Belle de Jour

An unusual scenario for us, but still a lesson in discipline.

By Hilary Wilmington

“I’m to see Mr Edwards,” Marigold told the secretary.

“Oh yes.” The secretary glanced down at a pad on her desk. “Well, you’re right on time,” she said. “Just go straight in.”

Marigold ignored this instruction and walked towards the desk. What was this girl’s name? Sally. That was it. Pretty. And young. As Marigold approached, Sally’s hand went out and casually covered the book she’d been reading. But she was too late because Marigold had already seen it: Teach Yourself Accountancy.

Now Marigold remembered. Until recently, Sally had been working in the club downstairs and servicing clients elsewhere, like the rest of the girls. Then Edwards had made her his ‘secretary’. No-one took the title seriously but, lo and behold! Within a few weeks she could type eighty words a minute and could take dictation in shorthand. Typing and shorthand were all very well, Marigold thought, but with accountancy she was surely getting above herself.

“I’ll just hang these up somewhere.” Marigold gestured to her coat. She reached for the buckle, to undo it. She was also wearing a fur hat which matched the fur trim of the coat collar.

“No, leave them. Go straight in.”

Marigold felt the humiliation of being ordered about by a girl who might be as much as ten years younger than her. She walked over to the door to Mr Edwards’ office, knocked and went in.

“It’s me, Mr Edwards.”

Thomas Edwards looked up but did not reply. Instead, he crooked his finger at her, indicating that she should come and stand in front of his desk. Not a good start. She looked at the chair facing his desk and wondered if she should sit down on it. Probably not. She put her handbag on it instead.

“Shall I…?” Once again, Marigold gestured to her coat and reached for the buckle. Then she remembered she was still wearing the hat as well and reached to take that off first.

Her hand stopped in mid-air when he said: “Stay as you are for the moment. First tell me what the hell you think you were playing at the other day.”

“I suppose you’re talking about the man you sent me on Tuesday.”

“Are you serious? ‘The man I sent you on Tuesday’! Do you know who that man was?”

“Yes. It was Charles. I mean, Mr Lambert.”

“That is an important man.”

“Oh dear.”

“Oh dear!” Edwards repeated sarcastically, in a deliberately poor imitation of Marigold’s upper-class accent. “He’s got more money than me and he got his legally. More or less. All he wanted you to do was strip nicely for him. You’ve done a lot more than that. You’ve done more than that downstairs in the club. Otherwise I wouldn’t have kept you on and I certainly wouldn’t have bothered to lend you to Charles Lambert.”

“He wanted sex as well.”

“Course he did. Was that a surprise?”

“It’s just the way that he did it.”

“He didn’t get that far, is what I hear.”

“No, I mean the way he was making me strip. How he wanted me to do it.”

In truth, it wasn’t so much what he’d wanted but how he’d responded to her refusal. If he’d threatened her, even given her a smack, and told her to get on with it, she would have done. Instead, he had pleaded with her, which had turned her off and at the same time made her feel entitled to refuse.

“Who do you think you are? It’s what I was paying you for.”

Thomas Edwards knew he’d made a mistake, choosing this one for Lambert. He’d thought to impress the man by sending him a posh beauty, instead of the usual hard-bitten prostitute. He’d been wrong; it was the usual hard-bitten prostitute that Lambert was after. Still, he wasn’t going to admit that to her. He knew that would be fatal with this one. She needed a firm hand. He remembered the reprimand he’d given her a few weeks before. To his surprise, she’d accepted it meekly. Not a squeak of protest.

“Yes Mr Edwards.”

She’d seen the strap lying on the desk as soon as she’d entered the room, and it hadn’t been a surprise. She’d been strapped before, once. She’d had to stand in the corner for five minutes with her hands on her head; then he’d summoned her out and given her one stroke on each of her hands; then she’d had to return to the corner for another five minutes. Afterwards, there had been a red mark about three quarters of an inch wide up the middle of each of her hands and extending for about an inch up each wrist as well. They had taken several hours to fade. Some other girls she’d talked to had had that many times. He called it a ‘reprimand’.

“As long as you’re working for me you’ll do what you’re told. Now take off your coat.”

She removed the coat and was about to sling it over the back of the chair when he said: “No, take it to the wardrobe. You’ll find hangers in there.”

She also found in this wardrobe a convenient shelf above the hangers on which to put her hat, but he said: “I didn’t tell you to take the hat off.”

She put it back on. As soon as it was on her head again, he said: “Take your hat off and put it on the shelf.” And then: “Come back over here.” Marigold walked back and stood opposite his desk again. Then: “Take off your skirt.”

Marigold didn’t move. She just stayed facing him, eyes not quite making contact.

‘Why should I make it easy for him?’ She thought to herself. ‘If he wants me to obey him, he’ll have to make me.’

Her heart started beating faster as she watched him get up and come round the desk. He delivered a stinging slap across her face.

“I’m not Lambert,” he told her. “For me, you’ll have to do what you’re told. Exactly what you’re told.”

Marigold stood silent and impassive. Her expression was unreadable. Disconcerted, though managing not to show it, Edwards turned his back on her and returned to his desk.

Once there, he said: “Now, let’s try again. Take off that skirt.”

To his secret relief, her hands went straight to the zip at her side. As she stepped out of the skirt, he said: “Has that thing got loops to hang it up with?”

“Yes.”

“Good. See if you can find something in the wardrobe for it.”

He watched her walk over to it. She wasn’t showing much more leg than before, the hem of her white petticoat being not much higher than that of the skirt. She spent a few seconds finding a hanger and then another few arranging the skirt on it and hanging it up next to her coat. Then she turned expectantly to him, waiting to be told what to remove next.

“Come back in front of me.”

She walked over and stood before him.

“Take off the jumper.”

She pulled the tight woollen jumper off over her head, turning it inside out in the process. She guessed she wouldn’t be allowed to leave it in that state so, without being told, she she got it back the right way round, with quick, practiced movements which were nice to watch.

“Fold it neatly and put it, let’s see, put it on the coffee table.”

He watched her walk over to the low coffee table in her petticoat. When she stooped down to place the jumper on it, neatly folded as ordered, the tops of her white stockings flashed briefly into view at the back. She returned to stand in front of his desk. She was getting the idea.

“Take off your petticoat.”

She crossed her hands and grasped its hem. Taking her time, she slid it carefully up her body revealing in turn, suspenders, knickers, suspender-belt and bra, all white. As she pulled it up over her head, it snagged on one of her earrings. For several seconds she remained with her head hidden beneath the material of her petticoat, arms raised, her hour-glass figure displayed in all its glory in expensive white lingerie.

He told her to hang her petticoat up in the wardrobe too, and once she was standing in front of him again he made her stand up very straight with her feet close together. He looked her up and down, taking his time over it.

“We’ll have the bra next, I think,” he decided eventually.

She shrugged the shoulder straps off and down onto her arms. Then she grasped the cups and pulled them downwards with a view to swivelling the garment back to front in order to access the back-strap catch more conveniently.

“No!” He barked. She looked at him enquiringly. “Do it properly,” he told her. You’re being watched.”

She understood. She reversed her previous actions until the bra was back in place. Then her hands went up behind her back to undo the catch. The bra strap sprang apart at the back and she shrugged the shoulder straps down off her arms. Her breasts hardly changed shape or aspect for being freed. They jutted forward, proud and firm.

“Hang it on the doorknob.”

Off she went on her new errand, high heels clicking on the linoleum floor. She hung the bra from the brass doorknob by one of its shoulder straps.

“Stand up straight, feet together,” he reminded her, when she got back. Then he said: “Take off your shoes.”

These were light blue in colour, almost an exact match for the jumper lying on the coffee table. They had a strap which fastened over the top of her foot so she wasn’t able to just kick them off. She had some trouble undoing one of them. He wished, for the moment at least, that she had put her hair up. The blonde tresses were obscuring his view of her breasts.

“Put them on top of the television.”

The television was in the far corner of the room. She walked, noiselessly, across the room in her dainty, white-stockinged feet, to place the shoes on top of it. The seams of her stockings were perfectly parallel and something similar could be said for the two suspenders which held them up at the back, if allowance was made for the curves they had to traverse. The two front suspenders were also perfectly aligned, as he took the trouble to verify while she was on her way back to his desk.

“Take off your stockings.”

She dealt with the front suspender catches first and then the ones at the back, before sliding the stockings down her legs and off her feet. She held onto them because she knew by now that they would be destined for some particular location of his choosing.

“Lay them here on top of my desk, next to the strap.”

She laid them carefully along the length of the desk in front of him.

“Take off your suspender belt.”

From force of habit, she went to swivel the belt round her waist before undoing it, but she remembered in time. She put her hands round behind her instead, undid the catch and then held the garment dangling from her hand.

“Re-fasten it and put it round the lampshade,” he told her, indicating the lamp standing on his desk. Once it was re-fastened, the suspender belt rested comfortably about half-way down the lampshade.

“Take off your knickers.”

At last she stood naked before him. He stood up, picked up the strap and came round the desk.

“Put them on that window-sill over there.”

He indicated a window on the other side of the room that looked out into a shaft. It didn’t let in much light but without it this far end of the room would have been even dingier.

He followed her over and once the knickers were laid neatly on the sill he said: “Put your hands on the window.”

Marigold found herself contemplating a blank wall of rough brickwork opposite her, just a few feet away. No-one would be able to see her from outside. The only other windows looking into the shaft were those on the floors directly below them.

“Push your bottom out.”

She had to lower her shoulders to achieve this, so that her body more nearly described a right angle. Her breasts now pointed straight downwards and were fully in his view.

“I don’t want you jumping about or making a lot of noise.”

Marigold was very good. Once or twice she made a slight writhing motion, starting at her shoulders and ending at her knees, and at one point a peculiar sound escaped her lips, something between a gasp and a murmur. Otherwise, she stayed completely still and quiet throughout her beating, a considerable feat because Edwards did not spare her. The strap was thick and heavy, about an inch wide and eighteen inches long and he swung it vigorously and repeatedly against her bottom until both cheeks were red and bruised all over. Then he gave the same treatment to the upper part of her thighs.

After he’d finished, Edwards turned away from her and went over to the wardrobe to replace the strap on its hook, where it hung next to a shorter and lighter strap, which was the one he used on girls’ hands. Then he returned to his desk. Having been given no further instructions, Marigold stayed where she was. Mr Edwards pressed a switch on his desk to contact his secretary.

“Sally? Could you do me a cup of tea, please? No, Marigold will come to fetch it. Just buzz through when it’s ready.”

Marigold’s position was quite comfortable, with her weight partly supported by her hands on the window. The awful stinging was gradually changing into a warm throbbing glow. She heard the buzzer go on his desk.

“Off you go, Marigold.”

She had already guessed she would not be allowed to get dressed before fetching his tea. She walked over and opened the door to the outer office, to be met by Sally’s expectant gaze.

“I’ve come for his tea,” explained Marigold unnecessarily.

She closed the door behind her and stood waiting, wondering if Sally would bring the tea over to her. Sally gestured to the cup and saucer perched on the edge of her desk, sat back, folded her arms and ostentatiously looked Marigold up and down as she walked towards her.

“Careful you don’t spill any,” Sally warned her.

The bit she was especially looking forward to was when Marigold had to turn round and walk back over to the door. This she did, slowly and carefully (the cup was dangerously full), presenting Sally with an excellent view of the results of her thrashing. Once the door had closed behind Marigold, Sally fished out her glasses and her book from the drawer where they were hidden and, with the glasses perched half way down her pretty little nose, she was soon absorbed once again in her studies.

Marigold walked with extreme care over to the desk and placed the cup and saucer on its surface, in between him and her stockings.

“Your tea, Mr Edwards.”

He barely glanced up, just said: “Get dressed.”

She went about the room retrieving each item and putting it on as she did so. She did it in the exact reverse of the order in which she had stripped. So knickers first, from the window-sill, then all the way back across the room to unclip her suspender belt from around the lampshade. She was careful to put her suspender belt (and later her bra as well) back on in the prescribed fashion, by reaching round behind her and doing up the catch behind her back. The stockings took the most time. There were four clips to be done altogether and she had to ensure that they came to exactly the same height on each leg and that the seams were straight at the back. Then shoes, petticoat, jumper and finally her skirt.

Edwards abandoned any pretence of working and sat back and watched her. She wasn’t in the least flustered. She fastened clips, pulled up zips and dealt with clinging material with perfect poise and composure, neither dawdling nor hurrying. The addition of each expensive and elegant item increased the contrast between her appearance and that of the room.

‘The princess in the pig-sty,’ Edwards thought.

Sally had been on at him to get this office done up so it: “looked less like a gangster’s den,” as she put it.

She wanted him to invest in a few legal enterprises, too. She even suggested getting an office in the City. Marigold’s husband was a big wheel there. Perhaps he should offer to help him get his wife back in return for help with getting an office. Apparently he was devastated by their separation. Silly man. Sally also insisted he needed an official record of his financial transactions.

He’d laughed: “If I handed over my accounts I’d be put straight in the slammer.”

“They don’t have to be accurate, just convincing,” she’d said.

Smart girl, Sally.

A now fully-dressed Marigold stood before him once more. He looked down and busied himself with his papers, ignoring her. She responded by picking up her handbag and walking over to the wardrobe, which still contained her hat and coat. Edwards felt his blood rise. Was she going to walk out on him without permission?

But once she got there, she stood and checked herself in the mirror. Then she fished in her handbag and took out her hairbrush. She spent several minutes brushing her hair in a leisurely, careful and systematic way. She expected him any minute to tell her to get out and do it elsewhere. But he said nothing. She could see in the mirror that he was still concentrating on the papers on his desk. She put the hairbrush away and took out her lipstick. Still no reaction. So she walked back over and stood in front of him again.

After a few seconds he looked up and tossed a car key across the surface of the desk.

“Key to the Merc,” he explained. “It’s in the basement car park. Go and find it and get in it. I’m lending it to Ricky for the weekend. It’s his birthday. I told him there’d be a present inside it. That’s you. Tell him it’s for the weekend only.”

He leaned over and switched on the intercom.

“Sally, tell Ricky he can come over and collect the Merc now.”

Marigold had been wrong to think that fetching his tea from Sally with nothing on had been her ultimate humiliation. But, she thought of Ricky. He was some sort of distant relative of Edwards. He was only nineteen years old (well, twenty today, presumably) and he was being trained up as a member of Edwards’ ‘security team’, as it was politely called. He was a big, broad-shouldered, bull-necked boxer and he was good-looking, if you liked that sort of thing, (which Marigold did). She had caught him on a number of occasions looking at her with a lustful yearning. He had looked quickly away again, embarrassed, on catching her eye. She guessed that his awkwardness would not last long. The prospect of being his present for the weekend had its attractions.

The End

© Hilary Wilmington 2017