The blue flashing lights reflected off the rear-view mirror a split second before the peal of the siren sounded. Kate glanced at the radar scrambler mounted on the dashboard, wondering why it hadn’t beeped to alert her to the presence of the cop.
“Shit!” she swore loudly, slamming the palm of her hand against the steering wheel for effect. She didn’t know exactly how fast she’d been going, but it was well over 150 km/h the last time she’d checked. She wound down the window slowly. This was not going to be good.
“Licence please, ma’am,” the burly police officer standing there requested politely, his stern voice a deep rumble.
Trying to keep her shaking hands still, she fished around in her handbag for her wallet. Holding the little plastic card between trembling fingers, she passed her licence out the window to him. Please don’t let it be Luke, she silently begged the universe. Please… anyone but Luke…
“Thank you, Miss Archer,” the deep voice rumbled again. She looked up into eyes the deepest shade of brown, his ruggedly handsome face framed by sandy blonde hair cropped short, mostly hidden under his policeman’s hat. His square jaw was darkened with just a hint of stubble, the blue uniform outlining his broad shoulders and muscular chest to perfection.
It was Luke. The ten years since she’d seen him had treated him well—maturity had been good to his looks. Now well into his thirties, his body had filled out, his shoulders had gotten bigger, and his face had the tiny lines of someone who liked to laugh.
Tears filled her eyes as she leaned forward, pressing her forehead against the steering wheel. Out of all the police officers in town, why did it have to be Luke who had pulled her over? The only man who’d ever broken her heart?
“Hop out of your car please, ma’am, and come and take a seat in the squad car.” He opened her door and stood back to let her out, his six-foot-tall presence intimidating. Slowly, she obeyed him, her legs like jelly as she followed him over to the police sedan parked behind her vehicle, the revolving lights on the roof still flashing. Ever the gentleman, Luke opened the passenger door on the squad car for her, gesturing for her to sit inside.
Her breathing was coming in short, rapid gasps, her heart was racing. She was going down. She’d lose her licence for sure, at that speed. And no licence meant no job… and no job meant she would lose everything… her house, her little girl… she shook her head sadly and tried to blink back her tears.
The car rocked slightly as Luke climbed into the drivers’ seat and she flinched as he touched her shoulder gently.
“Why did you do it, Kate?” he asked softly, his deep rumbly voice barely more than a raspy whisper.
She shrugged. She had no reason. Not really. Just frustration over yet another fight with Carl, the father of her little girl… her emotions often spilled over when she was driving, especially on this quiet, straight stretch of country road. Speeding chased away the demons that plagued her, gave her a fresh start.
“Kate?” his voice was persistent this time, sterner. “I’m waiting.”
“Personal reasons?” The deep voice was raised slightly, this time, traces of anger evident in his tone. “So there’s no excuse for it then? There’s no one’s life at stake? No one was chasing you, trying to gun you down?”
Kate shook her head silently as she felt her body going cold. What was she going to do? There was another court hearing scheduled for next week, more custody issues… if this got out, if Carl found out, if she lost her licence, she’d lose her little girl for sure.
“Tell me, Kate.” The voice was kind this time, but she knew better than to trust him. She’d trusted him before, and he’d shattered her heart into a million pieces.
“No.” She spoke quietly, but forcefully.
She felt his fingers grip her chin. The skin of his hands was rough, but his touch was gentle as he tilted her face to look at him. He’d removed his hat, it was resting on his knee. His cropped hair gave him a sexy edge; he looked tougher with no hat to soften his features.
“Your radar scrambler did a good job. I couldn’t clock your speed. But you had to be going at least 160, right?”
She nodded almost imperceptibly, but he noticed it.
“At that speed, if you’d hit something, your body would disintegrate. It would be in bits all over the road; I’d be scraping it up.” He paused, to let that fact sink in.
“Do you?” The question was rhetorical, but the scolding tone made her wince.
“What’s going to happen to me?” she asked in a small voice. “There’s another custody hearing next week, if this goes to court I’m going to lose my little girl.” She wrenched her chin free of Luke’s hold and put her face in her hands, utterly miserable. Her life may as well be over—she was about to lose everything that mattered to her.
“Talk to me, Kate.” Luke’s hand was on her back now, rubbing gently, and his voice was kind, tender, caring. She remembered what a compassionate man he was, how loving and kind he used to be, and the barrier she’d hastily put up around herself came tumbling down. Fighting back tears, forcing the sobs back down into her throat, she told him about Carl, about her little girl, Lily, and her fears for the future, now that she’d been caught driving so recklessly. She assumed she would be charged not only with speeding but also with dangerous driving, and who knew what other charges Luke would try to pin on her. His mile-wide arrogant streak had lent itself well to law enforcement—he took his job seriously. She’d never known him to let anyone off with just a warning if he’d caught them breaking the law.
“I don’t want to ticket you Kate—speeding of this calibre would go to court. You’d lose your licence and your car, and yes, possibly your little girl, if Carl’s lawyer is as good as you say. But Kate, that driving was dangerous. You know that. I can’t let you get away with it, you know I can’t. I don’t have a choice.”
“Please, Luke, please let me off, just this once… please!” She begged him desperately, not knowing what else to do. Going to court, losing Lily, would destroy her.
“I can’t.” He sounded genuinely sorry, but his refusal was firm.
“Please, Luke. You’ve already broken my heart once, please don’t destroy me again.”
He touched her cheek gently, his deep brown eyes boring into hers. “What do you want me to do? You have to be punished for this! I’m a cop—this is what I do—I keep people safe. I can’t just let this one go.”
Kate swallowed hard and tried to think. What was she going to do? Without the proof of the radar gun it would be his word against hers if she fought the ticket, but it still would go against her with Carl and custody. So fighting it that way wouldn’t work. Besides, she knew she was guilty, and she couldn’t stand up in court and lie, she couldn’t stand up and say she didn’t speed. Telling the truth had always been important to her… just as upholding the law was important to Luke, she realised now. He couldn’t let her off scot-free any more than she could lie. But giving in to him, letting him ticket her so easily, was too much. She stood to lose everything. Would he punish her in another way?
Her mind drifted back to the decade before, when they’d been together… he’d caught her speeding then, too, and he’d busted her butt good for it. He’d walloped her right then, on the side of the road, bent over the bonnet of her car, her skirt up over her back, her panties down around her thighs. He’d got in several good, hard slaps before the sound of an approaching car made him step back and let her up. Then he’d finished the job back at her place later on, once he’d finished his shift. He’d bared her bottom and used his belt, raising welts all over her ass, not stopping until she was lying, sobbing, breathless, in a heap on her bed, completely limp. Then he’d fucked her hard, claiming her as his own, ramming into her over and over again, grinding his pelvis against her, thrusting faster and faster, groaning her name as he’d come inside her. He wouldn’t let her come; that had been part of her punishment. He’d taken her right to the edge, but he wouldn’t let her go over. It had been a week before he’d let her find release in orgasm.
“Would you…. Would you… punish me in some other way?” she pleaded, suddenly coy, frightened of his answer.
“What do you mean? What other way is there? Besides the law?”
“You could spank me,” she suggested. “Just like old times.” She looked up at him then, staring directly into his eyes, pleading with him. “Please,” she begged. “You loved me once. Please do it this way, for old time’s sake?” She watched in horror as he shook his head slowly. “Luke!” she cried, terrified. “Please don’t make me lose my daughter!” The pure desperation in her voice must have touched something inside of the hardened cop because he looked at her briefly, then looked away. When his eyes returned to her, he nodded, just once.
“Okay,” he relented. “For old time’s sake. But it’s gotta be hard, it’s gonna hurt. Bare bottom, with my belt. You don’t beg me to stop—it’s over when I say it’s over, and not before.” He held her face gently between his hands. “You sure you want to do this? You can still take your chances in court, you know. It might be easier on your backside.”
“No. I can’t risk losing my daughter.”
“So you agree to a hard punishment spanking then? We need to be clear on this.”
“We’re clear.” The sense of relief she felt was overwhelming, but she couldn’t relax. She knew this would hurt, but she also knew that no matter how hard Luke walloped her, no matter how long the spanking lasted, the pain would be much easier to bear than the pain of losing custody of Lily. Think of Lily, she told herself, breathing deeply, in and out, trying to calm her nerves.
“We’ll go back to my house then,” he told her. “I would say the station, but I can’t guarantee privacy there. My house is empty, and there’s no neighbours to overhear.”
Kate wanted to argue, but she bit it back. If she pushed him, he might change his mind about this whole thing, and that was the last thing she wanted. So, putting on a brave face, she collected her handbag out of her car, locked it, and pocketed the keys.
The ride there was silent. Kate was too nervous to talk and Luke didn’t speak. Nor did he look at her. By the time they got there, she was a nervous wreck.
Luke’s house was just as she remembered it. Nothing had changed, not even the layout of the furniture. Looking around, she knew where every door led, she knew what she would find if she walked down the hallway. She knew the view she would see if she looked out the window to her right; this place was as familiar to her as her own house.
“Come.” Luke took her hand and led her to the comfortable, low couch over against the wall. He sat down on it, pulling her gently down across his lap, then he rested his hand softly on the seat of her jeans. “Do you know why you are here, across my knee like a naughty little girl, about to get your bottom smacked?” he asked her sternly.
“Yes sir,” she murmured.
“Because I was speeding.”
She continued to lie there, draped across his lap like that, while he lectured her on the dangers of speeding and described the chaotic scene he would have come across if she had hit something. The lecture went on for quite some time, but she tuned it out. She didn’t need a lecture, she needed him to get on with it so she could go home and try to sort her life out. It was falling apart at the seams and she was helpless to stop it. Which is exactly why she’d been speeding in the first place—it helped.
Smack! The first swat took her by surprise and she jumped. “You weren’t paying attention to what I was saying, were you?” Luke asked her sternly. “Should I just let you go and write you out a ticket like I should be doing?”
“No Luke, please.”
“I’m risking my career for you here, you do realise that, don’t you?”
“I do. Thank you. I’m sorry, I will pay attention now, I promise.”
“You’d better,” he growled, punctuating his words with another slap.
“Ow!” she shrieked, kicking her legs.
“That didn’t even hurt,” he admonished her. “Besides, we’ve barely started!” He let her up then and she stood in front of him, eyes downcast. She didn’t want to be here. She didn’t want Luke to spank her. Even now, before they’d even done anything, old feelings were welling up. Those old feelings of tenderness, caring, love, were pushing aside the anger and betrayal she’d been harbouring for years. The last thing she needed was to fall for Luke Gallagher again. He’d already broken her heart once, there was no way he’d be getting the opportunity to do it again.
“Take your jeans down,” he ordered her softly, but his voice was firm. “Let’s say you were going 160. You in agreement with that?”
She nodded slowly as she fumbled with the button of her jeans. She wasn’t shaking anymore but her fingers may as well have been jelly they were so useless. She swallowed hard to get rid of the lump in her throat—it didn’t work. Maybe she should back out now while there was still time. Carl may not find out… she might not lose Lily… but she knew those ‘might nots’ had a pretty slim chance of happening. The reality was, submitting to Luke’s punishment now was far preferable to the alternative.
She finally got all the buttons undone and pushed her jeans down to mid-thigh.
“Panties too.” The order was spoken just above a whisper this time, but she heard it. And he inserted a finger into the waistband of the plain cotton knickers to remind her, just in case she hadn’t. Biting her lip, she shimmied the undergarment down to join her jeans. She sucked in a breath when Luke caught her chin in his hand and tilted her face up to look at him.
“Now that your bottom is bare, I want you to ask for your spanking. First of all, you will get the first hundred with my hand, then some corner time, then the final sixty with my belt, which you will also ask for.” He released her chin. “Ask when you’re ready.”
She exhaled loudly, nervously. She was scared. Actually, she was terrified. Luke was a strong man. His shoulders were huge, his biceps strained the seams of his shirt. How hard did he intend to smack her? Surely he wasn’t going to use all his strength? Even half his strength would be too much… she hoped he would temper his power enough that she could bear it.
“Please Luke, spank me,” she murmured timidly, hardly able to believe she was saying those words.
“I need a bit more detail, Kate,” he told her sternly.
“Please spank my bare bottom a hundred times with your hand,” she asked again, a bit bolder this time.
“How hard should I spank you, Kate?” he asked.
My god this is torture, she thought. Can’t we just get it over with already? “Umm,” she thought. Lightly? Can I ask for lightly? But she knew the answer. “As hard as you feel is necessary for me to learn my lesson,” she answered, as if by rote.
“The correct answer was ‘very hard’ but I’ll let you off that one. I suppose that answer is acceptable.” He reached for her hand and gave her a gentle tug. “Over my lap you go, my girl.”
She lowered herself carefully across his thighs, balancing her hands on the floor next to his left foot, her legs stretched out behind her, the tips of her toes touching the floor. She felt him cross his leg over hers, pinning them down, then he rested one hand on the small of her back. His touch was gentle and comforting, and she drew on his strength. She would get through this—she had to.
The first flurry of swats came hard and fast, relentless, ten of them, all landing in the same place on her left buttock. She was left gasping for breath, trying not to cry out as the searing pain ripped through her. With barely a pause he landed ten more on her right buttock, setting the fullest part of her bottom on fire. She was biting her lip trying to hold back the cries, but the sting was intense and she knew she wouldn’t be able to remain silent for much longer.
The pattern changed then, and the next twenty were delivered slower and harder, alternating two on each cheek, slightly lower than before. She blinked rapidly to halt the tears, but they flowed unbidden down her cheeks. Small squeaks were escaping her lips and she was wriggling frantically, trying to escape the biting swats that just kept landing, relentlessly, over and over without pause.
The next ten were even harder, one spank per second, and he spread them out to cover her entire bottom. This was torture! She was already crying; she felt pathetic.
“You’re doing well,” he whispered in her ear as he rubbed her back in slow, gentle circles. “We’re half way through this first part.” He rested his hand on her bottom for a minute, continuing the soothing circles with his other hand, giving her a chance to calm down. Once she’d caught her breath he spoke again, in that same husky whisper that sounded so sexy, so much in control. “Are you ready to continue now? We’re not going to stop again.”
She inhaled loudly. “Yes, sir.”
It didn’t take long before she was struggling again; her bottom felt like it was on fire. Even though she did her best to hold still she kicked and squirmed as each scorching smack fell and the burning in her bottom intensified. She couldn’t even fight the tears now—they ran freely down her face to drop in a puddle on the floor between her hands. But she knew they weren’t only tears of pain—they were the release of the stress that had been building up inside her for weeks.
As the spanking continued she wasn’t even aware of Luke’s hand branding her anymore; all she was aware of was the stress slowly ebbing from her body. There was something so cathartic about being spanked; it was awakening primal needs within her that she didn’t even know she had.
Suddenly, she realised Luke wasn’t spanking her anymore. One hand was resting lightly on her bottom, the other was kneading the back of her neck and shoulders. And he was waiting for her. How long had she been like this, sobbing brokenly, while he watched?
Mortified, she made a move to sit up and he helped her, lifting her gently. He wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly, but only briefly. All too soon he released her from his embrace and spun her around, pushing her gently towards the corner.
“Corner time for you now young lady,” he commanded firmly. “Leave your pants down, just as they are. You will stay in the corner until you are ready to ask for the final part of your spanking. Take as long as you need; I’ll be waiting.”
His hands were on her shoulders, guiding her, as she hobbled as fast as she could to the corner, her jeans huddled around her ankles, hindering her movements. Once there, she let him place her hands on her head and she stood still, facing the wall.
She was awash with emotions as she stood there in the corner, embarrassed by her position—her well-punished bare bottom on display in her ex-boyfriend’s house—ashamed of the way she’d behaved to get herself into this predicament. And the worry, always the worry. Even before Carl had started fighting for custody she’d worried over Lily. Was she a good enough mother? Did Lily have everything she needed? But once the custody fight had started that worry had intensified. Carl had made her out to be an unfit mother, a scourge to society and she wasn’t… not really. Sure, she’d made mistakes, all mothers made mistakes sometimes, but she was doing her best. Wasn’t that what counted? That she loved her daughter and was doing her absolute best by her? Carl didn’t see it that way, though. But then, Carl never had. Carl didn’t even want Lily full-time, he just wanted to use their daughter to make her miserable. And Carl’s team of lawyers was much better than the single lawyer she could barely afford.
What was wrong with her? Why did she keep choosing the wrong man? First Luke had broken her heart—ripped it out and trampled on it more like—now Carl was trying to destroy her. Tears flowed down her face again as she wallowed in her misery.
“I’m ready for the rest of my spanking, Luke,” she whispered.
She felt Luke’s big hands on her shoulders, turning her, guiding her back to the low couch, bending her over and placing her hands gently on the seat.
“Spread your legs,” he ordered, slapping the inside of her thighs lightly until they were spread to his satisfaction. “Good. Now I want you to ask for the rest of your spanking properly.”
She heard him pulling his belt out of his uniform pants and she stiffened. The belt Luke wore was thick and wide, made of hard, supple leather that she knew would inflict a serious sting. She exhaled, trying to force herself to relax. She couldn’t.
“Please spank me Luke,” she asked. “Sixty times, with your belt.”
She heard a whoosh as he swished it through the air, felt the breath of wind as he whipped it beside her. She peered back over her shoulder just in time to see him double it over and palm the buckle end. Then she squeezed her eyes shut tightly. She couldn’t look.
Swish crack! The first lash was unlike anything she’d expected. She’d known it would hurt, but she hadn’t been expecting the vicious bite that came. It tore through her and shocked her, scorching her already-sore flesh. She bit back a scream. The next few followed hard and fast, and she bit her lip fiercely to stop herself from crying out. By focusing on her breathing she was able to cope with the pain—big deep breaths in through her nose and blowing it out through her mouth, but after a while all that did was frustrate her. She needed to cry. She needed the catharsis it offered. Crying was cleansing and freeing, and God knew she needed that. So much bitterness was trapped inside her, so much pain, so much misery, so much stress and worry.
Luke’s belt landed repeatedly, over and over again, from the top of her bottom all the way down her thighs then all the way back up again, criss-crossing her bottom in welts. She gave in to the pain and let it wash over her, shuddering each time the wicked belt landed.
She lost count of how many times the belt had fallen. Her legs were weak and she leaned forward, resting her knees on the front of the couch, taking the weight off her legs. She felt Luke wrap his arm around her waist, holding her up, supporting her, to take the final strokes.
When it was done, he threw his belt down and took her in his arms, where she snuggled against his broad chest and cried. She didn’t know how long they stood there, her sobbing while he held her, nor did she care. All that mattered right now was that there were strong arms around her, someone was with her, and she felt safe. It felt right.
“I love you,” he whispered tenderly, dropping a gentle kiss on her hair. “I never stopped loving you. The day you left me, my heart broke.” She sobbed harder at that revelation as he wiped her tears away with his thumb.
“You cheated on me!” she ground out between sobs, reminding him. The betrayal had just about killed her.
“No,” he argued softly, shaking his head. “I never did. You thought I did—you saw that other woman and you thought the red stain on my shirt was her lipstick. But you never asked, you just assumed. And when I tried to tell you the truth you didn’t listen. There was never anyone else, Kate. There was only you. There’s never been anyone else since you—you stole my heart, baby.”
Stunned, she looked at him. “What do you mean, you never cheated?” she asked him, confused. She knew what she saw. That red smudge on his shirt could only have been one thing… why was he lying to her after all these years? What did it matter now?”
“I promise you, sweetheart,” he whispered, smoothing her hair back from her face, looking into her eyes tenderly. “I did not cheat on you, I promise. I can explain it all later, but for now, just know that I did not cheat on you. I could never do that to you.”
“Tell me now, Luke, I need to know,” she begged, swiping at her face with the back of her hand. “Please.”
He sighed, then sat down on the couch, pulling her gently down with him. She winced as her hot bottom came into contact with his pants, but she leaned back against him and took the weight off, and it was bearable. Sore, but bearable.
“I can’t even remember her name now, but she was a jewellery designer. I was getting a ring custom made. For you.”
Kate gasped. A ring? For her? That could have meant only one thing…
“The red on my shirt was pastel. You know, for art. Like crayon? She’d brought colours to show me, and I got it on my finger without realising. When I straightened my collar the pastel rubbed off my finger onto my shirt and smudged. That was what you saw. And when you accused me of cheating and wouldn’t let me explain, I got angry and told myself I didn’t want to marry you anyway, if you could believe that of me so easily. So I let you go. I should have fought for you, but I didn’t. I’m sorry.”
“Oh Luke,” she cried, tears of shame and regret overwhelming her. “I’m so sorry!”
“Shhh,” Luke soothed her, rubbing his fingers through her hair. “It doesn’t matter now,” he whispered.
“But it does!” she cried.
“No, it doesn’t,” he argued, putting a finger over her lips to quieten her. “We’ve got our whole lives ahead of us. There’s plenty of time for that.” Then he lowered his lips to hers and kissed her deeply, passionately.
She broke the kiss for long enough to say one thing: “Our whole lives.”
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