New story: An anti-Valentine’s Day story

My Anti-Valentine’s Day story, as promised. As usual, please forgive any typos. Blog posts don’t get edited by anyone but me, and you know how impossible it is to edit your own work right away. 

M/F romance with a side of spanking.

Tish never really thought much about Valentine’s Day one way or the other. Even when she was dating it seemed like a lot of work to hype romance for one day and just an excuse to sell heart-shaped things in every store you passed. And of course, when you weren’t dating…well, seeing little cupids everywhere you went tended to make you feel like crap.

So, she was just fine skipping the whole holiday, except for the next day half-price candy sale, of course. Screw the red heart boxes with their mystery chocolates, half of which she ended up spitting out anyway. (Who came up with those flavors??) She wanted the good stuff, the expensive truffles in their gold wrappings, which at forty-dollars a box she normally couldn’t afford. Maybe she’d grab a few bags of the other goodies too, just to stock up while she was there.

She deserved a good quality of chocolate to get her through the gross weather they’d been having, but the day after Valentine’s a foot of snow was dumped on them. It took her a couple of days to get to the store and by then there wasn’t much of a selection left. Apparently, some people thought candy was more important than safety and had gotten there to clean off the shelves before she’d even been able to dig her car out.

Being single surrounded by romantic holiday decorations, the snow, and the lack of choice in sugary treats had put her in a bad mood, which is why when she reached for the last box of her favorite truffles and someone else got there first, she was willing to fight for them.

“Excuse me,” he said, reaching past her and picking up the box and a couple other things that were sitting next to it.

“Hey! I wanted those!” she snapped, as she turned to glare at the offender. He was cute in a geeky way, with thick-rimmed glassed and a sensual mouth that should have looked too feminine, but somehow didn’t. Maybe it was balanced by the two-day bear scruff that made his chin look so manly, but good looking or not he wasn’t getting her candy.

He blinked, a little surprised at her aggressive tone. “Uh, it looks like I got them first, but if you ask me nicely, I guess I could let you have them,” he said.
He sounded calm and patient which irritated her more. “Look jerk, I was here first, and those are mine,” she said angrily.

“I hate to tell you this, but I was here first, and I’d actually just set these things down so I could grab a bag of hearts from the top shelf,” he explained, pointing up at a few packages of foil-wrapped chocolates that remained just out of reach. Well, out of her reach. He had more than a few inches on her so probably wasn’t going to have any trouble getting to them.

Her cheeks burned, but she was in no mood to back down now. “Like I believe that,” she snorted. She did believe him; he seemed pretty sincere about the whole thing, but when she was embarrassed, she tended to get defensive and once that happened…besides she needed that chocolate to make a shitty week better.

“I don’t really have any reason to lie, since I’m holding the candy and you’re not,” he pointed out, one eyebrow going up with a recriminating look. “But if you really want them that badly you could try being polite and asking me for them. I’ll even give you the toothpaste and razors as a package deal if you like,” he said.

She hadn’t paid much attention to the things sitting with the box of candy, but now she saw that they were indeed men’s razors and toothpaste, making his claim more likely. Ugh! “No thanks, keep them!” she snapped, and then spun on her heel and headed down the aisle with a scowl on her face.

Behind her she thought she heard him muttering something about brats who needed a spanking and her insides did a slow-roll. Nothing got her attention faster than the word ‘spanking’ but she was too embarrassed about how she’d over-reacted to back down now, even if he had said the magic word.

It wasn’t like her to snarl at strangers; the winter was just getting to her. And now she felt like she had to avoid running into him again, so she hurried down the aisles grabbing up items with quick efficiency and then checking out as fast as possible. She got a glimpse of him lining up to pay just as she was leaving and quickly looked away. Maybe it was karma for being rude to him, or maybe it was just bad luck, but when she got to her car, she realized her day had just gotten worse.

“Fuck! A flat? Seriously?!” She kicked the limp tire and then winced. Despite the definite flat bottom, the rest of it was still hard enough to hurt her toe, and she knew for a fact that her spare was also flat. She’d meant to get it fixed a year ago but kept putting it off.

No spare, no Roadside Assistance to help her out—she was screwed, and also freezing. She stood there holding her bags and shivering as she tried to figure out what she was going to do now.

“Boy, you’re just not having the best day, are you?” a voice said from behind her.

She turned slowly and then sighed. It was him, of course. Who else could it possibly be? “Are you following me now? That’s kind of creepy, you know,” she said.

“Nope, just going to my car after a successful trip to pick up some half-price candy. Kind of a funny coincidence though,” he said as he clicked a button on his key and the trunk of the car directly next to hers popped open. He dropped his bags inside without taking his eyes off her. “Gotta spare?” he asked.

“I do, but it’s even flatter than this one,” she admitted. She let out a long drawn out sigh. “I kept meaning to get a new one.”

“Yeah, it happens. Well, lucky for you I’ve got a patch kit. Hold on,” he said as he leaned into the open trunk and dug around until he came up with a small plastic box, and an aerosol can of fix-a-flat. “Never know when these will come in handy.”

Ugh, why did he have to be so nice? It wasn’t fair. She’d been rude to him and now he was offering to help and the whole thing was so embarrassing. She could feel her cheeks flaming bright red with humiliation and hoped it wasn’t as noticeable as it felt.

“Uh, you don’t have to…” She trailed off without finishing because if she refused his help, she really had no idea what she would do. She didn’t have enough extra cash to pay for a tow truck and get the tire fixed too.

“Don’t worry about it. It’s too cold to leave anyone standing around out here,” he said dismissing her with a shrug. He knelt down, one knee in the snow, and began looking for the leak. When he couldn’t find one, he used the can to inflate the tire and then carefully felt around the tire until he found where the air was escaping. In a few minutes he had her patched and ready to go.

“There you go,” he said. He turned and put his things back in the trunk and got ready to go. “Should probably get a real fix soon these patches don’t last long.”

“Wait! You… I haven’t even thanked you,” she blurted.

“Well, honestly, you didn’t seem like the manners type, so I wasn’t expecting it,” he said. There was just a hint of a bite to his words, making it clear that he hadn’t forgotten her rudeness in the store.

She winced. He’d seemed to take it in stride at the time, but maybe she had pissed him off and he just hadn’t let her see the anger. If that was the case it was an even bigger deal for him to stop and help her. She owed him now, twice. “I’m sorry. I’m not—I don’t usually act like that,” she said awkwardly.

“I hope not. You never know what can happen when you’re rude to a stranger,” he said. “Anyway, don’t worry about it. I’m glad I could help,” he added, shrugging and turning to go.

“But wait! Look…I feel really bad after…” She jerked her chin towards the store. “and you still helped me. I don’t even have any money to give you for the tire stuff. I know it’s not cheap,” she said.

“It’s fine, really. I don’t like seeing people stuck and you seemed to be having a pretty bad day already,” he said, flashing her a small smile. His expression seemed to be softening a little.

“It was still really kind. Can I make it up to you? I don’t have any money but I’m a really good cook…maybe I could make you dinner some night?” she suggested, after a hesitation. It was a little more personal than she wanted to be with a stranger but there wasn’t really much else she could offer him.

His lip twitched, one eyebrow went up. “Are you asking me on a date?” he asked.

“I guess… if you want to call it that,” she agreed after a hesitation.

“So, let me ask you, is this your way of hitting on me? Being rude, getting stranded and then inviting me out?” His voice had taken on a teasing tone and instead of snapping at him she found herself laughing.

It caught her off-guard for a second, the joke, but she recovered quickly. “Yep, you caught me. The whole thing was a set-up. I saw those geeky glasses and just couldn’t resist,” she said, trying to look serious though she could tell it wasn’t working.

“Bold plan! Well, I’d be a jerk to turn you down after you went to the trouble of flattening your tire and everything so…sure. Besides I haven’t had a home cooked meal in—” He paused, looking thoughtful and then shook his head. “You know, I honestly can’t even remember. I live off take-out, delivery, and frozen dinners.”

“I’m so glad to hear that!” she exclaimed. He gave her a questioning look and she laughed. “Well, that means even if I get nervous and mess up the recipe, you’re probably still going to think it’s amazing,” she said dead-pan. There was little chance of that, of course. Tish was an assistant caterer. It didn’t pay well, obviously, but it was giving her valuable experience and contacts that she intended to use one day to open her own business. For now, she was barely getting by, but if there was one thing she could do, it was cook.

“Ooooh, good point there. Yeah, going to be honest the bar is set real low on that one,” he assured her. “So, uh, I feel like we probably should exchange names sometime soon or it’s going to get awkward later when we’re both pretending to know what to call each other.”

“Duh, sorry; my name’s Tish. Well, it’s Tisiphone really, but everyone calls me Tish.” She held out her hand to him and he took it gravely.

“Tish?” he asked, tilting his head thoughtfully. “I like that. It’s pretty. I’m Jay, short for Jason. Not quite as pretty, but it works.” He laughed; it was an awkward sound this time and she had the feeling that he was trying to flirt but wasn’t really used to it.

She liked that. She wasn’t any good at flirting either, but she felt oddly comfortable with him considering the circumstances and would have been happy to stand around and talk a little longer except that she was starting to turn into a popsicle. Quickly, before they ended up as ice statues in the parking lot, they exchanged information and made a tentative date (subject to schedule checking) for the dinner, and then they said their goodbyes and hit the road.

Later she found that her mind kept going back to their meeting, and each time she winced over how rude she’d been. There was some serious guilt sitting on her conscious and she was going to have to work that off with one hell of a meal. Tish had always had trouble letting go of guilt without paying a penalty of some kind first.

She blamed her mother for that. Ironically, she’d been named for a character from Greek mythology who was just the opposite. Tisiphone was one of the furies who punished mankind for their sins, but Tish, well, Tish was on the far end of the spectrum. She wouldn’t call herself a submissive, not really, she was more of a smart-ass bratty type, but she definitely got a stern Top vibe from Jay and that did nothing to ease her guilt.

What it did do was send her fantasies flying, picturing all kinds of reactions from him that didn’t include just fixing her flat, but giving her a good spanking for her rudeness too. Of course, she tried to tell herself she was probably imagining things. It wasn’t the first time she’d seen dominance where there wasn’t any and she’d kind of given up hoping that she’d run into it in the real world.

By the time the day of their dinner rolled around she’d worked herself into such a state of agitation that she nearly did burn the meal, which wasn’t like her at all. She’d been trying to figure out some way to tease a little bit of dominance out of him—just to see what, if anything, lurked underneath that geeky surface. She just wasn’t sure exactly how…and then it dawned on her; the perfect idea, and it didn’t involve trying to work kinkiness into the conversation over the lasagna.

Kinky people noticed things that vanilla types tended to ignore. There were certain objects that had a deeper meaning for those in the know so she was inspired to leave a few laying around, in plain sight. She hoped to be able to gauge from his reaction, or lack of one, if they had any meaning to him. On the coffee table she casually left a wooden hairbrush with the word ‘brat’ engraved on the back. There was a crop with a heart shaped leather flap at the end already sitting in a vase on the desk in the corner. She left it there, but moved it to the front, so it was even more visible with the dried white flowers behind it.

After a few last minutes of waffling she slipped a velvet collar around her neck. It didn’t scream BDSM, in fact she’d gotten it from a perfectly normal accessory store. It also matched the dressy black top she’d put on over her jeans, but she thought if he put all the clues together, he might realize her interests. Maybe.

Just as she was pulling the lasagna out of the oven to cool and sliding the garlic bread in, she heard a knock at the door. “Come in!” she called.

He opened the door hesitantly, and after a brief pause stepped inside her small home. “Wow! I could smell that from the driveway. If it tastes half as good as it smells you really are an amazing cook,” he said to the empty air, not sure yet exactly where she was.

She laughed, “Come on in and have a seat; I’m just finishing up in here,” she said. It was a small house, so she barely had to raise her voice to be heard, but she was out of sight with a wall between them and that’s how she wanted it for now.

She intended to putter around the kitchen to give him some time to notice her clues, and because she was nervous. Probably mostly because she was nervous. She’d played in clubs and at parties but when you went into those you knew that everyone there was on the same page. This was different. An offhand comment and a stern demeanor didn’t mean he was a Top no matter what her inner spankee radar kept saying.

She made the occasional unnecessary clatter so that he would assume she was busy with the meal, though really there was nothing left to do until the bread was toasted. “Would you like something to drink? I’m afraid my budget for wine was only in the ten-dollar range so you may want to pass, for your own safety, but I’ve got soda or juice,” she offered after a few minutes of silence had gone by.

“The cheap wine is tempting, but I think I’ll go with soda,” he said.

He sounded like he was distracted by something and when she came out a minute later with his drink, she realized exactly what had taken his attention. It wasn’t the clues she had so carefully arranged, nope. It was her library. The bookcase filled with pretty much nothing but BDSM romance books from top to bottom. It hadn’t occurred to her that he’d look at her books, or at least not closely, if it had… well she couldn’t have done anything because how do you hide six shelves of books without it being obvious.

“Uh…” She cleared her throat, swallowing and held out the glass. “Your drink,” she said.

“Interesting reading material. You seem to have a favorite genre,” he said. Then he turned away, smiled and took the glass without further comment.

She hadn’t sensed any answering interest or any condemnation either. Damn it. There were just no clues there. It was entirely possible that he hadn’t noticed they were anything but regular romance and she certainly wasn’t going to ask, though it was hard to resist. She fidgeted throughout the meal, looking for any kind of sign that would give her an answer one way or the other.

She ran out of ideas, short of coming straight out and asking him. He kept steering topics to completely bland and mundane subjects anytime she tried to hint. As they were finishing the meal and she brought out the simple pie she’d made for dessert, he finally brought up the incident at the store.

“So, what had you so cranky the other day?” he asked.

She felt her face heating and looked away as she busied herself with slicing the pie. “Um, kind of a combination of things, I guess. The weather has been wearing me down and well, I hate Valentine’s. It’s so overdone and when you’re single it’s kind of a drag,” she said.

“I’m not a huge fan of it myself,” he said.

No shocker there, she thought. Most men didn’t care for it, but she was surprised when he continued.

“Too many people let the romance fade the rest of the year and then try to make up for it by going overboard on the holiday. I don’t think one day of attention and gifts really makes up for not paying attention the rest of the time. And—I’m a details guy. I pay very close attention to the small things,” he said.

There seemed to be an emphasis to the words, and she wondered if she should read into that. She slid a piece of pie in front of him and he reached for his fork, but then paused, hand dangling in mid-air. “That reminds me. I forgot something in the car. Be right back!” he said.

She sat down to wait after he vanished out the door, curious about what he’d forgotten. A few minutes later he was back, and he dropped a box of expensive chocolates on the table next to his plate. They were the ones she’d wanted in the store.

“You seemed to really want these,” he said. But he didn’t give them to her, or push them to her side of the table, he just picked up his fork and took a bite of the homemade peach pie. With a groaning sound of pure pleasure, he savored the bite. “This is the best pie I’ve had in years,” he assured her.

She looked from him to the chocolate in confusion, and then finally focused on her own pie. “Thanks, I like to bake. It’s relaxing when things go right,” she said.

She tried not to look at the candy again, but the box sat there and seemed to call attention to itself every time the shiny wrapping caught the light. Was he giving it to her? Or did he just bring it to lord it over her that he’d gotten the last box? He didn’t give her any answers until he’d finished his pie, and then the second piece she offered him.

After she’d cleared away the plates, they moved into the living room. He brought the box with him, and set it down on the coffee table in front of them.

“You seemed to really want these in the store. I figured I’d bring them in case you still did,” he explained.

She tilted her head giving him an appraising look. “I do…” she said, with some caution in her voice.

He picked it up and held it out to her. After a hesitation she reached for it, but when she took hold of the end he didn’t let go. She gave him a confused look and he smiled. “Just one thing,” he said.

“Yeah?”

“I did tell you in the store what you had to do if you wanted this candy,” he said. There was a determined tone to his voice and his expression seemed to be challenging her, but she wasn’t sure what the challenge was.

She frowned, brows furrowing as she tried to remember…and then suddenly she did. “Oh!” Right, he’d told her she had to ask for it ‘nicely’. She swallowed hard, pushing down her pride. “Um, may I please have the chocolate?” she asked. The embarrassment was probably more apparent in her voice than it was on her face. She could feel the heat staining her cheeks and hoped it wasn’t too obvious to him.

He smiled and let go of the box. “Sure, it’s all yours,” he said graciously.

Had he been waiting for her to throw another fit? She couldn’t entirely blame him and though it irritated her that he’d made her to ask for it, it also hit certain buttons. “I told you I wasn’t always a brat,” she said. Adding, “Thank you.” as she looked the candy over. “These are my favorite kind, but they’re usually too expensive.”

“I figured it was something like that. You were acting like it was the last box of candy on Earth,” he said. He shifted, turning until he was sitting sideways on the couch and could watch her face. “The dinner makes up for the attitude, so I guess we’re even. Unless… you still feel like you owe me something? Or I owe you something?”

There was a knowing tone to the words, and she looked up, almost panicked, and then dropped her eyes to focus on the candy again as her mind scrambled. This was right out of one of her fantasies, but he couldn’t possibly be implying what it sounded like. That didn’t happen in the real world! “I don’t know what you mean,” she said. Every syllable dripped with anxiety. “Do you, did you want some money for the tire repair stuff? I don’t really have any right now, but I could –”

“Not what I was talking about,” he said, snorting and then gesturing at her bookcase. “What do you think would happen to one of those women if they snapped at a stranger for no reason, called him a liar, and then had to be rescued by him later?” he asked.

“I—uh, well they’d probably… that’s fiction. It doesn’t—things like that don’t happen,” she stammered.

“Oh? Ever heard the phrase ‘Sometimes life imitates fiction’? C’mon Tish, I’ve read a couple of those books and even if I hadn’t the titles make it fairly obvious what they are about. The hairbrush on the table was a nice touch though, if I had any doubts that would have cleared them up,” he said. He laughed and shook his head as he leaned over to grab it.

“It’s just a hairbrush! It doesn’t mean anything,” she said, lying of course.

He turned the brush over in his hands making a show of examining it carefully. “Just a hairbrush that comes from a well-known kinky implement website, you mean?” One of his eyebrows went up and his eyes gleamed with amusement behind the glasses.

She felt as though she were struggling to breathe all of a sudden. The words trying to get out were jumbled and confused and her heart was thudding painfully against her ribcage. She swallowed hard and forced herself to speak slowly instead of blurting out some embarrassing confession. “I—I was just trying to figure out if you were the bossy type. I wasn’t trying to get you to s-spank me or anything; I just wanted to know!”

He smiled; faint laugh lines crinkled around the corners of his eyes and a dimple appeared on the left side of his mouth. “Do you feel like the question’s been answered now?” he asked.

She nodded, keeping her mouth firmly shut.

He laughed and set the hairbrush back down on the table. “I have been known to be bossy on occasion. I’ve been known to spank a brat now and then too when they deserved it,” he continued, removing all doubt from her mind.

“Oh,” was the only thing she could say.

“Of course, I don’t usually spank strangers—no matter how much they seem to need it, and I didn’t come here thinking that was on the agenda,” he added.

She repeated the same pathetic, “Oh.” but now there was the slightest hint of disappointment tinging the syllable.

“Unless you still feel guilty that is,” he added.

She set the chocolates on the table, just to have something to do, and then regretted it when her hands twisting in her lap made it obvious how nervous she was. It had been a long time since she’d been spanked, and even longer since it had come from someone who was actually into it. Convincing vanilla partners to give it a try hadn’t gotten the best results outside of a few slaps during sex, and she couldn’t deny she wanted it.

“I guess I do still feel a little bit guilty…” she said finally. Her eyes firmly focused on her hands, and definitely not on him. “Not—not hairbrush guilty or anything like that.”

“Maybe just hand-spanking guilty?” he suggested.

She looked up, checking his expression to make sure he was serious and then nodded. “Yeah, maybe that.”

Despite the Top vibes, and all the fantasies, she’d never in a million years expected anything like this to happen. She was as fluttery and nervous as if it was her first time while he guided her across his lap like a pro—gently but firmly positioning her across his knees.

His hand came to rest lightly on the back of her jeans, and she suffered a quick internal battle over whether or not she was disappointed that he wasn’t taking them down. They barely knew each other after all, but he cleared up the debate with a few whispered words, “I think we’ll leave these up, just this once.”

A shiver rolled down her spine and she gasped, both at what he’d said, and at the implication that this was only the first spanking. Of many, she hoped, but only replied, “Yes Sir,” like a good girl.

He began to spank, starting off just hard enough to be felt through the denim, but gradually increasing until her ass felt pleasantly warm. It wasn’t quite punishment, and not exactly foreplay either, but some mix of the two. By the time he’d finished she was flushed all over and her rump felt well-spanked, but not in a way that had her desperate to stop him. In fact, she felt limp with satisfaction though other parts of her body were now demanding a different kind of attention as a result.

It wasn’t something she was going to get from him, not that night anyway. What she got instead was a cuddle in his lap before he left, and a promise of another date very soon. She felt dazed and floaty as she watched him drive away. Part of her wished she’d asked him to stay the night, but another part was glad to be taking it slow.

It seemed oddly… right, despite her needy body’s demands. Almost like being courted. And being all turned on tended to mess with her ability to think. Maybe she would have regretted sleeping with him on their first date, probably not, but it was possible. No, it was better this way. By leaving her wanting and wanton, she could barely wait to see him again. There was so much to explore in a new relationship and no reason to take things fast—not if it was going to last, and she really hoped it would.

If she were living in a fictional world, like in one of the romance books she loved to read, there’d be some kind of destiny bringing them together, instead of a lame over-hyped holiday and the next day candy sale that allowed the stores to clear the shelves for Easter. Of course, there’d also be some menacing force trying to keep them apart and she’d had enough of that in her life. He might not be a billionaire, or a shifter, or royalty but he was cute, and stern and he spanked oh-so-well.

All things considered she’d take reality over fantasy on this one.

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