Frankie Joins the Gang

Zac, Taylor and Isaac Hanson were all sitting around the kitchen table at the house of their friend, Frankie Muniz. They had met the star of the TV show Malcolm in the Middle at an entertainment industry party a year or so ago, and sharing similar levels of youthful celebrity they’d all hit it off right away, becoming fast friends. Zac was even teaching Frankie to play the drums. Right now the four boys were playing cards, munching chips, and slurping sodas to their teenage hearts’ content while Frankie’s mom cooked dinner at the counter behind them.

As Frankie’s mom listened to the boys chatter, however, she slowly started to steam inside. She held her tongue for awhile but after hearing her 15-year-old son use inappropriate and unacceptable language almost continuously she could no longer contain herself. The Hanson boys always seemed so well-mannered and she was embarrassed that her son’s behavior was so much worse than theirs. She had a feeling their parents didn’t tolerate such things.

“Francisco James, watch your mouth!” she scolded.

Frankie just rolled his eyes and ignored her, continuing to talk as if she wasn’t even there. His back was towards her so she couldn’t see his reaction but she was used to his bad attitude and disrespect by now so she wasn’t surprised that he didn’t respond. The bratty character he played on his TV show was infiltrating his behavior more and more and she was at a loss as to how to stop it.

Frankie didn’t notice the nervous looks his friends gave each other as the boys continued on with their game. The three brothers weren’t used to seeing a kid treat his mother like that. They didn’t want him to get in trouble and they didn’t know how much his mother would tolerate. The consequences of such a thing in their house were swift and severe and they were worried for their friend. But when his mother scolded him again a few minutes later, and Frankie snapped, “Shut up and leave me alone. I’ll talk however I want to. You can’t tell me what to do,” three pairs of eyes opened wide with shock.

“Frankie, man, don’t talk to your mom like that!” Ike blurted out. “She’s your mom. You shouldn’t do that.”

Taylor added, “Oh man, if I ever talked to my mom like that I’d get a …” He quickly stopped himself, realizing he didn’t really want to reveal that particular piece of information. He could sense both his brothers trying to shut him up too before he let their embarrassing secret out.

A little irked by being chewed out by his friends, Frankie teased, “A what? What would you get, Tay? A lecture? A scolding? A slap?”

Tay could feel his cheeks color. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Zac shift uncomfortably. Zac definitely didn’t want this subject brought up as earlier that same day he’d been the recipient of the very thing Tay was referring to, and was still feeling its effects.

Taylor glanced worriedly at Ike next, but Ike just shrugged as if to say, ‘too late now, you’ve already done it,’ so Tay took a deep breath and said, “A … spanking. I’d get a spanking.” His cheeks were burning. Zac groaned. Frankie’s mom’s ears perked up though. She was more than surprised to hear that. Now their behavior made more sense to her.

Frankie just laughed. “Yeah, right!” he said. “You’re almost eighteen. Aren’t you just a little bit too old for that?” he asked, his voice tinged with scorn.

Taylor winced. He really wished that were true but sadly it wasn’t, and wouldn’t be for awhile either he feared. “I’d like to think so but if you ask our mom or dad they’d say ‘no’ so I guess not,” he muttered. Zac looked like he was desperate to simply disappear and Frankie kept giving him confused sideways glances wondering what was making him so fidgety.

“Well, I’ve never been spanked,” Frankie stated. “I can’t even imagine it. I mean, for Christ’s sake, that’s just stupid.”

“I beg to differ, mister,” his mom said. “You got a swat or two when you were little. I’m sure you remember. You weren’t too happy about it.”

Frankie rolled his eyes again. “Whatever,” he snapped.

“Oh, I’m not talking about a swat,” Taylor sighed, shaking his head sadly, resigned now to having this discussion, “although we certainly get plenty of those. I’m talking about the full-out real deal; the over-the-knee, bare-a**, er -bottomed, long-and-hard-until-you’re-crying-your-eyes-out sort of spanking. If I ever talked to my mom like that I’d be reeeeal sorry. Trust me. Real sorry.”

Frankie looked decidedly more uneasy at hearing this. He turned to Ike. “You too?” he asked. Ike was twenty years old but he nodded solemnly. “I haven’t gotten one in almost a year, thank god, but that’s more because I watch myself than because I’ve gotten too old in their eyes. If I disobeyed or misbehaved I’m pretty sure I’d still get spanked same as them,” he said, nodding towards his two younger brothers.

Frankie turned to Zac, his eyes wide with disbelief. Zac groaned again, his cheeks cherry red. “Yes! Me too,” he snapped, embarrassed to have to be talking about this. “It’s not like I can do anything about it. Our folks think it’s like the best punishment out there and so they use it on us … a lot. And our church sort of encourages it too, so they get a lot of support for it.” He paused, then took a deep breath. “I got spanked really hard by my mom this morning for doing pretty much exactly what you were just doing. She doesn’t take any lip at all.”

Frankie swallowed hard. He was growing more and more uncomfortable with this whole conversation and was wishing with all his might that his mother wasn’t hearing it. Even weirder was the fact that the episode of his show they were currently rehearsing was about just this very issue. He shuddered. The script involved his character, Malcolm, being grounded for disobeying, and when he rebels against his mother’s punishment, she takes him over her knee and gives his bottom a pat just to show him that she could still spank him if she wanted to. In front of a whole gymnasium full of people too! Needless to say, he quickly gets the point. Why was this subject showing up all over the place for him, he wondered? All he knew was that he didn’t like it one bit.

Wanting it all to simply go away he changed the subject and the boys went back to playing their game. Since the brothers were perfectly happy to have this happen as well they went right along with it. The subject sat there like a big panting dog staring them right in the face though, and trying to ignore it took up a lot of room. Finally, when his mother took a phone call in another room, Frankie put his cards down and looked at his three friends. “They put you over their knee and spank you bare? How do you stand it?” he asked. “I mean, I wouldn’t let them do that to me. Can’t you make them stop? Isn’t it really embarrassing?” He was thinking about how in the script his mother grabs his arm and starts pulling him towards a seat, and he just can’t seem to get control over her. He even makes an aside into the camera, asking “how did she get so strong?” He was beginning to really worry that his relatively unchecked freedom was about to crumble. Was his real mother going to get ideas from all this?

“It’s more embarrassing than you could ever imagine,” Taylor sighed. “It’s awful. And that’s not even the worst part. It hurts like hell – at least the way our folks do it – and I always feel like absolute shit afterwards, mostly cause whatever I did made them angry enough to spank me. I hate disappointing them that way.” Zac and Ike nodded their agreement.

Frankie looked stunned. “This is so freakin’ weird,” he shuddered, then explained the whole script thing and how the coincidence was starting to weigh on his mind now. Just then his mother came back and announced that Diana Hanson had invited them all to a picnic the next day at the Hollywood home the family was renting during their stay here. Frankie seemed to shrink a few inches at this news. He was suddenly afraid that his mom was about to get some very bad ideas from his friends’ folks.

The next day Frankie and his mom arrived for the festivities. The guys had a blast, swimming and playing pool and doing all sorts of fun things, but in the back of his mind Frankie was obsessing about what his mother was discussing with Diana Hanson, and her husband, Walker. Finally Zac couldn’t take it anymore.

“Frankie, man, what’s going on? You’re acting so weird.”

“I know. I … just can’t shake this bad feeling I’ve been having.”

“About what?”

Frankie wasn’t sure he wanted to share that yet but he also knew that, of all people, Zac would certainly understand. He gave up. “If you want to know the truth, I’m scared my mom is getting spanking advice from your folks. I don’t want to get spanked!”

“Well, duh! Who does?”

“I know. I know. But you guys don’t seem to mind that much. You’re used to it. To me it’s so awful I don’t know what I’d do.”

“Wrong bro. Really wrong! We all hate it from the depths of our souls. You never get ‘used to it.’ It sucks so bad. You cannot imagine what it’s like to have your mom or dad take your pants down, put you over their knee like a naughty little kid, and then spank you until you’re crying and begging and basically acting like a total, pathetic loser. It’s just about as awful as anything you could think of.”

“Oh god!” Frankie groaned. “What if your folks convince my mom to start doing that to me? I’ll just die.”

“Well, you won’t die, bro, I can assure you, but you gotta admit, you’ve been acting like a total shithead to her. Word of advice - don’t act like that around our mom, that’s for sure. She won’t spank you but she’ll make sure you know just how wrong she thinks you are, and that’s unpleasant enough – and she’ll make sure your mom knows too. And I gotta tell you, I’m not totally positive our dad won’t spank you, so be careful dude. That’s all I can say.”

Frankie was starting to tremble inside. He had a sinking feeling. Glancing over at his mom talking with Walker and Diana he shivered as if a cold wind had hit him. Zac nodded sympathetically. He knew the feeling all too well. So did his brothers. He glanced at Tay who was listening to the whole thing and wondered if he would spill the beans. Tay had gotten spanked that morning.

“I’d have to agree with Zac on that one for sure,” Tay sighed. “You don’t want to feel our dad’s hand on your ass bro. Take it from me, having felt it just this morning.” He shifted uncomfortably, the very thought of it stirring up the pain all over again.

“God, you guys. Zac got spanked yesterday. Now you today! Does a day ever go by where one of you doesn’t get it? Holy shit! This is scaring the crap outta me. What’d you get it for this time?” he asked warily, not sure he even wanted to know the answer.

“Swearing,” Tay stated sadly. “It’s something I get it for a lot. My mouth tends to get ahead of me and I have a bad habit of not editing what comes out of it. Got a mouth washing too. I can still taste that shit.” Tay shivered all over like the idea made his skin crawl.

Frankie cringed. “He washed your mouth out with soap? Oh god. That’s like from another century or something. This just gets worse and worse doesn’t it?”

“Yeah, I had to stand in the corner for a long time too. We always get corner time after a spanking. It’s part of the deal. Embarrassing as hell as you can imagine.”

Frankie’s character on the show had been put in the corner a couple times so he knew the feeling a bit. He had thought it was pretty funny at the time though, basically because he was totally sure no kids ever really had to do stuff like that anymore. All his truths were being shot down lately and he didn’t know what to believe any more.

A few hours later, however, 15-year-old boy’s memories being rather short-term, Frankie and Zac had forgotten about all this – mostly – and were contemplating a very bad, but irresistible, idea. Zac had shown Frankie Taylor’s new silver BMW – his pride and joy - and Frankie, being a serious car buff, wanted to take it out for a ride. Now there were two main problems with this plan: one, he didn’t have a driver’s license as he was too young and two, Zac knew there was no way Taylor would ever agree to it - he was way too protective of his new baby. But, although Zac was well aware this was bound to get them both in deep trouble, he was up for it all the same. Sneaky little brother that he was, he also knew where Tay hid the keys, so soon enough the two boys were off on a joyride. All went well too; they even got home without being noticed. But Frankie wasn’t all that good a driver and stupidly, he got a bit too cavalier at the last moment. He pulled into the garage going too fast, underestimated the distance, and rammed Taylor’s car right into a tall storage shelf, raining the whole thing over on top of them and spilling the contents of every box everywhere. The noise of the crash brought everyone running and the boys were caught red-handed.

Taylor was livid. He looked ready to kill them both. “You fucking assholes,” he screamed. “I’m gonna beat the goddamn shit out of both of you.” He lunged wildly for the car door trying to pull Frankie out first as he was closer, but his father was faster, caught him, jerked him around to face him and shook him hard. “You will do no such thing mister,” he scolded right into his face, then he spun Taylor back around, bent him over the hood of the car and spanked him hard a dozen or so times. “And you know better than to use language like that,” he lectured angrily between swats. “I guess the spanking and all I gave you this morning didn’t teach you anything? Well, we’ll see about that. We’ll deal with this more later, young man!” And he let Taylor up. Taylor stood there steaming, rubbing his stinging bottom, his eyes brimming with tears and his cheeks hot pink from anger and embarrassment.

Walker turned to the two nervous boys in the car then. “Out of the car NOW!” he ordered. “Both of you! And into the kitchen. You are both in serious trouble.”

Frankie was frozen in panic. Was Mr. Hanson going to spank him like he’d just spanked Taylor? He’d never seen a kid get spanked before, and although there’d been a little bit of a thrill to it, the fear of what was about to happen to him had drowned those feelings in a flash. The two scared boys slowly pulled themselves out of the car and headed into the kitchen. Frankie flinched when he heard Zac gasp behind him. Apparently his father had swatted his bottom hard as he walked by.

Once inside Walker immediately pulled a chair out to the center of the room, dragging Zac with him. Zac didn’t resist but the thought of what he knew was about to happen to him, and the fact that it was going to be witnessed by all these people, including Frankie, was nearly overwhelming. Walker then launched into a harsh scolding, aiming it mostly at Zac but including Frankie periodically, punctuating sentences by glancing pointedly in his direction. He ended with a terrible question. “So, tell me Zachary Walker Hanson, what do you think you deserve as your punishment for this? Hmmm?” Zac winced. He hated being forced to say those words, but he knew very well that it was part of the deal and he wouldn’t get out of it. His father would make him say it one way or another. “Answer me!” he demanded, making Zac nearly jump out of his skin.

“A spanking, sir,” Zac mumbled, barely audibly.

“Excuse me,” his father said, needling him deliberately. “I don’t think anyone could hear you. What did you say? Louder please.”

Zac shuddered. His father was pulling out all the stops and that could only mean that the spanking was going to be really bad as well. He took a deep breath and, in as clear and loud a voice as he could muster, he said, “a spanking, sir.” The words seemed to echo in the quiet space. The silence in the room felt like a prickly blanket and was making Zac’s skin crawl.

“And you?” Walker asked, turning to Frankie.

Frankie looked like he’d rather die than be facing this right now. “I ….I ….I don’t know. I don’t … I can’t…” he stuttered.

“Oh I think you can, young man. Just say it. What do you think you deserve for this? Zac is getting a spanking – and it’s going to be a really good one, let me assure you. So what about you? What do you deserve?”

Frankie was desperately hoping his mother would come to his rescue and tell Walker he couldn’t talk to him that way. He wasn’t his father. He had no right. But when he glanced hopefully at his her it was easy to see that she was in full agreement with what was happening. “Don’t look at me,” she said, shaking her head disappointedly. “You got yourself into this and now you have to deal with the consequences. And, coincidentally, just today I asked Walker to help me out with your behavior as I think you need a stronger hand and your father isn’t here to do it. Clearly I was right. So now, tell Mr. Hanson what you deserve.”

Frankie was near tears. He couldn’t believe this was happening. How could this be possible? Oh man. “I’m waiting,” Walker said none too patiently, and then he ticked off the list of the boys’ offenses on his fingers. “Taking someone’s valuable property without asking and then damaging it; driving without a license and underage; reckless driving resulting in an accident? What do you deserve, young man? Say it!”

“I don’t know. I … just… have never …, I mean, I’ve never gotten a …. I … I… guess a … spanking,” he finally blurted out.

“Yes, I would say so. And when I’m done with Zac, you’ll be next. And it won’t be pleasant. I promise you! You won’t like it - not one little bit!” And there it was. This man was going to spank him. Frankie was shaking from head to toe.

Walker then turned back to Zac and began unfastening his pants. Zac just shut his eyes and tried to take a mental trip somewhere else – anywhere else - in the hopes that he could just make this all go away. He came sharply back to reality though when his father grabbed his wrist, turned him over his knee, and then yanked his underwear down in back. Gritting his teeth, he grabbed hold of the chair rung and clenched it with all his might. It didn’t help though. The first smack forced a pained gasp out of him and he never regained control again. The spanking was hard and methodical, and endless - at least it seemed like it to Zac. And when his father finally stopped and Zac caught his breath for the first time again, it was only to hear his father say, “Diana, please bring me the paddle.”

“Noooo, pleeease no. Daddy! Pleeeease don’t,” Zac wailed. He was quite sure he couldn’t handle the paddle too. But hearing the sound of his own pathetic begging made Zac shudder all over so he forced himself not to make another sound. His mother brought the evil implement over and his father wasted no time in getting back to work. He smacked Zac’s poor, burning bottom over and over with it. When the pain got to be too much and he couldn’t contain himself any longer Zac began to plead again, and apologize and promise to be good, and basically do all those “pathetic loser” things he’d told Frankie about earlier. He hated himself for it but he couldn’t seem to stop. Finally his father decided his naughty son had had enough and he landed the last stinging blow. Panting and exhausted Zac lay there until his father pulled his underwear back up and helped him to standing. “Did I make my point, Zachary? Do I need to do more or are we clear?” he asked, holding him hard by the arm and staring him directly in the eyes.

Sniffling and struggling to swallow, Zachary managed to whimper, “Yes sssir, we’re clear. I understand. I … I’m s-s-sorry.” His father released him then and, completely overwhelmed with shame, Zac covered his face with both his hands and sobbed.

“Frankie, come here please,” Walker said, turning his attentions to the next boy. Frankie had been shaking all over during the entire time Zac had been getting spanked. He was stunned by how awful it was. He had no idea. He’d thought the spanking Taylor had gotten in the garage was the type of thing he was in for. Now he was nearly paralyzed with fear.

He gulped hard and slowly walked over to Mr. Hanson. He couldn’t speak at all so he just let his friends’ father tell him what to do. “Take your pants down, Frankie,” Walker said. And Frankie did. He didn’t let himself even think about all the people in the room who were watching him as he undressed. He pretended he was acting and this was just another scene in a TV show. He prayed silently that Mr. Hanson would go easy on him, this being his first time, and maybe not even bare his bottom. He froze when Walker took his arm, but then went limp and allowed himself to be taken over his knee. It was truly the most uncomfortable and humiliating position he could imagine. His only real experience with it had been in rehearsal the other day, but that had all been in fun. This was nothing like that at all. He felt Walker’s hands on the waist band of his underwear, and then suddenly, cool air on his backside. He shuddered as a wave of fear rushed through him. Realizing just how doomed he was, he let out a low moan. Goosebumps rose all over him as he cringed in anticipation.

The first smack was nothing like he had imagined. Nothing at all. It was a hundred times worse, and went downhill from there. He held his pride for as long as possible, then began to gasp and groan and squirm – and soon enough, to cry and plead and apologize and promise to be good forever, just as Zac had predicted. It was unbelievable to him how badly it hurt. And then Walker stopped and picked up the paddle. If he had thought the hand-spanking was pretty near unbearable, he was shocked at the burning fire the paddle produced. He wailed out loud at the first smack. Walker, knowing this was Frankie’s first ever spanking, lightened up some, but kept going. Having nothing to compare it to though, Frankie thought it couldn’t possibly ever hurt more than what he was feeling. It was like a blazing inferno singeing the skin right off his bottom. Would this man ever stop? He was reduced to a sobbing, simpering mess by the time it was finally finished and was solemnly vowing to never, ever get in trouble again.

Walker let Frankie lay there for a moment or two, then he pulled his underpants back up and lifted the crying boy to his feet. Unable to comprehend what to do next Frankie just stood there, so Walker reached down and picked his pants up for him. The boy snapped out of it then, and sniffling hard, finished fastening them.

“Frankie, look at me,” Walker said as he took the trembling boy’s hands in his. Feeling Walker’s hot hands holding his, Frankie looked up, scared but sensing he was safe somehow too. “Do you understand why I had to do that? Do you realize you left me no choice? That this was your fault, and you and you alone had the power to make it not happen? No one forced you to pull this stunt. I just want you to be clear about that. Do you understand?”

Frankie was overwhelmed with feelings and thoughts and he had no idea how he’d ever speak again. He tried to swallow but it got stuck in the tight clamp of his throat, so he nodded instead, tears streaming down his face like a waterfall.

Walker waited. There was no need to rush. “I want you to take a deep breath and calm down some, son, and then tell me with your words that you understand,” he said, giving Frankie’s hands a gentle squeeze.

Frankie shook his head nervously. “I don’t … I can’t…. I…” he choked out.

Walker just smiled kindly at him and squeezed his hands again. “Yes you can, son. You can do it. I know it. Just say it.”

Frankie took in a deep breath and exhaled shakily. Feeling a bit stronger then he gathered all his courage and said, “I understand … sir.” He added the last word as an afterthought; he’d heard Zac and his brothers use it often with their parents and figured it was a wise move at this point. “I understand. And I’m sorry. I should never have done that. It was wrong. And I’ll pay for the damages. It was all my fault.” His voice was cracking again as the tears welled up so he stopped.

“Good boy,” Walker said and stood up gathering Frankie into his arms. “Okay,” he sighed, releasing him and moving him next to Zac. “Taylor!”

Taylor was pale as snow and feeling a little sick to his stomach. He couldn’t believe he’d let himself get into this situation again. Why couldn’t he learn to watch his mouth? He could still taste the damn soap from this morning, and feel the sting on his bottom which had been totally re-ignited again by the spanking his dad had just given him in the garage. “Dad, please,” he started. “Please. I’m sorry. I really am. I was just so mad. I know I shouldn’t have said those things. Don’t do this. Please.” It was all pointless, he knew, but he couldn’t seem to stop the gush of words flowing out of his mouth.

His father just shook his head and gestured him over. “Boys,” he said, turning back to Zac and Frankie. “I want you to know that you are partly at fault here. Taylor has to learn to watch his own mouth, true, but he wouldn’t have been so angry if you two hadn’t taken advantage of him. So watching him get punished is part of your punishment too. I hope you know that.” Looking rather sick to their stomachs as well, they both nodded solemnly, already mentally preparing their apologies to Tay.

Tay sucked it up and decided to just get it over with. He walked slowly over to his father, even unbuckling his belt as he went to show his acceptance and determination. Walker sat back down, pulling Taylor right over his knee and baring his backside in one swift movement. Taylor groaned, tightening every muscle in his body. “Since the hand-spanking you got this morning apparently didn’t do the trick,” Walker stated, “I’m going to make sure this one takes. You got that?” Tay’s heart skipped a few beats wondering what that could possibly mean. The spanking he’d gotten had been plenty bad enough for him he’d thought. “Yes sir,” he gulped, hoping his current respectful obedience was winning him some points at least.

The paddle landed with a frighteningly loud crack and Tay bucked sharply. “Oh god, please Dad,” he moaned. “I … I ….” But his father just kept on spanking. Much to his chagrin Tay burst into tears and it took every ounce of strength he had not to fight back. He really didn’t think he could take it. His father was spanking him really hard. “Please, please, please,” he kept muttering to himself, trying to handle the pain and make it through this ordeal. When he couldn’t stand it anymore he started to thrash and squirm, his hands desperately struggling both to reach back to protect his bottom, and not to at the same time, because he knew that would only mean more trouble. He was ready to scream by the time his father finally stopped. His bottom was a blazing inferno. When it was over he lay there panting and whimpering and waiting until his father pulled his underwear back up, then he pushed himself to standing. This day had been god awful. He just wanted it all to be over. He was praying he wouldn’t get another mouth washing and that his father would take pity and not make him do corner time again either – not with all these people around. It was so humiliating. But it was not to be.

Walker stood up, pointed at one unhappy boy at a time, and then at the corner they were to stand in. Frankie looked unsure at first but he watched Zac and Tay and did as they did. It was weird to be sharing this experience with them like he was one of their brothers. If he could say anything good about the whole situation at all it would have been that. And having Walker hug him also. He didn’t know how it was possible but he liked Mr. Hanson even more somehow now that he’d been spanked by him. Strange.

The three boys stood in their respective corners trying to get their emotions under control and make sense of what had happened. Each had different struggles with that. Zac was feeling hugely guilty for having misused Taylor’s trust in him and for having gotten his older brother into so much trouble. He felt completely responsible, and furious with himself. He was also overwhelmingly embarrassed to have been spanked like that in front of everyone, especially Frankie and his mother. He wasn’t sure how he’d ever live that one down.

Frankie was stunned by the intensity of all he was feeling. First and foremost was the unbelievable sting of the spanking itself. His bottom felt like it had been fried in a pan and was still sizzling. When Taylor had said their father’s spankings “hurt like hell,” he hadn’t been kidding. Frankie really hadn’t believed it could be that bad, choosing instead to think Taylor was just being overly dramatic to make his point. Now he knew that, if anything, Taylor’s description had barely scraped the surface of the real truth of it. It had been pretty near unbearable.

Then there was the humiliation of the whole thing. Not only getting spanked, but having to take his pants down, being taken over a knee for it, and having his bottom bared as well. And the fact that it wasn’t even his own parent who had done it; it was the parent of friends. That thought made him shudder. And all those people watching: Diana, Isaac, Taylor, Zac, and especially his own mother. Thank god Isaac had guarded the door so none of the other Hanson kids had seen. He’d noticed that protective gesture on their big brother’s part during Zac’s spanking. He’d have to make sure Ike knew how much he appreciated that.

Then there were the really confusing feelings. Conflicting ones. How could it be that despite all the above he felt so loved somehow? Mr. Hanson had been so kind and gentle with him even as he’d blistered his bottom but good. How was that possible? He remembered the wonderful feeling of Walker’s hands holding his own afterwards too – so hot from having just administered two scorching spankings, yet so comforting. And how warm and safe and caring the hug had been. He knew now how it was possible for his friends to take these embarrassing and painful spankings and yet still feel so loved by their parents and to feel so much love for them in return. He loved his parents as well, and suddenly he found himself hoping they might decide to spank him when he needed it too. That thought made him shudder. Was he crazy? He’d have to talk to Zac and his brothers about that one.

Lastly, was the terrible guilt he felt for what he’d done to Taylor. Taylor was his friend and he’d abused that badly. He had some serious apologizing to do. He hoped Taylor was the forgiving type. He also hated that he’d gotten a thrill from watching Tay get spanked in the garage. Not knowing what it was like yet he hadn’t really understood the level of physical and emotional pain Taylor was suffering. Watching both Zac and Tay get spanked over their father’s knee later had created very conflicting sensations in him too. He couldn’t imagine talking to Zac and his brothers about that one though.

Taylor was struggling with his own issues. He was furious with Zac and Frankie. He felt betrayed. They had taken advantage of him. Used him. Misused him. He felt sick at the thought and really wasn’t quite sure if he could ever truly get over it and trust them again. And when he thought of the damage done to his new car his stomach just churned. He knew it was fixable but somehow it was scarred a bit now and could never be whole again. He knew he had to get over that one though. It was just a car after all. Why was he so attached?

But worse than any of that, he felt utterly and completely ashamed of himself. Sure he was embarrassed at having been spanked in front of everyone – twice! At nearly eighteen years of age too. And having them all know that in fact he’d been spanked that morning as well for the very same thing. That was plenty awful enough, but the shame he felt at having disappointed his parents again was nearly intolerable. It had taken all the courage he could muster just to meet his mother’s gaze after the scene in the garage. She’d just shaken her head sadly and given him the most disappointed look. It had made his heart knot. He was furious with himself. And disgusted. And he couldn’t seem to get his nerves to settle or his emotions to calm.

After about fifteen minutes Walker returned. He went over to Taylor first and gently turned him around to face him. Overcome with shame Taylor covered his face and burst into tears again. Surprised, his father gathered him into his arms and held him tight, rocking him gently. “Taylor honey, what’s wrong?” he asked. “Why are you still so upset? It’s over now.”

“Daddy,” Taylor said, pulling back so he could look his father in the eyes. “I…I… I’m so ashamed of myself I don’t know what to do. I’m so, so sorry. I didn’t mean any of those things I said. I was just so mad. I felt like I’d been stabbed in the back and I just lost it. I hate that I couldn’t control myself.”

“Shhh shhh, son. It’s okay,” Walker said, gathering Taylor back into his arms. “They’re only words. You didn’t really hurt anyone. Don’t get me wrong. Your mother and I are completely committed to teaching you to control your mouth and your temper, and what you said was vulgar and even profane, and you overreacted violently and without thinking at all. Counting to ten, as you well know, is always a good idea. But those boys deserved your anger, there’s no doubt about that. What they did was very wrong.” He turned his head slightly and said those last words purposely loud enough so that Zac and Frankie would know they were directed at them. He wanted them to be very clear just how disappointed he was in their behavior. Both boys winced. “You will always get spanked when we hear you use language like that, especially so viciously,” Walker continued, “but it’s not the worst offense by any means. Lying, stealing, cheating, mis-using someone for personal gain” – again he said those last words loudly for emphasis –“are all much worse.” He paused then, waiting for Taylor to fully grasp what he was saying. “Taylor,” he said, again pulling him back so he could look him in his eyes. “Do you understand me?”

Taylor sniffed and nodded, still finding it hard to meet his father’s gaze.

“Look at me, son,” Walker said gently. “Tell me you understand.”

Taylor forced himself to raise his eyes and look at his father. “Yes sir,” he mumbled. “Thanks Dad.”

“You’re welcome,” Walker replied, giving him another quick hug. “You okay now?”

“I guess,” Taylor sighed. “Umm, Dad? Are you gonna wash my mouth out again?” He flinched as he asked it, the look on his face clearly one of desperate hope.

Walker smiled and shook his head. “I’m gonna let you off the hook this time – but just this once! You got it? With that delicate stomach of yours I don’t think you could take two mouth washings in one day. But don’t get any ideas that we’re getting soft or anything,” he teased, “’cause we’re not!”

“Thanks Dad. I’m really sorry. I really am,” Taylor said, more than a little relieved that it was all over now.

“I know that Tay. All is forgiven.” And with that Walker turned his attentions to the other two nervous boys. “Zachary Walker Hanson and Francisco James Muniz, front and center right now!” he ordered, pointing to the floor in front of him. The boys both jumped, their hearts starting to beat wildly, worried by the still angry tone in his voice. Taylor tried to back away but Walker caught his wrist, winked at him, and motioned for him to stay. When the two trembling miscreants arrived Walker said, “I believe you have something you need to say, am I right? Zachary?”

Zac looked close to tears. “Tay, I’m so sorry. I… I… don’t know what else to say. I should never have let that happen. I hope you’ll forgive me. Please,” he blurted out, desperation making his voice shaky. Tay could only nod half-heartedly. It was going to take some time. Zac’s shoulders slumped as he realized this wasn’t going to be that easy.

“Frankie?” Walker continued, turning to the next boy.

“I’m really sorry too. Tay, it was all my fault. All my idea. Don’t be mad at Zac, okay? I’m the one who pushed for it. And the one who was driving – the idiot who was showing off. I’ll pay for everything. And I’ve been thinking – I want to lend you my car while yours is being fixed.” Frankie, although not old enough to drive, had already bought his first car. It was a deluxe special that had been used in a movie and was outfitted with all sorts of bells and whistles. It was top of the line – the sort of thing only a real car aficionado would buy. Tay was touched.

“Thanks, man, but you don’t have to do that. It’s okay.”

“No, no, I want to. I’ll feel better if you let me do this. Please Taylor. Let me do this for you. I know it won’t totally make amends but it’ll help some, I hope at least.”

Tay shrugged, not sure he wanted either Frankie or Zac to feel better yet. He was deeply hurt by what they’d done and he wanted them to pay a bit longer. But he nodded and let it slide for now. Both boys could sense his hurt and reticence to let them off the hook. It made their hearts sore to realize that. Walker squeezed his son’s hand, conveying his hope that Taylor wouldn’t hold a grudge too long as it wasn’t good for his soul. Taylor felt it and glanced at his dad apologetically. But his look also said that he couldn’t let it go yet and Walker nodded understandingly.

“Okay now,” he said, clearing his voice and looking at Zac and Frankie. “I think it’s time you two headed to the garage and cleaned up the mess you made. There’s some serious work that needs to be done out there and you’d better get started on it if you want to eat when dinner is ready.” There was no room for argument or discussion so both boys nodded, turned and left. Walker put his arm around Taylor’s shoulders and the two of them walked together back to the party. Taylor really wanted a cigarette but he had a feeling he better not mention that right now.