Emmaline turned the knob on the door with the big yellow star on it. The lights inside were already on, which puzzled her for a few moments, until she found Robby sitting in the room in front of her brightly lit makeup mirror. His back was to the mirror and he was watching her with a stony expression on his handsome face. Emmaline took in his stiff posture, the bright irritation darkening his brown eyes and the way his arms crossed over his chest, effectively cutting her off emotionally.
This was bad, very bad. She really liked Robby Burns. Well if truth was told, she had a raging crush on him. Trying to be nonchalant, but trembling inside, Em tossed her purse on the big green sofa in the center of the oppulent room and shrugged out of her mink coat. The mink was too hot for a Los Angeles night anyway, even in the middle of winter, and her dressing room was warm.
“Hi, Robby. Waiting for someone?”
“Yes, Em, and you know who.”
Turning toward him, she melted, her bravado lost. “I’m sorry, Robby. I didn’t mean to do it. I got drunk. Jerry broke up with me, that ass. You were right about him.”
Robby shook his head, a shine from the mirror lights glinting golden on the sun-streaks in his short brown hair. “I don’t care about Jerry,” he told her. “What I care about is that you didn’t show up for the performance. I had to solo through the whole thing. Do you know how long it’s been since I was a lounge pianist, Em? Do you have any idea of how difficult it was to pull it off? And Enzo Riccio was pissed as hell. He paid for The Entrancing Emmaline Irmagard with accompaniment, not Robby Burns, piano player. Much of the audience demanded to have their money refunded.”
“I’ll pay him back. We’ll give him his money back.”
Robby stood, still frowning. “There’s no ‘we’ in this, Em. You will pay him back. You’re the one who didn’t show. I ought to quit and join a philharmonic or Miles Davis’ combo. You know I’ve had offers.”
“No! No, please, Robby!” Em rushed over to him and took his hands, imploring him to stay. She didn’t know what she’d do without Robby. He was her idol and her partner. He did all the music arrangements; he chose the songs; he showcased The Entrancing Emmaline Irmagard and made her look good. She was sure she’d never have made Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl without him. And besides, it was December 31, right on the doorstep to 1950, and it would be a cold and dismal new year staring at her, gaping like a monster maw, without Robby.
He pushed away from her and took a step back. “You’re too unreliable, Em. You’re often late for rehearsals and performances, and I tolerated that because you’re young and immature-”
“I’m not immature,” she said, trying not to pout because that would be immature.
“You are,” he pronounced. “But, tardiness aside, Em, missing a performance altogether is the last straw.”
“Come on, Robby! Can’t I make it up to you? I’ll do better in the future. Just don’t leave me.” A few tears formed in her eyes, and they were not crocodile tears. Aside from her business needing him, Em needed him to be her friend, her companion when they were on the road, the man who made her laugh and who hugged her when times were tough. Maybe he needed more from her. “I’ll sleep with you, if you stay.”
“Em! Geez, where did you get that crazy idea?” He ran a hand through his hair, mussing up the pomade. “Even if I wanted it, I sure don’t want it like this.”
She felt like a fool. “Okay. I’m sorry. Why don’t you…” What? What could he do to punish her for her behavior, to bring her back into his good graces.
“Do you really want to make good?” Robby asked.
Nodding, she felt a ray of hope. “Yes! I’ll do anything.”
“Well, I’ll spank you. Just as if you were the immature child you are.”
A spanking sounded humiliating and painful. “I don’t know.” But she couldn’t lose Robby; she couldn’t! “Okay.”
Robby seemed hesitant, as though he hadn’t expected her to cooperate. “Good,” he said slowly. “Drop your trousers and underwear and, um…” She watched him brighten as he spied the chair he’d vacated moments earlier. “Lie over my lap, in the chair.”
Em bit her lip. Was he really going to do this? And he’d see her rear. That was seriously embarrassing. She had a good, petite figure, and probably a good ass, but she didn’t go around showing it to people. Still, this was Robby. It wasn’t like she wouldn’t have wanted his attention that way. If he hadn’t been her piano player, she’d have long-since tried to ply her charms on him. He was a dream boat. “All right,” she said.
Taking a seat, Robby positioned his knees just so and patted his lap. “We only have an hour before the performance. Get to it.”
It was too much to really look at him as she did it; too embarrassing to experience in living color. Instead, she stared at his shiny black dress shoes as she unbuttoned and unzipped her wide-legged trousers, and let them drop to the floor to pool around her black pumps. Em wore black, lacy panties, that day, form-fitting up to just below her belly button. They flattered her curves and the flatness of her tummy. What a picture she must be presenting!
“Underpants, too.” He told her.
Still staring at his shoes, Em drew her panties down to her knees, feeling her face go hot.
“Now over my lap.”
Em shuffled over and stood next to him, finally looking into his eyes. “Do we really have to do this?”
“Do you want to break up?”
Humiliation made her eyes tear up. “No.”
He patted his lap, signaling her to take her spot.
Carefully, Em positioned herself over his lap, her fingertips touching the floor to one side, her legs bouncing in the air on the other side, panties around her knees, and trousers holding her ankles together.
Robby’s voice caught as he said, “That’s right. Now don’t you forget what this is about.” Something poked her from underneath, and Em realized that Robby was excited. Geez, if she’d known this was all she’d have had to do to get his attention, she’d have dropped her drawers for him a lot earlier. At least, that’s what she thought until Robby’s hand came down firmly on her left buttock.
“One is not enough, Em. You endangered your career and put me in a terrible position.” He whacked her again, and again, and again.
Em called out “ow!” with every stroke. And it hurt! Robby was taking a toll. Her butt was beginning to burn. “I’m sorry!”
He muttered, pausing in his strokes. “My hands… I have to play tonight.”
Out of the corner of her eye, Em watched him reach back to the vanity table and grab a brush. Would that hurt worse?
It didn’t take long to find out. The first spank wasn’t too bad, and neither was the second, but the third, fourth and fifth from the wooden brush were awful. She’d taken more than a dozen spanks, by now, and her previously pristine bottom was yelling at her to stop the torture. Em squirmed in place, trying to put her hands over her rear. Robby grabbed her wrists and held them at the small of her back, never stopping the dreadful rise and fall of the hairbrush.
“I don’t want you to ever be tardy again, Em,” he lectured. “You’ll be respectful and get to rehearsals on time.”
“Except for a dire emergency or illness, you will never miss a performance. Understand?”
Oh boy, did she understand! She’d never do a stupid thing again in her life if this was the result. Of course, his thing was still poking at her middle. That might make it a little more tolerable. It gave Em ideas. She’d been avoiding all of that with her boyfriends. She wasn’t a slut despite the modern age of 1949. Women might have labored alongside men in the factories during the war, but they were still ladies. Robby, however, melted her resolve. If she could survive this spanking, she had something to work with. But the spanking, and the lecture, went on.
“No more bad behavior, Em. No more!”
“I’m sorry! I’ll be better.” Tears were streaming down her cheeks. She was sure her bottom was black and blue. She might never sit again! How would she climb onto the piano and do the slinky part of her routine?
The spanking stopped. “Yes, you will, or I’ll take you in hand again. Got that?”
Nodding, she stood, rubbing her behind vigorously. “Yes, I’ve got it.”
Robby stood and drew her into his arms. She felt stupid. Stupid for making such a lot of bone-headed, preventable mistakes, and stupid for her humiliating position with her trousers down and her panties lowered. She could see her red butt in the makeup mirror. It wasn’t as bad as she expected, but it was still red and splotchy. It didn’t look much like the sexy behind she usually had. Robby was definitely not seeing her at her best. She sniffled and sobbed, though the trauma was fading.
It was good, comforting to feel Robby’s strong arms around her. He ran his fingers through her stylishly cut blonde hair. “There, there, Em. I know you’ll do better in the future.”
She nodded against his chest, hoping she wasn’t ruining his tuxedo. “I really am sorry.”
Robby gripped the back of her head and turned her face up to his. There was a long pause as his gazed roamed over her face, finally settling on her lips. Em remembered that bump in his pants and pressed herself against him. Robby closed his eyes for a moment, and when he opened them again, there was something new there: desire.
Em licked her lips and a moment later, Robby kissed her. It wasn’t a gentle kiss. It was as though he’d been saving it all up for the right moment, the right situation. These conditions were strange, and not the romantic interlude Em might have hoped for, but she was caught up in sensation as Robby’s lips played against hers.
Withdrawing, Robby pulled her face to his chest. His voice rumbled as he said, “We have a performance tonight, Em. It’s New Year’s Eve. We can’t be late.”
Show be damned!
No, that was the wrong attitude. Had she learned nothing? Was the throbbing in her butt not a reminder? “Okay,” she agreed. “Can we… I mean… will we…”
“Things have changed,” he told her. “I don’t know if it’s a good change or not. We’ll see. We’ll start the new year with a fresh outlook.”
Pulling away, she held his upper arms and gazed at his eyes. They’d softened, holding something more than affection. Her lipstick colored his chin. “Yes. Yes, please, Robby.”
He kissed her again. 1950 was going to be a very good year.