The scene was just a tool, a way to put her where she wanted to be. The severity did not matter - except to her. She did not know if she could handle it, even though she wanted to. Again, that did not matter; it was his responsibility, not her own, to get her through it.
He had already spanked her, and he was about to strap her, and cane her. But this was not a matter of doing this *to* her. Rather, he was taking a journey *with* her, staying with her every step of the way, enabling her to handle it.
She depended on him to get her through the scene - and that was the whole point of the trip. The scene itself was just a stepping stone, a single stopping point on their journey together. They would talk about the scene for days, perhaps weeks, afterwards. He was the student, learning everything he could from every encounter. And she would then know she could safely give him her trust for the next step, and the next.
The strap, he viewed as a heat source with a voracious appetite. It was an antique razor strop from a barber's chair, two wide strips of heavy pigskin. His role was primarily to keep it in check, keep the fire to a manageable level. This was literally true... used too gently, the strap tended to wobble, striking along the heavy edge, breaking the mood with a sloppy effect. A full stroke was needed... but a full stroke with any kind of strength behind it had always proven too overwhelming. Slow, full, strokes felt to her like fire - and she loved it.
The cane was a different matter. He saw it too as an energy source, but not one so easily handled. She so dearly loved to be caned, but not by just anybody. With her, the first incompetent stroke would be the last. He had learned to use it quickly enough, showing himself competent enough to please her, though without really understanding its potential.
But he had now seen a work of The Master. He digested what he had seen, and quietly set to work, practicing every day for week upon week upon week. His practice was unguided, and not particularly effective... but it served his purpose. When next he saw The Master, he could comprehend what The Master was explaining, and easily take on the next step.
He returned home, resuming his quiet hour after hour of daily practice. He practiced in the car, in solitude, his "practice stick" constantly in motion as he ran the roads... for this was his way.
He was not particularly well coordinated. He saw the practice as the necessary minimum to keep himself from being embarrassed in front of The Master. But in the search for skill, he was finding understanding. He had the attitude; he knew the "why." The "how" would come with practice.
He could use the cane in two ways, and hoped some day The Master would show a means to learning the third. He would keep the two ways of caning clearly separate in the scene, so she could know what to expect.
She knew the pace and sequencing of the scene to come; she had experienced each element at one time or another. She knew she need not worry about surprises. Each part of the scene would already be at the limit of what she could handle, the totality well beyond anything she had yet experienced. Because it *was* beyond what she thought she could handle, he had carefully described, discussed, the scene with her. They both knew precisely what to expect, and thus could very quickly detect anything going wrong.
He had described the scene to The Master as well. And thus The Master was there both as audience, and to protect him from the possibility of others' interference. He knew this was no imposition upon The Master... he too so loved to hear her screams.
Screams... he reconsidered where to place her. Perhaps the further end of the room, away from the stairway, would be better. The lighting and head room was sufficient; equipment could be moved.
Oh. Of course. This is where The Master had placed her months ago. Of course he would have chosen the best placement. He moved things around, leaving himself a couple of nearby options, but also making it so nobody else could play within interference range. The room was empty enough that he could effectively take it over without offense.
His style was different from that of The Master, but no less effective. He positioned her standing, bent over with hands on the padded bench. He was gentle, quietly talking to her of closeness, assuring her that he would be right with her, and reminding her that she could bail out any time she chose to, without fear of disappointing him. If he did not successfully bring her through the scene, that was *his* problem, not hers.
He placed her leash between her hands as she leaned onto the bench, for it helped her feel secure. The leash held its own importance, yes, but for now he saw it as just another tool to help her through the scene. He told her she could request permission to move her hands at any time, explaining that he knew she would not otherwise move them. He played upon her need to not disappoint him... not to manipulate her (though he was), but to give her every tool available to help her get through the scene.
For him, the key to the scene was in the preparation. He had been planning and discussing it, preparing, for weeks. It had been a long time coming, but once started, he knew it would take care of itself. He had been preparing himself, yes, but even more importantly, he had been preparing *her*. He had planted the seed, created the desire. She wanted to experience it as much as he did, perhaps even more. She *needed* it.
He laid out the strap so it would be available, and the three canes. He then set out the juice for her, and the diet pepsi for himself. That scared her... they had never before needed to break for a drink in the middle of a scene.
He turned and spoke to The Master, as if in explanation. "I don't think she really understands how much this is going to hurt. Well, yes, she does... but she doesn't understand how *long* this is going to hurt."
The Master said nothing, just laughing his special "it's going to hurt" laugh, sitting quietly on the couch among his friends, basking in the energy. They both knew the remark was for her benefit, helping her to begin finding the right place in her head.
He began with the strap doubled over, the way she liked best, slowly sending her to that favorite place of her own, where time stands still, and she is so very alive. He then continued in to his standard strapping, using slow, full, smacking strokes, going on and on to create that unique combination of warmth and numbness.
He viewed her "subspace" as a valley to send her through. He could send her deeply under, bring her back. He could push her up the far side of the valley, so as to send her down into the next deeper valley.
The strap and cane were his tools for managing her head. The strapping itself was not the point... where her head was at, was the point. By slowly building up to harder strokes, he could send her deep, and he did. He pushed her further, to where a loud squeak escaped with each stroke.
He was right there with her, quietly explaining to her it was going to get harder, enough to make her scream, but not enough to make her panic. All she had to do was lift one hand up from the bench, he explained, and he would lighten up until she could handle it, and return her hand to its place.
He opened up, allowing himself to feel as well. He found his joy in the scene. His awareness of his surroundings fell away, exactly as it already had for her. It was just the two of them, and they were together. Her screams were such a special time for him, reaching into him to make him all warm inside. That making her scream could be such a turn-on, so few understood... but she understood, and that was all that mattered at that moment. One part of his consciousness knew The Master understood as well, and was watching, and played his own part in keeping them safe.
Never before had she become so turned on while she screamed. Her screaming made him hot, which in turn made her hot... the energy continued to build, each feeding off the other. So few could understand... but that did not matter; this was their time. Still, he kept the energy under careful control. This was still part of the warmup. She needed to sink more deeply into the scene, become closer and more in tune with his will. He was enabling her to let go, to allow herself to trust him to carry her where they wished to go.
Bit by bit he relaxed the control on his own feelings, allowing himself to flow, enjoy. The thought kept returning that this is *fun*. Less and less did he hold back, seeing that she was willing to take it. Knowing his pleasure enabled her to take so much more... they continued to feed off each other.
He caught himself, realizing he had lost track of time, nearly become sated with her screams. Never before had he brought so much noise out of her for so long. He stopped, put the strap down, sipped at his pepsi, watching her come back. He found he had to drink with his left hand, because his right arm shook from the energy drain. He invited her to stand, holding her closely lest she fall. He took her leash back into his hand, acknowledging its importance to her.
He handed her the juice. He watched her carefully, studying her, seeing how well she functioned. She remained deep within the scene, but otherwise fine. She took a couple of sips and returned the cup, awaiting instruction. She remained deep, needing guidance; she was that good. She was his, and he was pleased.
He moved her to the other piece of equipment he had positioned. It was a padded bar she could lean her forearms against. He purposely evoked memory of her last caning by The Master, in that way preparing her to receive what he intended to give.
He saw the move as daring, risky, dangerous... for he had lesser technical skill with the cane, and was inviting comparison. Yet the point was not the cane itself, but where he was taking her head. And in this skill he knew himself to be no less than The Master.
By inviting comparison, he was showing his power. The Master already knew of his lesser skill, poorer focus. He would look past him, to see *her*, and recognize in the work of the student, the touch of the master. The others watching would see the outside, unimpressed by the merely very good... but The Master would see the subtlety, and be pleased.
Already had she endured more than she could handle. But she so loved the cane, which is why he chose the sequencing as he did. Even after such a hard strapping, she could do anything, so long as it was done with a cane, and so long as it be a matter of deep submission. He had already taught her that the cane by itself meant nothing; it was merely a tool. She had found for herself that even the most expert caning, without submission, left her empty. To lay flat for the cane would be equally pointless; only submitting to the cane, and to the one holding the cane, could put her head where she needed it to be.
His first method of caning required no warmup. He treated the cane as just another implement, beginning slowly, switching from side to side, "working" her as he had done with the strap. He continued to leave her legs untouched.
He thought of the cane itself in terms of flexibility. This was the essence of his first method. He would strike obliquely to the near side, allowing the cane tip to snap in, creating an even stroke. The cane itself would do the work. He kept all strokes level, nothing fancy, standard approach. He warned her every time a harder stroke was to come.
She gasped with the harder strokes, but nothing more. She loved the cane like nothing else. Each stroke sent her deeper and deeper. She would have been happy for it to go on forever... except that it was not enough.
He stopped. He put the cane down. He talked quietly with her, assuring her there was more to come. But first he needed to warm up a bit, because he dare not risk missing a stroke.
She whimpered. In this way he knew she was fine... she was holding; she would make it. She needed it, and trusted him to get her through it. They were finally coming to the main event; the warmup would give her time to prepare herself for it.
His second method treated the cane more as an inflexible stick, and it was this which required the warmup. It was a different way of thinking, requiring precise control in motion. It was this skill which he had practiced week upon week... but it was not yet become automatic in a scene, and thus he took the break to shift mental gears.
Nor could he do a full-speed warmup; it scared her too badly. He had begun to understand the potential latent within this method, and knew her fear to be well founded. He accepted her limit, warming up in slow motion, that the cane be nearly silent in its passing.
He returned to her, asked if she was ready. She looked at him, silently showing her fear, her trust, her readiness. He told her she would get eight strokes from each of the three canes, six on her bottom and two on her legs. Twenty-four strokes, for her, would be easy... but these would not be gentle strokes. He gave her the exact count, as a tool to help her get through it.
He chose the thinnest cane, placed and prepared himself. He rotated the stick back and forth as he had been taught, focusing in on the correct stroke. He brought the stick circling in, suddenly at full speed, stopping the travel just as he reached the target. He came to her as she gasped in shock, fighting to hold position. He shared the moment with her, openly enjoying it... and she was ready for more.
He was a technician, not yet an artist. He thought in terms of efficiency, planes of rotation, energy loss, accuracy and control. He focused on the details, thinking of them as tools for head management. In time, he would become an artist... and that would be his third method. But for now, he was a technician, and that would do.
He completed his first four strokes slowly, carefully, with precise devastation. The fourth stroke was the first one to touch the back of her legs... and she screamed. He was right there with her, comforting her, telling her how pleased he was, how awesome, how... she liked what she heard.
He switched sides, and set himself for the reverse stroke. He prepared himself, measuring, centering, finding his focus. He completed the four strokes in similar fashion. Never before had he delivered such a severe series of backhand strokes, so he kept them very standard, nothing fancy, looking for accuracy and control. He then switched canes, to the middle one.
The second cane was longer, and thus with a scarier sound. She whimpered as he set himself for the first stroke. He kept the first four, and the second, exactly as the first series... but there was no missing the greater impact. He stayed with her a bit longer, explaining there was only one cane left, just eight strokes to go.
He switched canes, showing her the thickest one, just over three feet long. He explained that he was going to reverse the order of the strokes, beginning backhand, one stroke on the leg and three on the bottom. She was there, but deep... and she held.
He was himself fully into the scene now, and ready. He put more energy into his stroke, watching her dance while the marks developed. Yet her arms never moved from where he had placed them, as he knew they would not. The third and fourth strokes brought back her screams; she was fully into it now.
The final four strokes were his greatest challenge to date. It was not yet time to break her; she could freely bail out any time she chose to. It was up to him, to find a way to enable her to get through the caning on her own. He took his time, talking her through each one, remaining calm, her source of strength.
He traded the cane for his strap, thus bringing them to the pivotal point of the scene. He had designed the entire scene for this moment, for he knew she was terrified of being strapped over the marks of a full caning. She did not know if she could handle it, nor did he.
His instinct told him she now needed from him not compassion, but strength. She so wished to please him, take everything he chose to give. To be strong, she needed a strong Master... she could be strong because he demanded it of her.
He bluntly informed her that he was not going to be gentle. It was going to be twelve strokes, and if she broke position that stroke did not count. He assured her she would *not* want any extra strokes. She was too deep to even whimper... she was ready.
The first stroke showed her this was for real. The strap seared into her bottom, a backhand stroke with some real strength behind it. Her surprised scream carried a different note to it... this was real. She held, and he took a bit longer to tell her how proud of her he was, noting the dungeon master quietly standing by the steps, having quickly arrived to ensure all was well.
He pictured how she would giggle later, proud of herself for bringing the dungeon master a-running to check things out. He knew she could take a bit more when playing in public, both proud of what she could handle, and more acutely desiring to not disappoint him. Both the setting, and The Master's presence, were tools he provided her to help see her through. This was not a matter of testing her, but *enabling* her, showing her how much she *could* handle.
The second stroke was enough. For the first time in his experience, she was both screaming and seriously begging, pleading, for it to be over. He responded with strength, giving her a means to submit, and get through it. He firmly stated, That was two, and quietly waited for her to settle down.
Her crisis had come, and the remaining strokes of her Master's strap changed her, precisely as her Master had intended. He did not consider it a breaking of her - that would come at another time, in another place - but an enablement. He had enabled her to trust in a way she had never before dared. The scene itself was the tool, enabling her to some day take another step, and another.
Now but six of the best with his canes remained, each stroke leaving its mark deep within her. She was already finished, sated, changed; but she would continue on for her Master's pleasure. It was his time to mark her, claim her as his own.
He took up the largest cane first, to deliver one stroke from each side, carefully showing her how far to the outside the stroke would wrap. Only two strokes... but they would be remembered.
He took the middle cane, showed it to her, explained the next two strokes would be to the backs of her legs. And so they were... but he was gentle, only striking hard enough for her to know that was the actual stroke. The final two strokes, with the smallest cane, were vertical, one down each leg, as he had promised months before. The merest snap of the wrist was enough to leave her shuddering.
The Master himself cleared the couch to give them time to recover. He sat in the middle, she laying across his lap to be cuddled and soothed. The Master sent his friends to gather the canes, bring the juice and pepsi, dig out the ointment.
She floated away, sated, fulfilled, happy. He sat there for the next hour, she still across his lap, drifting a bit himself, watching her sleep. He played the scene back in his mind, learning, deciding, designing the next step for her fierce pleasure.