"Quiet. You are not to talk. We are doing this because you refused to heed my warnings. So, as part of your lesson, you need to not only hear my words, but listen to the intent behind them. If you'd listened, you might have realized I wasn't firing Krista, I was sending her home to reflect on her misdeeds. I already told you I admire her and value her opinion. So, why would I fire her for speaking out of turn with you?"
"Because you have zero tolerance for gossip," she answered, wincing slightly at the sharp smack he gave her.
"What did I say you were to do?"
"Listen, sir. But…."
"I thought you'd asked me a question. And you said—"
"Point taken. I will stop phrasing my words in the interrogative so you can just listen." His hands continued to rove from her neck to her calves as though testing for resistance. Closing her eyes, Pam gave herself over to the man holding her and listened to his words.
"Better. This is the mindset I prefer you to be in, although I know it won't always be possible for you to be this willing and obedient, but, at this moment, you are doing precisely what I ask, and that pleases me."
She sighed. His approval meant a lot to her, and she reveled in the warmth of his praise.
"Perfect, Pam." His left arm tightened its hold, but she forced herself not to tense. "Good." Then his right hand came down with a resounding smack that brought her head snapping up from her arms and tears to her eyes."