My heart hammers in my chest as Daniil storms across the room toward me. I’ve no idea what I did to incite his rage, but his anger is palpable. Tucked in behind the table, I feel somewhat protected until he shoves the heavy piece of furniture aside as if it’s nothing. He grabs my arm, pulling me to my feet. Before I have time to protest, to tell him I’m sorry for whatever wrong he thinks I’ve committed, he lifts me by the waist and deposits me over his shoulder.
As he carries me from the kitchen, Mila follows, remonstrating with him loudly in their native language. Daniil replies angrily and his sister heaves an exasperated sigh.
“Do what he asks of you,” Mila shouts after us as Daniil takes the stairs two at a time. “It’ll go easier if you do.”
I hate to think what she imagines is going to happen to me. Daniil yells something back at her that doesn’t sound pleasant. It worries me she might have made him even angrier. As he picks up his pace, almost jogging along the corridor, I’m jostled uncomfortably against his solid shoulder.
Until we pass the room I slept in last night, it doesn’t occur to me I should at least try to get away from him. I attempt to kick out, but his arm is banded across the back of my legs, restricting my movement. I ball up my fists and pummel on his back instead. I might as well be hitting a brick wall for all the good my childish struggles do me.
He doesn’t so much as grunt. “Settle down.”
Only a crazy person would argue with that authoritative tone of voice, so I do as he commands. Fear might be coursing through my veins, but I understand compliance is in my best interests.
He takes me into a room decorated with dark, masculine shades of gray. Heavy black drapes cover the windows and there’s a large leather armchair in the corner. There’s no hint of feminine frills in here. I absently decide this must be Daniil’s room as he tosses me onto a large four-poster bed. I scramble to sit up but, as I head for the other side of the mattress, he drags me back toward him. My legs dangle over the edge of the bed and he moves to the side. Pinning me down with a hand at the base of my spine, he flips up the robe I’m wearing, and rips off my panties to bare my bottom. Indignation surges through me as I realize what he’s about to do.
“No!” I gasp as his hand crashes down on my exposed rear. “Stop!”
He doesn’t, of course. In fact, he delivers three more swats in quick succession as my legs kick out. My face flushes with embarrassment as my butt cheeks heat up. I don’t know what’s worse: the humiliation of being treated this way, or the sting prickling under my skin. I wriggle to try to get away from him, but it’s futile. He yanks me back into place and continues to pepper my ass with hard, punishing spanks.
“Did I say you could leave your room?” he demands. “Did I say you could wear a robe?”
My mouth falls open in surprise. That’s his problem? He expected to find me in this room naked and waiting for him? Perhaps he should have told Mila. I don’t tell him that, however; he’s already wound up and there’s no point needling an angry bear.
“No, you didn’t.” Common sense tells me to aim for contrition. “I’m sorry, Mr. Lenkov.”
“Daniil,” he spits as though I’ve somehow insulted him by using his surname. “Now, tell me who you are.”
I frown. I’ve told him my name, more than once if I recall. “I’m Evie.” I squeal as his hand lands on my upper thigh with a loud smack. I flinch, more from the disconcerting sound than the resulting ache. “Evie Jamieson.”
“And who do you work for?”
“What?” I don’t understand. He knows where I work. Tutting impatiently when I fail to answer promptly, he strikes my bottom again. I yelp. That hurt more than the others. Is he stepping up his game, or is the cumulative effect of the blows beginning to take its toll?
“Who do you work for?” His hand makes impact again. My eyes water, blinding me with unshed tears. I shake my hips to alleviate the growing pain even as unbidden pleasure starts to build deep inside my treacherous body. “Do not make me repeat myself, Evie.”
“The New Town Bathhouse,” I reply.
I don’t know what he wants from me. His palm connects with my left buttock and I clench my fists tightly as I grimace.
“I’m a student.”
“That’s it?” he asks. His hand rests on my aching bottom.
“Yes, that’s it.” There’s no follow-up smack so I assume my answer satisfied him.
“How did you know those men were coming for me?”
He slaps my ass, and I cry out. The force of the blows, over and over, causes my nipples to rub against the fabric of the robe. It sets off an involuntary shiver of delight that reaches deep inside me. I blink in astonishment at my reaction. How the hell can I find this arousing?
“Evie,” Daniil growls, bringing my focus back to him. “How did you know they were coming for me?”
“I guessed!” I yell, desperate to be let up from the bed before I humiliate myself any further. “I put two and two together, that’s all.”
I’m starting to wish I hadn’t warned him, that I’d hidden myself away and just let them do whatever they came to do. But I know I could never have a man’s death on my hands, not even if he is a domineering swine.
“So, you’re not a spy?” he asks.
A spy? I can scarcely believe the world he lives in. People running around with guns. Kidnapping women. Spiriting them away on private planes. Suspecting there are spies in his midst? It’s like a movie.
“Of course I’m not a spy!” I struggle to roll over and to my surprise he lets me. My butt smarts as I put weight on it and I have to swipe away a tear. It dawns on me then that if he thought I was a spy, he might have brought me here by mistake. “I’m just an ordinary woman.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t say that, Evie.” He cocks his head to the side as he gazes appreciatively at me. “It’s not every woman who responds so well to a spanking.”
It would be pointless for me to deny it. He suspects there’s a tell-tale wetness between my legs and he’s right. I say nothing to challenge him. Any denial would give him an excuse to slip his hand between my thighs and prove me a liar. I might yearn for his touch but right now I’m humiliated, suffering from a sore bottom, and I just want to get out of here.
“Is it over now?” I ask. “Can I leave?”
“Oh, no, Evie, you’re not leaving. That was just a warm-up. Your punishment’s yet to come.” He pulls me up off the bed and runs a hand through my hair in an almost loving gesture. Then his demeanor switches. He becomes all stern again. “Now, take off that robe and get down on your knees.”
Evie’s hesitation is clear as she tries to decide if she should to as I commanded. She’s smart enough to realize there are serious ramifications, whatever she does. Failing to do as I ask will result in a severe punishment but complying opens up the possibility of a lifetime of submission. And that scares her.
Not a man who can allow disobedience, I fold my arms across my chest and stare down at her until she does as I instructed. With trembling fingers, she unties the knot in the belt around her waist and slips the robe off her shoulders. She lets it drop to the floor to form a silky puddle around her feet. I raise an eyebrow as she stands before me, naked and gloriously defiant. Taking the hint, she bends to pick up the robe and places it carefully over the footboard of the bed.
“Good girl.” I’ve always believed in giving praise where it’s due but the scowl on Evie’s face tells me she doesn’t appreciate it. She will. One day, she’ll crave positive reinforcement from me. “Now, on your knees.”
Surprisingly, this seems more difficult for her than getting naked was. Her eyes brim with tears and her fingers fidget as her arms hang limply by her sides. I could make this easier on her by forcing her compliance. It wouldn’t take much effort to push her to her knees but where’s the fun in that? I want Evie to give in, to submit of her own volition.
Her chest rises and falls heavily and then she bows her head before lowering herself to the floor. Her movement lacks grace. The posture she adopts is inelegant.
I like that she’s unpracticed. I want to be the first to teach her what submission means. “Sit up straighter.”
With a weary sigh that would earn her a smack if I wasn’t in a forgiving mood, she does as she’s told. Her spine lengthens and she pushes her breasts forward. They’re a decent size for such a slender frame, a good fit for the palm of my hand. Her nipples are a delicate shade of pink, almost the same as her bow-shaped lips. There’s a small cluster of freckles beneath her breasts that I find my eye returning to again and again, almost as though I could read something in the pattern they make. Evie holds her head high, but with her gaze lowered. I love the curve of her neck, the hollow at the base of her throat. Her pose is still not perfect by any means, but it’s a hundred times better now that she’s not slouching.
She bristles at being spoken to like she’s no better than a dog but wisely says nothing. My sweet little captive is a clever girl. I see her calculating every response, trying to work out how best to deal with my demands. I’ll have to mix things up to keep her on her toes.
Leaving her kneeling by the bed, I go to the large walk-in closet adjoining the room. There’s a cabinet at the back where I store all my favorite toys. Evie is not the first woman I’ve punished but she is the first I’ve brought home. Every flogger, shackle, and butt plug here is brand new and unused. I can’t wait to try every single implement on her—which means keeping her around for a long time. I’d never have thought it, but I can’t bear the thought of letting her go. When she was in danger, she looked to me for salvation. She’s still afraid and her vulnerability calls to my protective instincts. I want to be the man who takes care of her.
When I went to her room to check on her earlier and discovered she was gone, something akin to fear gripped me. A dozen different scenarios sprang to mind. Had she somehow managed to unlock the door and wandered out into the night? Had she fallen out of the window to her death? Could Connor Keane’s men have broken into the house and taken her? What if my father’s goons had taken her? Each possibility was less likely than the last but it didn’t stop terror from rising inside me as I imagined losing her. It was a ridiculous response since I’ve not even fucked the girl yet.
When I managed to calm my thoughts, I noticed a glass of water on the nightstand—one I hadn’t put there. That suggested someone had come to check on her. Timofey would never have been so considerate as to bring it to her so it had to be Mila who let her out. My sister does love to interfere. When I found the two of them eating breakfast together, my relief was quickly swept away by anger. How dare Evie cause me such anxiety?
As I cast my eye over the various spanking implements and restraints in the cabinet, I’m like a kid in the candy store. I can’t decide what to choose first. Evie took the hand spanking well, but she’s clearly new to it. I don’t want to go too harsh, too quickly; there needs to be the threat of something worse to come if I’m going to make her behave. When it comes to selecting restraints, that proves more difficult than I thought as well. Evie has a lean, athletic build and I’m willing to bet she can take a fair bit of strain. She’s probably not a hundred percent recovered from that knock on the head last night, so I decide to save some of the more extreme methods of punishment until I’m sure she can take it.
My attention is snagged by a flogger, its handle accented with a nice grip and suede falls that would thud rather than sting as they hit her bottom. I consider it for a moment and decide it’s not going to send a strong enough message. A cane would be too much, so I opt for a medium-weight riding crop. I select a spreader bar with cuffs for wrists and ankles and regretfully leave the butt plugs and ball gags for another time. I want Evie to crave my discipline. Too much all at once will close her mind to the possibilities.
When I return to her, the little minx has the temerity to flash me a look of boredom.
Well, let’s see if we can liven things up around here.
“Get up.” My harsh, impatient tone has her leaping to her feet. She’s eager to obey, which is good. I brush a wisp of chestnut hair back from her face and examine the bump on her forehead. A surge of anger at the little shit who did this to her rises in me but I suppress it when I notice the glimmer of fear in her eyes. “Does that hurt?”
“Good.” Tossing the riding crop onto the bed, I pick Evie up and drop her onto the mattress. I arrange her on her knees and push her head down. I hold her just long enough for her to get the message that this is how I want her. She heeds the warning to stay put, remaining perfectly still as I drop the spreader bar onto the bed behind her. If we were playing, I’d take some time to tease her, to bring her to the brink of orgasm and leave her hanging. But today, I’m not drawing things out. This is about delivering a short, sharp shock to demonstrate what happens when she disobeys me.
I fasten the cuffs around her ankles and then draw her arms back so I can bind her wrists to the bar. As I buckle the tight leather band around her wrist, she turns her head to the side and I can’t fail to notice the desire darkening her eyes. She’d never admit it—not yet, anyway—but a part of her wants this. I’m not sure if she realizes, but she hasn’t uttered a word of protest.
When she’s secured with her knees bent under her and arms stretched behind her, I take a moment to admire her form. In this position, she can hide nothing from me. Her glistening pussy is fully exposed to my view. Her bottom is at just the right height for further punishment. A surge of possessiveness washes over me as I note the deep pink color of her flesh, evidence of my dominance. That plump, gorgeous ass is mine to use as I see fit. I almost groan in pleasure as I think about whipping her perfectly rounded butt cheeks until she screams for mercy. The rosebud pucker of her ass offers further temptation. I can’t wait to sink my cock into that tight little hole and fuck her until she’s in no doubt whom she belongs to.
She must know how open she is, how vulnerable, yet she appears surprisingly relaxed. Her limbs are loose, her shoulders free from tension. If it wasn’t for the way she gnaws on her bottom lip, I’d think being bound like this was an everyday occurrence for her. I haven’t quizzed her on her sexual history but I’m willing to bet I’m the first man to truss her up like this. When she first approached me at the swimming pool I sensed she was an innocent. The uncertainty reflected in her eyes tells me I was right.
Clearly, she’s working hard to maintain her composure, an air of calm. I’m going to break through the stoic façade. Before she knows it, she’ll be crying out, begging me to fuck her.
“Okay, then, burunduk.” I use my pet name for her, my adorable chipmunk. “Are you ready for me?”
Being bound like this, at the mercy of a powerful and dangerous man, is terrifying but also strangely exciting. I’ve never done anything in the least bit kinky, and my fantasies have never gone nearly this far… so I’m being propelled into unfamiliar territory. Any knowledge I have of bondage and spanking comes from books I’ve read. Even in erotic romance, my tastes are fairly tame. Handcuffs and a few swats with a paddle are as far as my comfort zone extends. My own experience has never gone beyond lights out, missionary position, safe and snuggly sex. I’ve only been intimate with two men, both of whom I dated for months first.
For years, I’ve flirted with the notion of trying something more adventurous. Ever since I read my first steamy romance, I’ve wanted to meet a tall, dark dominant man who’d take charge. But the reality is more startling than anything I’ve read on the page. When Daniil asks me if I’m ready for him, the honest answer would have to be no.
This situation is being imposed on me. It’s not something I signed up for after calm and rational discussion of safe words and limits. Daniil is not a trusted lover looking to explore a different lifestyle with me. He’s a stranger who took me from my comfortable, if somewhat boring life without asking me what I wanted. He claims it was to protect me, but now that he’s got me tied up so I’m helpless to resist, I’m not so sure. Yet, for some reason, I don’t want to run screaming for the hills. I’m as intrigued as I am appalled by the position I find myself in.
I do have fears about what will happen. I’m afraid I won’t be able to handle any more pain. Being spanked with his hand was bad enough. An overload of pleasure if he decided to reward me might also be too much to deal with. I’m scared of hating what he does to me, and loving it in equal measure. The possibility of embarrassing myself looms large. I don’t know how to act in this situation. I want to take a minute to think this through, to work out how to respond when he uses that crop on my poor bottom. Of course, I tell Daniil none of this. I don’t ask him for leniency or to let me know how long the punishment will go on for.
Madness seems to seize me, and I utter words that give him carte blanche to do whatever he damned well pleases. “Yes, sir, I’m ready.”
He grunts in satisfaction and I brace for an onslaught of unfamiliar sensation. He doesn’t strike yet, however. Apparently deciding my position doesn’t work for him, he drags me closer to the edge of the bed. His rough handling ignites a spark inside of me. Perhaps I am ready after all?
As he reaches over me to get the riding crop, my senses are filled with his woodsy scent. It’s reassuringly masculine. The harsh sound of his breathing in my ear tells me he’s as affected by me as I am by him. He lingers just a moment longer than necessary, the weight of his body pressing against my back as he grabs the crop.
When he straightens up again, I feel a loss, not just of the warmth of his bare torso, but of security. For some reason when our bodies touched, I felt a connection that soothed me. But that’s gone now, and a chill spreads through my veins.
“After this you will understand my orders must be obeyed,” he tells me.
“Yes, sir.” I agree both because I wish I had listened to him and stayed hidden in that bloody cubicle, and because compliance is what he’ll expect from me. If I give him that, surely he’ll go easy on me. That ridiculously naïve notion goes out of my head the second the crop belts me across the ass for the first time. It makes a startlingly loud whack. Already tender, my flesh starts to throb. I wouldn’t describe it as painful, not yet, but I doubt I can stand many of these.
The crop hits the left side of my bottom and this time it stings. My eyes almost pop out of my head as I gasp in shock. He’s not holding back.
“I don’t like it!” I wail. “It hurts.”
“I’m so sorry, sweetheart,” Daniil says with galling insincerity. “Should I stop?”
Knowing the response I’d like to give him would not win me any favors, I clamp my lips shut. The crop hits my left butt cheek again and my eyes water. Whimpering and moaning, I wriggle as much as I’m able within these tight restraints as Daniil wallops the right side of my bottom and then the left. He alternates blows to ensure every inch of my ass is suitably punished. My fingers and toes curl and every muscle in my body tenses as discomfort builds.
“Do you want me to paint your ass black and blue?” Daniil asks.
“You mean you haven’t already?” I glower up at him, finding courage I didn’t know I possessed to challenge him.
The corner of his beautiful mouth lifts. It seems I’ve amused my tormentor with my defiant outburst. “Unclench your cheeks, or you’ll be sorry.”
It isn’t easy but I do as he says. He immediately whacks me with the crop again. I yelp and wiggle, trying to raise my head off the bed. He pushes me back down and plants a hand firmly between my shoulder blades to keep me where he wants me. As he presses me into the mattress, Daniil lays the crop across my ass over and over. Fire burns deep into my flesh, and I struggle to catch my breath as my tears start to fall.
“I’m sorry I disobeyed you!” I cry out. “I’m sorry!”
His grip on me loosens and he strokes my back almost tenderly before continuing the punishment. My mind tells me I hate this, but my body has other ideas. Rocking forward as the crop falls, then back as Daniil raises it again, my hips slip into a primal rhythm that’s soon echoed in the pulsing beat between my legs. I don’t know whether it’s the throbbing pain, or the exhilarating knowledge Daniil is in complete control of what happens to me, but something awakens my body like never before. A desperate need blooms with each strike of the crop, and soon a maddening desire overcomes all other emotion.
“Fuck m—” I manage to stop the words before the plea leaves my mouth.
It’s too late. Time stands still as a blush creeps up my neck to redden my cheeks. My eyes snap shut for a moment, as mortification washes over me. Daniil is deathly quiet. He must be as shocked by how close I came to begging him to take me as I am.
“You want me to fuck you?” he asks after a protracted silence. “Is that what you were going to say?”
Burying my face in the mattress, I shake my head, unable to deal with the embarrassment sweeping over me.
“You want me to fuck you?” he repeats.
It’s pointless to deny it since it wouldn’t take much for him to discover evidence of the lie. The increasing dampness between my legs, the hardening of my nipples, the gleam of lust in my eyes would give it away. But I know inviting him to ravage me is a bad idea. My mind and body battle each other and somehow common sense wins out. I shake my head.
“I think you’re lying.” He slides the riding crop between my legs. Without thinking, I rub myself against it, trying to find relief for the sensual ache inside me. The slight pressure on my swollen flesh only makes things worse. I need to be taken, hard. Daniil taps my pussy with the crop, setting the whole sensitive area aflame. My clitoris pulsates and I writhe on the bed, moaning in something close to agony. “Tell me you want me to fuck you.”
“I can’t,” I whisper.
He deliberates for a moment then moves behind me, tossing the crop onto the bed. He lowers his sweatpants and I glance over my shoulder trying to get a good look at him. Bound like this, I’m unable to see his cock before he positions its thick head at my entrance.
“Are you protected?” he asks.
I should tell him no, force him to pause to go in search of a condom in the hopes it will dampen his ardor, but I don’t. As crazy as I know it is, I’m so worked up I need him right now.
“Yes.” I have one of those implants that last three years embedded in my arm. “And I don’t sleep around.”
“Good.” He doesn’t assure me that he’s got a clean bill of health. It’s all part of his power game, I suppose. He doesn’t need to tell me anything. I don’t imagine he’s walking around with any nasty diseases, though. A man like him takes care of his body.
Yanking my hips back, he impales me with a single, savage thrust. Though I was drenched and ready for him, it feels like I’m being split apart. His cock is long and thick, in perfect proportion with his muscular form. I’ve never been taken from behind or with such determination. It’s incredibly intense, and I cry out as he hits a spot deep inside.
“Fuck, you’re tight.” He sounds almost pained. “Were you a virgin?”
“No, I was not,” I snap back at him.
“No need to sound so insulted, burunduk. There’d be no shame in it.”
Of course there wouldn’t. It’s just I feel the question rubs my nose in my inexperience. There’s no time to respond to him as he starts to glide his cock in and out of my tight sheath with slow, deliberate strokes. It’s like I’ve died and gone to heaven.
Then he picks up his pace, slamming into me harder and faster, and I realize the strain that’s being put on my arms. Stretched out behind me, they ache as my body is battered by the force of Daniil’s thrusts. His hips slap against my sore bottom, but the pain only fuels my arousal.
When his fingertip probes my back passage, teasing the sensitive nerve endings with the lightest of touches, I squeal in horror. I am so not ready for that. Daniil chuckles as I squirm beneath him. “I’m going to fuck this gorgeous ass.”
I stiffen as fear takes hold.
His hand smooths over the curve of my hip. “But not today.”
The tension seeps out of me and I focus on the here and now. Powerful sensations grip my body as I’m carried toward the pinnacle of ecstasy. Just as I think I’m going to tumble over the edge, Daniil pulls out of my quivering body, his seed splattering across my lower back. I whimper in frustration as he rubs his semen into my skin and then steps away.
Breathing harshly, he pulls up his sweatpants. “You’re mine now, burunduk.”
“Please, Daniil, sir,” I moan. Tied up like this I can do nothing to bring myself the relief he’s denied me. “Please, I need…”
“I know what you need, but you haven’t earned it yet.” He releases me from the cuffs. I stretch out slowly, carefully, my muscles protesting as I straighten my limbs. I roll over and look at Daniil. His expression is unreadable. “Only deserving girls get to come.”
“But—” Whatever protest I planned to make is halted by the glint of steel in his pretty blue eyes.
“You will remain in this room for the rest of the day,” he announces. “Touch what’s mine, and you will regret it.”
I get the feeling he’s not warning me against rummaging through his underwear drawer. A groan of frustration bursts out of me.
He gives me a final pointed look and then walks from the room. I don’t hear a key being turned in the lock, but I’m not moving from this bed regardless.
I face the inescapable truth. Daniil Lenkov has brought something that was buried deep within me to the surface. A door has been opened that can never be closed.
I’m his, whether I want to be or not.
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