A paddle not unlike the one Emily gave young Thomas Canchi as a gift.
Three mischievous spirits.
Ben Canchi and his son Terrible Tom after that Christmas Day with Emily.
Ben Canchi looked at the clock, and sighed. He knew he should not be surprised. After all it was only 11 o’clock, and it was Christmas Eve. Why should he expect his irresponsible employer; Emily Sera, to be in the office at all?
In her early thirties Emily was young to be as successful as she was, but the fashion industry worked on talent, not age, or in Emily’s case, reliability as an employer. The tall, lanky Ben was the fashionista’s CFO, although he was as much PA as financial controller. The woman had never been what could be described as responsible, although the excesses had certainly increased since the death of her partner and mentor: Jane Money. Jane had kept her younger partner in check to an extent, without her no one told Emily no.
“Merry Christmas, Ben, darling!” Emily trilled as she breezed in the door, and kissed her employee gently on the cheek. She removed her furry hat, shook the snow off it and dropped it on the hat rack, her fur coat soon joined it. “It’s as cold as a misers fireplace out there.” The woman said, crossing to the expensive state of the art coffee machine in the expansive office.
The coffee machine and the office were two fights Ben had lost with Emily. They didn’t need such a large office, and they certainly didn’t need the machine. Ben was a tea drinker and Emily only used the machine once a week if they were lucky, she usually bought coffee from a café in their building.
“What are you doing here, Ms Sera?” Ben asked, as Emily turned from the machine, a steaming cup in hand.
“Who’s Ms Sera?” the redhead asked. “It’s Emily, you naughty man. As for the question, I work here.”
‘It’s Christmas Eve.” Ben pointed out.
“What?” Emily seemed very surprised, she looked at the calendar on her employee’s desk. “Oh my God, it is! I hadn’t realized.”
Probably too drunk at all the Christmas parties, Ben thought, rather sourly.
“What are you doing here, Ben?” Emily asked, putting her hands on her hips. “Shouldn’t you be at home with your wife and Tony?”
“It’s Tom,” Ben corrected Emily, “Terrible Tom, we call him, and I have a ton of work.”
“Oh stuff and nonsense!” Emily exclaimed. “It’s Christmas. Off you go, and I don’t want to see you back here until next year!”
“I can’t do that Ms…Emily. As it is, I’ll be lucky to be able to take tomorrow off.”
Emily’s lips pursed, and Ben was saved from further argument by the entrance of representatives of a charity. Ben knew they were only there because Emily was considered a ‘soft touch’, which she was. The woman was not only generous, she was too generous, and had a habit of giving away money she shouldn’t.
“Oh of course!” Emily exclaimed, seeing the expectant charity workers standing in the doorway. “Ben get our guests some coffee, or would you prefer tea?”
“Coffee will be fine, Ms Sera.” The man and woman assured the blonde lady.
“Now how much do you want?” Emily said, removing her cheque book and looking for a pen.
The charity representatives eyes lit up, and they were licking their lips when Ben called from the coffee machine “Emily, you know I can never work out this milk thing. Could you have a look at it for me, please?”
“Certainly, Ben. Can you please help our guests out? You have authority to sign for me.”
The faces of the charity workers fell. Ben Canchi would make out a fair amount, but it wouldn’t match the extravagance of his less level-headed employer.
Emily left the office early, and had stern words with Ben, who assured her that he would not stay late and would be out of the office not long after her. Emily shivered as the icy wind blew a gust of snow at her. She wrapped herself in her luxurious fur coat to ward off the chill. Never mind, she thought, she’d soon be home in her penthouse apartment, and warm as toast.
Although Emily only lived two city blocks from her office, she rarely walked to and from her penthouse and her place of business. She generally caught a taxi, or if she was feeling particularly hedonistic, as she was often was, a hired limousine. This frosty afternoon she had decided to walk the distance. She felt like thinking, and although there were people all around her, she had earbuds firmly inserted in her ears and no one attempted to speak to her. She found the cold weather focused her thoughts.
On Christmas Eve three years previously her friend and mentor, as well as business partner; Jane Money, had passed away at a Christmas Party. The police and coroner’s report had ruled it ‘death by misadventure’. The truth was that fuelled by a combination of alcohol and amphetamines, Jane had attempted to climb up a chimney on a dare, become wedged and died from asphyxiation. Even Emily had to chuckle at the sheer ridiculousness of the situation. Her face darkened as she recalled the funeral. She was the only person who attended out of friendship, the rest of them had been business acquaintances or hangers on who were looking forward to the party that Jane’s will had arranged for. It was one party Emily had not enjoyed. She still missed Jane and her carefree ways. She tried to make Jane’s memory live on in her own way of behaving.
Harry; the affable doorman at Emily’s building, greeted the pretty redhead as she reached the safety and the warmth of her residence. Emily turned to return the man’s hearty Merry Christmas, and stopped dead, all the colour draining from her face. Jane’s smiling face was looking at her, the blue eyes sparkling. “Wha?” Emily backed away from a concerned Harry, who was saying “Miss Sera. Are you okay, ma’am?”
Emily shut her eyes hard, opened them again and was staring at Harry’s face again. “Oh yes, Harry,” she gasped, “I’m fine. I was lost in thought, you startled me a bit is all.”
“Okay Miss Sera. You have a good night, ma’am.” The doorman said as he opened the door for Emily.
“Yes, you too Harry. Merry Christmas.”
“You’re losing it, Em’.” She told herself as she made her way to the elevator, occasionally casting glances back at the doorman just to make sure he was still definitely Harry.
Once in her luxuriously appointed penthouse on the top floor of the apartment building, Emily turned on the lights and the heat. She checked her phone messages whilst she shed her coat and put it away in the entrance closet. “Oh bother!” the woman exclaimed as the phone messages all told the same depressing story. The nasty turn in the weather had made it difficult for people to attend or even cater to the planned Christmas Eve party that Emily was also supposed to attend, so she looked like spending Christmas Eve inside and alone.
Emily sighed and used her smartphone to call a local establishment that supplied good takeaway gourmet food. Due to the weather and the short notice Emily had to pay extra, but money never concerned her. While she waited for her food to arrive, she opened a bottle of wine and curled up in front of her roaring gas fire. She ate well, and watched A Miracle of 34th Street on TV. By the time Emily looked at the clock it was quite late, and she was a little tipsy. Emily switched off the TV, and headed up the stairs to her bedroom.
As she ascended the stairs she became aware of a clanking noise. She looked around more than once, but could see nothing and she had all the lights blazing. She was just getting into her king size four-poster bed and about to draw the curtains when the noise sounded again.
“What on earth is that?” Emily murmured, she even cleaned out her ears, but could still hear it, then a sepulchral voice sounded over it “Emily,” it moaned, “Emily Sera.”
“I swear if someone is playing a prank they’ll be very sorry.” Emily vowed, reaching for a weapon on her bedside table and only finding a crystal perfume bottle, she gripped it in her fist nevertheless, and was prepared to throw it if there was an attacker or a prankster in her bedroom somehow. She peered towards the door and gasped at what she saw.
Floating in the air, fully 4 feet in the air was a Junoesque blonde woman, clad in a white billowing dress and wrapped around with heavy chains. “Emily,” she moaned again, “Emily Sera.”
“Jane?” Emily whispered.
“I am your partner, Jane.” The vision intoned.
“But you’re dead.” Emily argued. “I was one of the people who identified the body. I was at your funeral, I arranged the damn thing.”
“I am dead, but the excesses of my life have not allowed me to pass on. I am doomed to wear these chains until I can make a difference in someone’s life.” Jane explained.
Emily shook her head, this could not be happening. Was there something funny in the takeaway? Had she drunk more than she had thought and this was some sort of alcohol induced dream?
“What’s with the chains, Jane? Are they kinky in the afterlife?” and Emily giggled nervously.
Jane shook her head sadly, and her chains clinked with the movement “You need a spanking, Emily. So did I. If only someone had cared enough to spank my bottom soundly when I was alive I may not find myself in this position.”
Emily stared at the apparition and felt a shiver go through her well-upholstered derriere at the mention of spanking. Surely Jane’s shade could not be serious.
“I am the herald of the ghosts, Emily. You will be visited by three spirits this night. Take heed of them and maybe you can be saved. Goodbye my friend.” And as Emily watched Jane’s ghost slowly evaporated, all that was left were the sounds of gently clanking chains.
Emily found it hard to sleep after the ghostly visitation, although she told herself it had to be the result of too much wine or something in her food, she wondered if the mushrooms with her takeaway had been of the magic variety, she had the nagging feeling that it was neither of these, and had in fact really been the ghost of her old friend. Then there was what Jane had actually said, specifically that Emily needed a spanking. It wasn’t something Jane had ever said to her when she was alive, but a number of people from her parents, to teachers, to employers and even an occasional boyfriend, had told her that she was in desperate need of a smacked bottom. She had actually tried it once with a boyfriend, but neither of them had really known what they were doing, and both had wound up convulsed by laughter, and shared a lovely night of passion that had nothing to do with spanking.
Despite these thoughts Emily did drift off to sleep, only to be woken by loud music. She sat bolt upright in bed and twitched the curtain aside to look at her digital alarm clock, the bright digits informed her that it was nearing 1:00 AM. “What on earth…” Emily muttered, rubbing her eyes.
The curtains of her bed blew open and Emily found herself looking at a beautiful young woman, dressed in a diaphanous white gown.
“You must be one of Jane’s spirits.” Emily said to the floating woman.
With a seraphic smile, the lady in the gown nodded.
“Do you have a name?” Emily asked.
“Most call me Past.” the girl answered.
“Past?” Emily echoed.
“That’s what I am.” The ghost explained.
“Whose past?” Emily pressed.
“The answer to that would be yours, Emily.” The ghost held out one slender hand and invited Emily to take it.
Emily rose and took the offered hand, the spirit pulled the fashion designer with her, and the bedroom disappeared, to be replaced by a scene from Emily’s past.
It was a party. A Christmas party. The employees party from Emily’s first job. A smile crinkled Emily’s features as she observed the scene. That had been a great party, although the ending to it hadn’t been something Emily cared to remember. Her behaviour had earned her the sack, and if she hadn’t met with Jane then her life may have taken a very different path.
Emily watched a younger version of herself in conversation with a handsome, earnest looking young man. “Can we go closer?” she asked the ghost.
“Of course.” Past replied with a smile.
“Won’t they see us?”
“We’re not really here, Emily. This scene has been played out. I’m only here to show you what happened and make you think of how it could have been changed by you.”
With Past, Emily listened in on the conversation between she and Jason. Emily smiled to see Jason again, he had been one of her first boyfriends. Why had they broken up in the first place?
“Here have some punch, Em’.” The boy offered, holding a cup out to the young lady.
“Let’s spice that up a bit.” Emily said, with a wicked grin, producing a hip flask from her bag and pouring a generous slug into the punch bowl.
“Em!” a scandalized Jason exclaimed.
The girl giggled “It’s not a party until the punch has been spiked.”
Jason shook his head sadly, Emily was too wild for him.
“Seriously Em’, your Mum and Dad should have spanked you when you were a kid.”
Emily laughed scornfully. “Oh don’t be such a stick in the mud, Jason! What else is being young for?”
She danced away, with Jason murmuring “What happens when you’re not so young anymore?”
The older Emily suddenly remembered exactly why she had broken up with Jason on that very night, in fact.
The rest of her time with Past at that long ago Christmas party was a series of snapshots that made Emily ashamed of her younger self. She had made out with a number of young employees, gotten extremely drunk and even propositioned her boss. That particular incident had been witnessed by his scandalized wife. The older lady had even cornered Emily and informed her that if she were the girl’s mother she would give her a ‘darned good hiding’, that was before she pulled down her top and flashed the assembled gathering. It was really no surprise that her Christmas present from the company that year had been the sack.
Emily was about to ask Past to take her back when they were suddenly whisked somewhere else. A sterile hospital waiting room. The date on the clock on the white wall indicated that once again it was Christmas Eve. Emily looked around wildly and she begged Past “Take me away, take me away now! I don’t want to be here, Past!”
“You know where this is, Emily Sera.” The young looking spirit said gravely.
“Then we must stay.”
A young man rushed into the room, wild eyed. “Emily!” he cried.
Emily rose shakily from a seat and confronted the man “Greg.” She said in a weak voice.
“Is it too late?” he asked.
Emily sighed and nodded.
“Why?” he asked. “Why did you do it? I make good money, I could provide for you and our baby.”
“Greg, it’s not your baby – it is…was MY baby. My body would carry it. I have things l want to do with my life and they didn’t include a child.”
“So you just destroyed a life for your own selfish ends?” Greg asked, stricken.
Emily turned away and waved him out of the room.
Tears were streaming down Emily’s face, she turned to Past and demanded “Take me back home! I want to go home!”
“Your will shall be done Emily Sera. My sister will visit you next.”
“Your sister?” a distressed Emily asked, but she was sitting in her bed, her face wet with tears, and clutching the sheets to herself.
Emily slept again, but yet again it took her time to slip into dreamland, and she did not sleep well. She was awoken by music coming from her living room. She got out of bed and padded cautiously into the living area, wondering how she would confront an intruder. The television was on and it was playing a music clip of a scantily clad young woman warbling ‘Santa Baby’. There was a Rubenesque lady reclining on the couch. A full wine glass in one hand, and a box of open chocolates rested on her lap. While a stunned Emily watched, the woman popped a chocolate into her mouth, chewed vigorously and then washed her treat down with a swig of the wine. It was then that she saw Emily observing her from the doorway.
“Oh you’re awake!” she exclaimed.
Emily noticed that the woman was wearing the same white gown that Past had been dressed in, although it was larger to accommodate the well covered frame on the couch.
“Who are you?” Emily asked in a small voice.
“Didn’t my big sister tell you? I’m Present. Christmas Present to be exact.” And she laughed heartily.
“Big sister? Past? But you’re older than her.”
“I look older,” Present replied, getting off the couch, but not before eating another chocolate and draining the contents of her glass, “but she’s my big sister. It’s a spirit thing. I don’t make the rules, dearie. Now we’d best get started or I’ll see be here when little sis arrives and we really don’t want that, it would be terribly confusing.” She held out one plump-fingered hand, her mind awhirl Emily took the hand, and they disappeared.
When things came back into focus, Emily was looking at a family. The woman cradled a baby in her arms and her husband stood behind her smiling down fondly into the baby’s sleeping face. The mother gently laid the baby into a crib. Emily looked at Present, and they followed the parents out of the nursery and watched as they settled down in front of a crackling fire, which along with the lit up Christmas tree gave some light to the room. Emily frowned at the man, and then her mouth dropped open in an ‘o’ of surprise, and she whispered “Greg.” Present nodded sadly.
“I saw Emily today.” Greg told his wife.
The woman made an expression of distaste with her mouth, and asked “Did she have anything to say to you? Did she even recognize you?”
Greg smiled, and shook his head “She didn’t even see me. Walking along, dressed in her expensive furs without a care in the world.”
“Hasn’t changed one bit, has she?”
“Not at all. I thought Jane’s death may hit her, but it obviously hasn’t. I spoke to Ben Canchi at an industry function a few weeks ago. The poor man’s at his wit’s end. She’s going to drive the company into bankruptcy the way she’s going. He was even considering working Christmas Day to try and put everything in order.”
Greg’s wife sighed.
“His son; Tom, has met Emily a few times and thinks she’s cool.”
“Oh what a horrible role model!” Greg’s wife exclaimed.
“I know.” Greg answered.
“You threatened to spank her when you were going out before the pregnancy, didn’t you?”
“On more than one occasion.” Greg confirmed. “I don’t know that it would have made much difference. The behaviour was too ingrained to change. I’m so glad I’ve got you and little Chrissie.”
His wife smiled “So am I, darling, even if sometimes I do have to go over your knee to remind me of how lucky I am.” Greg grinned at the woman, and she continued. “I tell you, darling, if Chrissie ever shows signs of behaving like your old girlfriend she’s going over Mummy’s lap to have her little behind reddened.”
“Can we go, please?” Emily begged Present, tears evident on her cheeks.
Present nodded, and said “We’ll leave these good folk to their Christmas Eve.”
Emily had hoped that Present would take her back home. Seeing her old boyfriend Greg so happy with his new family, and knowing that her actions had ruined any chance she had had of a similar life with him had shaken the normally carefree and confident woman, all she wanted to do was burrow under the covers of her big bed and cry. No such luck. When Emily opened her eyes she was in a family living room. There was a Christmas tree with an array of brightly wrapped presents under it, one present was a shiny new bicycle. Emily looked around the room and thought to herself ‘I know this room. I’ve been here before. This is Ben’s house!’
She turned shocked eyes on Present, who smiled, laid a finger over her full lips, and nodded.
Ben and his wife; Debby, were standing together, Ben’s arm around his shapely wife’s shoulders, they were both dressed in their pajamas. A young blonde boy, also in pajamas, came running into the room. He stopped at the Christmas tree, and Emily could see him mentally counting the presents under it. “Merry Christmas, Tom!” Ben greeted his son.
“There were more last year.” Tom said coldly.
Ben’s mouth hardened, but Debby jumped in quickly “You didn’t get a bike last year, darling. Maybe we can get you something at the sales tomorrow.”
The boy scowled, but seemed slightly mollified, he went to the bicycle and threw a leg over the saddle.
“How does that feel, son?” Ben asked, keeping his tone cheerful.
“Good.” Tom answered. “Can I take it out, now?”
“Well, there are lots more presents to unwrap, maybe after breakfast.”
“That’ll be ages yet!” Tom whined, and immediately wheeled the bike around and headed for the door. Debby only just managed to get it open before her son burst through, and out onto the street.
Ben’s eyes widened as he saw the traffic that Tom, known as Terrible Tom to most that knew him, had not taken note of in his haste. The tall man took to his feet, roaring “Tom!”
Emily winced as there was the sound of screeching tires, and then sighed in relief as Ben appeared carrying a bawling Tom inside. The new bike lay on the nature strip, miraculously unharmed by the near miss. Profanities from a shaken motorist followed Ben inside, cut off by the door being angrily slammed.
“Tom, why don’t you ever do what we tell you?” Debby asked, near tears.
“Dad’s boss never does and she’s rich.”
Ben’s face turned an angry red, and as he opened his mouth to have words with his son, Debby said “He’s only a little boy, dear.”
“He’s only a naughty little boy who needs a darned good spanking, and you always take his side. Maybe if you’d been spanked growing up you’d understand how valuable they can be.”
Ben stormed out of the room, leaving an open mouthed Debby and a giggling Tom, behind in the living room.
“After that charming scene of familial harmony I think we’d best get you back.” Present said, and whisked them away.
Back in her spacious living room, TV still blaring away, Emily looked at Present through tear filled eyes, and asked “Was that all true? What we saw with Greg and Ben’s family.”
Present nodded and replied “Sadly yes, but it can be changed. I can’t see what you’d want to change for Greg, but you can alter what happens with Ben and his family. That’s more my big sister’s department though. Speaking of which I’d best take my leave before Future arrives. She may get here before I leave, and we can’t have that.”
“I didn’t know how I was affecting others.” Emily wailed.
“Selfish people rarely do, Emily.” Present said as she departed in a puff of red smoke that left a lingering odor of cranberry and cinnamon.
Through the smoke a tall, slim figure emerged. Emily could not see the woman’s face, hidden as it was by the hood on her long white robe. A skeletal hand emerged from the cloak’s large sleeves and Emily, knowing the expected response, took hold of it repressing a shudder as her hand closed around finger bones, and a chill enveloped her.
Emily and the figure she assumed to be Future were standing in a mean little office, the desk calendar had been turned to the 24th of December. Two men in sober business suits stood in the office, they had been going through records which were spread out on every surface of the small space, and they were talking in hushed tones. “So she just died,” one of them said, “like that on Christmas Eve?”
“So I was told.” The other replied.
“What did it?”
“Alcohol abuse, apparently.”
“She was so famous, so successful, and it ends here?”
“Sadly that seems to be the case.”
“She was never good with money, then when she lost her CFO she just went completely off the rails, and it all disappeared, leading us here. She was destitute. I doubt we’ll find enough to pay off her creditors.”
Emily turned to Future “Please,” she asked in a tiny voice, “who are they talking about?”
Eyes like burning red embers regarded her balefully from within the depths of the hood, and then the scene changed again.
Emily looked around wildly, Future was still standing silently beside her, but they were in a graveyard. A minister was finishing a service. A tall dark haired man gently led a sobbing blonde lady away from the freshly dug and filled in grave. “Who?” Emily begged in an unsteady voice.
The spirit pointed with a bony finger.
Emily tottered to the grave and looked at the headstone. THOMAS CANCHI, 11 years of age. Much missed and loved son of Benjamin and Deborah. Never forgotten.
Emily swallowed hard and the tears started to flow again. “He was only eleven years old!” she screamed at her silent guide.
When there was no answer forthcoming from Future, Emily asked “How?”
A newspaper appeared in the robed spirit’s hands, and she handed it to Emily.
Emily read an outlined paragraph. A young boy had ridden his bike into oncoming traffic, apparently his friends had dared him to do it after he boasted that following the rules never got you anywhere.
Emily started to shake, and the newspaper dropped from nerveless fingers. “Following the rules never gets you anywhere.” She whispered, that was the very same advice she had given ‘Terrible’ Tom Canchi when he had visited her office in the company of his father one day.
“Are we done?” she demanded icily of Future. “Have you ruined my life enough, yet?”
The spirit turned, and pointed to another grave.
Emily snatched one of the white flowers that someone had placed on Tom’s grave, and made her way to the pauper’s plot that Future had indicated.
She read the simple plaque, and then staggered back clutching her heart. The two men in the office, what they had been saying suddenly made sense. Tom’s death, that’s what had caused Ben to leave her, and that’s why this sad grave had a plaque that read EMILY SERA with the dates of her birth and her death. The death date was only 2 years from this night.
“No.” Emily said firmly, recovering her composure, and making a decision. “Do you hear me?” she said to Future. “This will not happen. Do you understand? I will not let this come to pass.”
She woke in her bed, kneeling, with the duvet over her. “What?” Emily said to the empty room around her. Slowly everything came back to her. The visits of the three spirits, culminating in the awful silent one that was called Future, and the graveyard. Emily came out from under the blanket. She looked at her clock. It was 5 in the morning. A dream, she thought with relief. It was all a dream. There must have been something wrong with the wine or maybe the cheese, the food had been too rich maybe? Emily was about to dismiss it all when she looked down at her hand, and saw that she was clutching a single white flower, the flower she had taken from Tom Canchi’s grave.
Sitting at her kitchen table with a fresh mug of hot coffee in front of her, Emily considered her life and the strange night she had endured. Aside from the nightmarish visit from Future, another thing stuck in her head. The word spanking. So many people seemed to think that her life would have changed but for a few necessary spankings. Some sound spankings could also change young Thomas Canchi’s life for the better, a sore bottom may remind him to be gracious and that he could not just flout the rules because a silly woman once told him he could. Come to think of it Emily thought, sipping her coffee, Debby Canchi could probably use the occasional smacked bottom, too. Something to remind her that she was married to a wonderful man.
Emily made some phone calls, one to a friend who had access to a department store. She had to make some promises to get her to open up and give Emily the run of the store on Christmas Day, but they were a small price to pay for what she obtained there.
The Canchis were just about to open their presents when the doorbell rang. “It’s Christmas morning!” Debby exclaimed. “Who on earth would be calling here now?”
“I’ll get it,” Tom shouted, running to the door, “Aunty Emily!” he cried.
Ben looked at his shocked wife “Emily, here on Christmas Day?” he said. “Oh God I hope the office hasn’t burned down!”
“Merry Christmas to you all!” Emily cried cheerfully, putting down a bulging sack, bussing Debby’s cheek and giving Ben a resounding kiss too.
“Ms Sera…” Ben began, before Emily automatically corrected ‘Emily’, “Emily, what are you doing here on Christmas Day?”
“I just came to give out some presents darling, and to let you know things are going to change at work from now on.”
“What sort of a present is this?” Tom asked, unwrapping a small, but sturdy looking wooden paddle.
“That, young man,” Emily smiled at the boy, “is something that will become invaluable for you, although you may not always appreciate it.”
“How does it work?” the boy asked.
Emily looked at Ben, and asked “May I?”
“Be my guest, Emily.” Ben invited, smiling at his wife and looking at the wooden spoon she held in her lap, and at the oval hairbrush in his own.
While Tom wailed over Emily’s lap as she used the brand new paddle to spank fire into his tender previously unspanked bottom cheeks, Ben Canchi used the hairbrush to do the same thing to his wife.
While Tom and Debby cuddled and sipped hot cocoa they could hear Emily Sera crying and bawling loudly as Ben Canchi spanked her by hand and then used the paddle she had gifted them to really set her cheeks aflame. As Emily sat down gingerly to Christmas dinner with the Canchi’s and she and Debby shared conspiratorial winces about the state of their freshly spanked bottoms, the fashion designer considered making Ben a partner and ensuring that her business prospered and that she would be receiving spankings to keep her mind and life on track for many years to come. The family and Emily laughed as one as Tom pulled a cracker, supplied by Emily, with his father and read out the little message that came in it ‘Spank us all, everyone!’