Here is part 1 of a serial I wrote about a spy mission in WWII on the eve of the Normandy invasion. Now I know what you're thinking--what could this possibly have to do with TTWD? But trust me and read on.
THE COUNTESS AND THE MAGICIAN
Saint-Die, France, March, 1944…..
The sleek black staff car pulled up to the entrance of the large French chateau. The driver got out and opened the door for the general who emerged, lifted his head, and looked around. Satisfied, he strode to the door. Someone knew he was coming because the door was flung open by a servant in formal livery. The general never broke stride. He stepped into the foyer and proffered his cap and broadcoat, never acknowledging the servant who took them.
“General Stok, how nice to see you.” An attractive and slender woman in a long black dress approached. Her blonde hair was held in an elegant coif atop her head. Her eyes were blue and her lips were painted a vivid red.
“Countess, the pleasure is all mine,” said the general, bowing stiffly at the waist.
“You have been at the front, have you not? Preparing to repel the invaders, I hope.” Everyone knew an invasion was coming. No one knew exactly when or where, but it was coming.
The general rubbed his hands together. “Preparing a surprise, Countess, a little surprise.”
The Countess took his arm. “But now is not the time to speak of that. Now is the time to relieve the stress of war, no? We have been expecting you, general, and we have a surprise I know a man of your refined tastes will appreciate.”
She led the general through the luxurious well appointed mansion. “We have made a special room, just for you.” She whispered in his ear, “You have always desired to be a schoolmaster, haven’t you? At a school for young ladies? Yes, I know it. So, for the weekend, you are one.” She smiled and the general seemed to positively shiver with delight.
Taking the general’s arm, she escorted him to his quarters, a large suite in the mansion’s west wing. “Relax, change clothes and freshen up, general. When you are ready, just call for me.” She departed and the general’s luggage arrived. He changed out of his uniform and selected a suit of the type a head master in a Prussian school might wear. That done, he sat at a desk by the window and looked out over the grounds while helping himself to a glass of the fine French wine that had been so thoughtfully provided. The grounds of the French country estate were perfectly manicured, and he took some time to let his eyes roam and soak in the ambiance. No use rushing things. He took some time to make sure his briefcase was properly secured in the safe he had had installed some weeks back. Being a regular at the chateau had its privileges. He was only the engineering corps head, but the information he carried contained allocation information, what went where and how much. Someone could glean much about Germany’s defense posture knowing such information.
After a pleasant respite he picked up the house phone and informed the staff that he was ready to see the Countess.
“Headmaster, this is Ilse. I regret having to trouble you with this problem, but Ilse has been most insubordinate and ill behaved.”
The Countess gripped the arm of Ilse who stood just inside the doorway of the “schoolroom”. The general noted with approval the gray schoolgirl jumper covering a white blouse, the sheer white stockings and the plain black shoes. The look was juvenile, the girl was not. Her blonde hair held in two pigtails, Ilse was a picture of seething sexuality masquerading as schoolgirl innocence. Stok noted the fulsome breasts straining against the blouse, the shapely calves, the peaches and cream complexion and the large blue eyes.
The general had been shown to a room in the East wing. It had all the furnishings of a schoolmaster’s study. A desk sat in front of overstuffed bookcases, while a plush sofa with a large roll topped arm rest at one end rested against a far wall. But what drew the general’s eye was the stool that stood in a corner. Four sturdy legs on a heavy frame supported a concave slatted top. Each of the legs featured buckling straps. Next to the stool was a tall cylindrical container, and Stok could see that it held slim wands, canes of varying length and thickness.
“I will leave her with you now, headmaster. I trust that you will correct her behavior appropriately.” The Countess smiled and took her leave.
Stok regarded the girl for a moment. The Countess had outdone herself. This one was a beauty, a heady combination of innocence and sexuality.
“Come here, Ilse,” he said. “Tell me, girl, what trouble has landed you in my study?”
“Oh, sir. I’ve done nothing…please sir,” she pleaded. Her anxiety seemed genuine.
“It was more than ‘nothing’, I suspect, Ilse. Students are not reported to me for trivialities. I fear I am going to have to punish you, Ilse.” He ambled over to the container and handled several of the canes. Selecting a thin yellow wand, he pulled it out and flexed it. It was very whippy. He found he could bend it in a full circle. Ilse viewed the implement of her impending chastisement with alarm. Her hands seemed to sneak behind her of their own accord, as if she could shield her tender bottom from the cane’s bite.
Stok dragged the stool to the middle of the room. “And now fraulein, you will disrobe.”
“Please, sir, must I? It’s indecent. I am innocent.”
“Obedience is required Ilse. This appears to be the problem. You will disrobe for punishment…now!” Stok emphasized this last command with a sharp whack of the cane against the seat of the stool. Ilse flinched at the sound. But then she obeyed. Stok watched with anticipation as she slipped the straps of her jumper off of her shoulders. She unbuttoned the skirt and let it fall to her feet. Next the blouse came off leaving her in stockings held by garters tied in bows, tap pants and a short camisole.
Absolutely lovely, thought Stok. She stood there, waiting, her teeth gnawing her upper lip apprehensively. “The rest of it,” said Stok, gesturing with the cane. The camisole came off, revealing perfectly formed breasts. Gingerly she slipped the tap pants down. A real blonde. “Turn around,” said Stok.
The girl turned slowly. Stok drew in a breath. Her buttocks were magnificent, plump rounded orbs with a sinuous crease between. Her bottom was set off by the stockings that ran halfway up her thighs, tied by cute bows.
“Come here Ilse, and assume the position. Over the stool with you, girl. Let’s see if a dozen good strokes of the cane will help you mind your manners.”
“Oh no, sir, please. I’ll be good in the future. I promise.” Ilse tried to cover her nakedness as she pled her case. It was to no avail.
“Now, girl,” said Stok, swishing the cane through the still air.
The girl jumped. She is genuinely frightened. Probably some hungry farm girl the Countess had promised a good meal. Then she is probably familiar with the switch. Gingerly, she came forward and prostrated herself across the stool. Stok placed the cane under his arm and secured her wrists and legs with the buckling straps. He felt the girl tremble as he cinched the straps tight. Stok stood back and contemplated his handiwork.
Ilse’s buttocks were a joy to behold, thrust out in readiness for the application of his whippy cane. Full, round and pert, they seemed to beg for the rod. Stok tapped her bottom a few times. “One dozen, Fraulein Ilse, for your impertinence.” The girl’s bottom quivered as she shifted slightly.
Stok drew back his arm. The cane bent in the air as it descended with a sick whine. Whoosh…thwack! The rod struck precisely on the crowns of her buttocks. Ilse wailed and threw her head back. A red line appeared across her seat.
“Ow! Please, sir!”
A pause…again the cane descended in a blur.
Swish…thwack! A red weal appeared.
“Yow, oh, yow!” She vainly shuffled her feet.
“Ya, this is good German discipline, Ilse,” said Stok as he whipped the cane in a shallow arc, slicing through the air and landing with a sharp thwack!
“Oh, yow! Yow!” wailed Ilse. She waggled her buttocks lewdly trying to shake off the atrocious sting. It only inflamed Stok further.
Stok set out to stripe the girl’s seat with even, methodical strokes, pausing every now and then to inspect his handiwork. It was heaven. Each time the rod struck, Ilse’s bottom globes rippled from the impact. Another red weal appeared. She ground her hips in a lewd manner as if enticing a lover, but Stok knew she was just trying to shake off the awful sting.
By the time twelve strokes had been applied the girl was begging for mercy hysterically and her bottom was a mass of livid stripes. Stok put down the cane and came around to her front. He was beside himself. Caning the succulent behind of this tender morsel had inflamed him with lust. Unbuttoning his fly he pulled out a steely erection that he directed toward the girl’s lips.
“Now let us see how truly repentant you are Ilse. Be a very good girl and the cane will stay where it is.”
Ilse opened her mouth and engulfed the general’s prick, sucking as if her life depended on it. The general leaned back and closed his eyes. It was ecstasy. He would let her carry on for a time and then he would remove his hardness from her mouth. He wanted to take her from behind while she was still secured across the whipping stool. And it was only the beginning of the weekend…
An airstrip south of London…
The major and the man from MI5 waited for the plane to land on the runway in this out of the way airstrip in southern England.
“On time,” said the civilian, looking at his watch. The old DC-3 had seen better days, but it had made it. Good.
“So this is the man who can run La Fleur?” asked the major.
“Yes. We have every confidence. He ran several very ticklish operations in North Africa. They call him ‘The Magician’”.
“Why?” asked the major.
“Because he can move seemingly invisibly. He can get in and out of places others can’t. Don’t know how he does it. The man has an odd history. As a child he travelled with his missionary parents to the Far East. They died in some accident when he was ten. He was taken in by an old man in a fishing village off the coast of Japan, and he lived there until he was nearly twenty two. Then he traveled overland to the West, finally to Europe, working here and there, until he was nearly thirty. He eventually made his way to America. The war had broken out by then and he enlisted. During training, his rather special skills were noted and he was recruited into Bill Donovan’s outfit.”
“Hmmpf,” grunted the major. “We’ll see. Our agent La Fleur has been in place in Paris since before the war. She is a valuable asset. She has papers, a residence. A bona fide French citizen. She asked specifically for Caroline Grey for this operation. Why, we are not sure.”
“But now is the time to use La Fleur,” said Wycliff, the man from MI5. “She has identified a member of the German high command who carries valuable information with him. We think The Magician can get it. But he needs cover. That is where Caroline Grey comes in. The mission requires some unique personnel. We need a data analyst. Caroline Grey is a good one. We need a pretty girl who is fluent in French and German. Caroline Grey is very pretty and speaks both languages. And LaFleur had another reason she’s not sharing, but it’s enough for us. Caroline Grey it is.”
The man who emerged from the plane didn’t look all that special. Perhaps a shade under six feet tall, he was lean and fit, but otherwise ordinary looking, with a shock of dark unkempt hair and a three day growth of beard. Dressed in the rumpled uniform of the American army, Captain Marc Merlin was hardly impressive at first glance.
But Benny Gant was impressed. The American had absorbed all that he could teach him about safecracking in a very short time. They had been at the country house for two weeks now, and they’d been working at it twelve hours a day. Benny’s parole had been secured by MI5 in exchange for his expertise in certain activities that had previously landed him in prison. As long as he cooperated with the spymasters who had sprung him, he enjoyed quarters considerably more pleasant than those at his previous address.
Caroline Grey threw her luggage on the bed and sat, exhausted. It was now close to mission launch and she was finally ensconced at the air base near Dover. In a few short days she would board a plane and head for France…and her destiny. Why she had been snatched from her post in data analysis and put through an unbelievably difficult course of escape and evasion, unarmed combat, and parachuting, she still did not know. She had not been briefed on the mission details yet. Need to know, they said. It was all so tightly compartmentalized. They had promised to tell her everything in good time. All she knew was that she was going to parachute into occupied France to meet someone, and to travel with an American agent to provide cover and to analyze some data he was supposed to get. She spoke excellent French and German as she had been educated in Switzerland, at the exclusive girls’ school, The Academy of Saint Saen.
Saint Saen. The memory of the place sent a shiver up her spine---followed by a warm flush. Why was it the upper classes sent their children to study in the strictest, most demanding environments? If was as if a life of privilege required that they endure a right of passage to test their mettle. And a test it had been. The good sisters had been of the old school when it came to matters of discipline. There was Sister Bernadette and her martinet. It had hung on a hook in her office, and woe betide the unfortunate student sent to attend her for penance.
Caroline had had that experience. A frolic out of bounds had landed Caroline and two of her schoolmates in considerable trouble. After a proper scolding, sentence had been pronounced--- report to Sister Bernadette for correction. Such a sentence meant only one thing---a whipping.
The three had arrived at the office of Sister Bernadette at the appointed hour on wobbly legs, frightened out of their wits. Sister Bernadette had a small annex attached to her office. It was a narrow chamber with one high slotted window, but otherwise bare---except for the padded block…and for the martinet that hung from a hook on the wall. They had eyed it as if it were a serpent about to strike. Five thin strands of leather eighteen inches long hung from a dark polished wooden handle. Its efficacy as an implement of hellish sting had been attested to by all their classmates. She recalled that Joselle had gone in first, and that she and Celia were thus forced to hear what was transpiring. And they could, even through the oaken door. Every few seconds there was a swish…thwack! Then a wail of distress. Twenty lashes, they had counted, together with Joselle’s piteous sobbing.
Then it had been her turn. She had quaked with fear. It was going to hurt terribly, she knew it. She had heard the stories. She had entered as bidden, passing Joselle, now leaving, sobbing and rubbing her bottom under the schoolgirl skirt. As commanded, she knelt over the block. When given the command to raise her skirt, she did so. Then came the awful command to lower her drawers to her knees. As she slid the drawers down, she had felt a cool breeze on her exposed skin. Her bottom had been thus rudely bared and made ready for correction.
“Twenty lashes, Caroline Grey,” had been all that Sister Bernadette had said. She had sucked in a breath. A second later she heard the whip’s whine and a hot stinging sensation had exploded across her buttocks, literally taking her breath away. Lash followed lash, striping her bare bottom. With each stroke she felt the searing pain and had gritted her teeth. It had kept getting worse, sting piling upon sting as the relentless whipping had continued until all twenty harsh strokes had been meted out. She had emerged from the chamber weeping, her bottom swollen and red, a thoroughly punished schoolgirl. She’d taken care after that to behave.
And then there was Angelique Dubois, her assigned senior girl. Tall, lithe, beautiful Angelique with her golden curls and her aristocratic bearing. The seniors were each assigned a girl, like a little sister. Caroline was Angelique’s. She cleaned her room, polished her shoes, made her tea, kept her effects tidy. But she was not perfect and when she fell short, there were consequences. In her way, Angelique was as much the disciplinarian as Sister Bernadette. Prefects were permitted to discipline within reason, and Angelique, she discovered, liked to spank. So Caroline, at times, found herself face down across her senior’s lap, her bottom bare, while Angelique spanked her, the crisp smacks from her palm turning her seat a hot pink. Afterwards, Angelique would laugh and kiss and cuddle her, telling her she was forgiven. From there they had ended up in Angelique’s bed, where Angelique’s fingers and tongue had driven her over the edge with ecstasy. And under Angelique’s tutelage she had learned to reciprocate. It was a relationship that had lasted for two years, then Angelique was gone. Caroline never knew where and missed her terribly. Still, Caroline had lived in fear during that time that they would be discovered by Sister Bernadette and that the penance for such delights of the flesh would have been severe indeed. But no one ever knew.
She stopped her woolgathering long enough to reconsider the mission.
Even though the details were as yet a mystery, she’d jumped at the chance to go. To actually go into the field for MI5! Intensely patriotic, she saw this as a chance to make a real difference in the war effort. She had joined the service hoping for a field assignment, but thus far she’d been relegated to a desk. So, when approached with this mysterious request she had said yes and had doggedly endured the 4am morning training, the sixteen hour days, the bruising physical conditioning. She was a Grey after all. Her father and all her brothers were serving honorably in important positions. So she would too. She wasn’t just a helpless girl, despite what her brothers thought. She’d show them.
Her instructor in tradecraft turned out to be the American. The first time she laid eyes on him she had to catch her breath. He wasn’t really handsome. His face was too craggy and angular, the nose a bit out of joint. But those dark and brooding eyes. The man’s quiet intensity. He radiated male sensuality and Caroline found herself far from immune. He made her feel like an awkward schoolgirl in the throes of a crush on her professor. But he was all business.
“The thing you don’t realize,” he said, “is that you could be under surveillance at any time. Never get out of your role. Someone could be watching. You are a French schoolgirl and I am your uncle, escorting you. This is who we are until we meet with La Fleur in Paris. Then she, whoever she is, will brief us on the rest of it.”
“They say she asked for me specifically. Who is she?”
“I don’t know and better that you don’t either. We’ll pick up instructions at a dead drop in Paris. Remember,” he added, “do what I say without question.”
She said she understood. She seemed earnest, but Merlin wasn’t sure. The girl was green. She was eager to go, but was also dangerously naive. Why this agent, La Fleur, wanted her, Merlin didn’t know, but he promised himself he’d do whatever it took to keep her from blowing their cover. The girl was pretty, that was certain. Her chestnut hair hung to her shoulders, framing a round face with green eyes set wide apart, a dainty nose and a creamy complexion. The rest of her was attractive as well. At five feet six inches tall she had a trim but curvy figure and well shaped calves that hinted at even shapelier legs. When she walked ahead of him, Merlin could not help but note the shift of the rounded cheeks of her bottom that strained against the tightly fitted skirts she favored.
On the twelfth of April the mission launched.
Merlin tightened his seat harness. It was a choppy ride. He looked at Caroline. She was wild eyed with some mix of excitement and apprehension. After weeks of training, too little in Merlin’s estimation, the mission was a go. The La Fleur had radioed that the time was now, the weather had broken, and so here they were, flying low across the Channel into occupied France. They would rendezvous with the resistance who would help get them to Paris--- if they survived the jump, that is.
To be continued....