To Train A Wild Rose

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Chapter 34 - Sherry, Ma Cherrie

It didn’t feel like it but Mr M seemed to think that I was getting on pretty well with the whole computer thing. He even let me have a little play with some of his real code for him - fixing this tiny bug in one of his statistics packages. Of course that involved getting my head around how the whole thing sort of hung together…

Which kind of involved getting my head around how his brain worked…

Which was basically both sort of impressive and frightening in equal lumps.

I was getting so involved in the whole thing that I’d pretty much lost count of the days, so I can’t say I was particularly surprised when, at the end of breakfast one morning, Mr M announced that it was Friday. “That means,” he went on, “that tomorrow and the day after, you will not be turning your computer on.”

I was about to grumble about that but he turned all masterly on me. “Come here, Babygirl!” he told me.

I pretended to be really grumpy as I trudged around the table to him. He laughed at my performance and pulled me onto his knee. Then he stuck a hand up inside my t-shirt so that it was sort of hovering just above my ticklish ribs.

“Point the first,” he began. “How likely is it that I am going to change my mind?”

“Not particularly,” I managed to gasp. I was finding it… like… really tricky to concentrate with his hand threatening my ribs like that.

“Correct,” he responded. “And point the second, I was minded to allow you to suggest some sort of entertainment for the weekend. How likely is it that I am going to change my mind on that?”

“Maybe a little bit more likely?”

“Significantly more likely,” he said in a pretend serious tone. But then he sort of relaxed and leaned down to kiss that special spot on my neck. I snuggled back into him as he dropped his hand down a bit and started rubbing his thumb gently over my tummy.

“Do you have any thoughts about what you might like to do?” he asked.

I thought for a bit but then I knew what I wanted. “Can we do another one of those lovely dinners?” I asked… or, at least, I tried to ask but it was sort of twisted into a bit of a squeal as his hand jumped to attack my ribs.

“I mean may!” I sort of managed to gasp.

“Silly Babygirl!” he said, rubbing his thumb over my ribs just firmly enough so that it was almost - but not quite - not tickling. “But yes, that’s an excellent idea. Let’s think about a menu over lunch. Meanwhile, if you would like to go and get on, I’ll tidy up here… but don’t forget to brush your teeth.

Of course he gave my bottom a squidge as I hopped down, off his lap, and, without thinking, I turned around and stuck my tongue out at him. I blame Ro!

“Babygirl!” he called after me in a pretend serious voice as I scurried off in the direction of the bathroom.

On the Saturday morning he made me spend an hour writing something… but he didn’t tell me what I had to write. So I did a bit of an essay thing, telling him about how the whole computing, and the working with him thing, made me feel.

And when the hour was up and I was checking over my work, I was basically pretty pleased with how it had come out so I scurried over to my master’s desk and handed it to him… and then I dropped to my knees and waited for him to read it. And I felt the whole nervous thing going on in my tummy… I guess I was really sort of hoping he would like it too.

At last he looked up and smiled. “You know that this is an excellent piece of work, don’t you?”

After all this time, I still just wanted to give a nervous nod but I forced myself to say, “Yes, Master,” instead because I knew that was what he would want.

“And you think this piece of work is worthy of a gold star, don’t you?”

“Yes, Master.” I knew it was pretty good… and I knew that Mr M was not all that keen on the whole false modesty thing.

“Then go and give yourself one… and get it filed away.”

“Yes, Master!” I kept the stars in the top drawer of my babygirl desk and, even though Ro sort of kept reminding me that it was basically totally pathetic, it still gave me this whole stupid buzz thing whenever my master and I agreed that one of my bits of work was good enough for one.

“And, when you’re done, go and make a start on your intervals. I’ll be with you in a minute.”

“Yes, Master,” I repeated… but I guess I didn’t sound anything like as keen on that. At least, starting early would mean that I had the chance for a bit of a snooze before lunch.

And I needed it because, straight away afterwards, we started getting everything ready for our big dinner.

We made teeny weeny, micro-miniature little sandwiches with some funny, sour-tasting German bread.

Then there was this odd sort of rice stuff with all sorts of funny fishy-type stuff in it. I’d tried prawns before and I knew I liked them… and there were some muscles and things which at least I had a vague idea what they looked like…

But then there were these funny things that looked a bit like onion rings and that Mr M told me were squid - which I thought were baby octopuses but apparently they aren’t.

I also learnt that octopuses isn’t the proper plural for octopus but I’m pretty sure that I’m never going to manage to remember what the proper word is.

Then I set to work, trying to make the pink mayonnaise that we’d talked about last time. I tried cutting some beetroot [beets] up into little, tiny pieces. It turned my hands totally purple but it basically didn’t work… I mean… no matter how much you mixed it, the stuff still ended up going all lumpy and splotchy.

And, when he saw me getting a bit fed up with the whole thing, my Master smiled at me and said, “Have no fear, Babygirl, for I have a cunning plan.”

And he stepped out through the main exit door.

Somehow I’d managed to basically forget that that door was there. I guess I must have known that he was going in and out pretty regularly - I mean, all the food and stuff had to come from somewhere, didn’t it? But he’d never done it when I was about… I guess he kind of wanted to avoid drawing my attention to the thing.

And it had worked. I hadn’t given any thought to the world outside our little home for weeks.

And I basically knew that it wasn’t an accident that Mr M had sort of brought it back to my attention. He didn’t do that sort of accident.

But then I decided this was probably a good thing not to think too much about… so I set about whisking up some cream that I knew we were going to need for one of the puddings.

He returned a couple of minutes later with a food processor and I did sort of have another little think about what might be at the top of the stairs but I managed to sort of push it out of my head and went back to making pink mayonnaise instead… and by whizzing up a couple of bits of beetroot and then straining the stuff, we soon managed to produce our pink mayonnaise.

Yay! Go us!

Mr M let me do most of the rest of the meal but he insisted on doing the roast beef and the micro-mini Yorkshire puddings that were going to be our main course. “I have a good friend who’s from Yorkshire,” he said in a tone that was much less casual than it sounded. “He taught me how to ’mek ‘em all proper, like’!” He did the last bit in a funny Yorkshire accent.

And, when we were done, he sent me off for a bath, and he came in and, like last time, washed me and it was fun in a not quite sexy sort of a way. But, when it came to his turn, he turned all serious on me. “I’m sorry, Babygirl,” he told me, “but, this time, I can only allow you to wash my back.”

And I guess he must have seen I was a bit hurt because he took me by the hand and looked me in the eye and said, “You do understand why, don’t you?”

“Not really, Master,” I had to answer.

“It’s because I’m not certain that I’d be able to control myself this time,” he explained.

“I don’t mind,” I said, without really thinking about what it meant, I guess.

“Thank you, Babygirl. That’s an enormous compliment. But I’m afraid that that’s a necessary but not sufficient condition.”

He smiled at me as he watched my brain chugging around.

“You don’t want to?”

“If my wants were the determining factor, you wouldn’t have made it out of the car on that very first evening,” he answered. And, even though I basically wanted to feel grumpy at him, I still had to smile at that.

“You don’t think I’m ready?” I asked.

“You may or may not be ready,” he answered. “Certainly you’re close. I just don’t think our relationship is quite ready yet.” He gave me a couple of seconds to work that one out and then asked, “Now, given that, would you like to wash my back… and maybe my hair?”

I was still sort of a tiny bit upset but then I had a little think about things and managed to work out that that was just me being… like… totally frustrated. Whether I liked it or not, he was doing this for what he thought was my own good…

And he’d basically always been right about that sort of stuff before.

So I gave him a little smile… and this time I made a point of inspecting him very carefully as he got himself undressed…

Then he hopped in the bath and I started to wash down his ginormous back.

And when I was done, I went on through to my babygirl bathroom.

I spent more time than usual, getting myself ready, brushing my hair til it was nice and shiny and generally fussing with myself… and by the time I was done, Mr M was sitting comfortably and yet sort of elegantly on the sofa.

But he stood up when I came over to him and held me by a hand and inspected me for a long time. I suppose it ought to have been uncomfortable but by now I was basically used to it - and I even knew that, sort of amazingly, he liked what he was seeing. So I just met his eye and kind of enjoyed his attention.

Then he helped me to sit down and I tried to do it sort of elegantly rather than just collapsing like a sack of potatoes like I normally did!

But then I had to laugh when I saw the two glasses on the table next to each other. One was a tiny, weeny babygirl one and the other was a ginormous master one. They were filled with a rather nice-looking sort of amber-brown drink.

And Mr M must have got the joke because he was smiling as he handed me the babygirl one. “Sherry, Ma Cherrie,” he said.

“You were working that one out as you were waiting for me, weren’t you?” I teased.

“Maybe!” he answered with a masterly smile.

“This is an Amontillado sherry,” he told me as I tried the stuff, “medium dry. Sip it… it’s quite strong.”

It was not all that sweet but still pretty fruity - and there were lots of other taste things going on in there too. I smiled when I looked up to see that Mr M was watching me.

“So what do you think?” he asked.

I had to think about it for a bit but he never minded that. He took another sip of his sherry as he waited though his eye never left me.

“It’s not got the whole wizz-bang thing of the cream stuff from last time, and it will take some getting used to but I sort of have the feeling that this stuff will be worth taking the time.”

“It’s certainly a much more sophisticated taste,” he agreed. “This particular sherry was aged for about fifteen years in American Oak barrels.”

I had to smile a bit at that. “Can you really tell the difference? With the American bit, I mean.”

“The aggregation of marginal gains,” he answered and gave me a little bit of a smile at my confused puppy look. “Lots of small things like that add up to make a big difference. I’m not promising that I could tell the difference between American and European oaks but add in another thirty small changes like that and I can certainly tell the difference between this and a bottle of discount store budget sherry.”

I thought about that then nodded. I suppose it made sense.

He could see that I was thinking about this so he reached across to the lovely silver tray and popped one of the mini sandwiches into my mouth as I thought.

The meal was wonderful. I was particularly impressed by his mini Yorkshire puddings - they were just so light and fluffy and totally delicious.

And, after the meal, we were sort of snuggled up together on the sofa and Mr M was trying to explain the finer points of wine drinking. But I was having a bit of difficulty concentrating… I blame the fact that I was well on my way through my second glass of red wine.

“You swirl the wine round gently in the glass to release the bouquet…” he explained with a bit of a demonstration thing but I was sort of a bit distracted by his ear and, for some reason, I felt the need to start nibbling at it.

“Babygirl, behave!” he cautioned me.

He carried on with his lecture and said something about judging the quality of a wine by the ‘legs’… so my hand sort of slipped down onto his thigh.

“I rather think you’ve had enough,” he said, firmly removing the glass from my hand and my hand from his leg.

“Oh why don’t you just loosen up for a bit?” I snapped. “Give me a break!”

“Babygirl,” my master sort of gasped, like totally shocked.

And as soon as I heard his tone I knew I was in proper, big trouble.

And I was suddenly very, very sober.

And, without any real thought from me, my body sort of tried to throw itself onto the floor so I could do my most humble kow-tow thing for him.

But he caught my wrist and made me stay on the sofa. So I just dropped my head and stared at the floor instead.

And he made me stay like that for what felt like a very long time. I guess he was trying to get a grip on himself before dealing with me.

“You appreciate that that was utterly unacceptable, don’t you?”

“Yes, Master.”

And again he was quiet for a horribly long time. “I am torn, he said at last. “This is clearly significantly beyond a simple slap on the wrist but I am not minded to impose one of the restraint position punishments for such a childish outburst… particularly after this delightful evening.” He was quiet again then he came to a decision.

“A child’s punishment for a childish action. I shall spank you.”

I really had to bite my tongue at that but I knew that, if I said a single word out of place, I would find myself in one of his horrible punishment things before I could even breathe.

But he knew me too well and he must have seen my reaction.

“Do you have anything to say, Babygirl?”

“No, Master,” I answered promptly.

“Good…” He did one of his silence things and it seemed to go on pretty much forever. “So how do you think I should punish you?”

I sort of had to have a little think about that and I could basically feel his eyes burning holes in me as I did. “Please would you just spank me, Master,” I said at last, “even though I know I deserve much worse.”

He looked at me for a while longer and then said, “Very well. You will go into the bathroom; remove your dress and hang it up; lean over the end of the bed; place your hands and face on the mattress; and await my pleasure.”

Not trusting myself to speak, I silently stood up to do as I was told. I walked into my bathroom and it was only as I was taking the dress off that the horrible truth dawned on me…

I… like… wasn’t wearing any knickers!

But, just as quickly, I managed to work out that there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. All my clothes were down in the wardrobe in his bedroom… and I was much, much too close to one of his proper, serious punishments to even think about scurrying down there to collect some.

So I gave a bit of a mental shrug - I couldn’t do anything about it. So I leaned over the end of the bed, like he’d told me, exposing my bottom… and my private bits too, I guess.

At least there was only my master about to see me basically totally humiliating myself like this…

And it wasn’t as if there was anything down there that he hadn’t seen before!

And then, of course, all I could do was wait.

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