When wedding plans turn the bride into a brat, he knows just what to do…
All women want their perfect wedding, but when will it go too far? Stella is doing her best to make it a day that she – and everyone else – will remember until the end of forever.
As she drives her wedding to excess, she drives her head-of-household fiance up the wall. Will their relationship hold out, or does she really care more about the upcomming wedding than becoming a wife?
Publisher’s Note: This book was originally published as “The Perfect Wedding” by Bea Stover. All Blushing Books customers who purchased the original version of this book will find the revised version automatically added to their libraries.
Roger Wilson wasn?t in the mood for Stella?s nonsense. He was about to teach his fianc? a lesson.
Stella struggled and whimpered, as her 6?3? construction foreman husband-to-be pulled her across is lap.
?Stop your fighting,? he said, flipping up the flouncy little mini skirt she was wearing. ?I?m not going to have you running around spending money we don?t have, Stella. If you think I am then you?re going to spend most of married life unable to sit down.?
Stella opened her mouth to protest but a cry came out of her mouth as Roger?s hand came down hard on her bottom before she could defend herself. Soon she was bawling like a baby as his hand purposefully reddened her buttocks, his hard palm concentrating on the lower portion of her bouncing, burning cheeks.
Her tears were part from pain and part from frustration; had she been allowed to speak she would have told Roger that the $468 expense for bridesmaid gifts was perfectly justified, that they would treasure the engraved silver goblets she?d chosen for them, and that giving anything less would have made her look cheap compared to Millicent Andrews, who had given her bridesmaids beautiful little Limoges boxes. People were still talking about that!
But instead all she could do was cry and rock back and forth in a vain effort to avoid the hard, unrelenting spanks that rained down on her helpless bottom.
Finally, mercifully, he pulled her to her feet and Stella turned to see her fianc?s angry face swimming through a veil of tears. ?We are not made of money, young lady,? he said when she started to tearfully explain. ?So save your excuses. My parents and your parents have spent all they are going to spend on this wedding ? and they were very generous, I might add – and I?m not going to stand by and watch our savings dwindle because you want something beyond our means.?
He sighed then, shaking his head, and the disappointment in his voice was more painful than the spanking. ?Have you forgotten, Stella, that we?re supposed to be saving for a house??
?I-I-I?m sorry,? she finally choked. ?I didn?t know you?d be so mad.?
Roger gave an ironic laugh. ?I should spank you again for lying. You know how I feel about all this excess. How many times have I said that if it were up to me we?d have a little ceremony in the back yard and cook burgers on the grill for our friends? Or go to the justice of the peace? It?s one day, Stella. Just one day. What counts is the rest of our lives??
Stella wiped her eyes with the back of her hand and tried to slow her breathing. ?I-I-I know,? she said. ?I just want this to be special.?
?And I understand.? He stood and dropped a kiss on the top of her blonde head. ?But we need to keep this in perspective.? Roger looked at his watch and groaned. ?Good Lord. I?m late.? He gave her one more kiss, this one on her tear-soaked lips. ?I?ll see you when I get home.?
Stella stood watching as Roger left, dropping her hand to rub her sore bottom as soon as he was out the door. He generally discouraged this; instead he made her stand with her hands on her head in the corner ? red bottom on display ? as a way to prolong what he called “the lesson.” Stella just called it “humiliation.”
As Stella rubbed her throbbing backside, she was grateful that on this day her fianc? was in a hurry to leave, because she couldn?t bear any more “lesson” and sniffed pitifully as she stood there watching his Jeep pull out of the driveway. If only he understood. In all other respects, Roger was a good man. He was handsome, smart and shared her old-fashioned values.
They?d agreed upon engagement that they would live a domestic discipline lifestyle in which he would serve as head of the house and she would submit to physical correction when it was warranted. They knew what used to be conventional was a very unconventional lifestyle now and they?d sought out other couples in their area via an online Domestic Discipline forum and were fortunate to find another practicing couple right in their own town.
Mandy and her husband Craig soon became their friends and support. It was Mandy Stella called now, her hands shaking as she tapped the numbers into the phone.
Her friend knew right away that she?d gotten in trouble. ?Uh-oh,? Mandy said sympathetically when she heard Stella?s quavering voice. ?What did you do??
?Nothing!? She burst into tears again and on the other end of the line Mandy gave a little laugh.
?I always feel the same way whenever I get it,? she said. Get it was Mandy?s euphemism for spanking. ?So tell me why he thought you deserved it,? Mandy pressed.
Stella made an exasperated noise. ?He just doesn?t understand, Mandy. He thinks the wedding is silly but it?s not. It?s a special day and things have to be done, you know? And yeah, I realize that our parents gave us a bunch of money but everything is so expensive and so sometimes I have to dip into our savings. You know, for the essentials.?
Mandy sighed. ?I hear ya, hon,? she said. ?When Craig and I got married we had the same problems. He?s always been really tight with the purse strings.?
?How did you handle it?? Stella said. ?Did he spank you when you spent too much??
?Oh, we hadn?t even discovered DD then,? Mandy said. ?It?s probably a good thing. I?d have been sore all the time. Mostly I just hid what I spent.?
?You lied?? Stella was incredulous.
?No, not lied,? Mandy said, choosing her words carefully. ?I just didn?t tell him how much things cost. I?d skim from the grocery budget, move things around. You know?creative bookkeeping. It can be a real butt-saver for women in relationships like we have.?
Stella thought about this. In the pit of her soul she knew what her friend recommended was not exactly in keeping with the obedience pact she?d taken with Roger. On the other hand, the wedding was just a few weeks away, and once it was over she?d go back into full disclosure.
Until then, she could do just as Mandy suggested. ?That would make things easier,? Stella allowed. ?If I thought about it I wouldn?t have just come in and dutifully given him the receipt.?
?Oh no,? Mandy said, her voice shocked. ?You can never do that. Next time just tell him you lost it, give him a lower figure and then just cover with money from some other part of the budget. But don?t make a habit of it. Remember, it?s just for the wedding and Roger is making you do this when you think about it. He?s choosing not to understand.?
Stella nodded. That made sense to her. Loads of sense. Roger as making her disobey by his unreasonable behavior. ?Thanks, Mandy,? she said. ?You are so helpful.?
?Hey, any time, hon,? Mandy said. ?Just remember, it?s only until after the wedding. Anything beyond that wouldn?t be right.?
?Oh, I understand!? Stella smiled feeling lighter. Then she said goodbye to Mandy.
She rubbed her sore bottom again as she walked over to the table where the goblets sat. They were still surrounded by the packing peanuts they?d arrived in. She?d been examining them when Roger had come home for lunch just before giving what she now realized was a seriously foolish answer to his question, ?So how much did those cost??
She picked one of the goblets up and admired it now. ?Cynthia Ashford Wilcox? this one read. It would be given to her maid of honor, along with a beautiful necklace she was planning to pick up that afternoon. ?Roger will not know how much that costs,? she said to herself, putting the goblet down beside the others engraved with the other bridesmaids? names.
Stella carefully packed the goblets back in the box before sitting gingerly down to go over her daily list. Not only did she have to pick up the necklace, she needed to make sure her mother got her gown today. She?d been putting it off, which aggravated Stella.
?Sweetie, we still have several weeks,? she argued when Stella had pressed her about when she was going to pick it out.
But Stella did not want to wait. Her mother had to look as good as the rest of the party and the only way to assure that was to make sure she cast aside her silly frugality and buy something nice.
Heidi Sellars picked up on the third ring.
?Hi, mom,? Stella said. ?What are you doing??
?A little gardening,? she said. ?The cucumbers and tomatoes seem to have come in at once. I?ve got more than I can??
?That?s nice,? Stella said, cutting her off. ?But I have to go to the mall this afternoon to pick up Cindy?s necklace and want you to go with me so we can pick out your mother-of-the-bride dress.?
?Stella,? her mother said, her voice edged with irritation. ?I don?t really want to go today. I?ve got so much to do. I?ll go this weekend.?
?No, mom,? Stella said, her voice whiny. ?I can?t go this weekend. It?s my bachelorette party.?
?You don?t have to go!? Stella?s mother said. ?It?s my dress. You already have yours.?
?I know,? Stella said. ?But I need to make sure you get something appropriate.?
There was a pause on the other end of the line. ?Look, Stella, you need to cut this out,? Heidi Sellars said, her voice hardening just a bit. ?You’re acting like I’m going to shop for this on discount day at the Salvation Army. I?m not going to show up at the wedding in a clown suit. I?m perfectly capable of picking out a dress without your help. I?m going to devote the day to it on Saturday. Promise. It?ll give me time to comparison shop.?
Comparison shop. Stella rolled her eyes. That mean her mother was going to find the cheapest dress, not the nicest. And that wouldn?t do. ?No, mom,? she said firmly. ?I want to go with you.?
?Stella?? her mother now sounded completely exasperated, and not a little angry.
Time to play the guilt card. ?Look,? Stella said. ?Roger and I have tried to do a lot of this on our own??
?Stella!” her mother interrupted, her voice tight. “We gave you five thousand dollars!?
?I know! I know,? Stella said, trying to keep her voice calm. ?But that doesn?t go very far with everything being so expensive. And we haven?t pressed you for more, so isn’t this the least you could do??
?The least I could do?? Her mother?s voice had a warning tone.
?That?s not what I meant,? Stella said. ?I?m just saying it would mean a lot to me.?
Her mother was silent again. ?All right,? she said after a minute. ?But no pressure, Stella, OK? I pick this dress, not you.?
?I promise, Mommy,? Stella said. ?Pick you up at 1:30??
?Sure, sweetie. Bye.? The phone clicked down.
?I pick the dress, not you!? Stella repeated in a mocking imitation of her mother. ?Yeah, right,? she concluded and reached to pick up her purse. Her mother wouldn?t know fashion sense if it hit her. She was a unapologetic hippie artist living on a farm. Roger liked her and called her things like ?plucky? and ?earthy.? But Roger hadn?t had to grow up dressed in thrift store clothing in a house where the cabinets were stuffed with home-canned goods and the drawers were filled with coupons.
At least her mother was ready for her when Stella arrived. ?Remind me to give you some vegetables when we get back,? Heidi said with a smile.
?Sure,? Stella said off-handedly, but she was already planning to forget. She didn?t mind cooking but there was a reason God had invented pre-packaged food and that was to drag meal preparation out of the dark ages.