Taylor stood sobbing in the corner, trying to reconcile his shame and guilt with his natural resentment about what had just happened to him. It had all happened so fast too. Just 10 minutes ago he’d been innocently sitting there doing his homework, not a care in the world, or so he thought. What a horrible mess. Of course, as his emotions calmed a bit and he was able to think more clearly about the situation, he began to realize that it was he and he alone who had gotten himself in to this horrible mess. He alone was responsible. What was wrong with him anyway – what had he been thinking when he had decided to steal that journal? He realized he obviously hadn’t been thinking much at all, because if he had given even one moment of conscious thought to his actions he would have quickly talked himself out of taking it. He knew well the punishment he would suffer if caught. It wasn’t as if that was in any way unclear in his house. His parents were as clear as glass about such things – you steal you get spanked hard, you lie you get spanked hard, and if you are stupid enough to do both – the latter for an extended period of time! – you will be one veeerrrry sorry young man. And boy was he ever. And it wasn’t over yet – not by a long shot.
He remembered his mother’s last words as she’d left the room. They were still ringing in his ears. “You will stand there and think about what you have done,” she’d ordered. “And you will relive your spanking moment by moment to be sure you will never forget it. Then you will think about how you plan to make amends for your actions. Do you understand me, young man?” Wisely, he decided it would be in his best interest to obey. He didn’t need any more trouble than he was already in. As his breathing slowed his tears began to dry and his emotions to settle.
Taylor had lost himself in these thoughts when his mother’s return skyrocketed his anxiety level once again. “Taylor” she said, her voice calmer now but still very authoritative. “I have spoken with your father. He is furious, and you can expect to be severely punished when you get home after the show.” Taylor valiantly fought to keep his composure as he felt the lump forming in his throat and the tears threatening to rise again. “As you know, the band is going to be there too. There will be a family meeting called and in front of everyone, you will tell Scott to his face what you did and apologize for your behavior. Then you will have to face your father. And I’m sure you know that that will be anything but pleasant.” Taylor chewed his lip. “Yes, ma’am,” he replied meekly, his voice little more than a squeak. He couldn’t seem to make any other words but these two come out of his mouth since his mother had spanked him.
Diana then turned and nodded to Ike and Zac. “You boys have 10 minutes before the limo arrives to take us to the TV studio,” she said. “Please get yourselves together and be ready on time. I am going to go for a short walk to cool off,” and with that she turned and left.
A silence permeated the room. It seemed an interminable moment. Tay closed his eyes and tried to take a deep breath. He was only slightly successful. Slowly he walked over to his backpack, reached in and pulled out the journal. Then he walked over to his brothers and handed it to Ike who was the nearer of the two. Tay could only hang his head in shame as his brother opened it. The groan of realization from his older brother sent shivers down Tay’s spine. He almost dissolved into tears once more, but fought them back. Ike handed the journal to Zac who let out a shocked gasp. “God Tay, it was you?” Zac cried. “What the hell were you thinking?” “Tay, why?” Ike simply asked.
Tay swallowed with some difficulty and gathered up his resolve to begin making amends. He explained what had happened as best he could. He had no good reason or excuse to offer them and was at a loss to truly explain why he’d done it. Only that in that one stupid moment it had seemed like the thing to do. And since he’d gotten in so much trouble about the car a couple days after, he just didn’t have the strength of character to admit his guilt and come clean when Scott started asking everyone. So he’d just lied. By then he was totally caught in the web and couldn’t get out of it, so he basically put the whole pathetic incident out of his mind. He couldn’t figure out any other way.
Tay looked ready to collapse into tears again so his brothers gathered him into a big hug and said they forgave him and that it would be alright. Then, to lighten the mood, Zac started teasing Tay about the cute assistant make-up girl at the Tonight Show who had a crush on him. Tay blushed as Zac made lascivious gestures about what might happen if Tay “played his cards right”. In this way his loving brothers almost succeeded in putting the awful events of the day out of Tay’s mind. Almost.
The boys, being such consummate professionals despite their young ages, the show went off without a hitch. They played “Merry Christmas Baby” off the soundtrack to the movie “Jack Frost.” Only a very discerning eye could recognize the subtle tell-tale squirming of a recently spanked boy. And, of course, Jay had to bring up the subject of Tay’s driving – a sore point to say the least!
Now they were in the limo heading back to the home the family was renting during their stay in L.A. - and to the moment when Tay would have to face a very different kind of music. With each passing mile Tay was growing more and more panicky. His father had brought the rest of the family to the show so Tay had already had a talking to from him. He had no doubt about just how awful the next stretch of time was going to be for him.
The limo pulled up in front of the house and everyone piled out. Everyone except Tay that is. He was absolutely paralyzed. His body felt as heavy as lead. Ike realized Tay was lagging behind and quickly came to his brother’s rescue. “Tay, c’mon bro” he coaxed. “You gotta get out. You don’t want Mom or Dad having to come out and get you. C’mon. I’ll stay with you.” Taylor knew Ike was right, and that he wouldn’t make anything better by staying put, so he slowly dragged himself out of the car and up the sidewalk to the door. “Ike, I …. Oh god,” Tay moaned. Ike just put his arm around Tay’s shoulder and led him into the house.
The living room seemed absolutely packed. The entire family was there except for the youngest two siblings who had been put to bed. The three members of the back-up band were there too, along with Ashley and Chris, their manager. His father caught his eye and motioned him over. Tay shuddered. With Ike’s protective arm still around him, Tay somehow found the strength to take a deep breath before walking over to his dad.
“Excuse me everyone,” Walker said. “I’m sorry to have to do this since we are here to celebrate, but we have some unpleasant business that needs to be handled before we have fun. Taylor, come here please.” The entire group turned to watch Tay cross the room. Walker’s tone of voice had alerted everyone to the seriousness of the situation. And Taylor looked noticeably worried. “Scott, Taylor has something to tell you.”
To be continued...