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Chapter One

Redunan
3124

 “I nominate Chelsy of Bedonan!” a female voice that Chelsy recognized as belonging to her hateful cousin rang out from the back of the hall. Narma hated her, and Chelsy avoided her whenever possible. Narma was older than she by five years and jealous of her because Chelsy was an only child who was doted upon by her father. Narma also hated the fact that Chelsy was beautiful, and had suitors vying for her hand.

“I also nominate Chelsy of Bedonan!” This time the voice came from the opposite side of the room, but it was that of Narma’s friend, Sharta. Chelsy immediately knew that her cousin had put Sharta up to siding with her! Her cheeks burned with embarrassment. She had nothing to do with the actions requiring all single women between the ages of twenty and thirty to appear in General Court.

“I also nominate Chelsy of Bedonan,” another of Narma’s friends said shyly, but Narma had seated her in the front left of the room so the judges were able to hear her.

Head Judge Maxwell spoke up. “I have known Chelsy of Bedonan since she was a small child. I am not convinced that she should be nominated to assume the punishment this court shall mete out. I would like to hear additional nominations.”

The hall was silent. No one wished to nominate; no one wished to admit their culpability. The offense was considered a minor one, but since there were no witnesses, these young women were called to the Hall of Justice. The crime was announced, and the judges demanded to know who stole the handcrafted bag used to carry personal items. No one confessed. This angered the judges, and they ruled that one person must accept the punishment to be dealt to the guilty party, and they asked for nominations.

The head judge was clearly unhappy. He knew that Chelsy was innocent of the crime, and that it was not fair that she was the only one nominated. “Chelsy of Bedonan, I would suggest that you nominate another.”

“With all due respect, excellency, I would not put anyone in this position unless I knew for a fact that they stole the bag. It is most horrifying to be nominated for this dubious honor by my cousin Narma and her two friends, and I could not do this to another young woman. It would be wrong, just as I am being wronged. If I had desired the bag, my father would have given me the credits upon asking. I have no need to steal to acquire nice things.”

“This I know is true. I would ask the guilty party to speak up and spare an innocent young woman the punishment that belongs to them.”

Chelsy heard weeping among some of her friends, but they all knew that nominating someone else in order to spare Chelsy would only upset Chelsy. They followed her example and remained quiet.

“Very well. I personally feel this is a travesty, but sentence was announced and must be carried out, as the court is firm in keeping its word to mete out justice. Chelsy of Bedonan, you will accept the punishment in order to release this crime. Please come forward.” He then called out, “Administer Kell, is the punishment chamber prepared?”

“Yes, excellency, all awaits your order.”

Chelsy made her way forward. She would not act the coward and force the court’s bailiffs to drag her kicking and screaming to the raised floor in front of the judges. She kept her pretty brown eyes straight ahead and gracefully walked to the front of the hall and stood before them, her hands at her sides. Inside, she was screaming that this was not one bit fair, especially when she was certain that her cousin plotted the whole thing, from stealing the bag to nominating her and having her friends do the same. Chelsy’s only regret was that Narma would witness her humiliation, and Chelsy was humiliated! Outwardly, though, she was composed, and nothing in her expression gave away her inner turmoil.

“Chelsy of Bedonan, although innocent, you were nominated by three of your peers to accept the punishment due a theft. This punishment is thought to act as a reminder to your peers that stealing is not acceptable, no matter how wealthy the merchant, or how poor the thief is. Stealing is wrong as we all are taught from birth. The punishment will be ten strokes with the lightest paddle, and Chelsy will remain covered. It is also hereby announced that when the bag surfaces, and it will, whether tomorrow or ten years from now, the guilty party will receive a serious punishment. There will be one hundred strokes with the light paddle, and another fifty strokes with a strap for not coming forward and admitting guilt this day. This punishment shall be given on the bare, and will be viewed by all who care to witness the punishment. This day, however, Chelsy of Bedonan will be granted complete privacy. You will not derive pleasure from witnessing your cousin’s punishment, Narma of Candon, and shame upon you for your despicable behavior.” He whispered something to the other judges, and they both nodded in agreement. He then looked at one of his bailiffs and motioned him forward. After speaking briefly with him, Head Judge Maxwell said to the room at large, “This court finds your actions suspicious, Narma of Candon, and my bailiff will accompany you to your home and conduct a thorough search of the premises. If the bag is found, your punishment will double for nominating your cousin.”

“I did no such thing!” Narma’s shrill voice rang out, but it was obvious she was guilty.

Once they left the hall, the others were released while Chelsy stood there, trying to be brave. She had assured her father that he did not need to accompany her to this session since she was completely innocent of any wrongdoing. She knew that Head Judge Maxwell was doing everything in his power to spare her, but she was still going to be paddled, and that was something her father did not often use as a punishment when she was growing up.

The last time she was spanked it was for pretending to drown in the lake on their property. Her father had forbidden her to swim alone, and she was pouting over the fact. Chelsy scattered some of her clothing, draped over bushes beside the water, and she laid a large, fluffy bathsheet near her clothes. Then she hid and read a book while she waited. When she did not appear at the dinner table, her father came looking for her, calling loudly. When he saw her clothing, and no Chelsy in the water, he jumped in, diving and diving, searching for her. Chelsy could see that he was openly crying after a few minutes, and she said, “Papa, I am here!” Consor was delighted to find his daughter alive, but then his relief turned to anger with her for playing such a trick upon him. He walked her back to the house and sent her directly to her room with orders to come to his office at bedtime. Upset with herself, Chelsy cried and cried, and when she went to her father’s office, she was full of remorse and apologies. Consor scolded her, and then spanked her soundly. He then comforted Chelsy, and she went to bed knowing that she was loved and forgiven, and with a stinging bottom. But, by morning, she was her usual self. She was fourteen at the time.

Now, Chelsy was an adult, and she truly did not feel this spanking was warranted in any way, except that the judges had a need to punish the theft according to the law. The merchant was within his rights to demand satisfaction, as it was his right to witness the punishment given.

“Excellency, might I have a word?” Chelsy saw the man was standing there, indignation pouring off of him in waves. Once the head judge nodded, he said, “Chelsy of Bedonan is a valued customer in my establishment. It was not she who took the bag! The bag is not of her taste or her colors. This paddling is not fair! I would ask that mercy be shown.”

“Thank you for speaking in Chelsy’s defense, Merchant Zees. However, this must be done. It is your right to stay or go. Please decide now so that this business may be concluded. It is growing upon all of our nerves.”

The man looked at Chelsy with a troubled expression, obviously worrying that he had lost more money in future sales than the stolen bag was worth. He chose to leave rather than watch, and Chelsy was grateful. It would be awful enough having the judges witness her pain.

“Administer Kell, please take the stand-in for the guilty party and dispense the punishment so ordered.”

“This way, Chelsy of Bedonan,” the administrator’s deep voice soothed her. The man was gorgeous, Chelsy decided, looking at him. His hair was almost black, and he wore it long. It was tied at the base of his neck and worn in a queue. His eyes were a bright blue, as they regarded her in a sober manner. He was also quite tall and well built, and probably extremely strong.

“Do you enjoy beating people for a living?” She couldn’t keep herself from asking the impertinent question as he opened the door to the soundproof room.

“No. But, it is a necessary part of the legal system, and I would see it done fairly.” Her expression told him that she was amazed that he had actually answered her. Kell was aware that the room gave off an aura of privacy that was not true. The cameras recorded everything, and the judges could watch over their screens, and likewise, the punishment could be observed over large screens in the Hall of Justice, as well as outside in the courtyard. It was felt that observing punishments would deter crime, and it worked.

Once in a while they came across a man or a woman who loved to make an exhibition of the punishment. Once that was realized by repeat offenses, the viewing screens were turned off, and the punishment was recorded for the administrator’s protection. It prevented false claims of extra punishment given, or of sexual advances made while the prisoner was bound.

“Bend over this bolster and let me have your hands, Chelsy. This is done for your protection. It will make sure that you do not reach back to protect your bottom and get a finger broken because I could not stop a stroke in time. It also keeps you in place so the punishment ends sooner.” Kell was saying the things that he was taught to say. He was certainly large enough to handle a small woman like Chelsy, but keeping her calm before the spanking was critical. He hated to use force to put a prisoner in position to be paddled.

Chelsy was frightened, and growing more frightened by the second as Administer Kell strapped her wrists to a bar with soft cuffs while she bent over the spanking bolster. The furniture put her bottom up high so that Administer Kell would have easy access.

“I know that you are frightened, and that is normal, Chelsy. The judges ordered the light paddle. It will sting, but your skirts and underclothing will provide some protection. Hopefully you will not bruise. You must remember that there is to be no cursing. If you forget yourself, you will receive ten extra for each word. Also, you will not make threats, either to me or to the court. Your cooperation will end this spanking in the soonest amount of time. Are you ready?” he asked politely. This was where some people started crying; others cursed him and made their punishment much worse. Others tried begging or outright bribery.

“Please get it done, sir. The waiting is unbearable,” Chelsy said in a soft voice that was full of courage.

“All right. You are to receive ten with the lightest paddle I own. You may count them aloud so that I will know when you are ready for the next stroke. You may set the pace.” He raised the paddle and gave her upturned bottom a sound spank, and she gasped in shock and pain. He knew that this wood imparted a sting, but rarely bruised. The court did not often suggest this paddle, wanting a criminal to have a lasting punishment. Also, it was rare to give as few as ten spanks.

Chelsy wanted to cry out when the second stroke landed on top of the first. She was already on fire and still had eight more to go! She finally remembered she was to count, and when she said, “Two,” he gave her the third smack, right below the others. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! She silently yelled inside her head. She did not wish to make a spectacle of herself by crying out. “Three.”

Kell gave her number four and her little body jerked. He knew that both of her hands would be protecting her vulnerable bottom if they were not strapped down to hold her in place. He could tell that she was trying hard not to cry, and he was impressed. He had had big, strong men blubbering by now. He waited patiently for her to count, and then he gave her the next one. She gasped out loud this time. “We are half way there, Chelsy. It is okay if you want to holler. You have been extremely brave. When you are ready for the next one, count for me.” He heard her say five, and he applied the paddle to her upper thighs and heard her whimper.

Chelsy could not control herself any longer. The paddling hurt, and her upper thighs were even more sensitive than her bottom. She was not going to last for four more strokes. Why did he have to spank so hard? Did he not know she was innocent of the crime? When she felt she had herself in control, she counted, and he spanked the same spot! She started crying.

Kell felt bad. There were times he hated his job, and this was one of those times. He would spare her the last three if he could, but the order was given, and ten was the least number of strokes that could be ordered by the court. He was also under a legal obligation to make each stroke count. He was not permitted to tap her with the paddle; he must give her a firm swat, or under review, she could be ordered to return and be paddled all over again by someone else. Kell steadied himself to ignore her tears. She did not count, but continued to cry. “I will count the rest for you, Chelsy, and I will give them quickly to bring your punishment to an end.”

Chelsy wanted it done, but there was no way she could bring herself to count when she knew it was going to hurt so much. She was not prepared when Kell counted and then spanked the delicate area between her bottom cheeks and her upper thighs. She had heard that called the sit spot, and she could easily understand where the saying ‘spank until you can’t sit down’ came from. She was not going to sit down at all when Kell finished. It hurt so much!

Kell said eight, and gave her number nine on her sit spots, and then the last one fell there, too. “It is all over now, Chelsy. You did well.” He put the paddle down, and then he gently removed the cuffs from around her wrists, rubbing her reddened skin. She would have bruises from jerking against them, he realized. He then helped her stand, and handed her a tissue. “Do not cry, Chelsy. It is done now, and I truly regret it was necessary. I do not like to spank an innocent party.”

“Then why did you spank so hard?” she asked, her brown eyes snapping with temper.

“To spare you another session; if it is perceived that I was not firm enough, you could be called upon to return, and the spanking repeated. There are standards I must observe.”

“You will pass on cruelty,” she remarked. “May I leave now?” she asked, afraid she was going to start sobbing at any second.

“Is there a family member to release you to?” he asked, trying not to show how much her words wounded him.

“No! I did not think I would need my father since I am innocent of the crime. I will see to myself!”

“No. I cannot let you do that. You need care. May I take you home?” he offered, another first for him.

“No! I never want to see you again!” she cried out, and headed for the door. It was suddenly opened and Head Judge Maxwell stood there, a grim expression on his face.

“Come here, child,” he whispered, opening his arms to her. Chelsy sought refuge with him, and cried while he hugged her close and told her she would be fine. Once Chelsy calmed down somewhat, he turned to Kell and said with quiet dignity, “I hope you will release Chelsy to me? I will see her home and attempt to explain why her father should not cross me off his list of friends. Thank you for taking good care of her, Kell. I know you did not enjoy that one little bit, and I hope that you will go much harder on whoever stole that darn bag. The judges learned a lesson today. We will randomly pick a person to satisfy the crime if there is a next time. You were set up, child, and I feel responsible.”

“You did what needed to be done to satisfy the law, Judge Maxwell. I do not blame you.” He was like another father to her, and it was impossible for her to blame him for her predicament.

“Please do not blame Kell, either, dear one. He is a nice young man, and I know you are innocent of this sort of thing, but he does not take joy in giving others pain. Another administrator would have spanked you much harder in order to hear you scream.”

“Kell did spank me hard, very hard! I really hurt!” she complained.

“I am so sorry, my dear. Let me take you home, and you may then soak in a tub of water and ease your pain.” He looked at Kell and said, “With your permission, of course, Kell?”

“Yes, excellency, but first…” he said, and then went and picked up a plain brown packet. “This is a mixture of natural herbs and plants. Add this to your bath, and your pain will disappear immediately. I hope you do not bruise, Chelsy. I spread the strokes out as much as possible, but with these long paddles, they smack both cheeks at once, especially on someone of your petite sizing.”

Chelsy was stunned. “Do you give these packets to everyone?” she asked curiously.

“No, only to someone like you who is innocent. Believe me, Chelsy, I can tell from a person’s demeanor. But, the law is the law, and we must enforce it or we shall go back a thousand years to chaos and crime everywhere. Still, it hurts to paddle someone like you, and you really did earn my respect today. How someone so young could have so much dignity is truly remarkable.”

“Thank you, I guess.” Her brown eyes looked at him doubtfully.

“That will do,” he assured her, giving her a toe-curling smile. “If you will excuse me, I have a dinner engagement this evening with my father, and I dare not be late and embarrass him. Chelsy, I am truly sorry for the pain you suffered today.”

She looked at him and then nodded. “I truly hope I never see the inside of this room again!”

The judge was gentle as he walked her to the parking garage. “Do you feel you can sit down to ride home, or would you rather lie on the seat in the back?”

“I honestly do not think I can sit, Judge Maxwell.” Chelsy was so embarrassed she felt like crying as he unlocked the door and held it while she crawled inside the vehicle on her knees. She settled herself, and the judge wasted no time in driving to her house, although he scrupulously obeyed the traffic laws. He helped her inside and her father came running.

“What has happened, Chelsy?” Consor asked, concern in his dark eyes.

“Consor, please excuse Chelsy at once. She needs to go and soak in the bath. I shall explain and tell you what a brave daughter you have.”

“Very well. Are you all right, child?” he asked first.

“Yes, Papa.” Chelsy did not want to worry her father. She loved him very much.

“Good. We are having guests for dinner tonight. I just made the plans this afternoon, and I hate to call and cancel…”

“I am fine, Papa. Please excuse me.” She sped off to her private suite in the large home, thankful that the judge was going to make the explanations to her parent. She hurried to turn on the water in her bath; she knew the temperature would be perfect and soothing. She added the packet that Kell had given her, and then quickly removed her clothing. The full length mirror allowed her to view her backside, and she was not the least bit surprised to see how red she was. The paddle had done a number on her delicate skin, and the color matched the blaze of her bottom. Her sit spots ached, too, and she hoped the powder worked to ease her pain.

Kell had said that the relief would be instant, and as she gently lowered herself in the warm water, she learned that he was right. She closed her eyes and offered thanks to their Creator for the blessing, and she stayed in the tub until the water grew cool. She could have hit the rewarm button, but if they were having guests for dinner, she needed to get to the kitchen and make sure that things were under control. The cook was wonderful, but she sometimes overlooked the little details.

Chelsy decided to put on something nicer than she wore to the Hall of Justice today. Instead of a skirt and blouse, she would wear a pretty dress. Her father rarely invited last minute guests, and she knew their presence must be important to his business, and she wanted to create a good impression for him. She chose a gown made of mylor fabric. It would be comfortable, very pretty, and perfect for an evening of entertaining at home. The dress had long sleeves that were full, but cuffed at the wrists, and would hide the marks left by the leather cuffs in the punishment chamber. Her wrists were not in pain, either, and she wished that she had thought to ask Kell for the recipe for the contents of the pain relief packet. Perhaps Judge Maxwell would ask him for her? The dress had an empire waistline, and fell gracefully to the floor. She had a pair of heeled slippers that matched the deep green color of the fabric, and set off her red hair. She shook her long hair and brushed it, and then put it up in a twist. It looked sleek and nice, and the gold earbobs her father gave her for her birthday a couple of weeks earlier were perfect. She felt like herself now, and the afternoon’s events were history. She would forget them, and refuse to discuss the matter with anyone.

Chelsy went directly to the kitchen and was relieved to see that Jenai had everything under control. When Chelsy praised her, the woman confessed, “I just used the menu from that dinner we gave sometime back for the judges.”

“Great idea!” Chelsy said. “You are doing so well, Jenai. I am pleased, and I am sure Papa will be, too. Do you need for me to set the table?” she offered.

Jenai nodded. “I have my hands full in here, Chelsy. Besides, you do it better than I do,” the woman admitted.

Chelsy went right to work, and when she was almost finished, her father came looking for her. “Daughter, are you all right?” he asked, and she could see that he was quite upset.

“I am fine, Papa. Kell, the man who paddled me, gave me a packet of herbs and such, and said to add it to my bath. It took away the pain. I am fine,” she said as the door alert sounded. “Let me finish in here while you greet our guests, Papa.”

He nodded, and a few moments later, she went to meet the people her father had invited. There were two men, dressed nicely in suits, and they stood when she entered the live-in-parlor. Chelsy’s smile faded when she saw that one of their guests was the same man who had spanked her earlier! “Kell,” she whispered, and her heart was thumping in her chest.

To be continued…

 


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