Heather Moore was very much a perfectionist; she also liked to leave very little to chance, both in her private and business life. So, when she decided on a career change, it was well thought through. Thought through with almost military precision.
She had decided at the age of thirty-nine, that she wanted to leave the corporate rat race, to pursue a fresh challenge. It had taken her a full year to decide finally that she would like to be an hotelier. However, she did not look upon being an hotelier as a longterm situation, merely as a step to early retirement.
Her plan was to purchase a run-down establishment, refurbish it to a high standard, build up a good reputation, and then wait for one of the large chains to buy her out.
Of course having such a plan is one thing, putting it into action is a quite another thing entirely. But, Heather was a serious person, not just a daydreamer, and moreover she was patient. In no way was she going to rush into buying the first place that she could find, she was way too astute for that.
Eventually, after nine months of searching and researching she found her premises. It was a now disused Victorian cottage hospital, which had been converted from an old Georgian manor house on the edge of Bronte country. The council were eager to get this perceived white elephant off their hands; so planning permission for a hotel breezed through, red tape just seemed to melt before Heather's eyes.
The conversion only took another two months, to get the manor back to its former glory, as the building itself had been soundly built. Also, the fact that Heather made a point of being “on site”, had the desired effect of spurring on her workers. Heather was no stranger to cracking the whip, both metaphorically and literally.
She had decided to go for luxury, rather than the amount of rooms, aiming herself very much at the American and Asian tourist market. No expense had been spared in the renovations, and the decour of the accommodation, as she was going all out for the higher end market. As a mark of her sole ownership, and with a slight nod to her ego and the Bronte's, she named the hotel The Moor Heather.
Recruiting the right staff though was problematic. Her choosiness, and her habit of trying to micro-manage all aspects of the hotel, made for a higher than she would have liked initial staff turnover in the first few months of the hotel being open.
This aspect of Heather's nature had always been a moot point even in her social life. She saw herself very much as an organiser, even to the point of trying to control her friends lives, to suit her aims. At times, it seemed that she viewed other people as mere stepping stones to be used by her in the navigation of the river of life. The allotted time for a friendship to last, was governed by her perceived view of the usefulness that each individual could be to her.
In her work in the financial world, this attitude and her charming veneer had paid her dividends. But in her private life it proved to be more than a little detrimental, leaving her now more or less socially marooned on the edge of the Yorkshire Pennines.
By six, months, however, Heather was indeed happy with both the team that she had managed to assemble, and her life, in general. Also, with heavy internet advertising and group discounts, the hotel was for the most part fully booked. Her restaurant and bar had garnered an excellent reputation with the locals, which led to a bonus extra revenue.
In fact, all in all, the whole venture was exceeding her wildest expectations.
The success though was a double sided sword. Having a well-trusted staff now in place, meant that Heather looked upon herself as a bit of a fifth wheel in the general running of her hotel. She was, in fact, bored, so she started out on looking for problems that were not there. The adage of “if it is not broke, don't fix it”, did not apply to her current mindset.
Most nights, she could be found in the public bar area of the hotel nursing a large glass of red wine, and searching for anything to nit-pick over.
This particular evening though, she found much more than she ever dared have hoped to find, even in her wildest dreams.
One of her group bookings, were from Atlanta Georgia; five people in total, two couples and one single male. The single man had caught Heather's attention; he had more than a passing resemblance to Billy Bob Thornton's Lorne Malvo from the tv series Fargo. Of course his accent was not that of the mid-west, it was pure Southern straight from Primary Colors. It was that combination of looks; accent, and a mischievous twinkle in his eyes that drew Heather towards him. Her plan was straightforward enough; go down to the bar, strike up a casual conversation, and then enchant him.
This rather simple plan, at least by Heather's standards, became askew as soon as she walked into the bar area.
Sure enough, Ralph Morson, her intended target was there, he was standing at the bar, the ideal place for her to make a quick introduction.
The fly in the ointment though, was Michaela Nicols, her bar and restaurant manager. As she approached the bar, she overheard a little of the conversation that Michaela and Ralph were engaged in.
“So, you are considering a vacation in the States? I hope you are not going to be a typical Brit, and just go to Orlando.” Heather heard Ralph saying to Michaela. “You know the States is an enormous country, not just the Floridian coast. You could do a whole lot worse than visiting Atlanta; I'm sure you would really enjoy our warm Southern Hospitality...”
“Well, it's all very up in the air,” Michaela replied, and then added to Heather's growing annoyance. “ I must say though, I love the way that you roll your 'r's, you make the idea of visiting very enticing.”
“Thank you, ma'am, but I must say you have a fine roll to your arse yourself, and I don't mean your accent!”
Michaela blushed visibly at this overt flirting, her eyes though were clearly encouraging further salacious chat. That coquettish look that she was giving Ralph was the last straw for Heather; “this is going to be nipped in the bud”, she thought to herself as the junior barmaid handed her drink across the bar to her.
“Has it been very busy tonight Julie?” Heather asked the barmaid.
“Er...well you know, not too busy miss...the weather, and it being a Wednesday, it's mainly just the hotel guests tonight.” Julie replied, clearly not happy at being engaged in a conversation with her boss, knowing full well that Heather could turn any words around to suit her specific purposes.
“Mmmh...I was just thinking, Michaela has been very busy lately, and if you and Paul could manage the bar on your own tonight, I would let her have an early finish, to recharge her batteries.”
Now Julie was in an unfortunate position. If she said that would be no problem, it could be read that they were overstaffed. If she said they could not cope, it could be read that Paul and herself were not competent of working unsupervised, all depending on Heather's mood.
“I'm sure we will be able to cope tonight, after all, it is unusually quiet,” Julie said, then in a patronising flash of brilliance added. “and if we did get stuck at all you're here, who better to have on hand!”
Heather, smiled and nodded, recognising in Julie an echo of her own personality, “this girl could be one to watch”, she thought to herself. Already, in her mind's eye she was thinking of the Moor Heather Hotel with a possible new bar manager.
Picking up her drink, Heather moved along the bar towards Michaela and Ralph, catching Michaela's attention.
“Hi Heather, I was just telling Mr Morson that I'm thinking of a trip to the USA later in the year.”
“Yes, well with all the work you have done here, you are well deserving of a nice holiday. In fact, I was just talking to Julie about you getting off home early tonight.” Heather stated and was then quite amused by the quizzical look on Michaela's face. “So if you want to tie up your work in the office, have yourself an early night, and as you are off work tomorrow, I'll see you bright eyed on Friday morning.”
Michaela knew by the tone of Heather's voice that this was not a suggestion, but a direct order.
“OK, thanks, Heather. Mr Morson, I bid you goodnight and hope to chat before you go home on Sunday.”
“You can bet on it, I hope to see a lot more of you before I go back Stateside.” The innuendo of that statement was lost on neither Michaela or Heather.
Heather had hoped that with Michaela's departure, she would simply become the new focus of his attention. However, that was not to be, as he just simply picked his Scotch up from the bar and headed back to where his fellow countryman were sitting.
Heather now sat at the bar alone, alone and fuming.
She took out her phone, fiddled about with it, in a pretence of being engrossed in whatever was on its screen. All the while though she was checking out Ralph's table in the mirror behind the bar. Her sixth sense was telling her that something was afoot, something that she fully intended to use for own entertainment.
Sure enough, after less than two minutes, Ralph rose from the table, saying something to his friends, and then left the bar area.
Heather waited, after all, he could have just been going to the restroom, so she waited, she waited five minutes. She waited exactly five minutes, as she watched the clock display on her phone. She then drained her glass of red wine by way of Spanish Courage and marched out to the reception foyer.
There was no-one behind the desk, as that was normal for this time of night when there were no guests either due in or due to check out.
The office behind the desk though, was not as it should be, as the door was closed. Heather nodded, confident that her sixth sense had been proved to be correct.
She stood by the door; her ear cocked to the wood. Then she heard it, the sound she so loved to hear, the sound she so loved to create.
“Should I barge in, or sneak in?” She whispered to herself aloud.
She chose the path of stealth, carefully she opened the door and quietly slipped into the office. What met her eyes came as no real shock, but Ralph's reaction did.
He was resting, with his bottom leant upon Michaela's desk; Michaela stood in front of him, her back towards Heather. Michaela's pinstriped skirt was hiked up high, well clear of both, her suspenders and her pale blue knickers, his hand slapping down on her cotton covered behind. The spanks were not particularly hard, but Heather could tell by the sound of their report that they would indeed sting.
Instead of jumping up as Heather entered the room, Ralph gazed at her evenly, the eye contact telling Heather that she had stumbled upon a kindred spirit, a wink from him confirming her thoughts.
“You really are a naughty girl aren't you?” Ralph whispered into Michaela's ear, “Sneaking in here to play while your colleagues do all your work. What would your boss think of this I wonder?”
Ralph smiled at Heather; he was now clearly playing to the gallery.
“And, what do naughty little girls deserve?”
No answer was forthcoming from Michaela, so Ralph gave her five hard slaps, two on each bottom cheek and one to the upper thigh of her left leg.
“When I ask a question of a young lady, it is only common courtesy and good manners for the girl to reply!”
“I deserve a spanking sir....” Michaela gasped.
“Yes you do indeed, young lady, you do indeed.”
It seemed to Heather that Ralph had choreographed this whole situation, even down to the way they were both dressed. Michaela as always was wearing a business suit. Tonight, however, Ralph too was also dressed in a suit, instead of his usual casual look.
Heather thought it looked like a boss giving his secretary a spanking for shoddy work. No, it didn't, Heather mentally corrected herself, the clothing was of too high a quality for such a scenario. This was more like some executive power play, a CEO and his lover maybe. Or maybe even a CEO and her lover, whatever the scene was supposed to be it had Heather's mind racing and her juices flowing.
“You know, I have a feeling that come this weekend you will have more than your share of spankings, it's just a feeling I have!” Ralph said, then motioned with his head for Heather to close the door.
Heather slammed the still partially open door, causing Michaela to quickly turn around.
“I'm sorry MR Morson, you seemed to have taken a wrong door. I really should get the signage to the restrooms made clearer.” Heather said, her face calmness personified. “You need to be back out into the reception area, and then instead of going to the bar, it's the third door on the left-hand side.”
“Thank you ma'am, the Scotch seems to have gone to my head and ruined my sense of direction,” Ralph said as he left the room.
“Michaela, I want to see you at my cottage tomorrow morning at nine-o-clock sharp, and then we can discuss, both tonight's antics and your future working for me!” Heather then also left the office, Michaela did not see the broad self-satisfied smile on Heather's face as she exited.
Michaela was now alone in the office, her eyes tearing up, the tears not caused from the stinging in her bottom. But from the fear of losing her job, and the embarrassment of having being caught in such a compromising position.