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Christmas with the Sheriff by Korey Mae Johnson – Serialization (Part Two)

Did you miss Chapters 1-2? You can find them here.

Chapter Three

Although it was nearly one o’clock in the morning and Jack was just stomping off the snow from his boots after an incredibly long day at work, he was not surprised that his phone was ringing. He locked his jaw for a moment in dread; not because the phone call was surely going to be some emergency, but because his younger brother, Tom, liked to call him at this hour. Rolling his eyes, he opened his cell phone and grabbed the large basket of cookies on his front step.

Jack liked his brother as a best friend, but he still hated being subjected to conversations with him wherein Tom would prattle on about how wonderfully his life was going. Last week, Jack was informed that Tom’s wife, Lucy, was pregnant with their first child, which was wonderful news until Tom inevitably compared Jack’s life with his own. Both seemed to uncomfortably realize that Jack’s life wasn’t really measuring up to his younger brother’s right now.

Tom considered himself a professional on happiness, which is why the conversation quickly turned to Jack’s love life and its non-existence. “You’re a stubborn asshole, Jack,” he said in response to the information that Jack hadn’t gone on any of the dating websites he had recommended. “You haven’t had a single date since August. I’m telling you, internet dating is really successful. It’s how I met Lucy.”

Jack grunted as he foraged through his refrigerator. “Yeah, well, you got the last sane one,” he replied, before he sniffed the quality of a leftover. “I’ll find someone eventually. But if not… They really take up too much time, anyway. I have work.”

I have work. Why do you think I’m up after midnight? But it doesn’t matter,” Tom assured. “It’s worth it. Anyway, if you wanted to be a workaholic you stayed in the wrong town. I don’t know why you decided to make your home in the Oregon woodlands.”

“We grew up here,” Jack reminded monotonously, opening up a can of Coke.

“I’m just saying, if you want some excitement, as well as to lighten some of my load down here—I would love for you to come and work with me.”

“I know,” Jack said without any excitement in his voice. “Thanks. But I think I’m doing just fine not being a security guard.”

“I sell security devices,” Tom said testily. “You’ll get sick of that fresh air eventually. Then you’ll think about it. Besides, you keep saying that I work too hard and need to spend more time with family. I don’t know how you think I can do that without some help.”

“Then hire someone,” Jack grunted.

“Why? We both know I’m wearing you down.”

Jack shook his head. Tom was right. His used-car salesman act normally annoyed Jack into giving in. Truthfully, the job change was one of the things he had assigned himself to consider over his small vacation. “You’re definitely persistent with your guilt act.”

“Speaking of which,” Tom said in an ominous tone. “Maggie called.”

Jack groaned, though he couldn’t help but grin. “Ah, God. What?”

Tom laughed and continued as innocently as he could, “She wanted me to remind you that her niece is back in town… And she’s single. That’s all I promised I’d say.”

“I know. She graduated. I actually saw her this morning,” Jack mentioned, rifling through the mail, trying not to be distracted by any mental images of her. “I stopped by Maggie’s house so that she could badger me herself.”

“Yeah, perhaps you should listen to her. Jo’s hot.”

Jack pulled the phone from his ear and looked at the receiver, as if the words he heard came in muddled. Honestly, he didn’t like anyone else knowing that Jo was hot except him. Jo was his sex kitten! But Tom was right. Jo wasn’t just beautiful and sexy; she was down-to-earth too. She was the type of girl who looked amazing when she got out of bed or when she was wearing a dirty t-shirt and a raggedy pair of pants. “Sure,” he finally acknowledged. “But she’s not interested.”

“Not interested?” Tom parroted. “What happened?”

“I don’t know,” he admitted with a grunt. “She’s tough. I imagine she’s more warm and inviting to a cockroach. I don’t think she’s done anything but glare at me in the last five years.”

“Whoa,” Tom marveled. “What did you do?”

Jack grunted. Mag was probably right. He didn’t know when he’d lost Jo, but it couldn’t have been the spanking, or at least not just that. Jo had been young enough to shirk that off, or even to expect it after what she had done. But their relationship was never the same afterwards.

“I spanked her when she was eighteen for getting in the driver’s seat drunk,” he explained honestly, although he knew his brother had already heard the story from him before. “She was on her own, and you know how softhearted Maggie is… She wouldn’t have done anything. And I just felt like I had to drive the point home.”

“You still think it’s that?” his brother asked, sounding extremely doubtful.

“Girls don’t like being spanked,” he reminded, shrugging even though he knew the body language was worthless.

“That is not my experience,” his brother argued. “I’ve spanked Lucy since we were together for a week. And not just in the bedroom. She’s a hellcat, man. I spanked a few of my girlfriends in the past too. You know, they all act shocked but then they get really wet and needy and—”

Jack grimaced. “Jo was far from wet and needy when I spanked her, I guarantee it.”

“You’re right. I’m sure she only became a sexual creature when you decided she was ready to be that,” Tom snorted. “Teenagers definitely don’t want to fuck everything that moves anyway. Especially not a man who’s in authority and is known to be a good-looking guy with abs and shit. They don’t like abs. That’s a thirty-and-over thing…”

Jack rolled his eyes. “That’s not what our relationship was back then.”

“Okay.”

He ground his teeth together for a moment; this was definitely not the conversation he wanted while he still felt stung from once again being brushed off by Joanna Menard. “Well, something snapped that day and things were never the same between us, that’s all I’m saying.”

Casually, Tom said, “And I’m saying give it another shot. Like… Try harder? You’re not getting any younger, you know. What are you? Thirty-two? Pretty soon you’re gonna be old and grey and no one will want you.”

“Well, thank you for your wisdom, Tom,” Jack said sarcastically, furrowing his eyebrows with annoyance. “What would I do without your commen—”

Suddenly, there was a very loud, very sickening boom with a very metallic crunch from not very far away. He dropped the phone and quickly leaned over to peer out the kitchen window.

“What was that?” he could hear the receiver say from where it had landed on the counter.

Without responding, Jack ran out of the house, barely stopping for his boots and jacket. He felt like he couldn’t get to the front yard quickly enough, especially with all the ice that was slowing him down. He didn’t recognize the truck until he was closer, and then when he did he was so shocked that he lost his balance.

It was no time to say, ‘Speak of the devil’, but it was simply too ironic that Jo, out of the ten thousand people in the area, would be the one to crash into his tree right as he was talking about her. It nearly made him sick to his stomach—a minute ago he was thinking about how sexy she was while calling her a brat. God knows what she would be like now—maybe dead. The whole passenger-side of the Chevy was twisted around the tree.

“Jo!” he shouted as he practically skated over to the driver’s side, swinging the door open so wide that it creaked angrily on its hinges. He sighed with relief upon seeing Jo; she was holding uncomfortably onto the wheel to keep herself up and her whole body was slanted to the right where the car was folding around the tree, but she seemed unhurt. She just looked… sheepish.

“Are you okay?” he asked, looking her over again.

“I’m okay,” she replied, her voice sounding strained. “Help me out?”

He hesitated, unable to believe that she wasn’t too injured to be moved. “Are you hurt?”

“No,” she assured. “Not as much as the truck—that’s for goddamn sure.” Her eyes finally caught his for a moment, but then she quickly turned her gaze away, probably because Jack’s expression made it very clear that he didn’t think she was being funny.

He leaned over her seat and, putting one arm around her, he undid her safety belt and picked her up, efficiently getting her out of the car before she could fall into the broken glass next to her. “What happened?” he asked, unable to keep his voice from sounding at once exasperated, worried, and winded.

He tightly held onto her body; she was a slender girl, she didn’t weigh much, but she looked at his arms like his holding her for this long was the thing making her uncomfortable. “You can put me… um… down now…” she informed awkwardly.

With a grunt, Jack put her down and immediately pulled his notepad and flashlight from his pocket, but after he continued to pat around his pockets for a moment, he said, “I forgot my cell phone inside,” he moaned.

“So?” she shrugged, her tone much lighter than he thought it should be.

“So?” he mocked, incredulous. “So, I’m calling an ambulance, young lady. You need to be checked out.” He pointed to the car wreck behind him.

“No way, Jack,” she said stoutly, crossing her arms strongly in front of her. “I know you don’t believe it, and I’m as surprised as you—but I’m fine.” She patted her body up and down as if to prove that no holes were bored into her. “See? Besides, I don’t have insurance, and I don’t feel like paying five-hundred bucks for them to tell me nothing’s wrong.”

Jack sighed and brought his hand up to pinch the bridge of his nose; it felt like a migraine was coming on. Finally, after a few deep breaths, he collected himself and clicked his pen open and put it to the paper. “What happened?”

“Ice. Lots of ice,” she explained. “And a deer—a very big one.” He looked at her and she blushed, as if his mere look was making her feel uncomfortable and off-balance. She rolled her eyes. “It’s a skating rink out there, Jack, what do you think happened? It’s one o’clock in the morning, anyway. I’m dragging a lot of ass.”

He aimed his flashlight at her face and she looked away from the blinding light. “Have you been drinking tonight?” he asked, seeing her reddened eyes.

No,” she assured firmly, sounding as if he should be ashamed for even asking a twenty-two-year-old girl who crashed into his tree in the middle of the night if she’d been drinking.

“Were you smoking?” he continued, turning his head so he could look into her eyes again.

Her mouth dropped open and she seemed like she was going to argue with him, but then she shifted her eyes wildly back and forth for a moment before she said, shakily, “Aren’t you supposed to call a tow truck or something, Jack?”

“Just answer my questions, please,” Jack said tersely, not in the mood for her attitude. He was almost crumpling his notebook in his hand at this stage. He couldn’t believe she could have done something so stupid. Now she just needed to admit it. “Were you driving high, Jo?”

She didn’t kill him with the glare she then shot at him, but that wasn’t because she didn’t try. “No,” she lied stubbornly.

She had unintentionally given him far too good a view of her bloodshot eyes. Suddenly, he pulled her close with his thick, muscular arm and held her in place by her coat. He wanted to shake her! She had absolutely no self-preservation instinct. How could she do something this asinine? He suddenly didn’t regret spanking her nearly five years ago. He should have spanked her harder!

Oh, lord. He was terrifying—something about his icy blue eyes boring into hers made her feel like she had been dunked into a whole tank of shame. After all these years, her bottom tingled and she wanted to put her hands behind her to shield her ass.

“Stop that!” she said nervously, trying to smack his hand off of her. “Can’t you do your job or something? Like get me out of here?” Her heart was racing, and she found herself feeling exactly like she had five years ago around this time.

She had gotten Jack angry—very angry. She didn’t even have to look in his eyes; every muscle seemed to be tense with rage. She didn’t know quite what to do with herself—she couldn’t think as quickly as she normally could. Should she cry? Or should she fight him? That seemed to be the only two options—the glare he was now unleashing on her was enough, even on a cold night like this, to make her melt.

He let her down slowly and her feet dropped off of her toes and back onto her heels. Jack put his hand over his eyes in what appeared to be an attempt to calm himself. “Get. In. The. House,” he finally ordered, raising his arm to point towards the house.

“No way,” she refused. Her cheeks felt like they were burning. “You’ll… You’ll—” she tried to finish but couldn’t get out the horrible word.

“I’ll spank you?” he finished for her, raising an eyebrow.

She looked down at the ground, humiliated by the mere concept.

“Why?” he countered, sounding incredulous. He loomed ominously over her. “For driving in an ice storm? For driving in an ice storm at night? Or for getting stoned and then driving in an ice storm at night?”

She opened her mouth to retort, bur then thought better of what she was about to say and closed her mouth again. Finally, she just glared at the iced-over snow under her feet. “I just want you to take me home,” she told him so shyly that her voice was barely audible.

“Ain’t gonna happen,” Jack informed. “A fallen tree collapsed the bridge two hours ago, little girl. No one’s going up the mountain tonight, even if the road up there wasn’t a slide.” He looked at the truck for a moment and put a hand on top of his head, amazed. “Let me ask you a question,” he said, turning his head to her. “Did you even consider staying at your friends’ place?”

“Who said that’s where I was?” she defended, putting her hands on her hips.

Again his stern look took the fight out of her and replaced it with regret. “I did consider it, actually,” she admitted quietly, sounding angry at herself. “Maggie even packed a bag for me.”

“And?”

Her head snapped up and she suddenly felt very tired of this lecture. With fire in her eyes, she snapped, “And I’m high, Jack! What the hell do you want me to say? Heading home seemed logical at the time! Look, isn’t it bad enough that I ran into a tree?” She pointed at the truck. “Look at that! You know I have to tell Maggie about that! How ‘bout some sympathy?”

In the next moment, Jack had grabbed her jacket and was hauling her across the ice towards the house, not listening to her protests nor responding to her clumsy movements towards freedom. She screeched, “Jack! Don’t do this!”

“I’m not. I’m way too angry to spank you, little girl,” he told her through his teeth, opening the door to his house and pulling her through the living room and into the bedroom, where he finally let go of her and let her steady her feet. “You need to call Maggie and tell her you’re alright. Then go to sleep. Get sober.”

She wanted to argue, but nothing he’d told her to do had been anything but wise. “I don’t have a phone,” she said, sitting on the foot of the bed and pinching the covers between her fingers.

“Is it in the truck?” he countered.

“No. I left it at home,” she said innocently.

He grunted with disapproval and disappeared. He was back in the doorway in another moment, handing her his cell phone. “Call her.”

“I… huh.” She played with the bottom of her braid. She seemed incredibly aware that everything and anything she could say to him would only gain more of his disapproval. Even before meeting her friends, she wasn’t exactly thinking anything through for an impending ice storm. “I don’t…” But she knew he understood her problem, because his expression just became that much more like stone.

He looked hard at her for a long moment before he sighed and went through his phone’s contacts. “I can’t believe you don’t know her number. She’s your emergency contact,” he grumbled.

“I don’t remember anyone’s number, Jack. That’s what cell phones are for!” she said with a nervous laugh.

“We’ll talk about this in the morning,” was his unamused forewarning as he passed her the phone and left the room, closing the door hard behind him.

“Stupid, stupid, stupid!” she breathed to herself as she hit ‘talk’. She couldn’t believe it was happening again: she was proving that she wasn’t mature enough to think of romantically. She wasn’t smart enough. She just wasn’t fucking worthy.

Worthy? the voice in her head guffawed. He’s a chauvinist! Viva la femme, remember? You don’t want him to date you. You don’t want him to hold you or touch you. You don’t want him to make love to you.

But she did.

Sometimes she could talk herself out of how she felt if she was away from him long enough, but as soon as she was back in proximity she realized how hopeless her situation was. She simply didn’t want anyone else… In fact, she never had, which was probably the reason why she was still a virgin. She had no interest in any of the men that had ever shown interest in her. The rest of the men of her acquaintance weren’t dependable, weren’t upstanding, weren’t anyone she could respect and look up to. Jack was so wonderfully different, yet she never had any chance with him.

She had reduced herself to tears by the time her aunt picked up the other line.

Jack did a post-accident report and called it in to the station, a grumpy conversation though it was. He knew that Jo was smart—but this was not her best moment. Nothing about what had happened was smart.

She was a good person: empathetic, sympathetic, careful not to step on anyone’s toes. But she was a behavior chameleon; when she had hung around him often, then she was more responsible. When she hung around those monkeys she went to high school with, then she simply became a monkey, too. Stupid, fearless, careless… All her worst qualities floated to the surface.

Finally taking off his coat and boots for the evening, he could hear the unfamiliar sounds of someone else in the house, mostly the creaking of the guest bed as Jo rolled around. There was something warming about the sound of other people in the house, the antithesis of his loneliness.

When he came back from his second tour and became deputy—which he was for a brief year before his promotion—he had thought that his life was going to figure itself out pretty fast. He was going to find a nice small-town girl, fall in love, marry, and raise kids here.

None of that had happened. Shortly after coming back to town, he’d realized all the girls that had seemed nice before he left were now either married or had moved away, and no one that was left behind held any interest for him. Jo was the only girl in town that he would be happy to chase after, only it was obvious to him that she found him about as appealing as a root canal.

Try harder, he heard his brother’s voice say in his head.

He grumbled. It was actually good advice. This time, no matter what happened in the morning, he would not let Jo withdraw herself away from him again. He looked out the window and realized the snow was blanketing down from the sky, as predicted. So there was going to be a snow-in. No better time for it.

Chapter Four

Jo woke up, yawning and stretching, to the smell of eggs and bacon. For a moment she forgot where she was. She felt horrible: drained, hung-over, hungry, and sick all at the same time. It took her a long moment to realize the object of her desires was outside, probably cooking breakfast.

She wiped the sleep out of her eyes and pulled on her jeans, then finally dared to look in the mirror across the room to see how she looked. Urgh. She definitely wasn’t going to attract any modeling agents at the moment. She looked so tired that her eyes almost appeared bruised.

Jo opened the door and shuffled zombie-like from the room. “Well, good morning, sunshine,” said a voice to her left, snapping her mind to attention. Jack was shirtless—something she’d never seen before, she realized—and Jo liked what she saw. His shoulders were finely sculpted; every muscle in his arms and chest was well-defined. She checked herself to make sure she wasn’t swooning or drooling.

“Hi,” she said shyly. “Smells good.”

“You should eat some,” he told her, more of an order than friendly advice. “You’re probably wrung out from last night. Rushes of adrenaline will do that to you,” he said.

“Is that why I feel like I was the one hit by the truck, not the one hitting?” She grinned and sat down at the stool in front of the countertop.

Jo looked at Jack’s large hands as he handed her the plate he had made up for her, and a thrill of excitement went down her spine. Her stomach was already swimming with butterflies. Was he going to yell at her about last night? She felt slightly disappointed that she was too old now for him to really, truly consider spanking her.

What? Her brain fired at her. Do you actually want a spanking? Did you enjoy it last time? She kept her face from flushing red. She hadn’t liked being spanked, especially in public. In fact, the more she thought about it, the more the memory made her dizzy. But still, if she admitted it to herself, it really excited her—the fantasy that a man would take it upon himself to ‘show her the line’, to let her know that it wasn’t okay when she crossed it. The idea of having a guide to help her through life left a warm, comforting feeling throughout her entire body.

Especially if the guide was this man. This gorgeous, dazzling man. One that had a V on his lower torso plunging into his jeans, where she knew the cock she had been fantasizing about forever was waiting. She looked down at her plate of food, suddenly self-conscious about her own looks: her split ends, her baggy pants, her shapeless sweatshirt, her dirty sneakers, the fact that she probably smelt of day-old weed.

“Not hungry?” he asked.

“No, I’m starving.” She slowly grabbed a piece of bacon, any lively glint in her eyes steadily deadening. She began to nibble on it.

“Yeah,” he grinned through his sarcastic words, “I could tell by the way you’re inhaling that food. Did you guys have a banquet last night?”

“Yep. Five different varieties of potato chips,” she chuckled, embarrassed. “And both chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. I definitely think I might have exceeded the recommended daily caloric intake.”

He didn’t chuckle along with her; he politely smiled, but she couldn’t help noticing the disapproval in his eyes. “Did you talk to Mag about the Chevy?” he asked curiously, sitting against a kitchen cabinet and watching her eat while he drank his coffee.

“Yep,” she said, with a careless shrug. “She said I was toast. We have liability only… Unless the tree is covered?” she added with a smirk.

“Unfortunately, probably not,” he said with a shake of his head.

“Yeah, that’s what I figured.”

He looked hard at her for a second, apparently calculating something in his mind that seemed painful by the expression on his face. “I’ll try to fix up my truck for Maggie’s use, then. I suppose it will run with a lot of TLC this week.” He sighed, giving her a chiding glance, then turned around and started washing the frying pan in the sink.

“You work on cars?” she asked with interest.

“Dad was a mechanic before he retired,” he shrugged. “So I know how to do a lot of stuff. No promises, but I’ll try; I know you and Maggie aren’t exactly millionaires. It’s not like you even have two cars.”

“We don’t need two cars,” Jo assured. “Maggie’s hip isn’t doing great. She has trouble getting up the stairs, let alone climbing into the Chevy. It’s really good that I came home when I did. I wish I graduated last summer, in fact. Thanks for continuing to… you know, stop by and help her out when I was away,” she added sincerely.

He shrugged. “Mag’s always been there for my family when we needed it,” he explained before changing the subject. “Was she worried about you when you didn’t come home?”

She took a big breath as the guilt from that information sunk in. “Maggie worries too much,” she said. “I’m always okay.”

“You were very close to not being okay last night,” he reminded gruffly, turning around and shooting her a dark look.

“Touché,” she said, trying to keep things light to keep his disapproval from worsening. “Look, I’m sorry about last night… and your tree…” She finished her egg and toast and got up to bring her plate to the sink. “I know you probably think I’m a complete fuck-up,” she continued. “But I’m normally not, I swear. I graduated Southern Oregon with a 4.0…”

“I’ve never thought you were a fuck-up, Jo. It’s just that your common sense doesn’t match your intellect sometimes,” he told her, grabbing her plate and rinsing it.

She blushed and turned away, heading back towards the guest room.

“Don’t go anywhere,” he told her, drying his hands. “We still need to have a chat about last night.”

And the butterflies were back—heavy butterflies, as if the weight of them forced her shoulders down into a guilty slouch. “We… We were just chatting about it.” She did her best to regain her composure to appear more confident and less submissive. “Remember? I said I wasn’t always a fuck-up, and you said some snide remark about me having no common sense?”

“No,” he said sternly, crossing his arms. “You apologized half-assed about the tree and then argued that you aren’t a fuck-up. I know that. That’s the whole problem; you’re smart, and you think that means you can just do whatever the hell you want and nothing will ever go wrong.”

She rolled her eyes, stung by his words, and waved him off. “I don’t want to argue about this.”

“I don’t want to, either, but sometimes people who care about you have to say things you don’t want to hear.”

“Thanks for your input, Dad,” she mocked. “Can I go shower now, or do you want to spank me first for being naughty?”

“Go,” he allowed. “Take your shower.” His eyebrows lowered, darkening his look. Then, after a dramatic pause, he added in a growl, “I’ll spank you after.”

Her eyes widened like saucers and she took a large step back. “Jack! Shut up!” she said, thinking he was making a really unfunny joke. “That’s a horrible joke!” she chided.

“That’s a promise, little girl,” he stated simply, pointing a finger at her.

The term enraged her to her very core—more than she could have ever predicted. She would not let him even think about spanking her. He would not think of her as a child anymore. “I’m not a little girl,” she snapped. She stomped her foot with exasperation and yelled, “I’m a woman, can’t you see that? I’m not a little kid! You can’t spank me; you don’t have… control over me. You’re not my babysitter, you’re not my brother, and you’re not my father. You’re nothing to me.”

Jack seethed, his chest beginning to heave slightly as he stood, his hands clenching into fists as those words landed. How dare she say he was nothing to her? She was the sunshine of his world, yet he was nothing. He made a guttural growl even he had never heard before as he stepped forward to grab her. But as he stepped forward, she slid smoothly into the bathroom and quickly locked the door before he could get to her. He pounded an angry, frustrated fist on the door. “Come out of there! Right now!” he barked.

“No way!” was her muffled response through the door; the wall between them was quickly building her confidence to new heights. “Come off it, Jack. You’re acting psycho. I’m not coming out of this room until you realize that I’m too grown up for you to boss me around like a jackass.”

Jack responded with “Once you get out here, I’ll…” but he knew she probably couldn’t hear much after that. The little brat had turned the shower on to purposely drown out his voice.

He shook his head and paced back and forth in the hallway to calm himself. Don’t spank her when you’re angry, he reminded himself. You just want to correct her, and she really, really needs it. Unfortunately, there was nothing about Jo that told him that she wanted correction, however much she might have needed it. That was part of her problem. It was as if she planned to just coast through life however irresponsibly she wanted, and damn anyone who objected to that.

He leaned, unmoving, against the hallway wall and watched the door to the bathroom.

She was unbearable, but still, Jack couldn’t ignore the sensation he was feeling now—the excitement that was growing in his loins, the arousal at the mere thought of what would transpire once she opened the door. He began to breathe heavily as he thought about tossing the girl over his knee and lighting into her, watching her bottom grow pink and feeling it warm to his touch.

Jo did not take a short shower. She seemed to be on a quest to use up every last drop of hot water. He heard teeth-brushing, even. Somehow that made it feel like she had already calmed down, while he was just itching to give her a seat she wouldn’t be able to sit comfortably on for awhile.

Then there was silence, and he didn’t move. He figured that she was listening to the house, wondering if he’d left or was walking around, when he wasn’t doing either. She wasn’t going to like this at all, he realized, but it was going to happen. And then she was going to have to get over it. It wasn’t as if she could go home, after all. For once, there was no way she could avoid him.

Jo seemed to be getting very good at getting Jack very angry very quickly. He didn’t used to be like that. He used to be gentle and sweet-tempered and spoke to her in a syrupy sort of voice.

The confusing thing to her was she didn’t know if she liked him better now or then. Now he was rough around the edges and seemed so firm—which, she hated to admit, was arousing her immensely. The passion in his words and his every move radiated through her, and unfortunately, also radiated between her legs. It was turning her on so much that she felt like everything below her heart was also throbbing.

Still, she didn’t know what a spanking from this ‘New Jack’ would be like, and she wasn’t very keen on finding out. After she finished brushing her teeth with a spare she’d found under the sink, she decided that she was going to tiptoe into the bedroom, see what Maggie had wisely packed in her bag, and then go and maybe cook up some hot apple cider and eventually try to calm the beast when she next saw him.

She would then spend the rest of the day hoping to get him aroused—to get him thinking that she wasn’t a little girl anymore. All he would have to do is open his eyes and let go of his instincts. Just for a moment. And then, she would have her shot.

She wrapped a towel tightly around her, clutched the pile of her dirty clothes to her chest, and then slowly opened the door and listened. She didn’t hear anything, not even a footfall. He was probably looking around the Chevy outside, burning off some steam in the snow.

But as soon as she stepped out into the hallway, she found that she was very much mistaken. Jack was right in front of her, arms folded, looking very expectant. Heartbeat racing again, she gasped and stepped quickly back into the bathroom, hoping to shut the door on him again.

He was too quick for her. He caught the door with his shoulder and grabbed her body to him. Her dirty clothes were scattered everywhere as she tried to force him to loosen his hold on her without relinquishing the cover of her towel.

She wasn’t very good at fending him off. As she tried to whack him away from her with a fury of slaps to his arms and chest, she suddenly found her body over his shoulder. “Jack!” she complained with fervor, trying to roll off his shoulder to no avail. “Stop it!” When it looked like he wouldn’t, and he carried her to the couch in the living room, she shrieked, “Put me down!”

And he did. He obviously didn’t want to spend any time talking and put off the spanking he had promised her. In no time at all, he had put her feet on the ground, sat down, and pulled her across his knees. “I’m twenty-two, Jack. I’m too old for this,” she quickly began to remind him as she put her hands protectively over her bottom. “I can drink, I’m out of college, I’m—”

“You’re never too old for a spanking, Jo,” he assured firmly as he took her hands and pinned them to the small of her back. Worse still, she realized a moment later, her humiliating journey over his shoulder and her even more undignified placement over his knee had caused her towel to ride up nearly to her waist, leaving her backside almost entirely exposed.

She was over Jack Fawkes’ lap with her bottom bare for a spanking.

Then, before she could even fully process her situation, the first swat landed.

She gasped. The horrible episode she had locked away in her memory didn’t even begin to compare. She was in shock at what was happening until he had probably spanked five times, at which point she finally found her voice. “Jack! Please! Stop it!” She kicked her legs wildly. She even brought her feet up, hoping that she was flexible enough to block his hands with her toes.

That didn’t work. Instead, her towel came unfurled from her efforts. She gasped and struggled and cried at this new development, feeling like she was going to die of humiliation before this was over. He merely shifted, letting the towel fall to the floor.

Then she felt him adjust her position so her head was even closer to the ground and her legs were locked underneath one of his. There was nothing she could do now but lie there, naked.

And beg. She could still beg.

“Jack, Jack, I’m sorry! I really, really, really am!”

“Not as sorry as you’re about to be,” he guaranteed between his teeth. It didn’t sound to her like he was rejoicing at seeing her naked like he had in her fantasies. This just sounded like he was finally taking care of a chore that had needed doing for a while.

She shrieked sharply at the indecency as he resumed the spanking. “No, no, no, no!” she begged, trying to free her hands from his grip to provide some cover. “Jack, I’m naked! Stop!”

“Maybe this will make you actually think next time,” he replied. She couldn’t detect a single thread of sympathy in his voice as he peppered every inch of her ass with searing swats.

The pain was intolerable. It seemed to get worse every second, and not just with every spank, but from every throb between every spank. She wished that there was some secret she could give up to stop this torment, but there wasn’t. This was punishment, pure and simple.

The first time Jack spanked her, she had been so overwhelmed by the whole episode that she hadn’t really focused on all the details of it. There were a lot of things at play—the cold outside and the fact that her friends were watching, among others—that she didn’t even think about the embarrassment of him seeing her in just her panties. But despite the scorching sting that continued to build in her bottom, this time her mind did find time to consider the view Jack was getting of her bare ass—and with her kicking and struggling, probably everything else between her legs too.

Jack had been the first man to even see her panties and no other man had since, and she didn’t even have those to cover her now. She cringed as she thought how her flesh must be jiggling with each swat, how every imperfection would be highlighted by the moment, the room’s light…

But he didn’t sound disgusted as he scolded her while bringing his rough hand down on her quivering behind over and over again. He simply sounded resolved. She remembered then that he didn’t think he was spanking a woman; he was chastising a mischievous little girl. When she focused on his words, she heard, “…One thing on top of the other! You should be ashamed of yourself! If I ever have reason to assume you’ve been taking your own life into your hands again, I swear I will make this look like a picnic. I will take a switch to you, do you understand me?”

Jack was trying to focus on his lecture. He needed to teach her this lesson even though the darker parts of his mind—not to mention his painfully throbbing cock—demanded that he simply stick a finger between the lightly bouncing pink flesh before him to see if she was anywhere near as aroused as he was. But there would be time for that later, and whether she was turned on or not made little difference to their future—and yes, they were going to have a future, and he would continue to spank her all through that future whether she liked it or not. As her wails turned into the sound of her choking back sobs, he was still resolved to make sure he got the message across.

She finally broke into tears, and he slowed down, then stopped a moment later. He rubbed her bottom, feeling so hard he thought he might come if her hip even shifted towards him. She didn’t argue as he ran his fingers soothingly over her skin, which was bright red and radiating heat.

“Are you going to think next time?” he asked sternly over her sniffling.

“Yes,” she said, nearly inaudibly.

“I’d prefer not having to do that again, Jo, but I will if I have to,” he told her, and then words died in his throat as he caught a glimpse of the wetness pooling between her legs.

Not just a little bit. She was so wet that her thighs were glistening with it.

His cock twitched uncomfortably, and he stilled, trying not to come in his pants like he was a teenager. It felt like the hardest thing in the universe to help her off his lap, but he did.

Jo got up, trying to pull the towel up with her, and he saw that her face was flushed and wet with tears. She didn’t meet his eye, but she looked so awkward and uncertain that he found himself standing up and closing his arms tightly around her. He picked her up and pulled her onto the bed with him, then sat her on his lap. She winced uncomfortably as her bare bottom rubbed against his pants, but when he pulled her into a tight embrace she didn’t fight him.

She didn’t move or say anything. She just let her breathing slowly return to normal.

And then suddenly it looked like her crying was about to start up again.

“Shh,” he cooed. “It’s over, Jo. It’s over. Don’t hate me.”

“Leave me alone,” she sobbed, sounding heartbroken.

No other words could have made him feel worse. But he just held her tighter. “No. I’m not leaving you alone this time. I’m not going anywhere,” he informed stubbornly. He tried not to let his tone let in on how much dread he felt. Had he ruined his chances? Again?

She bowed her head, not looking up at him. “What do you want?” she whined miserably. “What do you want from me?”

He swallowed. “I want to get through to you, is all,” he explained, leaning over her and rubbing her back soothingly. “I didn’t spank you that hard, did I? What’s wrong?”

A long moment passed in which she seemed to be considering her answer, then she finally said in a voice so dejected it broke his heart all over again, “You think I’m just some stupid kid.”

He snorted at that ridiculous notion. “Hardly,” he assured. “What I think is that you’re a gorgeous, strong, stubborn woman who needs a little firm-handed guidance from time to time.”

“If you didn’t think of me as a kid, you wouldn’t have spanked me,” she replied, clearly unconvinced.

He couldn’t help but grin. “Honey, my brother has spanked his wife since the first week he met her and I’m pretty sure my dad spanked my mom when she needed it too. You know how I said you were never too old for a spanking?”

She didn’t answer, but she seemed to be listening at least.

He continued, “Well, it’s true. I imagine you’ll need one on occasion even when you’re Maggie’s age. What I don’t want to happen is what happened the last time I did this. You pushed me away, and I don’t want that to happen again. I want you in my life.”

Her body straightened and stilled in his lap, and she finally met his gaze with fire in her eyes. “I don’t want to be your friend, Jack,” she snapped. “I don’t want you in my life as a father figure, and I have enough friends, and I don’t need or want ‘guidance’ from any of them.”

There was silence as they looked hard at each other for a long time. “I don’t want to be just your friend, Jo,” he clarified, reaching around to put a hand on her hip. “I want you… to be mine.”

Even as pessimistic as Jo was feeling, the desire in Jack’s voice was undeniable. His face was getting closer to hers, and she wondered if her heart would beat right out of her chest. One of his hands came up to her jaw and he petted her cheek with his thumb as he leaned in to kiss her.

It was surreal. She couldn’t have looked her best, her sexiest, her most confident, and she couldn’t believe he was still going to kiss her. She had wanted it for so long, and at last the moment was here. She felt nothing but her burning, throbbing bottom and off-the-charts arousal, and now Jack Fawkes was kissing her.

And he tasted fantastic. His kiss was hard, passionate, and perfect. Clumsily, she reached up and slung her arms around his neck, never wanting this moment to end.

Jack didn’t think he had ever felt so much like a man as he did at that very moment. Jo’s skin was so soft to his touch. Her smell and taste were so good, so perfect. He was leaning more over her now, feeling her body relax and surrender as he stroked her bare thigh with his large hand. He was going to take her—right then, right there. He was living his dream.

But suddenly, she started pushing away from him, not violently, but carefully. He parted his lips from hers to look at her, trying to guess what might be wrong. Her expression wasn’t angry or shocked, only bashful; her cheeks burned red with embarrassment.

“I’ve… I’ve never done this before,” she said, clearly choosing her words carefully.

He looked at her with a blank stare for a moment, then suddenly understood. “You’re a virgin?” he asked, thinking that she was just going to laugh and shake her head. After all, how could a sex kitten like Jo Menard be a virgin?

She looked down. “I’m sorry…” she mumbled, obviously nervous and embarrassed.

“It’s not a bad thing at all,” he assured her, kissing her forehead gently.

Her face crumpled.

He was about to ask what was wrong, but then it hit him. He’d kissed her like a woman a moment ago, then she’d told him she was a virgin, and his response was to kiss her like a doting grandfather would kiss a six-year-old who had just told him how well she was doing in first grade.

Jack had a decision to make, he realized, and he made it almost instantly.

This was not the time to play the gentleman. This was the time to take what was his.

Leaning forward, he fisted Jo’s hair, pulled her close, and kissed her like a man kisses a woman he’s about to fuck until she forgets her own name and screams his until her throat is sore.

She tensed, and for a second he wondered if he’d read her wrong, but then her body melted into his as she returned the kiss. When he pulled back at last, she seemed to consider what to say, but he didn’t give her the chance. He just claimed her mouth again, even more deeply this time.

With his lips still locked with hers, he lifted her from his lap and stood up all in one motion. He carried her into the bedroom, tossed her on the bed on her back, and climbed on top of her before even undressing. Then he went back to kissing her, first on her lips and then moving lower.

She moaned as his mouth engulfed one of her nipples while his fingers teased the other, and by the time he was finished both of her perfect pink buds were so stiff they must be aching.

Then her clit got the same treatment, and she moaned for him.

It wasn’t a sound his fantasy version of Joanna Menard would have ever uttered. He’d imagined her as his sex kitten for years but never really thought her as anything but innocent.

This wasn’t innocent. It was low, urgent, and desperately needy.

His sex kitten was in heat.

He all but tore off his pants—she could sew the button on later wearing nothing but an apron with her ass still red and her pussy still sore, he decided—and he might have actually torn his boxers in his rush to get them off. Then he rubbed the tip of his unbearably hard cock against her sopping wet slit as he tried to restrain himself from taking her virginity in a single brutal thrust.

Leaning down, he whispered in her ear. “Do you want me to be gentle?”

Another moan was all the answer he needed.

He drove into her, burying himself fully inside her before her scream even reached his ears, and ignored her fingernails clawing his back as she came all over his mercilessly thrusting cock.

Jack knew he should stop now, take her in his arms, and cuddle her gently. This was her first time, after all, and he needed to get ahold of himself before he scared her away forever.

Then she moaned again and he lost whatever paltry amount of control he’d had left.

Her dream man was rutting her like a wild animal with her ass still sore from a spanking.

And it was amazing.

The spanking had left her bottom absolutely scalded, and when he’d first thrust into her she hadn’t been screaming purely from pleasure—or even mostly from pleasure, that club of a cock was huge—but as she’d come down from her climax she’d wanted only one thing.

More.

She needed to come again with Jack still buried deep in her already sore pussy.

Jack seemed to understand that, because after only the shortest of pauses for her to recover from her orgasm he’d turned back into the savage beast that had just claimed her as his. Every thrust was harder and deeper than the last, but as she hurtled ever closer to a crescendo the pain was swept away by the torrent of ecstasy and this time it was pleasure that made her scream.

As every muscle tensed and her pussy spasmed wildly, she heard a roar that had no business coming from human vocal cords and then she felt his cock go impossibly rigid.

He was going to come inside her. She was on birth control, but he didn’t know that…

That thought shouldn’t have made her pussy clench even harder around his cock, but it did, and her channel was still pulsing from her orgasm when he shot his seed deep into her.

As her climax faded, Jack lay beside her and began stroking her hair gently. They stayed that way for a long time, saying nothing because nothing needed to be said, before Jo finally spoke.

“So… spankings are over, right?”

Jack got up slowly and straightened his pants. “I don’t know. Why don’t you drive into another one of my trees and we’ll see what happens? You certainly look sexy with a red ass…”

When she pouted at this answer, he just grinned wolfishly.

“How about if you think I need another spanking, you just give me a hard fucking instead?”

He laughed this time. “Well, I can always do both.”

Jack!” she whined.

In lieu of further discussion of the matter he merely reached over her and slapped her still quite sore backside playfully, then said, “Get dressed. I need to go outside and check some things.”

The first thing she did after he left and shut the door behind him was walk over to the dresser mirror to survey the damage with a grimace. Her bottom was covered with dark red and pink splotches, and when she put a hand back she could feel heat still emanating from her skin.

“What have you gotten yourself into, Jo?” she growled at herself.

That’s all until next week’s installment! If you’re aching to finish right now, though, just click below and buy the book!

Buy Christmas with the Sheriff

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