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Chapter 1


 

FAnnie was skipping her 8 a.m. anthropology class. She stayed in the lab by herself after taking care of the rats for the early morning shift. This was the first time she had ever skipped class in almost 2 years of college. She needed the time to think about what was going to happen when Professor Davis arrived at the lab for their daily briefing at 10:00 a.m. What had happened this weekend was so unreal that she could hardly remember it without becoming overwhelmed with a barrage of conflicting emotions.

On Saturday night she had let a boy who had kissed her talk her into letting him into the lab so they could be alone together. She had known that she was violating University policy by allowing an unauthorized person into the highly secured animal lab, but she had let herself be talked into it. Professor Davis had walked in on them unexpectedly and been furious with her.

Annie had been terrified that she would be arrested and expelled for her actions, but instead of reporting her and firing her, Professor Davis had given her a very hard spanking! And because she had violated four different sets of rules and standards, she was going to have to submit to four more spankings over the next four weeks! It was almost too much to think about, but she had to figure something out before their morning meeting.

What would Professor Davis say when he arrived? Would he yell at her more for what she had done wrong? Would he talk about the spanking, or act like it never happened? If only she knew what he was thinking, she would be better able to prepare for this meeting with him!

After he had spanked her on Saturday night, Annie had bawled like a baby. Professor Davis had held her and comforted her until she was able to pull herself together, and the feelings that had aroused in Annie were almost as strong as those produced by the spanking itself. The intense experience left her shaken and uncertain.

On Sunday morning she had come in to the lab early to care for the rats as usual, despite the late night on Saturday. The first thing she did when she arrived was to clean up the mess that had been left the night before. She carried all the things that Paulie had brought with him in his attempt to seduce her out to the dumpster and tossed them in. If he wanted them back, he could just fish them out of the dumpster! She knew he would never dare to complain after he had run out on her when they had gotten caught. She put the chairs back at the desks and tried to make it look as though nothing unusual had happened there the night before.

Annie typically spent several hours at the lab every day in addition to her assigned duties because it was a much quieter place to study than her dorm was. However, this Sunday she had left the lab as soon as she had finished feeding and caring for the rats, and spent the rest of the day in the library. She was worried that if she spent any time in the lab, Professor Davis might stop in, and she wasn't ready to see him again yet. She knew that she would have to see him on Monday morning for their daily briefing, and she needed all the time she had before then to come to terms with what had happened on Saturday night.

Now it was almost nine o'clock on Monday morning, and Annie still didn't know what she was going to say to her advisor when he showed up for their meeting in an hour. She needed to get out of the lab right now. She should be on her way to her biochem class; she couldn't afford to get behind in that class if she expected to go to med school. It was bad enough that she had skipped anthropology to stay in the lab and worry about the upcoming meeting with Professor Davis. She walked across the lab to her locker to get her coat and books for class.

When she was less than halfway across the small room, Annie heard the clicking that signaled someone's key card being slid through the lock. Who could it be? The grad students all had statistics Monday morning, and the other undergraduate lab assistant didn't come in until afternoons. What if it was Professor Davis? But he never got here this early! Annie quickly rushed back to the rat room and tried to pull the door shut behind her before anyone could see that she was there.

Just before she was able to get the door closed, she caught a glimpse of Professor Davis coming through the entrance. She heart started thumping wildly. What was he doing here? She thought she had a whole hour before she had to figure out what she was going to say to him! She tried to make sure that the door shut quietly so he would not know that she was there. She didn't think he saw her. He wouldn't be expecting her until 10:00, because she usually came in for their meeting right after her biochemistry class.

Annie collapsed into the chair next to the door and put her face in her hands. She was trapped now. She could never get out without having to go past him. And what would she say if she did? She didn't want to explain why she wasn't in class like she was every other Monday at this time. She couldn't just stay in the rat room for an hour! Or could she? But wouldn't he be expecting her to come in the front door at 10:00, if she were coming from her class? Well, maybe sometime in the next hour he would leave and she could sneak out, and then just come back at the right time. But how would she know if he left? The rat room she was in was soundproofed. She was going to be trapped unless she could think of something.

In the meantime, what was she going to do stuck in the rat room? She had better do something useful, just in case Professor Davis came in here and found her. She had already fed and weighed all the rats, and prepared the samples for the assays. She could set up the feeding tubes for the next few days for the newborn rat pups, and repair the frayed electrodes that measured the neural responses. That would make life easier for the next week. If she worked slowly enough, she should be able to keep busy for the next hour in case she wasn't able to escape before then.

*********

Jack stopped as he was letting himself into the lab when saw Annie slip into the rat room. Obviously she had heard him coming and was trying not be seen. This worried Jack; it was not a good sign if she was avoiding him. Damn! He had come to the lab on Sunday hoping to find her, but she had not shown up all afternoon or evening, which was unusual for her.

Jack put his coat in his locker, sat down at the computer, and tried to figure out what to do. Should he go into the rat room and try to talk to her? Why wasn't she in class? Should he just leave her alone and let her come to him on her own time? But what if she didn't? And what was she thinking? Did she hate him for spanking her?

She had certainly deserved the spanking he had given her on Saturday night, and she had even consented to it, but he was sure it had been a lot harder and more intense than she had expected. Maybe he had pushed her too far. And he certainly shouldn't have made her agree to four more spankings for breaking four sets of rules. What in the world had gotten into him to say such a thing? Damn, damn, damn! How upset was she? What was he going to do now?

Jack himself had been profoundly affected by the entire experience Saturday night. He had fantasized since his early teens about spanking a naughty young woman, and living out his fantasy had been incredible. But Annie had moved him deeply. When he had fantasized about spanking someone, he had never realized just how much her responses would affect him. Annie's submissive vulnerability electrified him; it touched something deep in the core of his being.

Jack had known Annie since almost his first day as a new professor at the university. He had been impressed with her intelligence and dependability and he had hired her as his lab assistant when he was first setting up his lab back in June. She had taken his undergraduate course last semester and received the highest grade in the class, and she almost always had something intelligent to say in his lab meetings. She had quickly become his favorite student, but Jack had never thought of her as anything but a talented protégé. Until Saturday night. Now he couldn't stop thinking of her. And not in a mentorly way, either. He had barely slept the last two nights and had spent all day yesterday in the lab hoping to see her. Now she was in the other room and seemed to be avoiding him, and that had Jack worried.

As Jack's eyes finally focused on the computer screen in front of him, he realized that almost an hour had past and he had spent it all worrying about what Annie was thinking. He had not analyzed any data, written any of his papers, or even answered his email while he was sitting here. He had hardly gotten any work done yesterday, and now Monday was starting the same way. He had to talk Annie soon so that he could concentrate on work again. Getting tenure wasn't going to be easy at an Ivy League university. Publish or perish, remember? Maybe he should just go back to the rat room and talk to her. She couldn't avoid him there. Or maybe he should give her a few more minutes and see if she came out for their daily briefing at 10:00? Jack agonized over what to do until it was a few minutes after ten. Annie had never been late for one of their meetings before, even in a snowstorm, so Jack had just decided to go back into the rat room and confront her when the door slowly opened and Annie stepped hesitantly through.

Annie had waited until ten to go back to the outer room, but at ten o'clock exactly when she put her hand on the doorknob, her nerve failed her. She just couldn't bring herself to turn the knob and walk through the door. What was he going to say? Was he still going to be mad at her? He had seemed so, well, tense or something at the café and driving her home on Saturday night, and he kept looking at her in such an odd way, that he must have still been really mad at her then. Would he still be mad today? Would he ask her why she wasn't in class? Would he yell at her for skipping class? As she thought about all the possibilities, her heart started beating wildly and she felt lightheaded. Her knees started to buckle and she sat down quickly in the chair next to the door. She put her head down and tried to take a couple of deep breaths to calm herself. When she felt like she could stand without falling over, she opened the door and stepped cautiously through.

When Jack saw Annie come through the door, relief flooded through him. He could see that she looked terrified –a little like a deer caught in the headlights staring at him with wide eyes from across the room. She didn't let go of her tight grip on the doorknob; it looked like she was ready to bolt back into the rat room. Even from the other side of the room he could see that she was breathing so fast and shallowly that she was almost panting.

Jack knew he had to take control of the situation quickly, but he had to be very, very careful not to scare her any further. He wanted to rush over to her and gather her in his arms and reassure her until she felt better, but he forced himself to sit back down. A big smile of relief spread across his face and he said sincerely, "I'm so glad to see you this morning, Annie!"

Annie seemed to relax a bit at his warm greeting. Her death grip on the doorknob lessened until she was able to let it go and close the door. She still stood with her back up against the wall watching Jack with wide eyes, so Jack continued, "Why don't you come over here and sit down?"

Annie moved slowly and hesitantly over to the chair next to Jack's desk where she usually sat during their daily meetings, keeping her eyes on Jack the whole way. Desperate to calm her down and relieve her fears of him, Jack tried to act as though this was just a normal daily meeting.

"So, tell me, how are the rats looking this morning? Did we get any newborn pups over the weekend?" Jack asked as nonchalantly as he could manage.

Annie seemed relieved to have the conversation started on an easy topic. As she reeled off the status of the experiments like she would have on any other day, she relaxed visibly.

Jack continued to smile at her reassuringly, and she even started to give him a small, hesitant smile back, but when Jack leaned closer toward her while she talked, her eyes widened and she pulled back quickly. Jack reminded himself to take it slowly and try not to scare her. He continued to ask her gentle questions about the status of the lab and smiled reassuringly at her answers.

After about ten minutes, they had covered most of the topics they normally covered in their daily briefings, and Annie seemed somewhat calmer. Jack decided to risk broaching the topic they had both been so carefully avoiding.

"I really am glad to see you this morning, Annie. I looked for you yesterday but I must have missed you. I wanted to make sure that you were all right." Jack tried to hold Annie's gaze even as she ducked her head.

Annie stomach lurched as he spoke, but she fought for courage and made herself look back at him. "Umm, Professor Davis?" Annie began. She had been practicing this speech, and several others, all morning.

Jack interrupted her. "Annie, I have been telling you since Christmas to call me Jack, like all the other students in the lab do. You finished my class last semester so you're no longer technically my student, and I think we're past the formality of calling me Professor Davis. Don't you think so?" Jack smiled at her.

The interruption momentarily derailed Annie's train of thought. "Umm, yes, sir," Annie said hesitantly. Then she blushed a furious shade of red. "Oh, sorry. Sorry. I mean, 'Yes, Jack'. Sorry. Sorry." Annie felt mortified that she couldn't even get one response out correctly. But to her surprise, Jack laughed warmly.

"Actually, Annie, I kind of like 'sir'. It's one of the things I noticed about you the first day I interviewed you for the research assistant position. In the South, where I grew up, people still use sir and ma'am all the time. My mother calls almost everyone outside of family and close friends either sir or ma'am, but you hardly ever hear it up north here. Here people just say 'yeah' and 'nah', which is not nearly as pleasing to the ear as 'yes ma'am' or 'no, sir.' I liked that about you the first day I met you."

Annie blushed again, this time at the compliment. But she did feel a little better for the praise. She tried again to give her prepared speech.

"Umm, Jack? I just wanted to say again how very, very sorry I am for what I did on Saturday night. Thank you again for not firing me, and I promise that I will think about how badly I behaved every day for the rest of my life, and I will be sorry for it every day. I know that that can't begin to make up for what I did, but I promise –"

Jack interrupted her again. "Whoa, Annie. You don't need to keep feeling badly for that. That was the whole point of the spanking. You did something wrong, you took your punishment, and now it's over. I'm not mad about it any more, and you don't need to feel badly about it any more. In fact, I'm very happy that you still work for me. I don't know what I'd do without you."

Annie was stunned. "What do you mean I don't need to feel badly anymore? I did a terrible thing. I'll feel bad about this for the rest of my life. Of course I will. I'll never forgive myself for what I did."

"No, no, Annie." Jack ran his fingers through his hair as he tried to explain to her. "The whole point of the spanking is that now the entire affair is over. You have your job back, and what you did to put it at risk is past history. It's over. You did something wrong, you paid for it, and that's the end of it. I can't be mad about it any more, and you can't continue to feel bad about it. Don't you understand?"

"No, not really," Annie murmured, still shocked by the idea that she didn't have to feel guilty any more. "It just doesn't seem right not to feel bad. My whole life I've been worried about doing bad things, because if I do something wrong then I feel awful about it forever. I still feel bad about things I did when I was kindergarten. How can you say that I just shouldn't feel bad about something as terrible as what I did last weekend?"

Jack spoke in a quiet voice, "Because you paid for it, Annie. You took your punishment and now you don't need to punish yourself for it any more. You've earned the right to have your job back, and I'm glad to have you back." Jack smiled at her warmly. Although he longed to reach across the desk and take her hand, he sensed that she was not ready for any more physical contact just yet. He reminded himself to take it as slowly and easily as she needed him to.

"Well, that's certainly something to think about," Annie said in a dubious voice. She gave Jack an uncertain smile. "That would sure be a big change for me, not to obsess over what I did wrong, and hate myself for it for years. It would be nice not to beat myself up over it for the rest of my life." Suddenly Annie's went pale. "But there are still several other rules that I broke last weekend." Annie was extremely worried about the spankings she would receive for breaking each of those rules, and she wasn't sure that she would be able to go through with it all.

Jack knew he would have to tread very cautiously as they covered this ground. "Yes," he said carefully, "And we will deal with each of them in due time, and then they will be over and forgotten as well. And then you won't have to feel badly for any of them any more, either." Jack smiled at her. "But let's not worry about that now. Nothing is going to happen until Friday, so we don't have to think about that until then. For now, let's just be happy that you're still working for me. I know I'm very pleased about that! And I'm not mad at you, and you don't have to feel bad about keeping your job, and those are all good things."

Annie agreed with him about the good things, but was not so sure about the not-worrying bit. She considered herself one of the top worriers in the state, and maybe the country. She certainly spent a great deal of time worrying about things a lot less scary than getting four more spankings! But she had to admit that she did feel much better since talking to Professor Davis ('Jack' she reminded herself to call him). And the idea that she should not feel badly for something she did wrong after she was spanked for it was so surprising to her that she knew she would spend a lot of time thinking about that over the next few days. In fact, the concept that she could actually forget that she had done something wrong was so appealing that it made her wonder if it was worth a spanking, even a spanking as hard as she had received the other night. But she couldn't let her self think about that now. It was too big of a change to think about until she actually had the time to consider it properly.

"But what about Friday? Should I… Am I just supposed to come here and.." Annie's voice started to sound slightly panicked. "What if one of the other students comes in? What..."

"Don't worry, Annie," Jack said soothingly. "We'll go somewhere more private. No one will walk in on us. We can go to my house if that's what you want. Or somewhere else. But we don't have to worry about that now. We'll think about that on Friday. For now I just want to be glad that you're still working for me. Can you at least try not to worry about that until Friday?"

"Well, I'll try," Annie said doubtfully. Then she looked at Jack and smiled slightly. "And I am glad that I still have my job."

Annie started to gather her things together to go to her next class. "Wait, Annie," Jack stopped her. "Are you going to be back this afternoon?" Jack hoped that he would be able to see her again, even though all the other students in the lab would be there as well. He didn't want her to keep avoiding him as she had yesterday.

"Yes, I'll be back after 3." Annie gave him a small smile as she left.

*********

On Thursday afternoon, Paulie's persistence finally paid off and he spotted the bitch leaving the lab. About fucking time! He was freakin' freezing! James Bond and all those other movie dudes made spying look really cool, but the truth was it was boring as hell. He had been watching for the bitch ever since she had dumped him in favor of that asshole professor on Saturday night. At first he had been worried that she was going to narc on him. The asshole Prof had been pretty mad when he came in there and found them making out in his lab. And when Paulie had spied on them going out to the café later that night, he had been sure that she must have tried to pin the blame on him because the asshole didn't seem mad at her anymore.

However, when a couple of days had passed and Paulie hadn't heard anything, he realized that the bitch must not have known enough about him to get him into trouble. She probably couldn't narc on him because she didn't even know his last name. He had always been a lucky man that way.

But something continued to eat at Paulie. If the bitch hadn't ratted him out, then why wasn't the asshole Prof still mad at her? Why was she still working in his lab? Paulie remembered the way that asshole had looked at the bitch when they were going into the café. Like he couldn't take his eyes off her. That asshole had stolen his girl!

Paulie fumed as he slowly drove his car across campus, following the bitch to her dorm. He was the one who had found her! He'd claimed her! She was his, goddamnit! He was the one who had worked her all night, getting her warmed up and ready for him to make his move! He's the one who should have had the payout!

Now it looked like that asshole had probably fucked his girl. Paulie rolled down his window and spit on the road when he when he saw her enter the safety of her dorm before he could find a parking place. Well, he wasn't going to take this lying down. She should know that you go home with the guy you came with. Who did she think she was, anyway? She was some shitty little nobody, that's who. She wasn't going to get away with treating him like this. He'd show her. He was going to make them both pay!

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