He sat across from her at the table, still saying nothing. He held his coffee mug with two hands as his dark, almond-shaped eyes locked onto her. Finally, he put his cup down and reached for her hands. She let him take them, trying not to melt when he kissed her palms, one after the other.
He cleared his throat before saying, “I like you more than I’ve liked anyone for a long, long time. I hope we can spend lots more time together.”
Cara nodded tentatively, hearing the but in his statement.
He pinned her wrists together. “There’s one thing you have to understand. On my land, I make the rules. When you come here, you will learn to obey me and do things my way. Is that clear? Do you agree?”
Cara involved herself with her coffee. She sipped from her teaspoon, as if she were eating a delicate consommé.
“You’re very clear,” she said finally. “But there’s one thing you need to understand. If you log and subdivide this land, I will never visit you again. Anywhere.”
“You can’t fight progress, Cara.” His voice sounded sharp, as though he were delivering an incontrovertible truth. He leaned back in his chair.
“Maybe I can. Maybe I can’t. Or maybe there will be no progress at all. Maybe you won’t get the permits you need to log this forest.” The codicil was somewhere. Lisa would find it. Lisa had to find it.
“Why do you think I won’t get the permits?”
“There’s a lot of pressure to preserve the forests on the island. I think there’s a lot of pressure to preserve wild areas everywhere.” Her feelings for him shut down as she realized her precious forest really wouldn’t be safe until she found that codicil and challenged his plans.
“And those protests get overridden all the time. Look at the people who tried to kill the pipeline into Vancouver. Some of them went to jail. To what end? To have their voices ignored by the federal government. Industry talks louder than your type can ever hope to.”
“My type?” Cara leaned toward him. Her left leg trembled with growing anger. “What type is that, exactly?”
He smiled at her. Indulgently. As though her desire to protect the forest was a passing fancy. “Green type. Tree hugger. Your type can’t live in the past forever. The world has to make room for the future.”
“You fucking bastard!” She picked up her coffee mug and clung to it for a second. She looked at Luke and realized it would do serious damage if she threw at him. Instead, she hurled it at the cracked kitchen window. The satisfying sound of shattering glass followed her as she hightailed it toward the front door.
Luke was on her in a second. “Wildcat!” he said, wrapping an arm around her waist. “You’re going to pay for that.”
All that rowing had paid off; his arms were like vise grips. Cara could flail all she wanted but his steadfast hold didn’t weaken.
“I am not!” she screamed at him as he lifted her off her feet. “Let me go. I hate you! I hate you!”
“You, madam, are going nowhere.” With an iron-tight grip on her wrist, he carried her into the living room. He laid her over the back of the old sofa, butt raised high in the air. “Time to choose, yet again. Do you want to be spanked or do you want explain yourself to the police?”
Cara didn’t have to think any harder about that question than she did the first time he’d asked it. That was when all she’d done was go into the house uninvited. This time she’d damaged his property. Even if she could persuade the local cops that she hadn’t thrown the mug, which was unlikely, the island would be buzzing with gossip before the two Mounties had made it back to town. There were few secrets in such a small community.
“I’ll take the fucking spanking then. Get it over with.”
“What have I told you about using language like that with me?”
“Fuck you, rich boy.”
He raised her skirt and the top of her thighs immediately registered the coolness in the room. He wrenched her panties down to her ankles in a single tug.
The first smack made her gasp.
“Fuck me?” he asked in a calm, curious voice. “Was that an offer?”
“In your fucking dreams, preppie.”
She was asking for more and knew it. She wanted him to spank all the worry and frustration out of her. She trembled with hatred, desire, and anger all at once.
Only Luke didn’t spank her right away. He held her, pinned by the waist, to the back of the sofa.
“Now that I have your attention, you and I are going to have a little talk. You’ve got an awesome temper. It’s like a freak storm that blasts everything good out of a day. It seems to control you rather than the other way around. You need to learn to control it.”
“Just get the fuck on with it!” Her head was almost touching the pillows of the old sofa. They smelled like supermarket upholstery cleaner. She beat her fists on the cushion below her. Small puffs of dust rose out of it.
“I better do something or that sofa isn’t going to make it through the summer. Give me your hands,” he said.
“Like hell I will.” She pounded the couch harder.
“So you want to do this the hard way? Should I take off my belt and bind your hands together?”
“Do whatever you want.” She spat out the words, but a sense of self-preservation kicked in and she held herself still, trying to concentrate on the parts of the living room she could see in the inverted position. A built-in bookshelf beside the fireplace. A stack of old books on the bottom including an enormous family Bible. That wasn’t distraction enough.
As if he sensed her inattention, Luke lightly tapped the top of her thighs.
“Good. Then let’s get started.” He nudged her toes closer to the edge of the sofa, which pushed her bottom higher in the air. He reached down and pulled her panties away from her ankles, before spreading her legs wider.
“Now you’re ready.” He rubbed one cheek then the other. “I’m going to take some time today warming you up. I don’t want you to bruise when I stripe you with my belt.”
“No,” she moaned. “Please don’t.”
“It’s a bit late for contrition.” He started to spank her with his hand. The smacks stung but they weren’t terribly hard. As her bottom warmed from the heat of the punishment, she uttered an occasional ouch.
When the spanking increased in intensity and frequency, she stifled any serious sounds of dismay. She didn’t want Luke to have the satisfaction of hearing her beg. Through an enormous effort of will, she kept her silence.
Just as she thought she couldn’t bear another smack to her bottom, Luke started spanking the tops of her thighs. He delivered sharp slaps to the back of her legs, then to the sensitive skin on the inside of each thigh, close to her nether lips.
A few lighter smacks landed on her pussy, making her stifle a cry of pure shock.
“You have a pretty pink pussy,” Luke said. “It gets even more flushed and prettier when I do this.” A stinging slap landed on her folds and rapidly engorging clitoris.
She yelped, jerking under the hand that pinned her to the sofa. He delivered a last stinging slap to her sit spot and stopped.
He removed his hand from her waist and for a crazy second she thought the ordeal was over. Then his belt soughed as he pulled it out of the waistband of his jeans. Every muscle in Cara’s body tightened in response. This time she did push up, trying to escape what came next.
“Naughty girl,” he said, tipping her back over the sofa. “Your spanking is just about to get serious.”
With his left hand on her waist he delivered the first cut of the belt with his right hand. It landed with a crack. Cara jumped, holding her bottom.
“No! It hurts too much! I can’t take it,” she begged.
“You should have thought of that sooner, before you broke my window.”
Was there a trace of amusement in his voice? She wanted to kick back at him, but she was afraid of what he might do in response to that. So she stamped her feet, trying to shake the pain out of her buttocks. He didn’t wait for her to finish her dance. He pushed her back over the sofa.
Before the pain had eased from the first stroke, the belt cut across her bottom again. Tears burned in her eyes. I will not cry, she decided but the belt landed again, harder this time and right on top of where the first two strokes had bitten. Her body betrayed her and a sob escaped. A fresh wave of tears burned in her eyes, pushing out the unshed ones she’d been holding onto.
Three more strokes followed, one each on either side of where the first ones had landed. She was choking on the sobs she didn’t want him to hear as she braced herself for more punishment. But then he stopped. His left hand pinned her in place while his right palm rubbed her scorched backside with soothing circles.
After what seemed like forever, he said, “It’s over now. You may stand up.” Then he helped her to her feet.
That meant she had to face him. She had to look at the man who’d just held her in the most compromised position of her entire life, almost making her cry like a child. A weak flare of anger burned through her that he was calling all the shots, even controlling when he thought she’d had enough spanking. She hated him. She hated herself for wanting him, for the tangled dampness between her legs from being spanked. She loved his strong hands and resolute determination to keep her in line. Conflict ripped through her and it was all his fault.
She pulled back her right arm and, clenching her hand into a fist, swung at him.
When she’d thrown the coffee mug, Luke had acted without thinking. That time he’d grabbed her around the waist before knowing what he was going to do next. He’d done exactly the right thing. Now he congratulated himself for developing good reflexes with this woman, as though he could now predict, at least some of the time, what she was going to do almost before she did it. Without hesitating, Luke caught her powerful punch before it landed. He’d been waiting for it. She hadn’t put much effort into this punch, but she was a fighter and had to express her unhappiness at being overpowered one way or another. He knew what that felt like. He also knew it would be some time before she’d accept a correction spanking without rebelling just a little after.
He’d realized over the past few days that he was seriously willing to work with her, to help her deal with her anger until she finally accepted him and what he needed to do. He’d work with her until she accepted the inevitable about the future of the McCrae land. She could fight progress, but she wouldn’t win. If he wanted to push things right now he could tap into his network of professional contacts and get the permits he needed to log the land immediately. The fact that he’d decided to wait and do it properly was a decision he’d made when he realized he wanted to get away from Vancouver for a while. Being on the island for his logging project had been a perfect excuse for leaving the city for an indeterminate period.
The night before he hadn’t let on to Cara how much he agreed with many of her points about city living. The only thing keeping him from moving to the island was the isolation. He didn’t have a lot of friends in the city. The thought of moving away from those few friendships worried him. How alone could one man be?
Catching her punch, he grabbed both her wrists and held them tightly against his chest. Then he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close. He let her hide her face from him while she shuddered and let an occasional sob escape.
Cara leaned into him as if all the anger had been blown out of her for the moment. Wrung out and weary, she was calmer than he’d seen her up until now. He knew the first two spankings by hand had been little more than love taps. The belt must have hurt far more than even his strong rower’s hands. Just as he’d hoped, the pain had proven to be a gateway to release. Her tension was gone.
When she heaved one large sigh and her body stilled, Luke released her and slid one arm under her legs and another around her shoulders. He carried her to the front of the sofa where he sat down, taking her on his lap. He lifted her skirt as he set her down across his thighs.
“That’s nice,” he said. “I like feeling the warmth of your bottom through my jeans.” He hugged her tenderly. “You took your punishment like a good girl. Now let’s talk about what makes you so crazy sometimes.”
“Let’s not,” she choked out. She appeared to be trying not to let his tender words of praise weaken her.
He stroked her hair and kissed her forehead. “If I didn’t care about you, about us, I wouldn’t bother spanking you. I’d have thrown you out of here and told you never to come back.”
“And if I didn’t care about this forest so much, I wouldn’t go so crazy.” She squirmed a bit in his arms. Her bottom hurt. The skin felt stretched, definitely well tanned.
“Is it just the thought of the future of the forest that makes you crazy?”
After a barely suppressed sob she said, “Not really. I guess. I’ve always had a bad temper. Ever since I was a kid.”
“Always?” He tucked a strand of hair behind her ear before planting a kiss on her earlobe. She smiled at the warmth of his breath on her neck. His arms were cinched around her waist and she never wanted him to let her go.
She said the one thing she’d never admitted to anyone before. “My anger has been so much worse since my parents died. It’s like part of me is mad at something all the time.”
“I hope you realize that’s a natural part of grief.”
“Mom and Dad died six years ago.” She almost wailed out that detail, it hurt so much to say it. Speaking about them always ripped open a fresh, raw wound in her heart. “I should be over them by now.”
He held her close, gulping a sharp breath of his own. “There’s no expiry date on grief. There is only learning to live with it. My parents died over twenty years ago. My brother died the following year. I still wake in the middle of the night sometimes thinking they are still here. Every time that happens, the pain starts fresh again.”
Cara pushed herself back so she could see his face. “Really?”
“I have those dreams too. And that awful sense of fresh injury each time.” She softened back into him, enjoying the way their bodies were intertwined. “That pain sends me mental.”
“I know something that is very life-affirming,” he said, running a hand over her chest. Her nipples, already at attention, hardened into juicy cherries at his touch.
An erection pushed against her flaming backside. She turned to him, her lips parted. They kissed and his hand slid under her blouse.
“Let’s go upstairs,” he said.
“I don’t know if I can walk that far,” Cara said. She wasn’t faking it. Her legs were wobbly from the strapping.
“We’ll go together,” he said. He eased himself up and helped her to her feet. Then he took her arm and the two of them climbed the steep staircase to the second floor. Cara looked around, wondering what state of ruin the place would be in.
Passing the bathroom, she saw a pedestal sink and a wall covered in tiny white tiles with a black tile border. There were three other rooms, all of which had their doors closed. At the end of the hall, Luke opened the door to a bedroom. Like the other rooms she’d seen in the house, this one was almost pathologically tidy and very clean. It had also been furnished with a new bed, a carpet, a dresser with a big mirror, and two nightstands with reading lights. All that but the only personal detail in sight was a lightning cable for charging a phone on the right side of the bed.
Luke set her down. “Let’s turn back the blankets,” he ordered rather than suggested.
Cara went to the opposite side of the bed and helped him. When that was done, he went to the foot of the bed and held out a hand.
“Come here,” he said. “I want to undress you and look at you.”
She walked toward him with a newfound shyness. The man had spanked her, for heaven’s sake. How could she pretend to be coy now? But she was. She watched his hands undo her skirt and let it fall to the floor. He whistled at the sight of her nakedness, then made a motion that told her to turn around. A blush burned up her neck.
“I see I’ve done a good job on you,” he said. He turned her away from him, so her bottom was facing the big round mirror on the dresser. “Take a look.”
She looked at the red stripes and gave a small smile. He didn’t hate her for being a hot head. He hadn’t thrown her out for losing her cool. When his eyes met hers in the mirror, they were warm with an expression she’d hadn’t seen for so many years she couldn’t remember. For the first time since she was very young, she felt cherished and loved, by a man who was strong enough to stand up to her when most men just ran away at the first sign of her temper.
He came from behind her and lifted her t-shirt over her head. She reached to undo her bra but he brushed her hands away.
“My privilege,” he said hoarsely.
Her breasts sprang free when he undid the bra and he reached around her, taking one nipple with each forefinger and thumb. He squeezed them briefly but hard. Cara moaned. In pleasure this time.
“Lie on the bed and let me look at you.”
She lay on her back, resting on her elbows to keep her breasts raised and ready.
Luke slipped off his shirt. The belt from his jeans was still downstairs so he had them off in a second. At last he stood in front of her, his enormous erection pressing against the soft cotton of his briefs.
He held her eyes with his as he peeled his briefs down, freeing his hard-on. Cara couldn’t keep her eyes on his. She had to look. She sighed. He had a magnificent cock: long, thick, and straight. Her mouth opened in reflex.
“That’s the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a long time,” she said, pushing herself up. She wanted to wrap her mouth around that magnificent cock.
“No,” Luke said, with a caress to her shoulder, indicating that she should lie back. “It’s been months since I was with a woman. I won’t last long this first time. But I want to make sure that you’re ready for me. That you will enjoy our lovemaking as much as I will.”
Cara nodded tentatively. She was wet and ready. She wasn’t sure how much more he could do to prepare her so she waited. He knelt beside her, his gorgeous cock teasingly out of range of her mouth. He cupped her face with his hands and kissed her long and hard. His mouth tasted of coffee. His spicy lime scent enveloped her. He kissed her neck and collarbone while his right hand teased and tweaked her nipples.
“One day I’d like to decorate these beautiful buds,” he said, flicking one nipple than the other. He covered the left one with his mouth, sucking and licking until she was on the verge of orgasm.
“Don’t come yet,” he said, his voice low.
To bring herself back from the edge she said, “Decorate? How? I don’t want them pierced.”
He moved his mouth to her other breast while continuing to tease the first one with his fingers, pinching, rubbing. His five o’clock shadow had blossomed into a short beard in the past few days. It tickled her breast while he sucked and nibbled. Cara purred with pleasure.
Finally he lifted his head. “You don’t need to have your nipples pierced to decorate them.” He kissed her neck again, his breath hot on her skin as he spoke. “One day I’ll take you to a shop in Victoria where they have an amazing array of nipple jewelry.”
“Does it hurt?” she asked.
“Depends on what we choose.” He feathered kisses over the top of her breasts, between her breasts, over and past her navel. When he got to her mound, he shifted his body between her legs. Lifting her hips slightly, he dived into her pussy, licking and sucking.
“I can’t hold on much longer,” she whispered.
“You better,” he said. “Or do I need to get my belt?”
Her bottom was so freshly tender that should have been a strict enough warning to keep her from letting go but it had the opposite effect. The memory of being draped over the sofa while he stood behind her, dishing out punishment, unhinged her self-control. She started to come in big spasms, her hips bucking, pussy clenching.
“Naughty girl,” Luke said, sitting up on his heels. He lifted her legs into the air and smacked her red bottom three times, landing a fourth but much lighter slap on her pussy.
The slaps were delivered so half-heartedly, Cara laughed as her orgasm moved through her in wave after wave.
The head of his cock touched her clitoris, wetting itself on the juices now flowing from her. Luke didn’t need an invitation. He plunged into her and began fucking her with a vengeance.
“Oh, my god, that’s so good,” she said, her eyes closed, her mind somewhere off in the land of clouds and rain.
Luke’s great cock pumped and stabbed her. Her pussy clenched hard in response.
“I’m going to make you mine,” he said. “I don’t want to share you with anyone.”
Cara lost herself in the ecstasy of their lovemaking. All thoughts of her troubles, of the threat to her forest gone for these dreamy moments.
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