Welcome Wipsters – I’m here with another installment of my latest WiP, which is due out next week. Following on from last week, Hester is being whipped for ‘masterminding’ a plot to sabotage the drinking well. Captain Daniel Hasard has tasked himself with carrying out the punishment. Before he begins, he tells her to make a fuss….
Hester fought back the tears. The shame of being bent over the great table, her dress about her shoulders, her bare bottom nearly exposed and a stranger whipping her. She clawed at the table as another blow struck her tender behind. Her father had never laid a hand on her, her mother had slapped her hand a few times with a stick, but nobody had bent her over and spanked her.
He could have hung her. He’d the right to hang her and Hodge, but he hadn’t. He had commuted her sentence and carried it out in private. Make a fuss, he said. She didn’t feel the need to cry out loudly. Perhaps, he was being merciful with his blows. The switch hurt and burnt through the smock, stinging her rump and turning the skin hot with pain. However, she could take it because her pride and stubbornness stopped her from making a fuss.
“Oh please, sir, no more,” she yelled half-heartedly.
Another swoosh and the switch landed at the top of her thighs. It cut more than the others and she screeched.
The release of sound helped her cope. The next struck higher up, right on the firmest part of her buttocks. “Ow!” Looking over her shoulder, she saw the captain give a small nod of approval. What was his game? His face set firm in purpose had an appeal about it. A handsome stern expression, which caused butterflies in her belly and her legs to press together. These were extraordinary sensations she hadn’t experienced before now.
She hollered, begged and shrieked. By the time he had landed two dozen, she fully appreciated the need to make a fuss.
The captain tossed the switch on to the table. “Done.”
Hester wiped away a few tears. Easing herself up gradually. Her roasted bottom blazed as she moved and the heat kept building. She hugged her arms about her.
“Co-operate and this winter will pass quickly for you,” he said, without looking at her.
“Yes, captain,” she muttered. “I’m sorry I lied. I won’t let anyone else take the blame for my actions from now on.”
Captain Hasard slowly turned on his toes. “Your actions?” His eyebrows raised.
Hester bit on her lip. She hadn’t meant to be so brazen. “I… I… meant nothing.”
“I see,” he said slowly. He cleared his throat. “You do realise that poisoning the well meant your own water supply would have been tainted?”
Hester cowered slightly, embarrassed at her own stupidity. Then she remembered where she played as a child. “There is a stream on the other side of the garden. Spring water. It used to be the water supply before the well was dug out. So… we would have been fine.”
The captain chuckled. “You’ve only just thought of that, haven’t you? These intended actions of yours better be thought through or else there will be consequences. Go to your chambers and apply a cold compress to your skin.”
Hester bobbed a small curtsey and with as much grace as she could muster, walked out of the room.
Lying on the bed, she let Miriam dap a cloth on her bare cheeks. She felt no embarrassment at showing her bottom to the maid. She was past caring.
“Could have been worse,” said Miriam.
“Worse?” Hester winced.
“He hasn’t cut you. According to Matthew, the lieutenant, the captain was being kind to you. You made a racket though. We thought he had taken your skin right off!”
Hester smiled, her lips buried in the feather pillow out of sight of Miriam. “I’m not good with pain. Quite a coward.”
“You’ve paid the price. We’re all very grateful for your sacrifice, especially Mary. She is beside herself about Hodge. Gave the boy a right telling off.”
Hester lost her smile. They didn’t know the truth that Hodge wasn’t the sole culprit. She sighed. She couldn’t tell them. How could she? She hoped Captain Hasard would keep quiet about her involvement.
Miriam lowered her skirts and Hester curled up on her side, staring out of the window at the grey skies. For some strange reason, she trusted the captain. Under his harsh exterior, he seemed to be a decent man. She wished he wasn’t the enemy, because then she would have the freedom to know him better.