The Gavel part 4

( A short/short in four parts.)

Are You My Punishment?

The man’s hand itched to grab his gavel; his fingers slithered toward it. He stopped short. The woman’s words had robbed him of even this small pleasure.

She continued to stand defiantly before him, her eyes boring into his, her  gaze challenging him. He could hear her unspoken words. Be a man!

Worse, he could hear her spoken ones. Are you my punishment? she’d asked.

As her composure grew, so did his discomfiture. He ran his hands over his sweaty face, peeking at her through his fingers. With a prolonged sigh he finally spoke.

“No,” he said. “You are mine.”

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