Finally admitting defeat, Kiera decided she’d better pull over and get directions from her phone again. The last directions were obviously flawed and she was hopelessly lost. Spotting a dirt patch under a majestic sprawling oak tree, she veered off the road going a tad too fast, almost missing it completely. The dirt patch turned out to be mud or quicksand, she couldn’t tell which, and she knew she had slid into a nightmare. Spinning her tires just made mud shoot out the back, spraying it over the back window and digging her sporty SUV in deeper.
Dammit, now what the hell am I going to do? I’m stuck in the middle of God only knows where, miles from who knows what, and fantastic, my phone isn’t getting reception. Screaming in frustration, she gave in to a pity party and filled the space of her SUV with a streak of swearing that would make a sailor blush. She felt alone—alone and stupid for not printing the directions, or picking up a map. She knew better; you always prepared for a trip and knew exactly where you were going. That was Trip Planning 101 and she should know; she planned trips for a living!
Only this trip wasn’t for work—it was supposed to be for pleasure. Her best friend was getting married to the love of her life and she was her maid of honor. Meaning she was almost as frazzled as the bride with hundreds of details swirling around in her head.
With a sense of sheer panic and dread chasing her, she had practically run out the door of her Manhattan apartment to make the six-hour drive to upstate New York. Nothing had gone right at work all week; she had missed a deadline and her coworker had to pick up her slack. She wasn’t a slacker! This wedding business had thrown her off kilter, and as usual she had taken on too much. As much as she loved her friend, Francine couldn’t plan her way out of a paper bag without help.
That may be a bit harsh, but the stress had finally gotten to her. If Kiera was honest with herself, she would admit that she was a little bit jealous of her friend and her fairytale wedding. She had found the love of her life, and while Kiera was happy for her, it also made her feel sad and lonely. Instead of relaxing and letting the long drive through the beautiful country calm her down, she was like a stick of dynamite with a short fuse.
She was starting to panic and think they would find her body months from now, and she knew she couldn’t sit there for long. The sun would be setting soon and there was no way she was spending the night alone in the wilderness. Trying her phone again, she couldn’t get a signal so she tried texting just in case it miraculously went through. She gave her parents and Francine the last town she remembered passing and told them that she was stuck in the mud alongside the road.
Opening the door to her SUV, Kiera could see the thick mud and knew she would sink halfway to her knees. Not daring to risk her new Italian designer shoes or outfit, she quickly closed the door and locked it, as if that would keep the mud away and keep her safe.
Think, girl, you have to think. How can you get out of this mess, what should you do when you’re lost and scared? Cry? Crying sounds like a good option right now. I could lay on the horn and hope the person that hears it will be nice and neighborly. Not some crazy maniac that will take me to his dungeon and make me his love slave. Or even worse, a rapist or killer. Oh, my God! I’m gonna die, I am actually going to die out here, she thought, giving in to tears and panic.
This was where Magnus’ life collided with hers. Well, at least his face had almost collided with her front bumper. He knew everyone in the area and he hadn’t recognized that burnt orange SUV as a local. He could spot a city slicker from a mile away and figured this must be his weekend guest looking for the turnoff to his road. She had veered off the highway like the devil himself was after her, almost killing him in the process. He’d had to dive down an embankment to avoid certain death and was now covered in mud, twigs, and leaves. If the pain in his legs and arms was any indication, he was probably also bleeding in several places.
After climbing his way back up the slippery embankment, he had a few choice words for the driver of that speeding bullet. What he found was definitely a city slicker locked in her SUV, afraid of mud apparently. Although he couldn’t hear what she was yelling and screaming about, he could tell she was throwing a full-fledged tantrum. In an out-and-out hissy fit, she banged her phone on the steering wheel, then threw it across the dashboard. He watched from a safe distance to see what her next move would be.
Magnus had been expecting a guest and when she didn’t show up on time, he’d gone out looking around his property. He had converted their family ranch house into a Bed and Breakfast, which his two sisters managed. Meanwhile he lived in a two-story cabin a few miles away on the back of the property, well away from the noise and activity. He enjoyed his quiet solitude where he could write in peace, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Sharing his time between New York City and his ranch in upstate New York, he had the best of both worlds.
And he also had a book deadline. Which didn’t leave time for rescuing damsels in distress, or other dalliances with the guests. This weekend he was the lone caretaker, both his sisters having run off to help their older sister with her brand new baby girl. There weren’t supposed to be any bookings, but this one had slipped by them somehow, having booked online at the last minute.
They had assured him she would be no problem. All their meals had been prepared before they left, and they had taken care of everything she would need for the weekend. Even though he tried to be angry with them, he knew he couldn’t hold it against them. In his heart he knew nothing could keep them away from their new baby niece. He supposed Jocilyn did need the help more than he did. She was alone with a brand new baby while her firefighting husband had been called away to fight brush fires. His guest was after all an adult and surely he could take care of one guest by himself.
Hearing the thunder rolling, he knew he was about to get drenched, but he didn’t see any other options. He simply couldn’t leave her stranded out there. Judging by how far her tires were sunk down in the mud, she was stuck until morning.
His annoyance level was at full tilt now. Not only had she almost run him down, she was traveling alone without a map or directions. She must have spun her tires for a full five minutes to get herself that deeply mired in mud, while he was struggling to climb up the embankment she had caused him to dive down. Now that she was stranded here, screaming and throwing things was the best plan of action she could come up with?
Putting her life in danger with no backup plan and then throwing a tantrum showed exactly how immature she was, and Magnus would love to teach her a lesson. She was so wrapped up in herself, she had never even seen him, or known how close she came to killing him. As he approached the vehicle, he could hear her screaming and swearing with a vengeance. Not wanting to scare her, but knowing it couldn’t be helped given the circumstances, he walked around the front of the vehicle, waving his hands.
It was starting to rain as he gestured to her, making the international sign for ‘roll your window down.’ Which he knew was ridiculous because no one had manual windows anymore that had to be rolled down, but he figured it would translate better than moving his finger up and down. This whole scene was pretty ridiculous. She was terrified and would never trust him, and he couldn’t really blame her. But still she was in all probability his guest for the weekend and he had to try to convince her that he was the caretaker, and she was safe.
Walking toward her slowly, he kept up a steady stream of conversation, hoping to distract her if nothing else. At a safe distance he stopped and yelled, “Hello. I think you are my guest staying at the Double M Bed & Breakfast this weekend. I can help you with directions; it’s not far from here. You missed the turnoff a half mile back.”
He approached a little closer to the passenger side of the vehicle and yelled, “My name is Magnus. I’m the caretaker of Double M B&B. My cabin is just a short walk this way through the woods.” Yeah, that didn’t sound like a psycho killer trying to lure unsuspecting females into the woods, did it? Geez, Magnus! Again, he questioned her, “Hello, what is your name? Can you roll the window down, please?”
She wasn’t moving an inch as if frozen to her seat; even from the short distance away he could see she was terrified. Waiting for her to make a move, he could see the wheels turning in her head as she looked for an escape. Finally bending down, her head disappeared from his view for a few seconds, then popped back up to watch him approach with dread.
Kiera saw something move in the woods, and scanned the trees to see if she could make it out. She screamed again when she saw a man standing there. Where the hell did he come from, and was he the dungeon master or the rapist/killer? As he came closer she saw he was covered in mud and twigs. Trembling from head to toe, all she could do was scream and lay on the horn, hoping someone would rescue her.
God, please help me, don’t let me die out here, please, God. Making a quick mental assessment of her assets, she tried to think of a weapon or something she could use to defend herself with. Nothing! She had nothing, unless he came close enough she could spray perfume in his eyes and hit him with her brush.
I can gouge his eyes out with my heels; at least my shoes and I will go down fighting, she thought as she took up a fighting stance grasping a shoe in each hand, heel facing out. A thought suddenly occurred to her as she opened the moon roof and popped her head out the top of the SUV, then asked him nervously, “Will you please call me a tow truck?”
“Hello, miss, my name is Magnus and I run the Double M B&B with my sisters; you probably talked to Justine or Johanna. I am pretty sure you’re the guest that booked online at the last minute, right? Can you roll your window down so we can talk? I came out in the storm looking for you because I thought you might be lost.”
The expression on the man’s face was one of annoyance and impatience—and Kiera didn’t like it. She hadn’t done anything that warranted him being annoyed, and she wasn’t about to trust him or go traipsing through the forest with a complete stranger in the middle of nowhere. Nope, not going to happen. “Can you call me a cab or tow truck, please? I’ll wait here,” she asked again. As he approached the SUV, she sat back down and closed the moon roof, cutting off communication with him.
Cautiously watching him, she could see the man emerge from under the mud and muck as the rain washed over him. He was a handsome man even if his hair was a little too long and shaggy and in need of a trim. As she stared him down, she noticed his beard was at least a week’s growth, and he had piercing green eyes like a cat she’d had as a child. That cat could be loving one minute, then turn into a spitting, biting, clawing she-devil the next. She wondered if his temperament ran in similar directions.
When he walked up to her passenger side door and tried to open it, she screamed for all she was worth, but relaxed a little when she saw it was locked. He went around to the back passenger side door, and when it opened she screamed even louder.
“Listen, lady, I’m not going to hurt you, but unless you want to spend the night out here alone in the rain and dark, you’re going to have to come with me. My cabin is just beyond those trees, it’s literally a five-minute walk from here and we can call for help as soon as we get there. As I was trying to tell you earlier, I don’t have a cell phone because they don’t work out here.”
“You listen, you creep, I don’t want your help, just leave me alone and go call a tow truck,” she shrieked at him, more scared than she’d ever been in her life.
“I will not leave anyone alone out here on a night like this, let alone one of my guests. Now get out of the vehicle so we can go before this rain gets any worse,” he told her impatiently.
“Fuck you! Get away from me, you son-of-a-bitch! Help, rape! Fire, somebody help me!” she screamed at the top of her lungs. Kiera had never been so scared in her life and she started throwing whatever she could find at him and looking for an escape.
Growing more impatient, he said, “Look, lady, I am here to help you, not hurt you. I am the owner of the B&B and I am pretty sure you have a reservation with us; now let’s get you checked in and we can sort this all out in the morning.”
As he moved across her back seat to slide out the other door, she jumped out of her door and started to run. She ran about two steps and got mired in the mud, almost falling face first, but felt two strong arms grab her from behind before she fell.
“Let me go, you son-of-a-bitch!” she yelled, fighting him with all her strength.
“Lady, I’m not going to hurt you, now stop cursing at me and cooperate. I am only trying to help,” he yelled back at her.
“Fuck you! Leave me the hell alone and get the fuck away from me, you maniac,” she screamed and fought him like a wild bear protecting her cubs.
Deciding they were getting nowhere, he bent down and hoisted her up and over his shoulder, easily picking up her slender body and walking over to close her door. He told her calmly, “We are going to my cabin and in the morning I can dig your SUV out. Now stop fighting me before we both fall over in the mud face first.”
His words gave her an idea as she started kicking, beating her fists against his ribs and kidneys, and aiming for his groin with her feet, thinking maybe she could get him to drop her and she could outrun him.
“Stop that right now or I will turn you over my knee and spank your bottom so hard you won’t sit for a week, you mark my words. I have lost all patience with you. First, you almost killed me by running me down an embankment earlier; you missed me by mere inches and never even saw me. Now you’re assaulting me as I try to help you. I’d say you’d better rethink that plan,” he warned her.
Continuing the assault on his body, she thought she might just win when he stumbled once with a groan, only to get his bearings again. “I said stop it, last warning!” he roared over the sound of thunder and rain.
When she kept kicking, screaming, and punching, he stopped just inside the tree line and sat down on a large rock, hauling her over his knees. Before she knew what had happened, he had her legs tucked under one of his legs, and his arm held her around the waist. “Now I’ve had all I’m going to take from you, young lady, I warned you and now you are getting a good hard spanking.”
Screaming with new vigor, she was effectively trapped and could do nothing but take the constant onslaught of smacks to her delicate behind, the linen suit offering her little protection.
“Stop hitting me, you fucking psycho, you crazy son-of-a-bitch, I’ll fucking kill you. Let me up right now!” she shrieked at him, humiliation mixing with rage at the position she found herself in. Not only did he ignore her pleas to be left alone, she saw him reach above his head and pull a switch from a low-hanging branch. When she saw him removing the leaves, she figured out what he had planned and renewed her steady stream of insults and curses. Suddenly her fear had been replaced by anger and indignation as she kicked her feet and tried to escape.
As she struggled to get away from his iron-clad grasp on her, she felt an immense stinging across both cheeks. Jesus, it felt like a thousand bees stinging her at once. She shrieked and started fighting and cursing again, trying to lessen the pain he was inflicting on her backside.
He kept up a steady stream of strikes across her cheeks, while she kept up her tirade. Finally, he stopped assaulting her backside and asked, “Now are you ready to behave yourself and go back to the cabin with me?”
With the rain pouring down, they had to yell at each other to be heard over the howling wind. The rain in her eyes mingled with the tears as she cried, never having felt such pain before in her life, or such humiliation.
“Fuck you, you evil fucking bastard, I won’t go anywhere with you! And you can go straight to hell!” she screamed at him once again, letting her temper take over her normally sensible side.
“Very well then, remember you said that,” he hissed back at her. Grabbing the bottom of her skirt, he yanked it up over her cheeks; her screech could be heard a mile away as he ripped her designer suit. He pulled her delicate white lace panties down around her knees as she tried to get free from his tyrannical hold on her. Feeling like she couldn’t take another moment of this pain, or the audacity of this man, she picked up a rock and tried to smash it over his head.
As punishment for that, he took her panties off and wrapped her wrists up in them, holding them against her back so she was truly good and trapped across his knees. She could only scream into the wind and the rain as he had free range to punish her bare cheeks.
Adjusting his knees so her cheeks were pointing up toward the sky, he began spanking with his bare hand on her bare ass in quick succession. He spanked her good and hard while she wailed. Both cheeks were red and he started on the underside, where the cheek met the top of her leg, bringing that to a nice red glow as well. She knew she wouldn’t be able to sit for days without feeling that sting. When she was finally limp and whimpering across his knees, he started to slow down, but still kept the strokes hard.
Asking her questions as he went along, he demanded, “What is your name?”
“K-Kiera,” she sobbed, her voice hitching as she tried to say her name.
“Were you looking for the Double M to spend the weekend?”
“Y-yes,” she weakly replied.
“As I tried to tell you earlier, I am the owner and weekend caretaker, Magnus Montgomery. If I stop spanking you, will you listen to me now?” he quizzed her.
“Yyyyess,” she answered on a barely audible sob. “Please stop, it hurts so bad, I believe you now and I’ll behave,” she said with heartfelt conviction.
After a few more well-placed swats to her backside, he was finally finished doling out her punishment. Leaving her in that awkward position, he scolded her. “Very well then, Kiera, I will let you up and you will behave like a perfect lady the remainder of this weekend or I will repeat that and a whole lot more. Is that understood, young lady?”
“Yes, sir,” she replied meekly.
As he released his hold on her and let her up, she had a million thoughts racing through her mind. What had he done to her? She was molten with need and wondered how he could have possessed her body in that way. Was he the devil? How could that intense pain be transformed into intense need? She was on fire! God, what was wrong with her? As they stood staring at each other, the storm raging within her and all around them, they both seemed to be glued to the spot.