“They… they get punished, Sir.”
“That’s right, they do. And how are naughty girls punished?” He reached around and pinched her bottom, hard, making her wince. “Come on, I want to hear you say it.”
“Th-they get punished…”
His long, callused finger ran across the place he’d pinched, soothing the hurt. “Yes?”
“Hard! Naughty girls are punished hard, Sir.”
“And?” He waited expectantly. He knew that his girl didn’t like answering these questions. He knew they made her stutter and blush, and that was half the fun. Not to mention the fact that with every admittance he wrung from her reluctant lips, his cock became that much harder.
“On their… on their b-bare bottoms.” When she finished, she began to cry softly and though he normally got absolutely no excitement from her tears, his semi-hard cock began to grow and strain against his jeans.
He wasn’t a cruel man, not by any means, but knowing that she cried because she anticipated a well-deserved, hard punishment was a bit of a rush. Even better was the knowledge that he got to be the man to give it to her. He eyed the smooth, unblemished skin of her behind. She had the most perfect ass of any woman he’d ever seen. The kind of ass that should be used to model underwear, which he happily would have suggested to her if he’d been of a mind to share her. No—he didn’t want anyone else seeing those perfect swells, the mouth-watering curves. He definitely wasn’t a man who believed in sharing. God had made her ass for two things—for filling out a pair of jeans like no one else could, in a way that made men crane their necks for a second and third look, and for spanking.
He would have spanked her anytime, anywhere, just because his itchy palm and aching cock often demanded he do so. But his sweet Georgia did him one better—she liked to act out in a way that often merited a bottom-warming deterrent from ill-advised behavior. Now was one of those times.
While he certainly preferred giving her erotic, love spankings for no other reason than because he liked to make both sets of her cheeks blush, discipline spankings were a necessity at times, too. And as much as he hated to make her cry, he believed that tears were a sign of repentance so every punishment required them. And even though her lip was already quivering and her eyes were shiny, this was just the beginning. They were still in Lecture Mode.
“And sometimes,” he said, reaching up to stroke her hair. “Sometimes naughty girls are punished another way, too. Can you think of what that is?”
Georgia whimpered and a lone tear fell from her eye onto her cheek.
“Come on, honey. I know you know what it is.” He gently stroked her bare shoulder blade, but she still didn’t answer, so when he spoke again his voice was sterner, bordering on severe. She knew he didn’t like to ask twice. “Do I need to remind you?”
Eyes going wide, she shook her head vigorously, sending her braid lashing back and forth.
But he’d already made up his mind, and nothing deterred him once he had. Leaving her for a moment he walked over to the stainless steel table where he’d laid out his supplies. He selected a small—though not the smallest—butt plug and a bottle of lubricant. He eyed the bottle, making a mental note that it was getting low. His baby girl seemed to require this particular punishment quite often. And though she protested and fought it, he sometimes wondered if she secretly enjoyed the fact that he made her submit so completely to him—even her tight little hole would succumb to his stern ministrations. And while she whimpered and quivered, already bent over the wooden work table, he knew that she was secretly happy knowing that he would never promise a punishment and not deliver.
He also knew, even if she never voiced it aloud, that it turned her on. She might not understand it—hell, he wasn’t even sure he did—but whatever the reason, her pussy got more sopping than a wet sponge when it was time to wash the dishes. It would leak out of her, first a slow trickle, then become a gush of warm, slick feminine oil that drove him crazy. If he inhaled deeply enough, he could smell it already and it was all the encouragement he needed to walk back to where she was, bent over with her naked white orbs pushed into the air.
She heard the heavy trod of his footsteps and turned her head, wide eyes growing wider when she saw the butt plug in his hand. “Oh, no!” she moaned softly.
“Oh, yes. You knew this was exactly what would happen if you misbehaved and you did it anyway. Didn’t I strap your naughty behind for the same thing on Tuesday?”
His hand cracked down on one of her creamy cheeks, the sound of the sharp contact echoing throughout the barn. He watched as the imprint of his hand was painted in a rosy hue on her bottom. “No buts. You knew this was coming and you chose to do it anyway. Open up for me.”
Georgia reached behind her and grabbed a cheek in each hand, pulling them apart for his inspection.
He didn’t think there a sexier sight in all the world. Then again, he hadn’t known the meaning of the word sexy before he’d met her. Sexy or not, it wouldn’t save her from the punishment she had coming, and she knew it. The little whimpers coming from her as she waited in near-silent trepidation were evidence of the fact.
Popping the cap open, he liberally coated the plug with lubricant. Then, he set the bottle on the table where she could stare at it, knowing and dreading what came next. He counted to fifty, giving her a few seconds to agonize over the coming punishment. He chuckled to himself. She’d call him a sadist, if she wasn’t so preoccupied with the state of her naked ass. He loved her dearly, and they both knew it. He would do everything in his power to keep her safe, and sometimes that meant protecting her from herself.
“Here it comes,” he warned her, watching as her fingers clenched at her cheeks. “Relax, baby.”
And if enjoying her squeal as the plug was inserted into her tight hole and his cock growing uncomfortably tight in his pants made him a sadist, well then, so be it.
Sam liked getting up at four in the morning, which was fortunate for him, because running a ranch mandated that such a thing was necessary. He’d been waking up at the same time for so long now that he generally beat his alarm, reaching over to shut it off before it even emitted its familiar, annoying trill of bells. He was the kind of man who liked having a routine. He had it down to an art form, and if ever anything threw him off his morning schedule, he tended to become a burly bear of repressed aggression by the end of the day.
He took a shower, first thing. It was just as important a part of his waking up as his morning cup of coffee, which he drank out of a cup so big that his grandmother often teased that she’d have to buy him a pitcher if he ever wanted anything bigger. More often than not he grabbed two or three of her famous biscuits off the stove—she made them fresh every night so she could say that she fed him without having to get up alongside him to do it—just to put something in his belly.
Once he’d donned his uniform of jeans, a flannel shirt covering his white tee, and his thick, sturdy cowboy boots, he was ready to greet the day. As much as he had to get done every single day—the list seemed to be never ending and much of it was done without any help—as soon as he hit the door he never failed to pause, savoring the sweet scent of fresh air. He loved how quiet, how very still everything seemed just before the world woke up.
By the time he saddled his horse and went to see about the chores, the birds would be chirping and the squirrels would be looking for nuts. But for that one short moment on his porch he felt awed by the beauty of the world around him—as though God had made it just for him. It never got old. The minute it did, he’d retire from the hard, back-breaking life of a rancher and finally do something with his business degree, the way his grandma kept gently nudging him to. Until then, he was happy to work with his hands, modifying or repairing the old equipment until he had the time to rebuild. He kept telling him that he’d find the time, one of these days.
Then there were the cattle to tend to, and sheep to check, and his little side business, of course. On top of everything else he did, Sam also made paddles, which were in surprising demand around these parts. What had begun as a hobby had now become a way to bring in a little much-needed cash. Running a ranch wasn’t cheap.
He didn’t mind. Though his grandmother would get it in her head to try to persuade him from it every now and again, the pictures she painted of a big city life just didn’t appeal. He liked more than just the quiet—he liked being able to set his own hours, knowing that every dime he saw was a direct result of his hard work. The country life might not be for everyone, but it suited him fine.
It was lunchtime, and Sam had barely dusted his boots off before he heard his grandmother calling to him. She never said hey, or anything like that. That would be too normal. Instead, she started talking as though they’d been in the middle of a conversation.
“Did you hear that the Millers’ girl is back from school?”
“No, Gran, I didn’t.”
“Well, what do you think?” she demanded, piercing him with that eagle-eyed gaze that told him she already had an opinion.
“Are the Millers excited about it?”
“Oh, Samuel, you remember that Jeanie Miller died last year. But Mr. Miller is thrilled. She’s his daughter, after all.”
Sam paused to digest this information. Of course Gran would think he’d remember every birth and death in town, just because she did. “Well then, if he’s happy, I’m happy.”
“You don’t have to be sarcastic, Samuel.” She puckered her lips, using his full name to show her disapproval. “I think you should care about who your neighbors are. Back in my day, everyone knew their neighbors.”
He squelched a sigh as he approached. This had nothing to do with being neighborly, and they both knew it, whatever she wanted to pretend. “If I happen to see her around, I’ll be sure and introduce myself, Gran.”
She gave him another skeptical, searching glance. “You will? And you won’t be rude? Girls don’t like that, you know.”
Biting back a grin, and trying to sound as serious as possible, he said, “I know, Gran.”
“Are you sure? Because while I didn’t particularly care for that A-maya, or whatever that last girl’s name was—”
“Yes, well, while I wasn’t her biggest fan, even a surly wife is better than no wife at all.”
Both his eyebrows rose to his hairline. “So, what you’re saying is, if I come across the Millers’ girl I need to go ahead and drop to one knee?”
“Of course not, Samuel.” She pinched her lips together, but for all her attempt to appear stern he could see the corners of her mouth twitching. “Fine—suit yourself. Keep playing the bachelor. It’s none of my affair.”
He bent down and dropped a peck on her dry, withered cheek. “Thank you, Gran. Now, what’s for lunch?”
“Roast beef, with lettuce and tomato. I’ve already fixed you a plate. You have a seat and I’ll get it.”
“That’d be much appreciated.” As soon as he dropped into the chair across from hers, he realized how tired he was from what had already been a long day.
“I’m just saying,” she continued as she came around the counter holding a paper plate, “that if you play the bachelor for too long you might find yourself stuck there.”
This time, he didn’t manage to stop the groan that rose in his throat. “Gran—”
“All right, I’ll be quiet,” she said as she set the plate down in front of him.
Ha! Not very likely!
“I just thought you’d like to know that Carol told me that she saw her after church this past Sunday, and she said the girl is absolutely lovely.”
“Good for her,” he grunted.
“Really, Samuel, you could at least try…”
His patience worn through, he looked up from his sandwich long enough to give her a quelling stare.
“Fine, fine,” she grumbled, raising her palms in the air. “It’s none of my affair.”
Not that that ever stopped her, he thought as he took another bite of his sandwich. He’d better manage to bump into the Miller girl, sooner rather than later, if he wanted any peace. It would appease her for a time. Not for long, of course, but he was sure the girl would be moving on to one of the bigger cities soon, so it wouldn’t matter much after that.
“You know, Samuel, come to think of it, this is the third Sunday in a row you’ve missed. You really should go more often. The pastor was asking after you.”
With a shake of his head, he chewed in silence. He supposed that listening to his failings to God was preferable to his failings to marry and produce her great-grandchildren. Only mildly so, but enough to make him hold his tongue until it was time to go back to work.
As it turned out, he didn’t have to go looking for the Miller girl after all. She showed up on his doorstep when he’d only been in long enough to chuck his boots. He’d been about to head for the shower, which was why he answered the door in his wife-beater with dirt on his face and sweat in his hair. He’d hoped to make a better first impression—so that his grandmother wouldn’t have a reason to insist on a second meeting—but there wasn’t much he could do about it.
Funny, he hadn’t expected her to be so young. When he’d opened the door to see her standing there, her shiny reddish-brown hair in braids on either side of her head, he immediately did a double-take. Then he noticed the shorts she was wearing and how tiny she was. Had his grandmother said she was back from school? She didn’t look much older than eighteen. Surely, she hadn’t meant high school, had she? God, did she think he was that desperate?
Of course, knowing her, she probably did.
“Hi,” she chirped. “I’m Georgia Miller.” She stuck out a hand for him to shake.
He took it gingerly, hoping she wasn’t the squeamish kind that minded a man with dirty fingernails. He couldn’t help but notice that she had a nice smile. She was practically beaming at him.
“I know who you are.”
“You do?” Her smile stretched wider.
“Yes, my grandmother already warned me you’d moved back in with your dad.”
Georgia’s eyes widened in a way that was entirely beguiling. Too bad she was too young for him. “Warned you?” she echoed. “Oh, so he told her I’m a proud, pistol-wielding citizen, did he?”
“No.” He frowned as he peeked around her, trying to see if he spotted a gun. “You don’t have a pistol on you, do you?” Not that he had a problem with girls carrying guns. So long as they were old enough to have a permit to carry one.
“No,” she giggled, a trilling laughter that somehow made him smile too. “Can I come in?” Without waiting for an answer either way, she bounded past him.
If it had been anyone else who had barged in without permission, he would have demanded an apology on the spot, then he probably would have politely but firmly told her to leave. But somehow her exuberant innocence had him charmed. What would it hurt, he reasoned. She was petite, and though she was curvy her frame was still small enough that he would have no trouble handling anything she could dish out.
“So, you’re going to think this is silly, but would you be a good neighbor and lend me a cup of flour?”
Sam felt himself smiling back at her. “I always thought it was sugar people borrowed.”
“Oh, well, I’ll take some of that too, if you have it.”
When he arched a brow, she laughed unapologetically. “I was supposed to go grocery shopping today.”
“My dad thinks I’m cooking dinner tonight, but that’s going to be hard seeing as how we have exactly two things in the fridge. One is milk and the other is lettuce that has seen better days.” She made a face, earning a chuckle from him.
“You should probably throw that out.”
“I didn’t know how desperate I’d be,” she explained, batting her dark, long eyelashes that framed luminous green eyes.
He was instantly attracted to her, and then repelled at himself. She was way too young for him! Eighteen, at best. Gran, as much as he hated to admit it, had been right. It had been much too long since he’d entertained a woman. His body was responding without the proper protocol.
“Flour and sugar,” he said before making his way to the kitchen. Without a word, Georgia followed behind him as though she was a regular guest.
Once inside he found the cabinet housing the baking ingredients and pulled down his grandma’s well-loved, stained bags before carefully measuring out a cup of each. He deposited the ingredients into two separate Ziploc bags before handing them over to Georgia.
“Not a problem. Anything else I can do for you?”
“Well…” She bit down on her bottom lip, her green eyes dancing. “I don’t suppose you have a box of spaghetti you’re not using?”
He should be more than a little irritated with her, he knew. He wasn’t running a grocery store. But she was cute as a button, and somehow he found her unassuming manner charming. Sam shook his head at her. “Do you mind if I ask what you did when you were supposed to be grocery shopping?”
“Um, well… it wasn’t that I didn’t go.”
“I did. I even bought stuff. Or, I tried to. But when I got to the register, my, ah… my card sort of…”
“Declined?” he supplied, keeping his voice neutral as to not add to her embarrassment.
But young Georgia didn’t look embarrassed. “My dad gave me some money to buy groceries.”
“But right next door to the grocery store there was this amazing shoe sale going on! I figured it had to be fate, you know?”
Sam didn’t believe much in fate, but he nodded to keep the story moving.
“So I got this pair of fabulous stilettos. I’m not exactly sure when I’ll have a chance to wear them, but better have them just to be safe, you know?”
“So you spent the money your dad gave you for groceries… on shoes?” he asked, just to be sure.
“That about sums it up.”
He’d thought she’d at least have the grace to blush, but she didn’t seem to think there was anything wrong with what she’d done. Sam took her measure quickly, and while his inner dom would normally be rearing his formidable, lecturing head right now, Sam quickly silenced the urge. She was young. She would learn.
“Does this work?” he asked once he’d produced a box of thin spaghetti noodles.
“Yes! Oh, my God, thank you! You’re a lifesaver!”
“Not yet I’m not. Won’t you need sauce?”
She gave him that endearing smile again, the one where her lips curled as she bit down on her bottom lip and her cheek dimpled.
Once he’d found what he was looking for, he walked around the counter and held out the jar of homemade sauce his grandmother had put up. “Now, this comes with a warning that’s not on the label.”
She looked at him in that fresh-faced, wide-eyed way she had that was quickly making him forget why he couldn’t kiss her, just once. “It does?”
“Yes. My grandma’s a hell of a cook and this is her recipe. After you eat it, you might never want store-bought sauce again.”
Georgia broke into a titter of laughter that made the corners of his own mouth twitch. “Thanks for letting me know.” She reached for the sauce, but he didn’t let it go.
“You’re welcome to the spaghetti, but the jar has to come back. Understand?”
He expected her to look surprised as his voice deepened to a stern, commanding one. But she just smiled as though nothing was amiss. “Yes, Sir.”
Jesus. His cock went from semi-hard to rigid in all the time it took to draw in a surprised breath. Suddenly, little Georgia looked a hell of a lot more attractive than she had three seconds ago, and she’d already been looking pretty cute. He could get used to hearing that.
And if it wasn’t his imagination, she was looking at him with more than neighborly affection. Yes, he could very easily get used to this. He had to do something, quick, to cure them both. And he knew just the thing.
“What are you going to tell your dad when you run out of flour or sugar?”
“Hmm.” Her brow furrowed, and even that he found adorable. “I hadn’t thought about that.”
“Well, I highly doubt you can eat off one box of spaghetti until the next time you get money to go grocery shopping.”
“I guess you’re right.” She shrugged, looking unconcerned.
Perhaps she knew a whole host of neighbors who were more than willing to open their cabinets to her. The thought simultaneously amused him and made him jealous. This was ridiculous—better get on with it, and get rid of her before either of them did something they could later regret.
“So, how do you intend to pay me for these things?”
Her smile dimmed at the question. “I thought you were giving them to me.”
“You asked for flour and sugar. That, you can have. But I’ll need something for the others. It’s very good sauce.”
Georgia giggled, but she was beginning to look uncertain. Good. She should think her actions through a little more, and where they might lead. Generally, country life was pretty calm, but she had just come into his house without knowing him from Adam. And if she’d bought the groceries with the money her father had given her, she wouldn’t be in this position in the first place.
“I told you I don’t have any money.”
“I don’t want your money.”
“Well, what do you want then?” She looked more curious than concerned.
He’d been on the verge of letting her off with nothing more than a mild scolding. Gran was right—he couldn’t go around scaring all the girls off, if for no other reason than he didn’t want Gran to have to hear it in church on Sunday. But the fact that she seemed so trusting when he, a perfect stranger, had demanded payment from her, rather than running from the house screaming, bothered him.
“Lean over the table and you’ll find out,” he instructed, pointing toward the small, round four-seater where he and Gran took their meals.
She gave him a questioning look and when she followed his order he was both pleased and annoyed. Funny how she could inspire such competing emotions inside him.
“Like this?” she queried, leaning over and sticking out a mouth-wateringly curvaceous ass.
Jesus. What was he doing? But seeing her bent over like that and waiting for him woke the dominant he kept locked away from the public eye. He was raring to get out, and while Sam was very careful about hiding his less savory aspects—namely his unsavory desire to dominate willing women, such as Georgia—he couldn’t stop himself. Not this time—not when she was literally asking for it.
Besides, it was for her own good, Sam told himself.
“What are you going to do?” she asked, her voice softened as she looked over her shoulder at him.
She had amazing eyes. They were light green, the color of a meadow at springtime. As he got closer he saw that she had flecks of gold in them. She was such a tiny little thing—with narrow shoulders, dropping into a soft, womanly back and gently curving hips. Every bit of her was petite and feminine, which made those full, delectable cheeks even more surprising. It was the best kind of surprise, Sam’s favorite kind—oh, if she were only five years older he’d be so tempted to unwrap her.
“I’m going to spank you, Georgia.”
Her breath hitched in a way that belied any fear. “Why?”
“Don’t you think you deserve it? It’s not very smart to spend money set aside for food on something as frivolous as shoes.”
“How can you say that? You haven’t even seen them.”
“What they look like isn’t the point. You can’t spend every dime you make on a whim—and it wasn’t even your money. So, really, it’s like stealing.”
After his words sank in, her eyes began to widen. “I… I didn’t think about it like that.”
He nodded, gratified by her quick realization. “And not only that, but you just came in here with me, and you don’t even know me. I could be a serial killer.”
“Are you?” she teased, doing that flirty thing with her eyelashes again, her dimple flashing.
This girl! He wanted to spank her, yes; his palm was as itchy as he could ever remember it being before. But he wanted to bend her over backwards, afterward, and do things to her that would leave the table unfit for eating on.
“I wouldn’t be likely to tell you if I was,” he countered. “You need to take better care of yourself and use your head.”
“That’s why you’re going to spank me?”
“Yes.” He waited, expecting a refusal, or at the very least, a protest as to why he shouldn’t. When nothing came, he pressed his hand to her back, directing her to bend over further.
She turned her face away from him and complied without a word.
He took a moment to let his eyes enjoy the full, luscious curve of her cheeks before he raised his hand. He brought it smacking down on her bottom a moment later, and the feel of his hand cracking down on that beautiful ass made his jeans uncomfortably tight. He took a minute to shake his head and clear his thoughts. The only thing he needed to concentrate on right now was Georgia, and her discipline. He wasn’t a man who believed in half-measures.
Georgia didn’t make a sound. He counted a few seconds in his head before swatting the other cheek equally as hard. Still, she was silent as a church mouse.
Strike three was delivered quickly and finally, he heard a small mewl of protest from her. But she didn’t try to turn around and she didn’t tell him to stop. He found her obedience to be a pleasant surprise. He was hoping that she’d learn a lesson about behaving more responsibly, but he also found her earning his respect with each spank she took.
Another swat, the hardest yet, had her going up on her tiptoes. It was a few seconds before she let out a soft cry. When he placed the fifth and final smack on her other cheek, she whimpered.
When Georgia turned to him, sniffling, he was caught off guard by the sheen of tears in her eyes. His heartstrings pulled far more than they should have after handing out much-deserved discipline.
“I’ll be going,” she told him, waiting for his nod before she walked toward him and scooped up the items he’d put on the counter. “Thank you,” she offered through stiff lips.
“You’re welcome.” He reached behind him and ran a hand through his dirty hair, watching as she walked away. It had to be done.
Before she reached the door, Georgia turned to look at him. A tear had fallen onto her beautiful, perfect cheek. “I knew who you were, too. My dad told me all about you—he speaks very highly of you.” Then she turned back around and left without giving him so much as a backwards glance.
Ouch. She really knew how to deliver a hard, fast punch and get out.
He hadn’t wanted her to see him as a monster, which must be what she now thought. He’d found her charming, if a bit flighty, and wouldn’t have minded getting to know her, though he’d ruined that now. It wasn’t meant to be—she was too young for him, anyway. It was for the best, he told himself again as he headed for his bedroom. But that didn’t mean it didn’t suck.