It was not the kind of thing Amelia expected to see when summoned to the study the next morning. She’d never seen a naked bottom; her sisters had always bathed privately and she’d been discouraged from even looking at her own form in the looking glass. So she was understandably speechless when she was escorted into the oak-paneled room to see a maid bent over, her very full and very bare bottom on display.
She knew it was a maid because the distinctive fabric of a servant’s uniform framed the presented hindquarters. The black of the stockings the maid wore further accentuated the paleness of the woman’s skin.
Amelia herself was clad in another childish dress, this one edged in the finest lace she’d ever seen. She felt like a doll—pretty but helpless in the hands of its owner.
She’d refused to obey Garrett’s order to touch herself, even though she’d ached to. She would not reward the body that betrayed her with apparent, unfathomable need that felt so contrary to her situation. Even now, she knew she should feel indignant by the display of this bared maid. And yet, even now, she could not look away.
“Amelia, you’re here.” Garrett was standing to the side of the maid along with Mr. Holloway and a tall, imperious-looking woman in a starched blue dress and white apron.
“This is Prue Steadwell,” he said, indicating the tall woman who was now coolly appraising Amelia in a manner that made her heart pound. “She is applying for position of governess.”
“Governess?” Amelia asked, and the pounding in her chest turned to a sinking sensation, for she already knew the response to the question she was about to ask. “For whom?”
“For you, of course,” Garrett said. “I intend to devote much of my personal attention to your training. But I do help father run Darmley affairs, and when I can’t be with you, I want you in the hands of only the most capable minder. Miss Steadwell has already established her qualifications to care for and tutor you. All that remains now is a demonstration of her corrective techniques.”
Amelia’s gaze moved to the maid, and then back to Garrett. When she addressed him again, her tone was incredulous. “And you mean to punish an innocent maid as some sort of… cruel demonstration?”
A tall man stepped forward then and Garrett introduced him as Mr. Holloway, head of the Darmley staff. Amelia recognized him as one of the servants who’d been in the room the day before when she’d met her future in-laws. Amelia fell quiet as her future husband gave the tall, stern-looking man leave to explain.
“I assure you, miss, that this maid is not innocent,” Holloway said, and as he spoke, the little maid bent over the chair began to cry. “She has been engaging in gossip, which is the gravest breach a staff member can make. Betty here has been given a choice between dismissal and a sound bare-bottom punishment. She has chosen the latter.”
When Amelia gave no reply, Holloway turned to the woman in blue. “You may begin.”
For a young woman already struggling to process her diminished place in an authoritarian household, the beautiful but stony governess represented a whole new thing to fear. Prue Steadwell had moved to the side of the whimpering maid now and reached into the deep pocket of her starched white apron to retrieve a small oval paddle. Amelia felt her stomach clench with empathy; the younger Lord Darmley had already awakened her to the agony of a spanking, and that had just been with his hand. She could only imagine what the burn of unrelenting wood would feel like against such delicate skin.
When the first blow fell, the little maid shrieked like a whistle, and Amelia so visibly startled that her betrothed put a hand on her shoulder to steady her. The oval imprint of the paddle flared pink before turning a deep red. Miss Steadwell landed another crack of the paddle below the first. Then another. And another. The maid’s cries filled the room. Amelia could feel tears choking her throat, a flush heating her face, and—worst of all—Garrett Darmley’s eyes fixed not on the maid’s reactions, but on hers.
Amelia knew the spectacle was as much for her benefit as poor Betty. And as much as she wanted to, she could not force herself to look away from the scene unfolding before her.
The maid was holding position as best she could, but as her bottom rapidly reddened, she struggled to stay still. The white thighs, so tightly pressed together at the outset, now splayed as the girl wriggled in pain. Amelia’s eyes widened when the governess barked for the maid to stop struggling and widen her stance. In such a position, the punished cheeks were slightly spread, revealing her most private of places.
Amelia had never studied her own nether regions, and blushed to her roots at this most intimate display. Through the girl’s open legs, she could see the fleecy mound of her pussy, the dark pink lips parted and slightly spread to reveal pink folds of glistening flesh.
Without realizing it, her own hands had flown back to cover her bottom, even though she wasn’t the one being corrected.
“Is it so upsetting?” Lord Darmley leaned down to whisper in her ear. “Good. This was the reaction I’d hoped for. I want to be certain that you know exactly what to expect from your governess should you disobey, Amelia.” The handsome lord looked to Miss Steadwell, who’d raised the paddle for a fresh assault. “I believe that will be enough,” he said. “It seems that two lessons have been learned this morning.” He paused for a moment. “If you still want the position, Miss Steadwell, my betrothed, Amelia, will be your charge.” He pushed Amelia toward the taller woman. “Say ‘hello,’ darling.”
Amelia looked back at him helplessly before turning to face the tall governess. Any temptation to disobey his command was squelched by the jarring sight of the still-sobbing maid’s red-splotched bottom. It did not help her courage to note that Miss Steadwell still held the paddle in her hand.
“Hello,” Amelia said quietly.
“Hello, child.” The woman’s voice was deep, husky. It made Amelia flush deeper for reasons she couldn’t fathom. The governess stepped closer and put a finger under Amelia’s chin, forcing her face upward until their gazes met. “My, my. Aren’t you a lovely thing?”
Amelia didn’t realize she’d been holding her breath until the woman removed her hand and turned to Garrett.
“The answer is yes, Lord Darmley. I will most certainly take the position. I feel that your little one and I will get along quite well.”
Garrett stepped behind Amelia and put his hands on her shoulders. “That is wonderful. Once we’re done here, Holloway will show you to your new quarters.”
Once they were done? What else could there be, Amelia wondered, and felt a renewed sense of dread as she realized that Holloway was approaching Betty, his hand curled around an object she could not see.
“Young lady, I hope the sound spanking you just received will have you remembering the prohibition on gossip here at Darmley Hall.” He reached out to pull aside one splotchy cheek as he spoke. “If not, surely the plug in your bottom will.”
“Plug?” Amelia looked at Garrett, who nodded toward the maid, indicating that she would take note of what was about to happen.
The dusky rosette of Betty’s bottom hole was clearly visible now, the cheek spread so wide by Holloway’s hand that the tight little pucker was nearly stretched to gaping. As the maid whimpered and moaned, the head of Darmley staff moved his hand toward an open jar on the sofa table, and now Amelia could see that he was dipping a curious sort of tapered triangular object into what looked like a slick cream or grease. Only when he began to insert the plug into the girl’s bottom did Amelia realize that there was a large flange on the end of the object.
Betty was sobbing again and Amelia was transfixed in spite of herself.
“See how her bottom takes the punishment plug?” Garrett asked quietly. “Now for the rest of the day, she’ll be reminded of Holloway’s authority. It will be nestled in her bum, filling her.”
“Oh…” It was all Amelia could say. She felt overwhelmed by all she’d seen on this morning. Garrett’s arm was around her waist suddenly, as if he sensed her vulnerability.
Mr. Holloway stepped back, his task accomplished. The circular flange was visible between the maid’s cheeks, the diameter so large as to force the punished globes slightly apart. But the plug was well seated and Amelia knew Lord Darmley was not exaggerating when he’d said the poor punished servant would no doubt be aware of its presence until it was removed.
When Betty was given permission to stand, Amelia found herself face to face with a young woman close to her age, with a pretty peaches-and-cream complexion and brown hair. Her face was splotched from crying, but despite a few sniffles she gave no indication of objecting to her sentence. As she left with Mr. Holloway and the governess, Amelia wondered how long the poor girl would have to wear the plug.
“Do you now understand how things are done here?” Garrett asked her.
“I do,” she said. “And it’s perfectly awful.” She hesitated before continuing, but knew she had to ask the question now plaguing her.
“But what… what he did to her bottom. Pray tell me. Would you do such to me?”
Garrett reached out a hand to cup her face. He lowered his head to hers, and when he did, his voice was hot in her ear.
“Oh, my dear. There is more than one reason to plug a pretty little bottom. Yes, it can be for punishment. But it can also be for pleasure. I am already looking forward to stretching your little posy. Once it is properly trained, your velvet ring will grip my cock as surely as your sweet cunny will.”
She cried out with shock at his frankness. “You’d put your… no! My bottom is not made for such things!”
He laughed at this. “My innocent little sprite. Your mouth, your pussy, your ass… they were all made for my cock.” He quirked a brow and took her hand. “But enough of this. First things first. I gave you an order last night. Did you obey it?”
Amelia looked away, unsure of what to say. If she told the truth, he’d surely punish her.
“Yes,” she lied.
“And how did it feel, your pussy?”
She flushed. “It felt…” She struggled to find the words. It felt like… skin.
“You didn’t do it.” His solicitous, patient tone had grown cold. “I gave you an order, and you didn’t follow it. Oh, naughty pet. Whatever should I do?”
An image flashed through her mind, of Betty with her bottom bare and that awful disc protruding from between her welted cheeks.
“Oh, please don’t punish me!” she cried.
“And why shouldn’t I?” he asked.
“Because… I…” She struggled to explain herself. “It’s not right to ask me to do such a thing. It’s not fair!”
“It’s not fair to allow yourself to take pleasure? To allow you to touch yourself where you were aching to be touched?”
“I wasn’t aching to be touched!” She knew she was only deepening the lie, but decided the cost of disobedience was less humiliating than admitting that she’d desperately wanted to do as he’d ordered.
“Little liar,” he said, his tone dangerously low. “I bet my little one is aching right now.” He pulled her to him. “I saw how you stared at Betty. Even though such correction frightens you, you’re drawn to it.”
She shook her head. “No…”
“Yes,” he insisted. “Hamish Foxcroft didn’t just repel you because he was sickly, but because he was weak. A woman with your spirit can only be happy with the man who dominates her. Knowing that you can be punished on my whim excites you. Knowing that I could bare your bottom to spank you, or sit and watch as someone else spanks you—it makes your pussy wet and hungry.”
She felt as if his words were a net, tightening around her as she realized to her horror that the ache between her legs had indeed returned.
“Do you deny this?” he asked and Amelia stubbornly nodded her head.
He was quiet for a moment.
“Very well, then,” he finally said. “If you’re not wet and slick, then I will apologize. If you are, then I will spank your naughty bottom until it’s red as a cherry for lying to me. Of course, there’s only one way to know.” He led her to the horsehair sofa. “Lie down and spread your legs, Amelia.”
For a moment she thought she’d rather submit to a spanking. But the throbbing between her legs was like a little heartbeat now, impossible to deny. She lay back on the sofa with a moan of humiliation, staring up at the ceiling as Garrett gently parted her thighs.
“There’s no need to be ashamed, Amelia.” His voice was suddenly gentle. She looked down between her now open legs to see that the expression on his handsome face matched his tone. “Your mother is married. Did she never tell you of the pleasure that can be found between a man and a woman?”
“No,” Amelia said softly. “She simply told me not to think on sinful matters, and that when the time came, I would do my duty for my husband.”
“Your mother is a silly chit, my dear.” He was staring down between her legs, his gaze fixed on what lay between the open seam of her pantalets. Her embarrassment was so acute that part of her wanted to fall through the floor. But another part wanted him to touch her. The throbbing had become intense, and she could feel wetness coating her thighs.
“You must trust me, Amelia,” he said. “Life has given you a false lesson in the power of your own body. It’s my job as your guardian and future husband to educate you properly. Have you ever touched yourself?”
Amelia shook her head.
“Oh, my little vixen. You think you can run and hide, but your passion will always find you. For it is far more clever.” He reached for her hand, drawing it between her legs. “Stop running, my dear. Touch yourself where you ache the most.”
Amelia suddenly realized she did indeed feel like a small animal in a snare. She looked at the intense, handsome face looming down at her as she obeyed, allowing her fingers to encounter her own nether flesh for the first time. As if acting on a will of their own, her hips rose to meet her hand, and she was vaguely aware of Garrett’s praising her as a jolt of pleasure coursed through her small body. There was a tiny hard nub she could feel just beneath the slippery soft flesh at the apex of her cleft. At his instruction, she moved her fingers lower to run across thin pads of slick flesh. On each journey up toward that apex, Amelia felt an increased tightening in her core, like a spring being wound deep inside.
“You’re doing so well.” Lord Darmley’s voice drifted toward her, firm but kind. “Don’t stop. I want you to keep going, but I want you to close your eyes and imagine a cock inside of you—not the cock of some undeserving servant, but my cock, the cock of your guardian and master, plunging in and out. Can you imagine it?”
“Oh!” She could, she realized! And it was what she needed, to be filled. Garrett rose now to stand by the sofa. He ordered her to continue sliding her hand up and down as he reached underneath to lift both her legs and push them back toward her, exposing her bottom.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“I’m going to spank you now,” he said huskily. “For lying to me. You were indeed quite wet and hungry. And I want you to continue touching yourself as I redden your bottom. Do not stop!”
The order to keep going was delivered with such sternness that Amelia dared not disobey. It was so humiliating, being arranged in the position of a baby laid out for a nappy change. But as Garrett brought his hand down with a firm spank on her left buttock, the pain intersected with the pleasure to blend in a way Amelia never thought possible.
The man looming over her was stern, but so handsome, warning her again and again not to stop rubbing as he alternated burning spanks on her helpless bottom cheeks. The pain and pleasure both intensified until she could not tell where one ended and another began and then Amelia felt that wave of pleasure break. A cry filled the room, and she realized that it was hers. Her hungry core spasmed as the walls of her pussy clenched and rippled. She felt a gush of wetness against the hand that Garrett now pushed against her slit.
She felt weak as he lowered her legs back to the sofa and sat down beside her.
“Now,” he said. “Tell me. How did your pussy feel?”
Amelia could answer him honestly now. “Wet,” she said quietly. “And… good.” She’d not meant to add the last bit, but couldn’t help herself. It had felt good, but also puzzling. Tears came to her eyes.
“What’s wrong, my little one?”
“The pleasure didn’t stop. Not even when…”
“When I was spanking you?” He smiled. “You have so much to learn. As I said, my little vixen, passion always finds you, sometimes in ways you don’t expect.” He paused. “I am pleased with you.”
“You are?” Her eyes widened, and it occurred to her that this was the first time she could remember ever being praised for anything.
“Absolutely,” he said. “You took both punishment and pleasure very well. What a good girl you are!”
“And what a puzzling man you are, my lord,” she replied.
Amelia met his gaze with wonder in her eyes.
“That you could make me fear your control and want it at the same time. Do you really mean it? Do you really think I am a good girl? Or are you making sport of me?”
He smiled at her—a genuine smile that warmed her heart. “Oh, my dear. You are the best possible girl for me. And you’re a perceptive one, too.” He reached down to arrange her underthings before lifting Amelia to her feet. “I look forward to many more lessons, but for now I’ve a hunt to arrange and so you will join your new governess in the nursery.”
“I find her frightening,” Amelia said as they left the room.
He smiled at this. “More’s the better, pet. In time, the rules can be relaxed. But you are learning to be a child again, and until compliance is second nature, you’ll find yourself under the strictest of guidance.”
As they rounded the corner of the hallway, they encountered a valet. Amelia recognized him as the other man who was in the room when she’d met the earl and his wife.
“Ah, Dobbs. Good to see you.” Garrett had stopped to address the man. “Have you seen Humphries?”
“I was on my way to find you for that very reason,” Dobbs replied. “Humphries has thrown his knee out, again.”
“Blast it all,” Garrett said. “I know I should retire the old boy, but I can’t bring myself to do it.” He sighed. “Will you be able to attend me and father before the hunt tomorrow?”
“Certainly,” he said. The handsome valet then turned his dark eyes toward Amelia. “And your young lady… will she be riding in the hunt? I could arrange for a maid.”
“Oh, heavens, no. I’ve hired a governess to tend to her needs. The hunt is far too dangerous. Amelia can watch from the nursery window.”
“If I may be so bold, sir, I agree with your decision, for I can see why you’re keen to keep such a lovely treasure safe.”
“Quite right,” Garrett replied.
“In fact,” the valet continued, smiling. “I would think it difficult to leave her side even for a hunt…”
“That is too bold, Dobbs. Remember your place.”
The valet, seemingly nonplussed, bowed as he continued to offer his small smile. “Forgive me, your lordship. No offense was intended.”
“Hmm. Well, I’ll see you in the morning then,” Garrett said. “Come along, Amelia.”
She did as she was told, but when she looked back, she could see the valet was still staring at her. He was no longer smiling.
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