It was raining and we were stuck in the camper.
I'd just gotten a call from mom telling me she and dad and Ivana's mom and dad were at the recreation center and they were fine, but that the river had flooded. She told me the campground guides had said everything would be fine, that me and Ivana were in no danger, but we should stay in the camper. I told her it was okay, that was no problem. She said she'd call back and let us know if they'd have to stay there for the night. I told her that was fine. She reminded me there was microwavable food in the camper and I told her "no-duh" and she said I'd better be civil or she'd spank me first thing in the morning.
"Wow," said Ivana, "so we're by ourselves all night?"
I shrugged. "I guess so."
"Did your mom really threaten to spank you just now?"
I blushed and shrugged. "Yeah, I guess."
"You guess? Either she did or she didn't."
I was surprised by Ivana's sudden attitude.
"She did, all right? No need to be snooty about it."
It was Ivana's turn to blush. Ivana was a cute girl with dark skin that darkened whenever she got embarrassed. She hunched her shoulders and smiled a little and turned to the side. She smiled when she got nervous.
"Sorry, Sam. It's just; I didn't know boys got spanked at your age."
I shrugged. For the space of a moment, I debated what to do: deny it, be embarrassed, ignore it, but eventually I decided on a devil-may-care attitude.
"Eh, I'm a boy and boy's get into trouble."
"So, does it hurt?"
"Haven't you ever been spanked before?"
Ivana nodded. "Mommy spanks me."
"But not your dad?"
She shook her head.
I put on a brave smile. "My dad spanks me. He spanks pretty hard. Once, he used his belt on me."
Ivana gasped. "No!"
"Did it hurt?"
"Of course it did."
"Did you cry?"
I nodded. "Yeah. But you know what? I deserved it. It was after I got in that fight last year."
"I remember that. You punched Billy when he called me a name."
"So you got whipped with a belt for defending me?"
"I suppose I did."
"Wow, Sam, I'm so sorry." And she hugged me.
I'd had a crush on Ivana for a long time; her exotic dark looks winning me over the moment I saw her. I'd wanted her to hug me for years and now I reveled in it. I hugged her back, letting my hands rest lightly on her back.
Eventually I pulled away. I asked if she was hungry and she said she was, so we heated up some miniature frozen pizzas and cracked open some sodas. Outside, the rain hammered the camper so that we were constantly enveloped by noise. The wind buffeted us and thunder rumbled ominously. By the time we were done eating, it was dark. We lit a few candles for light. Mom eventually called and said they wouldn't be back until morning.
I assured her that was fine.
"Sam, I lied." Ivana looked away and hunched her shoulders. "My mommy never spanks me."
"Oh," I said.
"No, really. I feel awfully bad about... well... I just..." She sighed and sat on the bed.
I sat next to her. I put my arm around her and she leaned into me. I was glad for that, I thought she might pull away but she leaned into me and it was nice.
"My parents spank me, Ivana, it's all right."
"But I wish my parents spanked me!"
I was stunned. My whole body tingled with surprise. "What? Why?"
"I don't know!"
It was rare that Ivana yelled and I didn't know how to react. She pulled away from me and stood. She looked on the verge of tears. "I've seen your spankings. I lied about that too. You know we can see each other's bedrooms. I've seen you get it dozens of times and... and I liked seeing it. I can't explain it, Sam. I'm sorry."
"And I want it to not be all right that I lied to you. I want you to be angry with me. I want you to spank me, Sam!"
"No! I know, it's weird, I don't get it. Just... just pretend I didn't..."
"No. Come here, Ivana." I held out my hands.
Ivana glared at me and stamped her foot. "I don't want another hug, I want—"
"Now!" My voice filled the camper and, for a moment, it seemed even the storm had stopped, stunned to silence.
Then Ivana's cheeks darkened, she shrugged and smiled her nervous smile.
And she came to me.