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Esq. keeps a clean house. He’s extremely Type A: organized, efficient, minimalist. I try to keep up, but compared to him I must look like a disaster. I leave my purse on the counter, cups in the bedroom, my shoes all over the apartment. E would shudder to see my desk at work.

Today, I forgot to clean up after myself when I made tea. I only remembered when I heard him asking from the kitchen, “Are you done with this tea?”

I hedged. “I might have another cup.”

“I asked, are you done with it?” He knew. By then he’d come into the bedroom where I was on my computer.

“Yes,” I said, “But you know it’s not actually a rule that I put things away when I’m done with them.” He rolled his eyes.

“Well, I was just going to use my hand, but now I’m going to get out your spoon.” That would be the wooden spoon that he bought at the farmers market this summer for the sole purpose of spanking me. It’s light, but it stings. He told me to stand up, but I put down my computer and squirmed my way over so that I was lying over the edge of the bed so he could spank me.

“There,” I said.

“Is that the best you can do?” he asked. “I told you to stand up.” He directed me to bend over the end of the bed, and he spanked me over my yoga pants just until I started whimpering.

“Now go put your tea away,” he told me, sending me away with a pat to my bottom. It was neither long nor severe, but a casual reminder to do things the right way.

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