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The Forbidden Castle by Dinah McLeod – Extended Preview

The Forbidden Castle by Dinah McLeodAldéric was eating breakfast when I awoke the next morning. When my eyes fluttered open and I saw him, I was profoundly relieved. I hadn’t imagined it, had I? He had promised that I might stay?

Bonjour,” I whispered timidly.

When he looked up, meeting my gaze, he gave me a gentle smile. “Bonjour, Aimée. I trust you slept well?”

“Yes, thank you.”

“Are you hungry?” Without waiting for an answer, he carried the tray over to my bed and set it in front of me. There were two plates, one mostly eaten and one untouched. There were eggs, raspberries and fried meat.

I didn’t think I could eat a thing, until the food was in front of me. Still, I took small, tentative bites, constantly aware of the fact that he was watching me. I tried to think of something to say, but nothing came to mind. I wished there was something witty, or sweet or seductive, something I could say that would thaw the ice that seemed to have grown between us.

In the end, Aldéric was the one to speak up first. “I’ve put some thought to the things you told me last night. I’m afraid I wasn’t as sympathetic as I should have been. You’ve been put through a great deal, Aimée, the least of which was coming here and I should have given that consideration and shown you some comfort. I regret now that I did not.” His apology caught me so off guard that all I could do was stare at him. He stared back, nonplussed, as he continued. “In truth, though I regret that you felt the need to lie to me, I can’t help but be grateful that you are not betrothed.”

His eyes were soft and full of compassion, his face sympathetic and hopeful and I could have squealed with giddy, child-like joy. I had hardly dared hope that things could be set to rights between us, that things might return to the way they once were, and yet…

When he knelt beside the bed, taking my hand in his, my breath caught in my throat. “The things he asked you… ordered you to do, that doesn’t sound like love, Aimée. Did you mistake it for such?”

I dropped my eyes, my cheeks coloring in shame. “I don’t think I truly believed he ever loved me. I thought it was enough, that I loved him.”

“And do you love him still?” I gave a vehement shake of my head, but Aldéric only clucked his tongue. “I need to hear you say it, sweetheart. I need you to look at me and tell me the truth this time.”

When I met his eyes, I was biting down on my lip, hard. Did he think less of me for what I’d told him? Now, with distance and time between us, I could see what a fool I’d been where Geoffrey was concerned. Such a stupid little fool. Yet, Aldéric had only tenderness in his face, which helped me find my tongue. “I do not love him. How could I, when I didn’t know a thing about love? I think I was besotted with him, hoping for a better life, but I see now that even if his affections had ever turned my way, that is something he never could have given me.”

His only response was to bend forward and kiss my hand. I’d hoped that he might do more, but when he stood, I saw his face was serious once more. “I care for you deeply, Aimée, I want you to know that.”

“I do.”

“Good, then surely you understand why I must punish you for your deceit.”

My heart stalled in my chest at his pronouncement. I’d nearly forgotten—nay, not forgotten, perhaps hoped that he would forget the promised chastisement. “It won’t happen again, I swear it.”

“I’m glad to hear that, but the fact remains that your actions have consequences. Do you wish to accept them?”

His face was blank, as if he didn’t care which answer I chose, but I knew better. “Yes.” It was a timid whisper of a word, but he caught it anyway.

“I have to warn you, I take this as a very serious offense and I don’t intend to let you off lightly.”

Oui, monsieur. I understand.”

“Very good. Now, take off your clothes.” Though the command came softly there could be no doubt that it was a command. If I wondered, I only had to meet his firm, unflinching gaze to see for myself.

I swallowed hard. I had no doubt that this unveiling wouldn’t be for anything pleasant and I found my lip trembling at the thought of facing his wrath. Though I’d asked for this chastisement, it was difficult to see the hard set of his jaw and know how unpleasant it would be. At least when it was done, I would be forgiven. There was some consolation in that, though I doubted I would remember it when my bottom was being whipped. I raised my hands to the laces of the nightgown he’d given me, but my fingers were shaking.

“Here, allow me.” His voice was gruff, but not unkind. Aldéric stepped toward me and I closed my eyes so that I didn’t have to see the steely resolve in his face, so that I could pretend he was undressing me out of nothing more than sheer desire. It was hard to allow myself that daydream when he whisked the garment off me in one swift motion and immediately began to work on lowering my chemise. I’d been undressed by him before and there was no denying that this was wholly different—he was efficient and there was no lingering tenderness in his touch.

When the last piece of clothing had been lowered to the floor I stepped out of the pile, hugging my arms to my chest in a vain attempt to ward off the chill in the room and to hide my budding nipples.

“Look at me, Aimée.”

I sucked in a deep breath of cool air, steeling myself before my lids fluttered open. I’d hoped his expression would have softened, seeing me like this, but his face was impossible to read.

“Do you remember our agreement?”

How could I forget it, particularly with the cold air reminding me of my nakedness? “Oui.”

“Good. You will submit to every chastisement I deem necessary or return home. Am I understood?”

My brow furrowed as I considered him. What did he mean by every?

“Aimée?” he prompted impatiently.

I nodded, meeting his eyes so that he would see my sincerity. I was eager to do penance and set things right between us again. Maybe then the next time he undressed me I’d see something closer to passion in his eyes. The thought made a shiver run through me, though it had nothing to do with the cold this time. “Tell me what I must do.”

For a moment, his face seemed to soften and I thought that he might reach for me, but it vanished as quickly as it had first appeared and when he spoke again, his voice was just as impenetrable, leaving me to assume I’d imagined it. “Only obey, that is all I require. Can you do this, no matter the order?”

My belly was twisting into knots as I pondered his question. How badly I wanted to assure him that I could while believing it myself. But somehow I suspected that he would require complete submission, and I didn’t know if I was capable of surrendering myself in such a manner.

“Aimée?”

It was his voice, so masculine and authoritative, yet so sweet, so dear to my ears that made me nod my agreement.

“I need to hear you say it,” he murmured huskily.

Oui, monsieur. I am yours to command.”

There was no denying the way his face changed, some of the hardness yielding in his obvious delight. He did reach toward me, but to my surprise instead of a gentle caress he grabbed a fistful of my loose blonde strands and pulled me toward him, making me cry out. Yet, for the sting in my head, I was more excited than hurt. “Such lovely words from such a beautiful mouth.” He brought his lips to mine, crushing them in an embrace that could hardly be called a kiss—it was commanding and hard, unyielding and passionate. From that very moment, I understood that Aldéric was in complete control. I was his to kiss or abuse, however he chose. Yet, if this was abuse my body responded in ways that told me I relished his command over my body.

When we broke apart, both panting as he pushed me back away from him, his eyes glinted at me with such passion and lust that it took my breath away all over again. “Do you want me?” I asked softly in a hopeful plea.

“There will be time for that,” he answered, his voice brusque and all business. “After.”

I dipped my head in a show of submission, waiting for his first order. I didn’t have to wait long.

“I intend to take you through to the dining room where we will join the other servants and townspeople for the evening meal.”

“Townspeople?” My voice was a squeak and he rewarded me with a half-smile.

“Yes. The master opens the dining hall to the workers of the estate and their families every evening for the meal. He has a separate dining hall, naturally, and is rarely seen there.”

“Like this?” I gestured helplessly to my naked form.

Oui.”

Suddenly, a ringing filled my ears and I was afraid I would faint. “I don’t know if I can do this.” My voice was feeble with protest.

“You said you wanted to make amends,” he reminded me, his voice chiding and patient all at once.

“I know but… this?” I shrank back as though I could hide my nakedness beneath my small hands. “Can’t you just whip me?”

“Oh, I shall ensure you don’t sit comfortably for days, don’t doubt that. But first, I think a lesson of another kind is in order. Unless…” His eyes slid over to the puddle of my clothing on the floor and back to me again.

“No,” I answered softly. To refuse my punishment would mean going home, which would mean leaving Aldéric, which wasn’t something I was willing to do.

“Very good. And no matter how unpleasant this becomes for you, just remember… just know that I do care about you, Aimée. I wouldn’t be doing this otherwise.”

“I know.”

He nodded and let his eyes roam my body, everything exposed to his probing gaze. His eyes fell on my pert nipples that I couldn’t hide despite the fact that I was covering them with my hands. Aldéric reached over and batted my hand away, proceeding to tweak one between his fingers, making me cry out. “Ah, I nearly forgot. Wait here for me.”

Knowing I could do little else, I waited as he went to his desk and withdrew something from a drawer. He kept it concealed in his hand as he walked toward me, and I resolved to bear it, whatever it might be. At first, when he opened his hand and I saw two brass clamps in his hand, held together by a bit of black string. I could only look at him dubiously. “What are those?”

“It’s better to show you,” he replied. “Put your arms down.” It took me a moment to comply, but Aldéric was patient, watching me without a word until I finally obeyed. “This might pinch just a bit.”

“A bit?” I echoed nervously.

“I wouldn’t really know,” he admitted with a shrug. “I’ve never had cause to use them, until now.”

“Oh. So you don’t know how they work then?”

“I know the idea behind it, never you fear.”

But I was afraid and it must have shown on my face, for Aldéric reached over and ran his finger down my cheek in a light caress.

“Be brave. You can do that for me, can’t you, Aimée?”

“I can try.”

“Such a sweet girl,” he murmured, giving me the briefest of smiles before turning his attention to the business at hand. As I watched, he clenched one of the clamps between his fingers, pressing down gently until it opened. My eyes were immediately drawn to the row of shiny little teeth inside. “Now, it goes here, just so.”

My breath left me in a rush, part gasp, part moan as he clamped it down on my stiffened nipple. “That hurts!”

“Though I can’t be perfectly certain, I believe that’s the idea.” His green eyes danced, telling me that he had no doubt about it at all. “Now, the other.”

“Oh no, Aldéric, please don’t.”

“It’ll be over in a moment.” He was firmly insistent and true to his word—it took only a second for him to put the other into place. Though the initial bite was momentary, the pulsing ache left behind was not so quick to fade.

“Must I wear these?” I asked, my voice thick with unshed tears. I feared that I already knew the answer.

“You must. They will stay in place to serve as a reminder of sorts if I need to provide further correction.”

“Further correction?” I whimpered.

Without answering, he reached for the string and gave it a little yank. The teeth of the clamps sank deeper into my tender skin and I couldn’t contain my pitiful moan.

“Please, no more, I’ll be good!”

“See that you are. Now, dinner awaits.” He gestured toward the door, looking to me, waiting for me to obey.

I could feel my legs trembling at the thought of walking out there, naked, with these strange, painful contraptions piercing my body. What an odd sight I would make! The thought that people would be looking at me… oh, I’d never been so mortified! My body flushed with embarrassment, chasing away the earlier chill. How I longed to refuse, but I knew that to do so would be to break our agreement and I knew the alternative. I couldn’t bear to have Aldéric lost to me forever—and besides which, it was true that I deserved to be punished for my deception. I’d promised to obey and obey I must, no matter how sick with fear it made me.

Though I felt faint, I mustered every ounce of courage I possessed, forcing my feet to move toward the door. I tried to summon Charline’s impassive mask, borrow a bit of Camille’s strength, but in the end, I was myself, for better or worse, and that was what I had to rely on. The shame would be all my own, after all.

Aldéric put a hand out, stopping me when I reached the door. I turned toward him hopefully, wondering if he might yet relent. I could see from the first glance that he would not. “The moment you cross that threshold, Aimée, you are being punished. You must remember that.”

I nodded, though truly I understood not at all.

He must have sensed it, because he continued to explain. “In light of your repeated transgressions, the chastisement will be very different from what you’ve come to expect. From this moment, I want you to recall that you promised to obey me. Understand?”

My mind whirled with questions, but I could see that he was in no mood to give answers. I had a decision to make, then and there. Was I going to accept whatever punishment he’d devised and try to build a life together, or would I return to the world I’d left behind, which had been dreary at best? “Yes, monsieur.” My voice was a thin, reedy whisper. When I spoke again, it was strong. “I understand.”

Though I’d hoped for a bit of praise to lend me strength, he only nodded as if he’d expected no less. “The first rule is this: you shall not speak without my permission.”

My brow furrowed at the odd command, but even so I was quick to nod my agreement and fall into step beside him as he swept from the room. Though I’d walked the castle hallways before, this time I wasn’t taking in the exquisite craftsmanship and painstaking detail; my only thought was of Aldéric and doing everything I could to please him.

The air between us was charged—it was very odd indeed, but from the moment we’d crossed the threshold, something had changed between us. I’d always felt myself to be his equal, and he’d always treated me with honor and respect, but now there was something in his long, agitated stride, in the set of his shoulders that told me that for this moment, things were not as they had been. The only thing for me to do was to please his every whim in hopes that once my chastisement was over everything would be forgiven.

I kept my eyes trained to the stone floor, but I couldn’t close my ears to the whispers that followed me. As I walked, I saw several pairs of beat-up shoes and felt the stares of their owners piercing my flesh as I made my way down the hall. I did my best to pay them no mind and I certainly didn’t meet them, but nor could I help the flush that stole over my cheeks, growing hotter by the minute.

“Why, it’s the latest fashion from Paris!” One woman taunted.

“I think they’ve finally got it right,” her male companion returned, all within my earshot.

The onlookers continued to call out comments about my bare state, my flushed face, but Aldéric ignored them so I had no choice but to close my ears and pretend I too was deaf to them.

Never had a walk seemed so long and when we finally reached the dining hall, I stood stock still outside the door, terrified to move. I couldn’t do it after all. I’d thought, hoped that I could, but it wasn’t possible.

“Come,” Aldéric snapped his fingers.

I shook my head from side to side. “I’m sorry, but I cannot.”

He moved behind me so swiftly that I didn’t have time to even shield my buttocks before his large hand came crashing down. I cried out and he followed it with another swat and then another. “You must. And what did I tell you about not speaking?”

My eyes were shining with a thin sheen of tears as I bowed my head to escape the fire in his gaze.

“Now, you may come of your own accord or I shall lead you in by your breasts.”

I couldn’t help but shudder at the threat and when he threw open the doors I forced myself to walk behind him. There was the normal clamor of dinner conversation and laughter, but as I walked into the hall it dropped off, bit by bit, until I was enclosed in silence. Every part of my body flushed with shame and I wanted nothing more than to shield myself from the stares, but I did not dare.

“Do not move from my side,” Aldéric instructed as he made his way to a table. I followed behind dutifully, expecting to sit on the bench next to him until he held up his hand and pointed downward at the floor.

I swallowed hard, but dropped to my knees, my bottom tingling at even the brief contact with the hard, cold stone. There were already people seated at the table Aldéric selected and I did my best to avoid their eyes, though there was nothing I could do to hide from their probing stares.

Bonjour to you all,” I heard him greet them. “I hope you don’t mind if I break bread with you?”

“Not at all,” one of the men replied. “But I feel compelled to ask. Who is your… ah… companion?”

“Think of her as a treasured castle pet,” he answered, his voice filled with mirth.

Shame made my head dip down lower, and upon hearing his remark, I bit down on my lip, hard, lest I be tempted to reply. I was certain that my humiliation was complete until a girl who could be no older than my own eighteen years came to stand in front of me.

“She’s simply darling!” she exclaimed. “May I pet her?”

As indignant as I was at the idea of being patted as though I truly was an animal, Aldéric’s reply startled me more.

“She is being punished, I’m afraid affection is only for good dogs. You can swat her bottom a few times, if you’d like.”

My head snapped up at his pronouncement and I looked at him with stunned, wide eyes—not that he seemed to take any notice.

“Oh, might I?” she exclaimed, sounding as excited as if she’d been handed a gift.

“Aimée.” He snapped his fingers once more and gestured for me to turn around. I glowered at him, but did as I was bid. “Push your bottom out. Yes, like that.”

The girl’s first swat was more of a pat than a spank, but mortification made tears rise to my eyes and it was all I could do to blink them away. As her hand landed again—firmer this time—and I heard a smattering of laugher ripple through the dining hall the sound pierced me worse than any lash of the whip ever had.

“Put your arm into it, dear!” a man called out, chortling.

The next swat made it clear that she was responding to the onlookers, and I swallowed back my tears the best I could. I hardly felt the spanks, though I suspected that was because my body was becoming numb.

“She didn’t even make as much as a whimper,” I heard her complain, hearing the screech of the bench as she took her seat once more.

I was relieved that it was over. I had been brought so low with shame that I was nearly kissing the floor, but I could endure. I would.

“That’s because you didn’t give her anything to whimper over,” a woman—her mother, perhaps?—scoffed.

“Ah, she’s young yet,” Aldéric replied. “Perhaps you might be of help to me, mademoiselle? I was hoping to speak to the cook.”

I hadn’t the faintest idea of why he’d wish to speak to the cook, and she didn’t ask. I waited in silence, feeling tears prickle my eyes as I endured the stares of the castle-folk around the room. I couldn’t imagine a more humiliating punishment, which, I supposed, was why he’d chosen it.

Aldéric said nothing at all to ease my discomfort, only sat there and ate his supper like nothing was amiss. It infuriated me to the point I would have stalked out of the hall, consequences be damned, if my feet weren’t leaden with indignity beneath me. My entire body trembled with it.

How much longer would I be forced to endure this? I scrunched my face, my eyes shut as tightly as I could make them, taking slow, quavering breaths and struggling not to let the tears come. I couldn’t bear to give the onlookers something else to comment on.

I knew the moment the woman returned because she came to stand in front of me, her plain black shoes cracked and caked with dirt.

“How can I be of service, monsieur?” Another voice, loud and hard, inquired.

“Ah, yes. I was hoping you might have a root of ginger for my naughty pet here.”

I could feel the woman’s eyes on me, though I didn’t dare meet them. I wasn’t sure what I was more afraid of: what I would see in the depths of her eyes, or bringing further punishment down on myself.

“As you wish, monsieur. What did you say she’s being punished for?”

“I didn’t, mademoiselle. She is being chastised for lying—a repeated offense, I’m afraid.”

“You must not know how to make much of an impression,” she scolded him.

“I suppose you are correct, madam.”

She didn’t seem to hear the amusement in his voice, but I couldn’t help but detect it. At least one of us could laugh. I heard the sound of her retreating footsteps, knowing that any moment she would return and some unknown brand of horrors would befall me. I wanted to cling to my righteous indignation, but deep down I knew that I deserved the punishment I was receiving, no matter how hard or long he chose for it to be. In fact, I’d asked for it.

When she returned, I snuck a small peek as she handed Aldéric what looked to be a whittled root. I didn’t think I’d ever seen it before and couldn’t help but wonder what he planned to do with it.

Just then, he looked up, catching my gaze, and shook his head, tsking at me. “What a naughty, naughty girl you are,” he scolded, laughter still plain in his voice. “Not to worry, we’ll take care of that. Come here, pet.”

I began to rise to my feet when he shook his head again. My face flamed as I realized what he was expecting. It took every ounce of dignity I had left to not cry as I crawled on all fours across the dirty floor to sit at his feet. As soon as I’d made my way to him, he patted his lap and I sat on my heels so that he could haul me over his knee.

“Push your bottom out; yes, like that. Now, I’ve not had cause to use this before, but I’ve heard that a small piece of this—put in the right place—will make a naughty girl truly repentant. You’ll have to let me know your thoughts.”

“I brought this along, as well,” the hard voice interjected and I felt Aldéric reach over to take something from her.

“Thank you, madam. My pet would thank you as well, but as it is she’s been forbidden to speak.”

“Just so,” she sniffed. I’d thought she would return to the kitchen, but instead I saw a woman walk in front of me for a moment before taking a seat at the table directly across from us. It looked like another spectator had decided to watch the show.

“Relax your bottom as best you can,” Aldéric murmured to me, in a voice that was not unkind.

I tried my best to comply with his orders, and soon I felt something cool and hard pressing against my anus, demanding entrance. The very thought of it made me tense, but Aldéric was quick and had already begun working the dreadful thing in. At first, I felt nothing but a small discomfort. I’d expected him to get on with the punishment, but instead once the root was inside my bottom hole, he took his time slowly massaging my bottom cheeks.

Normally, I would have enjoyed the attention, but with all the eyes on me, I couldn’t relax. On top of that, as the moments went on I began to feel an odd burning sensation that began in my tight, puckered hole and worked its way throughout the rest of my body until I felt like I was on fire. I began to whimper, and the moment the cry left my lips, Aldéric shifted me over his lap and began to spank me.

I’d hoped for a hand spanking, which was bad enough if the hand was his, but instead I felt a hard, unyielding piece of wood punish my buttocks and realized that must have been what he’d thanked the cook for. Not only had she brought this awful, burning root, but she must have given him a spoon, too.

Aldéric seemed determined to paddle me until my bottom was cherry-red, because the spoon smacked down again and again and there wasn’t a thing I could do to stop it. As the hard, unforgiving wood danced up and down my backside, the heat from the ginger turned from a burn to an ache that worked its way to my pussy in a surprising burst of arousal. The feelings warred with one another—the punishing sting of the paddle against the sudden wild desire of my pulsing sex—until I did not know which one to heed.

I began to writhe over his lap, moaning with the conflicting sensations until those moans turned to cries. Of passion or pain, I knew not. I pressed my legs together, hoping to stop my juices from spilling onto his trousers, but the move only served to increase my notice of my flaming backside.

When the spoon came down on my naked sit spots, I had to bite my lip hard to keep from crying out. But when he stopped, resting his hand while he pushed the ginger in deeper with the other, I couldn’t help myself. I howled as it seared my insides with its undeniable heat while my tender cheeks throbbed with pain. I heard several loud guffaws around me and finally, the tears came; like a dam bursting they poured, hot and fast down my cheeks. I was breaking under their stares, under the demeaning punishment I was receiving.

When his hand came smacking down on my hot bottom, the strength of the sting surprised me. His hand came down again and again, up and down each bottom cheek until my ass was burning. Each time I bucked over his lap it only made the damned root shoot more fire into my loins, but he did not stop until I was sobbing and writhing over his lap. “Had enough yet, my pet?”

My lips parted to answer, but remembering his order at the last minute I snapped them shut again and settled for vigorously nodding my head.

“Have you learned your lesson at last?”

I nodded again, faster this time, ignoring the jeers coming from the crowd.

“Very well.”

In that moment, those two words were the sweetest I’d ever heard in my life, because I knew they signaled an end to this punishment. I went practically limp with relief. When Aldéric helped me off his lap, there was tenderness in his touch, gentleness in his eyes and I collapsed against him, sobbing into his chest. “Shh, we’re nearly done, Aimée. You’ve been such a good girl.” His praise gave me the courage I needed to right myself and stand next to him, awaiting his next command.

“I’ll take the next turn!” a bawdy man called from the crowd.

I stiffened, but offered no protest. “I’m afraid not, my friend. The show’s over—the girl’s had enough.” Without another word and ignoring the disgruntled comments hurled at him, Aldéric whisked me from the room.

I was sorer than I would have believed possible, uncomfortable with the root that protruded from my bottom, my body tingling with strange sensations as it worked its odd magic. My cheeks were stiff with drying tears, yet my heart felt lighter as I trailed behind the man I loved. Just being able to admit it to myself at last, to think of him in that way, gave me a rush of euphoria that allowed me to keep my head held high despite the disgraced state I found myself in.

When we reached his room, Aldéric practically threw me inside. The door shut behind him with a resounding thud and he was upon me in an instant, his hands yanking at the string and pulling my breasts, making me mewl. The moment I opened my mouth, his tongue found its way in, insisting on its own way. I didn’t try to fight, I simply let him have control, surrendering myself as he’d asked me to do. I found that in giving him myself, I felt a freedom I’d never before experienced. I trusted him—if I didn’t, I never would have been able to undress and allow myself to be paraded around in front of strangers. I trusted him and that made it easy to give myself over to him. In fact, it made it a pleasure.

Mon Dieu, Aimée,” he growled when he came up for air. “Do you have any idea how much you tempt me? You’ll drive me to the very depths of depravity, mon chère.” Yet his voice made it clear that the thought wasn’t all-together undesirable. He reached behind me and cupped my hot ass cheeks, pulling my body against his. My breasts throbbed as my chest was pressed to his, yet I thrilled at the closeness. His fingers caressed my swollen mons, coming to rest on the root protruding from my bottom hole. Without a word, he withdrew it, making me squeal.

It was odd to realize that even though he’d removed it, I still felt the burning effects surging through my body. It was making my body hot in a way I’d never felt before, evidenced in the liquid desire pooling in my pussy.

“Have you ever been taken back here?” he asked, running his fingers over my sore back end.

Instantly, my mind flashed to a few hurried couplings with Geoffrey when he’d taken his pleasure where he wished, despite my protests. I pushed the thoughts as far from me as I could as I nodded.

His fingers responded immediately to my answer, probing in and out of my anus, exploring. Though there was no denying my initial discomfort, something about his touch was different than what I was used to. It was insistent, yet soft. As he continued to work his finger in and out, I found myself moaning in a way that had nothing to do with being uncomfortable. Before he finished—adding another long finger to the first—I was grinding my sex against him in a way that was certainly most unladylike.

“You’re still being punished, but I will be gentle with you,” he assured me and I had no doubt that he would take care to keep his word. He turned me until I faced the wall and pressed me against it.

I reached up and braced myself against it, pushing my bottom out toward him. I was immediately rewarded with a gentle pat to my bottom and a murmured “good girl” that made my heart swell and my sex clench. When I felt the tip of his cock press against my ass, I moaned and pushed out farther, spreading my trembling thighs. I hadn’t thought to be taken like this, but I wanted him more than I’d ever wanted anything in my life. I wanted to feel him inside me, I wanted his seed to spill down my legs as he claimed me for his own.

He was gentle with me, as promised, though as he entered me his thrusts came faster and faster until they were frenzied. I bit my lip until I tasted blood, determined to hold my tongue even though I could not hold back my moans. He was holding my hips as he thrust in and out and I wept anew at the feel of his hands on me. As his balls slapped my ass, the pain from the spanking I’d received was renewed, yet when I wept it was only out of love for him.

When I felt him shudder with release, felt the warm seed trickling down my naked thighs, the tears came faster. With gentle hands, he turned me to face him and one look showed that he was my Aldéric once more. There was no reproof in his face, nothing but kindness in his touch.

“Why are you crying, sweetheart?” he murmured, caressing my cheek as he wiped away the tears.

The gentleness in his touch, in his voice, only made me weep harder.

“Shh.” He carefully removed the clamps, one by one, making me cry out anew. I’d thought I’d be relieved to be free of them, yet the sting intensified in their absence. Aldéric continued to soothe me, petting my hair sympathetically. “What’s this, love? Did I hurt you?”

Mutely, I shook my head. No, he hadn’t hurt me, but he had changed me forever, to the point where going back to my old life was unthinkable.

“You can speak now, Aimée. Your punishment is over, mon amour. You did so well. Such a good girl,” he praised, kissing each of my wet cheeks in turn.

I love you. I thought it—my entire body hummed with it, I felt it with every fiber in my being, but for some reason the words would not come.

Aldéric did not press me further, merely caught me up in his arms and carried me to the bed, laying me down as gently as if I were made of glass. “You must be tired after your ordeal, my sweet. We’ll talk when you wake, but rest for now, my love.”

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