seemed like a familiar sound—one I heard many years ago, but had never forgotten. It rang out like a shot and was repeated at short intervals. I hurried along in the direction from which the sounds came. As I rounded a curve in the trail, I sighted the source.
“There, seated astride a jittery bay gelding, a female rider resolutely applied her whip to the animal’s backside.
“She was holding him in check with her left hand on the reins while punishing him with the whip in her right hand.”
“Could you describe the rider?” I asked.
“Unsmiling. Perhaps, thirties or early forties. Doubtless, an experienced rider. Brown hair, sleek and smooth, touching her shoulders. Strong hands and legs. Medium height and frame. Athletic-looking, though certainly not lacking in feminine appeal.
“Her English riding habit appeared correct to the last detail, including well-fitted, rust-colored breeches, braided brown leather belt, starched pin-striped shirt, crochet-back leather gloves and black velvet hunt cap. She wore polished, tall, black riding boots to which a pair of gleaming stainless-steel spurs were fastened. In her right hand, she firmly grasped a thick leather riding crop.
“Her actions and her assertive bearing made it unmistakably clear that she was a
“Though, my vantage point afforded me an unobstructed view of the proceedings, the rider, however, didn’t notice my presence, perhaps due to the angle of vision.
“The scene was compelling. My eyes followed her every move as she continued with her mount’s punishment.
“I remember her words of chastisement to the animal, which by then had broken into a lathered sweat.
“‘You know what a branch looks like,’ she scolded him. Then, with her left hand, she took a tight hold on his reins, raised her whip and brought it cracking down sharply on his weal-covered rump. Each dosage was administered four or five times.
“‘Don’t you ever shy again from a branch on the trail,’ she further warned him.
“She then repeated the previous punishment, after which she spoke to the animal emphatically using these words, ‘Not ever!’
“Taking her reins back into both hands, she turned the horse around. She trotted him a short distance, then turned him again and headed back toward the spot in the trail where the misdeed had occurred. I could plainly see that a small branch, apparently broken off a tree, lay in the middle of the trail. This was obviously a test as to whether the animal had learned his lesson.
“As they approached the branch, the rider verbally encouraged the horse while prodding him with her spurs to move him forward. Unfortunately, the poor beast shied again. He reared up and tossed his head about. He was having nothing to do with that branch. Perhaps, it appeared to him as a snake or some other threatening object.
“She chastised her mount once more, followed by another whipping. Each time, she brought the crop down with such force that I heard it slice the air before smacking the animal’s posterior.
“She was absolutely relentless,” said Farrington, shaking his head.
“When she had finished, she settled the horse and took him down the trail, then brought him back to the spot where the branch lay to test him once more.
“This time, digging her spurs into the horse’s flanks, she moved him into a canter. I remember praying that the animal would have sense to obey her this time. But, it wasn’t to be. He balked at the branch, refusing to proceed beyond it.
“Furious, the rider gathered him up sharply. I heard her address her errant mount in measured tones, ‘We’re going to get this problem corrected. Now!’
“She momentarily tucked her riding crop under her saddle flap, unbuttoned her cuffs, then fastidiously rolled up each sleeve, affording her arms increased freedom of movement. She then retrieved her whip and took up the reins with her left hand. After insuring that she held a tight grip on the reins, she commenced flogging the poor gelding’s rump, showing no sign of either letup or mercy.”
I was writing as fast as I could to keep up with Farrington while swallowing hard.
I had no idea what was coming next, but you can bet I was eager to find out. Farrington, meanwhile, was poring over a page of the notebook. Apparently, satisfied that his memory was refreshed, he looked up.
“It was then,” he continued, “I realized that I must take action. You can, of course, imagine the conflicting feelings that were running through me at the time.
“During the War, I learned in battle that decisiveness is often the factor that separates the victors from the vanquished.
“In a flash, I knew I had to confront her,” he said. “I surrendered my cover and approached.
“The moment she saw me, she halted her unmerciful whipping. She scowled at me angrily.”
Farrington leaned forward as if sharing a confidence. “I’ll always remember how her eyes narrowed,” he said. “Try to envision a stern headmistress glaring at a disobedient pupil. Well, I must tell you that look nearly stopped me in my tracks.
“She didn’t speak,” Farrington continued, “but drew herself up tall in the saddle and stared down at me. Her jaw was set and I could see the muscles in her face tighten and flex.
“‘Is it necessary that you punish this animal so severely?’ I questioned her. She was absolutely seething at my intrusion.
“‘Sir, this matter doesn’t concern you,’ she began. ‘Such rudeness offends me. Given the opportunity, I would teach you a lesson in manners that you wouldn’t soon forget. After which, by comparison, I believe you would agree that I was lenient in disciplining my mount.’
“For a moment, I stood speechless,” Farrington said. “My legs became weak and my emotions found themselves overdrawn.”
“What happened?” I asked.
“I took a deep breath and smiled up at her,” replied Farrington. “Then, I said as casually as I could muster, ‘I frankly don’t believe that you either would or could deliver on such a challenge if given the opportunity.’
“I withdrew one of my calling cards, handed it up to her.
“‘My name is Brett Farrington,’ I said. ‘You can reach me at this phone number. I’m at your disposal.’ Then, I promptly turned on my heel and walked off.
“My curt move, which left my back turned to her, was, of course, quite intentional. It was done to irritate her, if I hadn’t accomplished that already.
“As I walked away, I knew I dared not look back. Apparently, she and her mount turned and headed in the opposite direction. I didn’t encounter them again during the remainder of my walk.
“When I returned to my apartment,” Farrington said, “I replayed the incident in my mind not less than a dozen times before relenting to my inner urges. I wish I could tell you that self-gratification fulfilled my needs. It didn’t. Throughout the day, each time I relived the experience, I found it necessary to seek relief. What’s more, I couldn’t decide what further to do, if anything. Would she telephone me? I didn’t know her name or anything about her.”
I was now shaking inside. If this had happened to me, I thought, what would I have done?
Farrington went on. “The following Monday, the phone rang as I was about to shave. It was 8 a.m.
“‘This is Claudine Perry,’ the voice on the other end announced. ‘I have your card in my hand, Mr. Farrington. I’ll expect you to present yourself to me on Saturday morning at 10 o’clock at my home. There is something you have coming and I intend to see that you receive it. My address is 2840 N. Country View Road. Please see that you arrive on time.’
“That was all. I heard a click. She had hung up.
“My heart was in my throat. I spoke her name aloud — Claudine Perry. I let the syllables rest in my mouth before releasing each one.
“Who was this woman? Was she married? I doubted so. But, what if I were wrong? What might I be getting myself into?
“I consulted the telephone directory and found listed a “C. Perry” on North Country View Road. I concluded that she was likely not married.
“Later that day, wearing a hat and dark glasses, I drove past the address. The area might be described as rural suburban, with gently rolling hills and some expanses of level ground. Most of the homes were situated on two- or three-acre parcels, each with its own small horse barn or corral.
“Claudine Perry’s house was set back from the road. It was a modest ranch style, brick with white trim and everything neat as a pin. In the rear, I could see a barn and a fenced riding arena. However, I didn’t slow down to take a closer look, as I feared being observed.
“Waiting for Saturday to arrive was an ordeal. I had no appetite. Then, I lost sleep as a result of the tension. I was a nervous wreck.
“Finally, when Saturday came, I awakened at 4 a.m. I showered, pulled on a pair of corduroys, a shirt and a warm Shetland wool sweater. I then paced the floor until it was time to depart.
“I got in my car and drove to within a mile of her house, where I parked. Keeping a close eye on my watch, I waited until exactly five minutes before ten, then headed toward her house. I knew I’d best be punctual. I could imagine the consequences if I weren’t.
“As I drove up the asphalt drive, I saw a woman longeing a horse in the fenced arena toward the rear of the property. I parked midway in the circular drive and exited my car. I could see from a distance that it was Claudine Perry. She was standing in the center of the ring, working a young horse.
“It was a blustery day. The wind carried the animal’s whinny in my direction. Claudine Perry stood tall, looking comfortable and warm in a forest green, down vest over a yellow turtleneck. She wore tight fawn riding breeches and tall brown field boots. A black velvet safety helmet protected her head.
“She was both beautiful and businesslike at the same time. As the horse cantered on the longe line, she moved him along by flicking a long-handled, black longe whip.
“At precisely ten o’clock, I pressed the doorbell, though I knew she couldn’t yet have returned to the house. I waited. The November air made me wish I’d worn something warmer than the old tweed jacket I had on.”
Farrington took another sip of his drink, glanced at his diary, then continued.
“It was only a moment until the door opened, and she was facing me. I was taken a bit by surprise. Apparently, she had seen me arrive, halted the training session and entered the house through a back door.
“She offered no greeting or smile as she beckoned me to enter. I removed my wool cap and jacket. Silently, she took them from me and deposited them in a cloak closet in the foyer where we were standing.
“‘Down that hall,’ she pointed. ‘The first door on the left. Remove all your clothing except your undershorts and wait for me.’ Her voice was clear and commanding.
“Immediately, I fell under her control. Had she ordered me to jump into the nearest river, I believe I might have been powerless to do otherwise. I obediently turned and walked down the hall as I had been directed.
“The room I entered was a guest bedroom. I quickly stripped to my shorts, sat on the edge of the bed and waited. Shortly, I heard the clip-clop of her boots on the hallway’s planked wood floors warning of her approach. I began to tense.
“The door opened. She stood in the doorway, her hands on her hips, still wearing her black hunt cap. A thick leather riding crop dangled from its loop around her wrist. It was the same instrument I’d seen her use to punish her mount that morning on the trail. She entered and closed the door behind her.
“‘Stand up,’ she commanded. I did so, feeling quite vulnerable. Her eyes inspected me up and down. Everywhere her gaze touched me, my body was warmed. I began to tremble, but she seemed to take no notice of my discomfort.
“Her eyes turned away for a moment as if she were pausing to deliberate. She took a deep breath, then pushed the sleeves of her turtleneck toward her elbows and looked at me directly.
“‘You do regret your actions of last Saturday, don’t you?’ she asked.
“I realized that contrition was in my interest, so I responded that I was terribly sorry for interfering and begged her pardon.
“‘It’s a bit late for an apology,’ she replied, ‘but not for a lesson in good manners. Let’s get this over with.’
“She spoke no further, but pointed her crop toward the bed. I submissively placed myself in the position she directed — on my stomach, my head resting on the pillow.
“She appeared very cool and detached. Meanwhile, my emotions were ricocheting off the walls.
“I felt her pull my shorts down over my hips and legs, leaving them around my ankles.
“Quickly, her thick leather crop found my buttocks. First the left, then the right. It seemed that each subsequent stroke was reserved for a specific location on my backside.
“As she bathed my bottom with castigating whacks, it occurred to me that she took care to insure that none of my flesh received punishment more than once.
“Her whipping was measured and deliberate. My buttocks and thighs screamed from what seemed like the sting of a hundred wasps. I clenched my fists and gritted my teeth, determined not to cry out or plead for mercy. Each time she brought her whip down, she sought virgin territory.
“The flogging was expertly administered and her wrist movement insured that the business end of her crop met its target. Not once did she miss her mark.
“Occasionally, there came a brief pause between strokes. I supposed it was to allow me time to focus on the error of my ways and to fully grasp the severity of her discipline.
“Finally, it was ended. Her only words to me were, ‘I believe that will be sufficient. You may put your clothes on now. I’ll be waiting in the foyer.’
“I was in terrible pain and wobbly on my feet. But, somehow I managed to get myself dressed and retrace my steps down the hall toward the front door.
“She stood holding my cap and jacket, which she handed me stiffly and without comment. She held open the front door for my exit, and I departed silently.
“I almost couldn’t bear to sit in the driver’s seat long enough for the ride home. I was hurting, exhausted and yet, strangely, at the same time feeling exhilarated.
“When I arrived home, I collapsed on the living room sofa. Face down, you can be sure. Despite the racking pain, I slept for six or seven hours before I awakened. My backside tormented me beyond words. I went into the bathroom to assess the damage.
“Looking into the full-length mirror on the back of the door, I saw that Claudine Perry had masterfully performed her task. Every square inch of my buttocks was striped with unsightly purple welts. She had spared me nothing.
“I noted, however, that she had carefully avoided breaking the skin. I applied some healing ointment to the affected areas — very gingerly. I was intact and would not require any medical attention. Imagine the embarrassment, had I been required to see a physician.
“That night, I took some pain-killing medicine and once more slept on my stomach. I did very little sitting those next several days, I can tell you.”
Farrington then turned to me and asked, “But, do you know what I did the very next day?”
I shook my head.
“I went directly to a stationery store and searched until I found a card with just the right message. It said, ‘I’m sorry.’ I signed it and mailed it to her in the next post.
“A week went by. Then, another. I wanted this woman desperately. All my thoughts focused on her. Each time I sat in a chair, the tenderness of my bottom reminded me of how she had disciplined me like a schoolboy. Yet, paradoxically, at that point in my life, Claudine Perry seemed the sole reason that I lived and breathed.
“I began to realize that if I wanted to see her again, it would require an initiative on my part. My happiness depended on being in her presence again. I had to see her. So, I came up with a plan.
“I nervously dialed her number. I almost lost my courage when she answered.
“‘This is Brett Farrington,’ I said. ‘I’m calling to invite you to dinner and the symphony on Saturday evening. It would make me very happy if you would accept my invitation.’ My heart was beating like a hummingbird’s as I waited for her response.
“To my astonishment, she accepted. She simply replied, ‘Yes, thank you. I’d like that.’
“We arranged for me to call for her at five o’clock. Beyond that, there was no further conversation. You can imagine my anticipation during those next few days.
“On Saturday evening, I rang her doorbell. She opened the door and there she stood. She had chosen to wear a conservative, brown jersey dress with a cowl neckline. A handsome belt encircled her waist and showed her figure to great advantage. Brown suede pumps and handbag to match completed her ensemble.
“‘I would offer you a cocktail, but traffic into the city will be heavy,’ she said.
“She was right, of course. I escorted her to my car, opened the passenger door for her and we departed.
“The conversation en route to San Francisco was mostly easy talk about such topics as the program for the evening’s symphony performance or the types of cuisine we enjoyed.
“It was quite different, however, when we were seated opposite each other at a cozy corner table in the restaurant. There, eye contact couldn’t be avoided, and I became uneasy when I realized that the small talk couldn’t continue indefinitely.
“She read her menu by the light from the candle, ordering duck a l’orange. I chose the rack of lamb. The sommelier came to take our wine order and she deferred to my judgment. I knew something about wine, so I selected a highly-rated Pinot Noir from a small vineyard in the Sonoma Valley. It then became obvious she was knowledgeable about wine herself because she arched an eyebrow and smiled.
“The candlelight played across her face and the intensity of her eyes excited me.
I was captivated by the nearness of her.
“At the same time, I couldn’t help but try to guess what she might be thinking about. Could she possibly read what was on my mind?
“On the surface, we talked about the mundane,” Farrington said. “But, beneath there were electric pulses circulating between us.
“I knew that she was sensing it, too. Yet, it was never mentioned. Had anyone overheard, our conversation would have been considered proper and correct.
“Of course, what wasn’t talked about — and it was certainly in the forefront of my thoughts — was why she would invite a strange man, like myself, into her home? And given the most unusual circumstances of our meeting, subsequently accept my dinner invitation?
“But then, I assume she must have questioned why any man in his right mind would have found it seemly to respond to her challenge and subject himself to a flogging.
“Shortly, the wine was poured, the entrees served and an exchange of comments about the meal followed. However, the conversation took a personal turn when the dessert arrived.
“‘You should know that I received your card,’ she said. ‘It meant a great deal to me.’
“‘I’m glad,’ I responded. ‘I did a good amount of soul-searching and realized that I behaved badly. It was wrong of me to interfere. I beg your forgiveness.’
“‘Of course, you have it,’ she replied. ‘Indeed, you’ve already paid the price for it. There’s no need to dwell on it further. Tell me about yourself, Brett.’
“Not wanting to reveal my circumstances, I colored the truth, answering, ‘I’m an engineer specializing in mining exploration.
“‘I teach in the medical school at the university,’ she said. ‘My field is genetics.
I also do research.’
“‘I take it you are a Ph.D. rather than a medical doctor,’ I responded.
“‘Yes,’ she said smiling and perhaps somewhat impressed. ‘Not everyone is familiar with such things.’
“‘I travel a good bit in my business,’ I answered modestly. ‘One can’t help but collect a lot of information, some of it not always that useful.’
“Before I knew it, the time had come to depart for the concert, and I felt frustrated that there hadn’t been an opportunity to explore more of the unanswered questions.
“We enjoyed good seats and heard the symphony orchestra play at its best. Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto never sounded so wondrous to me. The soloist was magnificent and the crescendos seemed to coincide with my inner emotions as I occupied my seat in the darkened concert hall, my arm touching Claudine’s.
“However, overshadowing the performance, was my recollection of the whipping I had taken at her hands.
“During the drive home, we talked about the concert, including some discussion of Beethoven’s lesser-known works. I mentioned how his early compositions, especially some contradances and divertimenti, resembled the style of W. A. Mozart, who influenced him in no small measure. I suppose I was motivated to show off.
“Claudine confided that as a child her parents had sought to foster her interest in classical music, but without any notable success.
“Upon our return, I escorted her to her front door, and she thanked me for an enjoyable evening. Then, to my surprise, she gracefully extended her right arm toward me.
“‘I would like it if you kissed my hand,’ she said.
“I took her hand into my own and gently raised it toward my lips. As I did so, I looked into her brown eyes and let my kiss say what I could not.
Farrington continued, “Even now, reflecting back on it, I can honestly say that the experience of kissing her hand at that moment stirred me to my depths.
“I drove home in an intoxicated state, though I hadn’t had anything to drink since the wine with dinner more than six hours earlier. In short, I was lovestruck.
“In the weeks that followed, I invited her to join me on various outings. There were dinners and evenings at the theater. In turn, she asked me to go on a trail ride with her and introduced me to some of her friends on the faculty.
“Once, she invited me to observe her train an unbroken two-year-old in the ring. It was her third or fourth schooling session astride the greenish colt and it appeared that the animal already held a substantial amount of respect for her — if not outright trepidation.
“I watched her work the inexperienced animal until he was visibly tired. She forced him to perform the same movements repeatedly, until he delivered perfection.
“Upon dismounting, she outlined her training approach.
“‘I work him hard until I reach a point where I have total control over him and he understands that complete obedience is required,’ she said. ‘Not sometimes. Always. No exceptions.
“‘Once he is soft and I’ve bent him to my will,’ she explained, ‘he’s no longer a challenge. Then, I’ll probably offer him for sale as a “push-button,” and he’ll be safe for some teenage girl to show on weekends.’
“During those times Claudine and I were together, I wisely never tried to hurry her. Though I hungered to be closer to her, I knew that it would be she and not I who would decide if and when. So, patience remained my byword, though inside I was terribly frustrated.
“There came an evening when she invited me to escort her to a party. She looked especially attractive on that occasion, wearing a burgundy turtleneck, long skirt and boots. Anyway, I suppose I displaced my frustration when one of the guests with whom I spoke briefly — it seemed that all were connected with the medical school — appeared to be condescending. This, though I had endeavored to be polite when I asked him his specialty.
“His disdainful reply was something like ‘I suppose you non-medical folks really have little experience, so it perhaps might be difficult….’
“I interrupted him, saying, ‘Unfortunately, my only experience in this area comes when my company endows chairs in medical schools in various parts of the world.’
“Claudine overheard it all and good-naturedly chided me about it on the drive home. She asked about my company, to which I replied — doing a quick flip-flop — that I had referred to the company where I was employed in Australia. She seemed to accept my explanation, but suddenly changed the subject.
“I felt her hand on my shoulder as she spoke.
“‘Brett, I think it’s time that I let you know exactly how I feel about you,’ she said.
“Fighting to remain calm, I replied, ‘I hope that what I’m hearing is what I’ve been wishing for.’
“She removed her hand from my shoulder, looked straight ahead at the road and said, ‘Very soon, I’ll make it all clear to you.’
“It was that night — after weeks of kissing her hand at the front door — that she handed me her house key. Almost in shock, I was forced to concentrate so that my hand would be steady enough to slip the key into the lock.
“One lamp softly illuminated the living room as I sat on the sofa. I watched her every movement as she switched on the stereo and poured two glasses of cognac.
“She walked toward me, placed a glass in my hand and sat down close beside me. I was all raw nerves and tension. She appeared relaxed. Her body had a supple, strong quality. I looked down at her legs beside mine and admired the shapely, muscular calves. I longed to know them better.
“Looking directly into my eyes, she tenderly touched the fingers of her right hand to my cheek, stroking it gently.
“She whispered to me, ‘Brett, I know you inside out.’ She paused for a moment. ‘There are things about yourself that you’ve never told anyone. I am not only aware of them, but I understand completely.’
“What I heard took my breath away. It was at that moment that she took possession of me. Her words reached into me and scooped away all my ego defenses.
“‘I’ve grown very fond of you these past weeks,’ she said. ‘But, you already know that. And I know you have feelings for me,’ she said as a smile crossed her face.
“‘Claudine,’ I said, barely able to reply. ‘I think I am in love with you.’
“She put her fingers to my lips in a quieting gesture.
“‘We mustn’t seek to place a name on what we feel,’ she whispered. ‘Rather, I want you to allow the feelings to express themselves.’
“Then, she took my face in her hands and drew me to her. She placed her lips onto mine and began what was to be a delicious, slow and deliberate kiss.
“I took her into my arms and held her tightly, burying my face into her neck and hair, smelling her perfume. As I did so, I could feel warm liquid flowing through my body from head to toe.
“There was another kiss. This time, it was I who found her lips. She had a generous mouth and her kisses were passionate, as was everything she undertook.
“My desire was intense and my hand was moving toward her breast.
“‘No, Brett, that’s enough for now,’ she admonished sharply.
“I drew back, confused.
“‘You must control yourself,’ she said. ‘If you can’t, I’ll have to punish you.’
“‘Oh, I’ve done it now!’ I thought.
“Although I was aroused to the bursting point, I quickly decided it was wisest to obey her.
“In a moment, she placed her hand on my arm and, again looking into my eyes, said, ‘I want you to come here for breakfast tomorrow morning. I’d like you here at seven.’
“She walked me to the front door and gently kissed me.
“‘I can’t wait until tomorrow morning,’ I said as I stepped outside into the cold.
“That whole night, Claudine Perry was in more ways than one the woman of my dreams. I was filled with a raging desire for her.
“When I returned the next morning, I found a note pinned to the front door. It read, ‘It’s unlocked. Come in. See you in ten minutes.’
“I let myself in and proceeded to follow the robust aroma of coffee. It led me to a small country kitchen with a flagstone floor and an open hearth. I poured myself a cup of the fresh brew and looked out through one of the small-paned windows, affording a view of the garden as well as the horse barn, corrals and riding arena. I saw Claudine approaching the house.
“She looked fetching in rust-colored breeches, beige turtleneck and tall black boots. She was indeed every inch a horsewoman.
“‘Good morning,’ she said as she strode into the kitchen through the back door. ‘I see you found my note. Sorry I wasn’t here to greet you, personally, but one of my mares is due to foal soon and I had to check on her.’
“Before I could reply, she asked me, ‘Hungry?’ I nodded.
“‘How about bacon and eggs?’ she asked.
“‘Sounds great,’ I responded.
“I watched as she prepared breakfast for the two of us, noting how confidently she stood and carried herself. For several minutes, I enjoyed a full back view of her, enabling me to more thoroughly appreciate her lustrous brown hair, her well-constructed shoulders, her waist hugged by a braided leather belt and her hips which went wide where a woman’s hips should go wide.
“Later, as I was polishing off the hearty breakfast with a second cup of coffee, she asked, ‘How good are you with horses? Besides coming to their rescue, I mean.’
“Her smile told me I was being chided. She was teasing me and I liked it.
“‘I can’t boast a lot of experience,’ I answered. ‘But, I’ve been around a few horses here and there.’
“‘Come along,’ she directed, setting down her coffee cup. ‘We’ll see how good you are with my bunch. I could always use a dependable groom.’
“It wasn’t long afterward — having brushed down her mount for her, picked his hooves and helped with the saddling — that I stood at the edge of the ring. Claudine grasped the reins in her left hand and with her right hand on the cantle, deftly pulled herself up and astride the chestnut gelding.
“‘Watch!’ she shouted to me, immediately setting the horse into a trot.
“She energetically worked the three-year-old, named Rondo, for nearly an hour. She put him through his paces and set him on all the gaits.
“When the animal once appeared to make a sluggish transition from a trot to a canter, I watched as she raised her right arm and smartly brought down her crop onto Rondo’s backside.
“I heard the leather crack against his large rump and saw him toss his head a bit, disliking the reprimand.
“Upon dismounting, she instructed me to again brush and curry the animal, return him to his stall, then clean and stow all the tack. She was specific in detailing what she wanted. Meanwhile, she went to tend to other horses in the barn.
“When she returned, I was completing my duties. She stood in front of me looking beautiful in her tight-fitting riding breeches and turtleneck. The breeze had sent a few strands of her hair in directions she hadn’t planned.
“‘Good job!’ she said. It dawned on her that she had forgotten something. She walked a few steps to a large tack trunk where she had temporarily laid her crop.
“She removed the whip from its resting place and eased her right hand through the loop of the instrument. As it dangled from her wrist, she reached up to embrace me.
“Still perspiring and breathing hard from her work, she kissed me intensely and passionately. It was as wet a kiss as one could envision. There came another and yet another.
“As I drew her close to me, she awakened my senses with the intriguing combination of the scent of leather and the earthy fragrance of her body.
“Gasping for breath between her spirited assaults on my lips, I heard her say, ‘Now, I’m going to take you back to the house.’
“‘Do you know what I want to do with you then?’ she asked.
“I could only guess, but I answered ‘no.’
“‘I want to ride you, and ride you hard,’ she whispered.
“Although, I was speechless, I was so excited I felt like a volcano on the verge of eruption.
“She took me by the hand and led me back to the house and into her bedroom. It required only moments for her to remove all my clothes and position me where she wanted — flat atop the bed with my head resting on a pillow.
“I watched with fascination as she stepped on a bootjack and began to remove her tall boots.
“‘Let me help,’ I offered.
“‘You haven’t earned that privilege yet, Brett,’ she replied.
“Disappointed, I lay back down and continued watching her undress.
“After coaxing off her boots, she unzipped her riding breeches, slid them down over her hips and pushed each leg down to the ankle. She then pulled them off, leaving them where they lay. In another second, her socks flew off, and there she stood, measuring me with her eyes, while wearing only a pair of white panties and the fitted turtleneck.
“Then, without a word, she momentarily turned her back to me and walked to where her leather riding crop lay on the floor.
“She picked it up and turned back toward me, striking a spellbinding pose. Holding the whip in her right hand, she casually rested its length on her shoulder. Her stance, though relaxed, increased my anxiety.
“Still appearing every inch the perfect horsewoman, Claudine stepped to the edge of the bed. She looked down at me for a moment and inspected me.
“At first, I was humiliated. However, she appeared not to take notice of my obviously embarrassing circumstance. After pausing to take a deep breath, she said, ‘I’ve wanted to do this for a long time.’
“Without a moment’s lapse, she lay her crop on the bed and slowly slipped out of her panties, revealing the perfect contour of her buttocks.
“Now, completely naked from the waist down, she took her crop in hand and in one swift motion, easily mounted me.
“Then, with only the most subtle of maneuvering, she employed her equestrian skills to settle herself onto me. Using her powerful rider’s legs, she gripped my torso and, by adjusting her weight and rhythm, evoked from me whatever movements she desired as she pretended to trot and canter me.
“Whenever I failed to respond in the appropriate fashion, she would urge me on by sparingly applying her whip to my flanks.
“Looking up at her and watching her every facial expression as she moved, I was enraptured by the woman I saw.
“She was passionate beyond my dreams while expressing fulfillment and ecstasy to a degree that I had never seen.
“Her beige turtleneck was soaking wet under the arms as she worked both herself and me into a fever pitch. Whenever I began to slow down or linger, I could feel the slap of her crop reminding me to keep to my task.
“We ended in a frenzy of a gallop, after which I found myself spent to a level I had not until then experienced. As we lay in each other’s arms exhausted, my thoughts kept turning to that morning I encountered her on the trail.
“Soon, we had recovered and I was holding her tenderly.
“‘You aren’t unhappy with me, are you, Brett?’ she asked.
“‘No, of course not,’ I replied.
“‘Oh, Brett. There is so much I’d like to share with you,’ she said. ‘But, I can’t. Not yet.’
“I assured her that there would be a time and place for everything and that she shouldn’t feel pressured. She seemed relieved.”
At that point, Farrington excused himself momentarily, leaving the room. I fell back in my chair, exhausted.
In a few minutes, Farrington, now refreshed, returned. He re-lit his pipe. I gathered myself together, propped my legal pad on my knee and was ready to proceed.
“Do you have a photograph of Claudine?” I asked.
“Interesting that you should mention it,” he said as he reached into his briefcase. He removed a photo, glanced at it, then handed it to me.
“We asked a passerby to snap it for us,” he said. “It was the day we walked across the Golden Gate Bridge.”
Farrington’s description of Claudine had been accurate. There was the shiny, shoulder-length, dark brown hair and the dazzling smile. Her pose exuded self-confidence. She was, in a word, stunning. The two looked very happy together that day.
I found myself almost as fascinated looking at Farrington’s image as I had been with Claudine’s. He had, of course, aged in the 35 years since the photo was taken. But, as I focused on the snapshot, I saw a man with a rugged, outdoor appearance — the look that women always find appealing. His face communicated strong character as well as charm. He struck me as the type who would gather thirty survivors into a lifeboat, then dive overboard to save a couple more.
Resuming his account, Farrington said, “That night, I don’t believe I ever slept so well. I dispensed with my usual nightcap and drifted off to sleep with a smile on my face.
“It would be a few days until I saw Claudine again. In the meantime, I found myself missing her terribly.
“I was to see her next at her home. She had invited me for a gourmet dinner. It would be just the two of us, she told me. I brought along a bottle of fine wine. It was a Chateau Cheval Blanc, vintage 1945. I located it in a spirits shop in San Francisco and I looked forward to the pleasure of introducing her to this bottle-aged, ready-to-drink St. Emilion. Also, I was certain that the distinctive name on the label would draw her attention.
“We dined on sublime Cornish hen, exotically-seasoned wild rice, green beans almondine, a French baguette and superb chocolate mousse. Also, Claudine seemed delighted with the wine, which complemented the meal.
“Meanwhile, as the fire roared and soft music played in the background, we talked of many subjects — horses, the approaching holiday season, etc. I focused on her, elbows on the table, leaning forward toward me. The dancing light presented all of her to advantage — her hair pulled back and held by a silver barrette, the dark green turtleneck, the butterscotch corduroys.
“We moved to the sofa and toasted each other with tiny glasses of amaretto. We kissed. I held her and we gazed at the fire. I was luxuriating in the closeness, the perfection of the evening, when I noticed she was crying softly.
“I sensed there was something that she wanted to tell me and I asked if that might not be so. Like a sad little girl biting her lip, she nodded ‘yes.’
“‘I have a secret,’ she confided.
“‘Well, secrets are sometimes difficult to share,’ I said. I gently asked her if the secret might have some connection with our relationship, and she again nodded ‘yes.’
“‘Perhaps, you would feel better if I shared a secret with you first,’ I said. Again, she nodded ‘yes.’
“I proceeded to detail the story of my experience with Alexa, which until then I had not divulged to a living soul. She seemed awestruck.
“‘I knew that our meeting was no accident,’ she declared after I had finished. ‘I just knew it.’
Then, feeling safe to tell her own story, she recounted how as a child she recognized early on that she wasn’t like her little playmates.
“‘I was different,'” she said. ‘I had a mind of my own. I was a tomboy. I rode horses. I played tennis. I swam. In those days, little girls were supposed to play with dolls and give tea parties. Later, in my teens, when I went to parties, I was always the last girl to be asked to dance.
“‘I was interested in subjects to which boys were usually drawn — science, math, biology,’ she said. ‘The more I competed with the boys in my classes, the more they resented me.
“‘As I became more occupied with horses, I found satisfaction in correcting stallions and geldings. Some of the other girls who boarded their horses at the riding stable criticized me for being “crop happy.” I was once grounded for a week by the stable owner for excessively punishing a young stallion who almost unseated me.’
“She told me how as a teenager her fantasies shifted from daydreams of mastering an animal to those in which she aspired to bring a young man to his knees and then punish him.
“However, she said that the closest she ever came was during an incident that occurred a year after taking her faculty position at the medical school.
“‘My nephew was visiting for the summer after completing his freshman year in college,’ she said. ‘One afternoon, after I had been out in the ring working one of the horses, I went back into the house and caught him in the liquor cabinet. Although he was already a young man of 18 years, I took him to his room, removed his blue jeans and gave him a sound horsewhipping.
“‘Afterward, I discovered that I was — wet,’ she confessed. ‘But, until I met you, Brett, there was never anything like we’ve had together.'”
“‘Right now,’ she continued, ‘there are at least two Claudines, and perhaps, a third. There’s the career woman, the geneticist. Then, there’s the horsewoman, the disciplinarian. And, finally, there is a very vulnerable lady who wants to love and be loved. It’s the third me that might not be ready yet, but wants to…very much wants to….’
“She buried her face against me, sobbing, and I comforted her, assuring her that all she needed was time,” Farrington said. “I felt her body shudder.
“‘I’m cold,'” she said.
“‘Let’s sit closer to the fire,’ I suggested.
“We sat on plump floor cushions, directly in front of the burning logs. We each drank another amaretto, and gradually the romantic mood was rekindled.
“We stretched out on the floor and began kissing again. I took her in my arms. Her body lay on top of me and I ran my hands over her, feeling the softness of the corduroy and the firmness of her buttocks.
“We looked in each other’s eyes and she spoke to me very softly.
“‘I think you know I want something, don’t you?’ she asked.
“I nodded affirmatively.
“‘What I want is you,’ she said, with a gleam in her eye that electrified me.
“Moments later, we were in her bedroom. It was dark and she motioned me to stand still. She lit an oil lamp, adjusted the wick, and replaced the chimney. It yielded a beautiful soft light. Our shadows on the wall would be the only witnesses to what happened next.
“This time, Claudine instructed me to remove her clothes and then mine.
“Once we were both nude, she reclined on the king-sized bed. Her silky hair was spread out on the white pillow like a mermaid’s tresses floating in the sea. She beckoned me to come to her. As I began to take my position, she briefly held me off as she turned to a nightstand and opened a drawer. I saw her remove what appeared to be a dark tan leather paddle which she carefully laid on the edge of the bed near her right hand.
“Later, I learned that it wasn’t a paddle, but a Western bat, also called a dogging bat. Though used primarily by Western riders as a training aid, the flat instrument is also often seen in the hands of English riders. It measured about 12 to 14 inches in length and was about three inches wide toward the business end, tapering to two inches at the handle, and was perhaps a quarter-inch thick. A wrist loop was affixed to the handle end.
“‘Kiss me,’ she whispered.
“I obliged without need of coaxing. I sat on the edge of the bed and she reached out for me. Our lips met and it was only moments until her tongue frantically united with mine. She held me to her tightly. When she relaxed her grip, I began kissing her face, cheeks, ears and neck. Ultimately, I kissed every part of her body as she moaned with longing.
“‘I can’t take any more. Come to me,’ I heard her gasp.
“I did so, spreading myself atop her smooth and well-toned frame. I paused briefly to admire her classic beauty as I took my position.
“She again drew me toward her opened lips and aroused me almost beyond limits with a probing wet kiss that I remember to this day.
“‘Brett,’ she said. ‘I want you to give me everything that you have inside you. You mustn’t hold back anything. Do you understand? I must have all of you.’
“As our bodies merged and our passions soared, I found myself working extra hard to satisfy her. We both perspired freely and were breathing heavily. As I gave of myself, and thrust my manhood into her repeatedly, I felt a sudden sharp, loud smack on my backside. Then another. She had taken in hand the leather paddle and was urging me on with it.
“‘Brett, I want it all! Give it all to me!’ she commanded in between smacks — her voice rising emotionally.
“I made a supreme effort. I extended myself to the maximum. Despite everything, I again felt her Western bat slap against my bottom. Though my buttocks began to heat and redden as a result of the stinging assaults — which were delivered in near-perfect rhythm — my fervor and excitement was suddenly pushed to newly-found heights. As we both neared climax, I had the momentary feeling that I had been transported to another world.
“Finally spent, I collapsed into her arms. We lay there holding each other for more than an hour. I sometimes dozed for a few minutes and dreamed — of her.
“After a time, we walked to the kitchen, where I peeled an orange which we shared. Then, without the need of words, we walked back to the bedroom and again tenderly held each other.
“During the weeks that followed, we spent much time together, sharing life, love and excitement. One Sunday afternoon, as we dined in an outdoor cafe in Sausalito, she took my hand and said there was something important she had to tell me.
“My heart skipped a beat. I knew this affair wasn’t meant to be a lifetime contract, but I wasn’t prepared for it to end.
“She opened her purse, removed an envelope, pulled out a letter and handed it to me. It informed her that she had been accepted as a research fellow in the medical school of a ranking university in France.
“‘I’ve been praying for that fellowship to come through,’ she said. ‘It’s the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s the stuff that makes for Nobels. But, it means spending at least two years in France. I don’t know what to do.’
“‘You don’t have a choice,’ I said, trying to keep the disappointment out of my voice. ‘You must go, of course. You would never forgive yourself if you didn’t. I encourage you.’
“I realized that if I had asked her to stay, she’d never have forgiven me.
“She was at first stunned, then relieved. She smiled broadly. Her hand reached out to take mine. She squeezed it hard.
“‘Thank you, Brett,’ she said.
“As her departure date approached and it came time to say our goodbyes, there were some tears and many reflections.
“Soon, I would drive her to the airport and she would arrive in New York to board a passenger liner bound for Le Havre.
“When she boarded the ship and was escorted to her stateroom for the six-day voyage, she would find waiting a bouquet of two dozen long-stemmed, red roses.
“The card read, ‘Bon Voyage from someone who’s very grateful that not all little girls play with dolls and give tea parties.'”
Originally posted 2014-06-17 08:08:25.