Christmas Presents

Problems arise when a female prisoner and male prison officer are known to each other

by Katie Hammond

Had it been 1990, or was it 1991, Martin Higgins wondered as he returned from his small back garden on a cold and damp December evening. He was a non-smoker but very occasionally he treated himself to a cigar, this one the first for well over five years and in his opinion well deserved. He left the half smoked cigar on the garden table and returned to the warmth inside and poured himself a glass of red wine. Now sitting down in the front room he decided it was 1991, early 1991, and now, over twenty-five years later at the end of 2017, he needed to do one more thing to finally close this bitter sweet chapter of his personal life. He smiled to himself as he sat there tired after a long week. He recalled the events of the previous December and after a few more sips of wine he became sleepy and drifted off, his mind still running through the events of that remarkable month.

During 1990 Martin developed a crush on his sister’s friend, Clare Hennessey. Clare was slightly taller than average, slim but well formed with dark hair and brown eyes and an attractive face. Martin’s work had kept him away from home most of that year so he couldn’t get chance to meet or talk to Clare. Being shy, it was something he would have found extremely hard to do anyway.

In early 1991 the opportunity presented itself. Martin’s sister, Alice, invited him to a get-together with her friends at the local pub in the rather well-healed area on the outskirts of London where they lived. Clare Hennessey would be there. He wrestled with the decision for a few days. A natural introvert, he wasn’t brilliant at socialising but it was something that would come with practice, he hoped, and it was a ‘now or never moment’ he told himself.

Martin also had the company of his friend, Darren Slade, that evening, but unfortunately he didn’t get chance to speak to Clare who, although sitting nearly opposite him, made no effort to initiate any conversation during the evening; too busy chatting to other people for Martin to get an opportunity. It was a pleasant enough night out, though, but of course he hadn’t yet had a chance to speak to Clare. As the group left the pub to go their various ways, Martin saw Clare in her red Ford Fiesta in the car park. Mustering up the courage, he walked over to the car and opened the passenger door.

“Hi, can you give me a lift down the road please?”

Knowing that his house was on the way past her home he thought it wouldn’t be a problem and during the two minute drive would be able to ask her out for a drink.

“No,” came the unexpected and rather blunt response.

He closed the car door and Clare drove off. He walked home with his sister and some other friends that lived in the same street. Martin was disappointed, surprised and slightly bemused with Clare’s reaction especially given the fact they were known to each other through his sister and that her response was very discourteous and slightly embarrassing to be on the receiving end of, and, yes, he was a little bit angry. But by the time he reached the house he had drawn a line under it. The answer was no and that was that, and given what had happened he viewed her in a slightly different light now anyway. Tomorrow was another day. It was just a shame other people thought differently.

For the next five years, Martin’s Sister and Mum mentioned Clare indirectly as often as they could to subtly tease him about the rejection. However, to Martin it wasn’t subtle but a little nasty and very puerile. So, over the years, he found out that Clare was going out with Richard Stevens. They had purchased their own house, got engaged, he had qualified as an accountant and was doing very well. They were to, coin a phrase, the ‘Posh and Becks’ of Alice’s group of friends, the got it all super couple if you like.

Meanwhile, Martin had failed romantically and had a number of mediocre jobs, but had managed to buy his own place. He was happy enough in his own way but at times still led a life of quiet desperation regarding women. Of course he heard about Clare’s hen night and all about the wedding in 1998, his Mum handing him the photos and then walking off silently tacitly stating, you weren’t good enough were you? He looked at about four photos, then put them back. He had drawn a line under this one night years ago. Why couldn’t his Mum and Sister?

In 1999 he met both Clare and her husband at his sister’s house warming party. Now it was his turn to be rude. As he entered the open plan kitchen area he blanked them both; Clare looking suitably offended. She then walked up to him and tried to start a conversation. He didn’t respond. He really just couldn’t bring himself to even speak to her.

She left the party fairly early saying: “See you later, Martin.”

Of course he didn’t reply but she would see him later, just not in the way either of them could ever imagine.

In the early 2000s Clare had two children. Of course Martin learnt about that, but even his Mum and Sister were getting bored of their teasing game by now, mainly because he had never reacted to them. His Sister’s 40th birthday party in 2013 was a blast. Clare wasn’t there, his Mum telling someone else but within his earshot that ‘she didn’t go because Martin would be there’, which may or may not have been be true.

In 2016 Martin quit his accounts assistant’s job, bored of the office politics, one upmanship and being at the bottom of a slightly ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ culture at his place of work. The long commute didn’t help either. He had applied for and passed the prison officers course and was surprised and pleased that his first posting was at a local open prison only ten minutes’ drive from his house. At once he realised that it was a women’s prison. ‘Interesting,’ he thought, and boy was it!

It was broken to him by his sister as a passing comment to him some months after the event.

“Oh, Clare’s got to go the magistrate’s court about that car crash.”

Martin ignored the comment, barely interested by the car crash and not at all by Clare Stevens. It was only another three months down the line, having totally forgotten about it, that Martin really pricked his ears when he heard on the radio driving into work one afternoon: “Clare Stevens, a forty-three year old mother of two, was sentenced to six months in prison this afternoon after admitting a serious driving offence.”

So, she must be coming here, he thought, as he drove his Ford up to the main gate. Thankfully, he didn’t work in reception; he didn’t even want to see her.

It was another three weeks before he actually did when he saw her walking to the netball courts in her yellow jumper and green gym skirt. She had aged, of course, but was still very attractive and held herself well, still walking in that upright, somewhat regal, way. His glance turned into a stare as he looked back at her as she continued her walk with around ten other women. As much as he hated to admit it to himself, he still found her attractive and his unknown repressed anger, dormant for so long, now stirred.

He saw her again a few days later, this time helping in the library as an orderly. She recoiled with shock as she recognised him before carrying on with her work, slightly embarrassed. Again, he avoided speaking to her and left.

In the months that followed he saw her again a number of times. This time they had nodded to each other in recognition and had even smiled. Martin even began to feel a little sorry for her; he hadn’t really had a problem with being rejected, it was being wound up about it that annoyed him, and Clare hadn’t done that to him.

With Clare’s six month sentence complete in the next few days, Martin was happy he hadn’t had to speak to her but was also pleased that they had nodded and smiled. At least she knew he didn’t hate her. Clare felt exactly the same way and in fact would have even have liked to speak to him, but knew it would have been a bit awkward addressing him as an authority figure. Clare was also very thankful that she would be out just in time to spend Christmas and New Year with her family.

Today, Martin was Duty Discipline Officer, or DDO as it was known. He looked at the calendar as he sat down in the Discipline Office that day and wondered if it would all go to plan. Fifteen minutes later his young assistant, Lisa Waldegrave, arrived, late. Her poor timekeeping and sometimes over relaxed work attitude annoyed him; no word of an apology or explanation vis a vis her late arrival. He would have to have a word, he decided. Before he had chance to brief Lisa on today’s workload, there was a knock at the door.

As Lisa went to open the door, Martin quickly regarded her; mid height, slim, perhaps too slim, blonde hair in a bun, around twenty-two, give or take a year, he guessed. She put on a fake posh accent, Martin thought, to mask her somewhat humble upbringing. She was also a bit scatty and often argued on the phone at work with her boyfriend, usually over money. She flirted with the male members of staff, Martin remembering one night shift when, sitting opposite him, she put her feet up on the desk giving him full view up her skirt while she pretended to read a book. He was tempted, but didn’t take the bait. Not worth the drama, he thought, and he normally went for brunettes anyway.

Lisa opened the door and the sight took her by surprise. Clare immediately crossed her arms in front of her as a form of subconscious protection on seeing Martin. Martin was visibly shocked looking at Clare standing in front of him wearing a yellow jumper and green gym knickers. Lisa was also puzzled, the physical education unit and gym were on the other side of the corridor and prisoners didn’t usually come here, so why was this woman here, she thought, and why isn’t she wearing her skirt?

“Where’s your skirt?” Asked Lisa.

“I’ve lost it, Miss,” came Clare’s reply. She added: “I was sure I packed it in my bag but when I arrived at the gym and unpacked a few minutes ago it wasn’t there.”

“Ok, so who told you to come here?” Asked Lisa.

“Miss McGregor,” replied Clare.

They should have guessed, thought Martin and Lisa, as the gym mistress, Mrs Arnold, was well known for not being the most punctual person, especially on a Monday morning, this one proving to be no exception, obviously leaving the young assistant, Miss McGregor, to supervise the women until she arrived.

It seemed to Clare that no one really knew what to do now, and it would only take a couple of minutes to go back and find the skirt.

Clare said, looking at Lisa: “Please Miss, can I go back to my four bed dorm to try and find it?”

“Yes, good idea, I will come with you.” Lisa replied, and off they went.

Martin looked back along the corridor at Clare and Lisa departing for the two minute walk. He stared at Clare walking away and thought: ‘I never knew she had such a fantastic bum!’

He sat down.

‘Wow! That was a sight I thought I’d never see.’

He had to admit, she still had it; that dark hair, tall frame, nice figure, those legs and that newly discovered bum. He tried to prepare himself for the coming day but found it hard; he couldn’t take his mind off of what he had just seen. In fact, he smiled broadly and wiped his eyes and forehead in incredulity. This wasn’t in the script. They had been gone longer than expected and he now assumed they had got a replacement skirt and Lisa had returned Clare to Physical to play rounders, netball, circuit training or whatever took Mrs Arnold’s fancy, once she had arrived.

Switching his computer on, the door swung open and Lisa and Clare returned. Surprised, Martin looked up and quickly swallowed the mouthful of a Cornish pasty he was eating for breakfast.

Lisa said to him: “Couldn’t find her skirt. We went back to Miss McGregor, who has put her on report.”

Martin raised his eyebrows. He was surprised Michelle McGregor had put Clare on report, given she was a fairly new civilian member of staff, but she had the authority to do so. The matter was now escalated and, as DDO, he would now be directly involved.

“Sit down then, please Mrs Stevens.” He said, aware that so far they hadn’t spoken to each other.

Clare sat down on one of the plastic chairs behind the main desk. Lisa sat down next to her. Martin remained behind the desk and cleared his throat.

“Mrs Stevens, you are charged with not being in possession of an article of signed-for prison issue clothing, namely a green athletics or gym skirt, lost today 21st December 2016. How do you plead?”

Clare was sitting far enough back from the desk that Martin could see all of her long bare legs. Again he could hardly believe what was taking place.

“Guilty,” said Clare.

“Ok, Clare. Having pleaded guilty, you have two choices. Either accept the punishment that we will carry out today or you can elect to receive your punishment direct from the governess.” Martin said rather more informally by using her first name.

Clare was more than aware that Mrs Williams, the young governess, liked her, as Clare did her, but Mrs Williams was away now until the New Year. So, unless she wanted to remain locked up over Christmas and into 2017 she had to opt for the former option.

Both Clare and Sarah Williams were middle class, church going women and had a lot in common. They would surely have been great friends in difference circumstances. Clare was convinced Mrs Williams would have dismissed the charge even if she pleaded guilty. Clare would have got the chance to thank Mrs Williams in a slightly subservient, girlish way which, unbeknown to Clare, Sarah Williams loved, and Clare did too, although she hated to admit it to herself.

Clare’s very small smile disappeared as she looked at Martin Higgins. She could hardly believe this was happening either and said: “I will take the punishment today, please Sir.”

Martin nodded, trying to suppress a smile. He knew what was coming. Just as he was going to close her file down on the computer he saw a warning flag with the number 1 on the ‘Reports’ file. He opened the file up and was astonished to see Clare had been on report before.

“Oh Mrs Stevens, I see you have been put on report before.”

While Clare squirmed in her chair, a huge amount of satisfaction came over Martin.

‘Twenty-five years ago you sat opposite me at that pub and wouldn’t give me the time of day, or more accurately night.’ He thought. ‘Now you’re sitting opposite me in your pants calling me Sir.’

Clare brought him out of his short but pleasant day dream.

“Yes Sir, I was put on report for losing my knickers, but the case was dropped before adjudication.”

Martin frowned, not quite knowing why the case would have been dropped. Lisa then informed him of the hushed up incident that he knew nothing about, and Clare only the very brief details.

“I’m afraid Mrs Steven’s knickers were stolen by a member of staff.”

Martin raised his eyebrows and Clare nodded slightly. This much, she knew. Martin looked quizzically at Lisa, prompting her to continue.

“Another member of staff spotted them framed on the wall in the Clink Bar.”

Clare looked horrified and turned round to Lisa and said: “What?”

Martin thought this was risible and could only exclaim: “Really?”

‘The Clink’ is a well-known prison-themed town centre bar and nightclub just outside the main entrance to the prison they were currently in. It had a well-deserved reputation for violence and binge drinking by its young and uncontrollable clientele. Martin instantly thought that was so unfair Clare should be here when just over the wall some people in that bar and the town do more harm in one night that she would do in her whole life.

Lisa continued: “Yes, the bar said they purchased the item in good faith and that’s that. We can’t do anything. Our former colleague now lives overseas and the CPS are no longer pursuing her.”

Clare was visibly and understandably shocked, turning to Lisa slightly angrily saying: “You wait until I tell my husband, Miss!”

But both Lisa and Martin knew that would do nothing.

Martin stood up, informing Lisa and instructing Clare: “Ok ladies, Punishment Room,” reminding them all after the Clink Bar shock that Clare had elected for punishment.

Both Clare and Lisa stood up at once. Clare adjusted her jumper slightly and then pulled at the bottom of it. Martin thought it was a futile attempt at covering her gym knicker clad bottom. Despite the current situation, Clare still held herself very well as he looked at her, admiring her form, still regretting that he was never the chosen one.

It never really made sense to him why the punishment room was not next to the discipline office. However, the only reason he could come up with was that it might be distracting for the mainly female admin workers in this corridor to hear the smacks, moans, and grunts that would emanate from the punishment rooms.

“Ok Lisa, take her to the punishment room please.” Martin said, forgetting not to use her first name in front of a prisoner.

He looked at them both; Lisa in her tight black skirt and light blue blouse with shiny prison service epaulettes; Clare in a yellow jumper and green knickers, white socks and Nike trainers. It was a bizarre slight. He looked at Clare’s fantastic bottom, the thrill of what was about to happen welling up in this throat.

They started walking down the corridor, Martin following the two females. Lisa offered her hand, which Clare had to take. The working week had just begun and a few of the female admin workers were milling around in the corridor, no doubt chatting about the weekend rather than anything to do with work.

Clare held her head up high and Martin was impressed at how she kept her composure, bearing in mind it couldn’t be easy walking around in your pants in front of other people. Now walking through the prison landing, Clare’s white prison knickers could be seen poking out from under her gym knickers as they rode up slightly. Clare squeezed on Lisa’s hand for reassurance as the cat calls and laughter came her way. Finally they arrived at the punishment room; Clare, for one, relieved.

Martin opened the door and turned the strip lighting on as they entered. The window-less room had plain brick walls, two radiators, and one wall clock. To the left was a small table with a lamp, a telephone and three chairs. Above the table was a wooden cabinet. In the middle of the room was the dreaded horizontal x-cross.

After a few seconds of awkward silence, Lisa said: “Take both pairs of knickers off, Mrs Stevens.”

Clare was stunned, expecting to be spanked over her pants, and took a deep breath.

She pleaded: “But Miss, not in front of Mr Higgins.”

Lisa, unmoved, replied: “But Miss, nothing. Naked below the waist, now, please Mrs Stevens,” before almost shouting: “Do you understand?”

Clare immediately put her hands to her hips, looked at Lisa and said: “Yes, Miss,” before pulling off both sets of knickers in one go.

Martin gulped in appreciation of her wonderful bottom. Clare passed both her briefs to Lisa who then passed them to Martin, Clare’s face now red with embarrassment as Martin won the pass the parcel game of her underwear. He pulled out her white prison knickers from inside her green gym knickers and checked the name and prison number stitched into the waist band and then did the same with the gym knickers. Thankfully, they were hers.

“Keep your socks and trainers on and mount the equipment,” ordered Lisa.

Clare walked to the cross and raised herself up onto it without any difficulty. Lisa then restrained Clare’s ankles and moved around to her wrists. By now Clare was utterly humiliated and scared, and started quietly weeping. Lisa got a chair and drew it up next to Clare’s head that was resting on a pillow. She sat down and patted Clare on the shoulder.

“Now, now, Mrs Stevens, come on, it won’t be that bad, I promise.”

Martin was surprised at Lisa’s tenderness and maturity.

Clare was comforted and quietly said: “Yes, Miss,” as much to herself as to Lisa.

Clare realised she was getting rather turned on by the situation and her own submissiveness.

Lisa got up, opened the cabinet and took out a wooden spanking paddle, which she handed to Martin.

As Martin approached the straddled woman, he detected a whiff of something fruity.

“What’s that smell of fruit?”

Clare interrupted. “It’s Apple shower gel, Sir.”

Clare laughed, and Lisa joined in.

“Well, I’m glad your laughing, Clare.” Martin said, relieved that Clare wasn’t in floods of tears before this even started.

“We’ll have to call you Clare Applebum now,” said Lisa, continuing the light hearted theme.

Laughing, Clare again replied: “Yes, Miss.”

Martin then added: “Or perhaps Bonita would be more suitable?”

Clare and Lisa both laughed although Martin wasn’t sure either of them got the joke. Martin looked down again and noticed a few dark hairs on Clare’s buttocks which were courtesy of that jet black hair that some people from Irish stock have. He loved it. Her bum was stunning, round and firm, not too big and not too small. Richard was one hell of a lucky guy, he thought.

‘She must really be hating this, and me,’ Martin thought, as he prepared to start the spanking.

Clare continued to close her eyes. Her mind was racing; she was understandably apprehensive but that emotion was now being dulled by her feeling somewhat sexy. She tried to stop thinking that way but, knowing Martin Higgins had a full unobstructed view of her now denuded derriere, she found it annoyingly impossibly.

“Right, Mrs Stevens, I will now commence the ten spanks.”

Clare replied: “Yes, Sir,” dreamily and submissively, those two words running off her tongue like honey.

Martin aimed the paddle across her buttocks and SMACKED her gently. She immediately tensed and let out a small “owww”.

‘That’s for rejecting me,’ Martin jokingly thought.

Clare, now out of her dream like state, nearly said: “Harder.”

The second full buttock SMACK was anyway a lot harder. Clare tensed her buttocks, shifted on the cross and moaned slightly. Lisa patted her on the shoulder.

‘That’s for going out with Richard Stevens,’ thought Martin.

Clare, meanwhile, was thinking this paddling was awesome and how come she and Richard had never done this.

The third SMACK was on Clare’s left buttock and stung. Clare sucked in air through gritted teeth and lowered her head down towards the ground, her shoulder length black hair following seconds later.

‘That’s for totally blanking me when I saw you in town,’ thought Martin.

‘I hope Richard will be as good as Martin at this,’ thought Clare.

The fourth SMACK was on Clare’s right buttock and again really stung. Clare gritted her teeth, clenched her teeth and said: “God,” quietly in both pain and pleasure. She couldn’t work out which emotion was stronger.

Martin thought: ‘That’s for buying a house that I could never afford and making me feel inadequate.’

Clare thought: ‘I’m starting to really love this!’ She almost laughed with the thought of Martin’s sister, Alice, watching this.

Martin looked down at Clare’s two gloriously fleshy but firm orbs and the delightfully inviting division that separated them. He decided the next spank would be hard.

During the brief pause Lisa asked Clare if she was ok.

She replied: “Yes,” the tone of her voice now full of excitement.

Martin paddled her across the buttocks hard, the wood connecting to her bum with a high pitched click.

“Aarrgghhhhh,” cried Clare in response.

‘That’s for letting Richard Stevens put that expensive diamond ring on your finger,’ Martin thought now with a smile.

Clare lowered her head down again and closed her eyes. ‘Martin Higgins, what a bastard. I never knew he could be so hot.’

Within a second the sixth spank crashed down on Mrs Steven’s lush derriere with a WHACK.

“Ouchhhhh, Arrrghhhhhh, God, Jesus, Sir!” Clare said, almost pleading.

‘That’s for walking up the aisle with Richard Stevens,’ thought Martin.

‘God, wait until I tell Richard about this. I would love to see them fighting over me.’ Clare closed her eyes and smiled. Martin would absolutely flatten Richard in a fight.

The seventh spank was on Clare’s left buttock, a little softer than the previous one, the SLAP landing close to the middle of her bottom. Although these were paddle spankings and Clare was a newbie to all of this, she was taking it well although Martin was sure she was feeling the pain. She adjusted herself on the frame slightly and moved her legs and ankles against the restraints. Martin looking down at the view which he knew he would never have again.

‘Well that spank’s for going on a luxury honeymoon to the Indian Ocean while I was working in a low paid, dead end job on a grey overcast inner London industrial estate.’

‘He knows exactly when to ease up, he must have done this before. I wonder if I know any of the lucky women,’ Clare thought.

Lisa looked at Clare and offered comfort by saying: “Nearly there.”

Clare replied: “Yes, Miss,” but now didn’t really want it to end.

The eighth spank SLAPPED down hard across her buttocks. Clare gave out an “ouch” and strained her arms and legs against the restraints. She opened her eyes and took in her surroundings in order to convince herself she was actually in prison and not dreaming or in a kinky club. She breathed in and buried her face in the padding provided on the cross.

At that point, it came to Martin that she might even be enjoying this.

The ninth spank was a WHACK again across her buttocks. It was a stinger and she let out a: “God, oh Sir, god, please no, Sir, oh god, oh god.”

‘That’s for having someone else’s babies,’ though Martin.

Clare started moaning in what Martin couldn’t work out was pain or pleasure. Lisa knew exactly what it was and, smiling, she looked at Clare.

Lisa got up and opened a drawer under the desk. Walking back with a small pot, Lisa said: “I’m going to have to give you an after spanking massage in a minute, Mrs Stevens.”

Clare found the idea of another woman, especially a much younger one, touching her bum mind-blowingly sexy and then, more humorously, thought: ‘How do I break it to Richard that I’m a lesbian?’

The final spank, Martin decided, had to be hard. He took a deep breath and waited for a few seconds, psyching himself up. He raised his arm and with nearly all his power the paddle crashed down on Clare’s red buttocks.

“Arrgggggg! God, no!” Her arms and legs strained against the restraints. “Agggrrrhhh! No more, please Sir!” She dropped her head, but in frustration raised it again and then shouted: “Please Sir! Please Sir!” over and over again. She banged her stomach and pelvis against the frame, while Martin and Lisa looked on stunned. After thirty seconds it stopped and Clare started panting, physically exhausted.

Martin had also come down from a metal high, and thought: ‘That one was for…’ He waited and suddenly thought how stupid he had been to think up reasons each time for spanking her, when all she was doing was living her own life. He felt guilty for a number of reasons, and was close to tears, but the job was now done.

Lisa started to apply the cream to Clare’s bum. Martin walked over to the seat where Lisa had sat facing Clare. Clare had her eyes closed, understandably sore, tired and emotional. He could hear her breathing. She sounded relaxed and contented and Martin became almost angry that Lisa was doing the massage. He had performed the judicial spanking with a paddle as per regulations, but the one thing he really wanted was skin on skin contact. He had come so close.

The phone ringing took them all by surprise. Martin rushed to pick it up.

A soft Scottish voice asked if Lisa was there. It turned out it was Lisa’s boyfriend, Billy. Martin handed the phone to Lisa. The conversation soon turned to money and within thirty seconds Lisa had almost forgotten where she was.

The adrenaline started pumping around Martin’s body and he quickly asked Clare: “I can continue the massage if you’re ok with that.” After a pause he added: “To get it over with.”

Clare smiled and said: “That’s fine,” with a slight laugh.

Martin coated his hands in cream and then put his hands down on Clare’s bum, gently rubbing in a circular motion on each of Clare’s buttocks. Feeling those smooth firm globes of divine flesh wobble under his hand, while Lisa continued her animated conversation with Billy, Martin was in seventh heaven.

Martin looked at the clock and thought reluctantly that he had to call time on the punishment, if that was the right word for it now. Lisa released Clare from the cross and Martin gave Clare both her pairs of knickers back. Lisa got the punishment sheets out of her bag and started filling the forms at the table. Clare, watching, was holding her knickers in her left hand making no attempt to put them back on. Lisa then called Clare over to sign the form giving Martin one last chance to see the best bottom he had ever or would ever be likely to see as Clare took her time signing the punishment form.

“Ok, let’s go back to the Discipline Office and Mrs Arnold can collect you from there, Martin said. “I suggest you put your knickers back on now, Mrs Stevens.”

Finally, she did and they walked back the way they had come, Lisa and Clare again holding hands. All three of them were physically and mentally exhausted. They reached the Discipline Office and Mrs Arnold, the aging gym mistress, was already standing outside.

“Good to see you, Mrs Stevens.” Mrs Arnold said. “Hurry up, we’re playing rounders in a few minutes.”

“I can’t, Miss, I’ve lost my skirt,” replied Clare.

“Don’t worry about that, Clare, none of the girls are. I told them all to take their skirts off before we started this morning.”

Clare looked exasperated. She had got to the gym first and, assuming she would need the skirt, then had to admit losing an item of kit. If she had only arrived a minute or so later, none of this would have happened.

Clare looked at Martin and Lisa. She was just about to cry with anger and then, looking at Martin, she sniggered. That started Lisa laughing and soon the three of them were giggling over what Clare’s unfortunate mistake had led to.

Lisa looked at Martin, then turned to Mrs Arnold and said: “No, I’m taking Mrs Stevens to sickbay so she can recover.”

Mrs Arnold, not used to being anything other than the boss, replied slightly irritated: “No, I’m taking Mrs Stevens to the gym hall to play rounders.”

Clare, meanwhile, standing between them, said nothing as the verbal tug of war over her continued. Lisa eventually won the day, having to ‘pull rank’ over Mrs Arnold to get her way.

Martin smiled. ‘Now Clare’s got women fighting over her,’ he thought as she was led off to the sickbay by Lisa.

The afternoon was understandable less dramatic than the morning, but the working day soon ended and Martin felt so guilty. He decided to visit Clare in the sickbay to apologise before going home. He arrived at the sickbay and the duty sister told him what room to go to. He only had a few minutes before visiting time so it had to be a short visit, but that would be enough time, he thought.

He turned the corner and walked into her door-less room. Two young nurses were attending to her and one of them was rubbing cream on her behind. Startled, they stood upright.

Martin smiled and said: “Can I have a few moments alone with Mrs Stevens, please?”

“Of course, Sir,” said one of the girls very politely, then smiled as they left.

Clare was now completely naked and lying on her tummy.

“Do you want me to pull the sheet over you, Clare?” Offered Martin.

She turned her head and smiled at him. “No, it’s ok. They will be back to finish it off.”

He nodded and asked: “How are you?”

“Fine, thanks.” Clare replied.

“And your bottom?” He continued.

She smiled. “It’s sore but ok.”

He smiled. “At least you’re getting appropriate care.”

She laughed and exclaimed: “Appropriate care? They’re playing with my bum.”

Martin smiled and asked: “It’s not that bad, is it? What else would you otherwise be doing tonight.”

“Parents Association meeting. But I’d take a bum massage over that every time.”

They both laughed.

“Seriously, Clare, I’m sorry about today.” Martin said.

“No need to be at all. It’s not your fault I’m in prison, and it’s not your fault I lost my skirt.” Clare replied.

Martin was just about to reply when the two young nurses reappeared, obviously wanting to finish before visiting time. He turned back to Clare and spoke.

“Goodbye, Clare, and good luck.”

“Thanks, see you later, Martin.” She replied.

Martin turned and walked away, saying: “She’s all yours” to the girls hovering at the entrance, who then quickly walked towards Clare to continue their fun.

Martin went home and at the end of the following day Clare also returned home, just in time for Christmas. A few days later, on Christmas Eve, there was a knock at the door. It was the postman with a package requiring a signature. He took it back into the living room and opened the attached card.

‘To Martin, have a wonderful Christmas, from Clare, x.’

Martin opened the wrapping paper expecting to see a framed photo or painting, but couldn’t believe his eyes. It was the framed pair of Clare’s prison knickers that had hung in the Clink Bar. He shook his head and laughed at the bizarre gift. He then noticed on the reverse side of the card more writing.

‘I’ve been a very naughty girl!’

Martin laughed, but resisted the temptation to contact her.

The phone rang and Martin woke from his wine fuelled nap. He realised he had been dreaming about last year. He had had no further contact in the following twelve months from Clare. He picked the phone up. It was his sister asking him if he wanted to go for a Christmas drink down the pub. Yes, that pub!

Martin sensibly didn’t tell his sister he had just spent the last hour dreaming about Clare, who was apparently also going. Unfortunately Martin couldn’t make it but asked his sister to pass his best wishes to Clare. He walked up to his bedroom and smiled at the framed pants now hanging over his double bed, a reminder of Clare and her fantastic bum. He opened the drawer of his bedside cabinet and felt the cotton material and pulled it out. Lifting the green gym skirt up, he folded it into some Christmas wrapping paper.

He wrote Clare’s address on the package and then attached a card with the words:

‘To Clare, have a wonderful Christmas, from Martin, x’

Then, on the other side, he wrote: ‘Sorry, I’ve been a very, very naughty boy.’

The End

© Katie Hammond 2016