Melanie was twenty-three, with long, dark hair, a slender body and 36C breasts. They pushed into the cold polished wood of the boardroom table as she, total naked, bent over it, her legs wide apart and her head looking across the table at the company name emblazoned on the wall in front of her. JPM International, it read. The burning in her exposed buttocks had, some minutes earlier, left her with one wish – that she had never agreed to come to JMP as a temp. She should have asked the agency not to send her. Six temps in 12 months that Melanie knew personally, had all come and gone from JMP, and now she knew why they stayed such a short period of time.

“Are you ready for the next part?” The voice behind her was female, so it had to be Marina Walters. Marina was in her forties, dressed always in a dark pinstripe suit and was, Melanie had learned from the head of secretarial services some days earlier, the company secretary.

Melanie could hardly bear the pain in her buttocks from the first twenty strokes she had received at the hands of John Carlton. He was the company CEO. The rope round her lower back held her fast to the boardroom table, and her arms, stretched out at shoulder height, were tied fast to two boardroom chairs. Her legs, splayed wide, were tied to two of the table legs and she looked out over the length of the table towards the head of it. As she prepared for the next stage of her punishment, John Carlton took his seat at the head of the table and smiled down its length at the hapless woman.

Melanie sobbed slightly as she confirmed she was ready, and gritted her teeth in readiness for what she knew would happen. She sensed the woman stand behind her, taking up position, and felt the thin cane as it tapped lightly across her striped, aching bottom. Then there was a quick whistle as the cane was whipped back, a moment before it crashed back onto Melanie’s bottom, making her howl with the pain.

“That wasn’t even hard,” said the woman behind her. “You can save the shouting for later, you little thief.” The cane whistled through the air again and the second crushing, bruising stripe soon appeared on Melanie’s backside. Through teary eyes, Melanie looked at the smiling sadist seated at the head of the table and vowed they would not break her.