You may find the pace in this story too slow, but this is the way I have written it, so you just have to wait. Maybe I should interrupt the story with something else? We'll see.
'Maybe I shall get ready,' Stephanie said in a way that Tom understood to be meant as demurely.
He wasn't sure it was, but it had a strange effect on him, anyway.
'Yes, please, do that.'
The crowd fell silent, and Tom had to turn and look to be sure they hadn't gone away. When he turned back to Stephanie he was overcome by a sudden redness of his cheeks, and a dryness in his throat.
Stephanie was not leaning over the chair, which he had expected. Instead she was folding her skirt and putting it to the side.
'I thought it better this way, it will only fall down. Do you have the cane?'
Ye...yes,' he stammered, and went over to his desk and picked up a sturdy cane he had got from the porters lodge.
'Good,' Stephanie said, seemingly still in command of proceedings.
Stephanie turned towards Tom, and waited. Tom said nothing, his gaze was fixed on Stephanie's bare legs.
'Oh, maybe I have to do something about the shirt,' she said, 'it's hanging too low.'
She pulled it up a bit and knotted it in front. Now Tom was not just staring at her legs, but also her very red knickers. The crowd was silent.
Stephanie stood and waited. Tom knew he was supposed to do something.
'This is the moment when you ask if I am ready, and then tell me to prepare myself,' she said and smiled.
'Oh,' he said, hesitated, 'oh, I see. Are you ready?'
'Please, prepare yourself.'
Without much hesitation, Stephanie took hold of her very red knickers and pulled them down to her knees. There was heard a collective gasp at her action.
She then turned to the chair, leaned over it, grabbed the armrests with her hands, much like Amanda had done, the evening before, but with the difference that Stephanie was not wearing a skirt.
It was time for Tom. He held out the cane, as he moved closer to her. The crowd was still dead silent. Stephanie stood in a way that her bottom was on full display for the eager onlookers. Tom placed the cane against her bottom, pulled it back and let it fly.
There was a sigh from the crowd as the sound of cane against soft skin rang out.
'I think,' Stephanie said, 'that you will have to do better. Mr Allen will inspect me, you know.'
Tom gave her another lash.
'Oh,' she gasped, 'much better, but that one will count as a half in Mr Allen's book.'
Tom was embarrassed and angered by her reproaching him. The next lash was hard and firm, and he heard a gasp, not from Stephanie, but from the audience. The stripe across her buttocks was sharp and red. Stephanie drew herself up, looked to the ceiling, lifted one leg and let out the air in her lungs.
'One,' she said.
Tom continued. He knew now how hard he had to hit for it to be appropriate. He had to brace himself for it and took his time to focus.
The crowd was with him. They gasped, sighed, and cheered when a particularly good one hit home. Stephanie moved her feet, wriggled her body, shook her bottom, threw her hair, and wailed. She counted the strokes out loud.
When they had come to fifteen, Tom was exhausted. He stopped for a while, looked at Stephanie's bottom, which had turned a bright and angry red, then at the audience, noticing that one of the girls in the crowd was the girl called Tamara, whose knickers had caused so much hilarity in the Club common room.
He knew he had to get on with the job. And when he reached twenty, he was again taken by that unusual elation that had swept through him when punishing Amanda Tilly. He got careless and a stroke hit Stephanie's thighs, and the crowd cheered.