“How is that a wager?” I finally find my voice as he flips me over. Behind me I hear the jangle of his buckle as he undoes his belt. The blanket underneath me is scratchy against my hardening nipples, and I feel the stirrings of a persistent, soft throb of want in my disloyal pussy.
I glance back. He’s pulled his jeans and briefs down to mid-thigh. His cock, smooth and long and mapped with raised veins, is rock hard and ramrod straight. He grabs my hips and pulls me to all fours.
“An eight-second ride,” he says. “I stay in for eight seconds, and you spend the week with me doing whatever the fuck I want, however the fuck I want it. Get me out of you, and I’ll tell everybody you were the one who got away.”
“Fine,” I say, gritting my teeth.
He’s removed his digital watch and tossed it down on the bed. Fuck him. It’s set on stopwatch mode and it’s already running. He thrusts himself into me and I gasp from the invasion and blush from shame at how my body had greased the way for such an easy slide. He slaps my ass then, the sting shocking me into awareness. This is the man I’ve convinced myself to hate, the arrogant man who said this kind of treatment was just what I wanted.
I try to pull away, but he has a tight grip on my hips. I reach back, raking my nails across the jut of his hip, earning me another stinging slap to my ass. I squeal and twist. He grabs my hair. His cock is huge. I feel so full. He’s thrusting hard, taunting me.
“Buck, filly, buck!” he says. I see that four seconds have passed, but it feels like longer. He has his hand wound in my hair. His other has snaked between my legs to find my clit. He pinches it as he slams into me with hard, deep thrusts and I scream my anger, but there’s an edge of passion in my cry. I feel my body responding not just to his cock, but how he’s wielding it, how he’s taking me. He’s triggering the part of me I didn’t want to admit was there, the part that responds not just to dominance, but raw roughness. He’s fucking me like he means it, like it doesn’t matter what I want. And my body loves it.
Six seconds. I’m bucking, but against him. I catch myself, try to surge forward, but he’s too strong. His cock is too big. It’s in me too deep. There’s no escape.
Seven, eight. Cole makes the sound of a buzzer and laughs, low and deep. He’s enjoying this, and my body is, too, having completely betrayed me. I become aware that I’m meeting him thrust for thrust, slamming back as he thrusts forward. The sounds and smells of sex fill the room. Cole continues to smack my ass, and each burning blow just ratchets up the spring-loaded tension in my lower belly, tightening the throbs. I’m close, so close. I’m going to come, but I don’t want to. I don’t want him to know.
“Your pussy feels so good, baby.” He’s leaned forward, his breath hot against the shell of my ear. He rubs the stubble of his cheek against the smooth skin of mine and I can’t hold back anymore. A wave of pleasure washes over me, its intensity taking my breath away. I feel my body shudder, feel my thighs contract. His cock is at the epicenter of a quake rippling through me, and all I can do when I catch my breath is moan in blissful surrender. And having completed his victory, he unloads into me, hot spurts of cum flooding my pulsing core. He wraps his arms tight around me, pressing my breasts flat until he’s finished, until my body has taken every drop of him.
He doesn’t pull out right away, and I don’t move. After a moment, I feel him slip from my body. He raises me to my knees, and I feel the warm stream of his seed sliding down my inner thighs. I hear the jingle of his belt again as he pulls his pants up. He doesn’t zip his fly. He sits down on the edge of the bed and my eyes are drawn to the opening of his blue jeans, the white triangle of his briefs below the trail of sparse hair on his sculpted lower abs. His shirt is off. When did that happen? I force my gaze upward to his face: the strong jaw, the dimples, the gray eyes. Why does he have to be so fucking gorgeous?
“That’s why you ran,” he said. “That’s what you’re afraid of. Being broken.”
“Go to hell, Cole.”
He ignores me. “If you want me to, I will. But it’ll be a week from today. Until then, I’m going to treat you just like a defiant, hot-headed filly in need of a professional rider. I’m going to ride you hard and put you up wet. I’m going to train you, Gina Louise. I’m going to have you dropping to your knees on my command to suck my cock or offer up your pussy. And you’re gonna love it more than you hate it. And you ain’t gonna run away, neither, because you’re better than your papa. You’ll keep your word, and we both know it.”
Exactly what the hell am I supposed to say to that? His words both excite me and terrify me even though I hate that he’s using my father’s situation against me. Again.
He pushes a strand of hair out of my face.
“Remember the first time I saw you?”
“Mrs. Sheldon’s study hall…”
“Don’t.” I close my eyes, not wanting to walk down memory lane with the man whose cum drips from my body.
“You wouldn’t tell me your name, so I started coming up with nicknames. Sweet ones. Honey, sugar, baby doll…”
I stand from the bed. I can’t take any more of this, not yet. I hate how he finds the niches in my armor and burrows under it.
“You made me come, Cole,” I say. “Isn’t that enough?”
For a moment, he just stares at me. Then he nods.
“For now,” he said. “Besides. You need a bath. You smell like a rodeo whore.”
Build me up, tear me down. That’s so Cole. I feel the burn of shame on my face as he walks into the small bathroom and leans down to turn on the water. I hear the showerhead sputter in complaint.
“Come on, girl. Get your shower,” he calls. I reluctantly rise and walk in, refusing to look up at him as I step over the rim of the tub. Cole is picking up a washrag and I can tell by his expression there’s no need to ask if I can do this myself.
I wish I were home, showering alone. Hotel water never gets hot enough to burn away the shame, and it’s not helping that Cole is rubbing my still-sore butt cheeks with the rough, soapy rag.
“I love seeing my handprints on your ass,” he says. “So damn hot.” He pushes the rag between my legs, washing away the slickness. My labia are still engorged and sensitive. It takes all my willpower to keep from falling into him as my legs weaken from a renewed rush of desire.
Damn you, Cole Patterson.
He bathes me thoroughly and sensually, even washing my hair. I’m grateful that the cheap hotel towels are at least large enough to cover me thoroughly. I wrap the one he hands me around my body and grab a second for my hair as I step out of the shower.
“I don’t have any clean clothes,” I say.
“Way ahead of you, baby,” he replies as he walks out of the bathroom.
I go back into the main room to find he has tossed his suitcase up on the bed. I watch him rifle through it, puzzled, and my eyes widen when he pulls out a pink baby doll nightie and matching panties.
“There’s more where this came from,” he says. He holds out the garments and I hesitate before walking over to take them.
“I can’t stay stuck in this hotel for a week, Cole,” I grumble. “Deacon’s over at the fairgrounds, and I’ve got work on Monday.”
“I’ll have Deacon taken back to the barn where you keep him,” he says. “And the vet clinic can do without you for a week. Doc Hardin’s like a second papa to me. All I have to do is say the word; I’ll get you off of work.” He grins wickedly. “I’m good at getting you off, Gina Louise.”
I pull on the panties under the towel and then pull the nightie over my head, letting the towel drop as I do so that he doesn’t get a chance to see my body. It’s an ironic form of modesty given what he just did to me—a small act of defiance, but one I hope is noted.
“I don’t know about you, but even a good short fuck makes me hungry.” Cole puts the suitcase on the floor and flops down on the mattress as he reaches for a stack of takeout menus by the phone. “So what do you feel like? Wings? Chinese food? Pizza?”
I start to tell him I’m not hungry, but that’s a lie. I’m starving. Wings and pizza are too messy. I tell him Chinese and settle into a chair across the room as he dials up the restaurant and puts in an order. After he hangs up, he picks up the television control and starts clicking through the channels. I hear snippets of shows and newscasts and weather reports.
“This is stupid, Cole,” I say.
“What’s stupid, sugar tits?”
I swallow my anger. “Making me stay here. If you want to date for a week, fine, but…”
“I’m not dating you, Gina Louise,” he says. “I’m training you. I done told you that.” He continues clicking through the channels. “You shouldn’t go taking bets if you can’t handle the consequences.” I bite my tongue as he continues to click. After a moment, he laughs and looks over at me. “Hey, that movie is on pay-per-view, the one where that guy gets all kinky with that woman? Wanna watch it? It’s only a buck ninety-nine.”
Is he taunting me? The sting in my ass is fading, but the memory is still strong. Cole has never made it a secret that he’s an ass man. Even when we were in school together, a nice ass would turn his head, and I lost track of the number of times he threatened to turn me over his knee. Of course, growing up in Texas, it’s pretty common for kids to come to school complaining of having gotten a licking the night before. And they joke about whupping each other’s asses all the time. But the way Cole joked about it didn’t sound much like joking, and the way his voice had sounded when he said it made me think more than once about how I’d feel if he followed through. He’d smacked my ass the first time we’d had sex. He’d done it again this time.
“Are you listening, Gina Louise?”
I come back to the present. “What?”
He points the remote at the television. “Do you want to watch that kinky movie with me?”
“No. I’m not interested,” I say, and he starts to reply when there’s a knock at the door. The Chinese place is just across the road, and our delivery is already here. Cole at least remembers to zip his pants before going to the door. The delivery guy is young and new on the job. He reads back the order as he hands the bags over and Cole grins when the kid recognizes him. Soon they’re chatting like they’re best buddies. I remember what Winona said about Cole’s charm. She’s right. The kid leaves with a ten-dollar tip and Cole’s autograph.
The sweet and sour chicken is heavily breaded and swimming in a too-sweet sauce. The lo mein noodles are greasy. Cole offers me what he calls the ‘house wine’—Jack Daniel’s—and while it isn’t exactly what I need when I’m trying to get my wits together, I decide it might be just what I need to take the edge off the mounting anxiety I feel. I accept the small Dixie cup of liquor.
To my relief, he opted not to put on the movie. Instead he’s tuned the television to a station showing a Bonanza marathon. My daddy loves Bonanza and made me watch every episode with him as a kid. The one currently playing is a sad one, where Adam Cartwright is kidnapped and forced to work in a gold mine run by a bad guy played by Lee Marvin.
“Is it good?”
We’ve been eating in silence and now Cole pours more liquor in my cup. I’m not tipsy, but it’s making me feel more relaxed.
“It’s Chinese food,” I reply. “Pretty much tastes like every other Chinese food they serve in this town.”
He takes a bite of his food and chews it thoughtfully before swallowing. “You know, I was just jabbing you back there at the arena about not riding Deacon hard enough. You rode good, Gina.”
“Not good enough.”
“You can’t blame yourself,” he says, shaking his head. “These kids coming in with souped-up horses? It’s getting harder and harder to compete.”
“Yeah, like when a champion cowboy shows up and outrides all the locals?”
“Not the same thing,” he says. “I was on Twister. Made it even. And stop trying to change the subject. I was about to say you’re a damn good cowgirl. Always were.” He pauses. “You like keeping Deacon over at the Humphreys’ place?”
“Yep.” I take another bite of food, resisting the urge to tell him how weird it is to make small talk with the man who’s basically announced that I’m going to be his sex slave for the next week.
“I’m sorry you lost the farm,” he said. “I know you wanted to keep it.”
I shrug, swallowing the food along with the lump forming in my throat. “It was a stupid dream, hanging on to it. Even if I could pay the mortgage until Dad gets out of jail, I couldn’t afford the taxes. Could be worse. I could be homeless. As it is, I make enough at the vet clinic to rent a little place down the road from where I keep Deacon.”
“I’m sorry it all happened,” he said. “And I know my dad sure didn’t help matters, as mad as he was…”
I look up, stopping him before he could finish. “If it’s all the same, I’d rather not talk about it. Your father had every right to be upset, just like everybody else my dad lied to.” I look down at my food, having suddenly lost my appetite. “If things had been different, I could be competing at the same level you are. But what’s done is done. I’m just glad for the trophies Deacon won me, but I’m thinking my days of competing are coming to an end.”
He doesn’t say anything. He’s just staring again.
“That’s mighty sad, Gina Louise, but not as sad as you being out in the big bad world with your daddy locked up and nobody to take care of you.”
“I don’t need taking care of,” I say. “I can take care of myself.”
“Hmmm…” He nods and finishes off the last of his chicken before making a show of looking at his watch. “Damn. Half past eleven already. It’s bedtime for you, little girl.” Cole reaches over and takes my plate, which is nearly empty. I pick up the Dixie cup and drain it before he can take that, too.
He puts everything in the trash can then turns back to me.
“I want you to get a good night’s sleep, Gina Louise,” he says. “But before you do, there’s one last thing to take care of.” He walks back over to the suitcase and reaches into a side pocket. I crane my neck to see what he’s fetching, then feel my mouth grow dry with fear.
Cole taps the wooden hairbrush against his palm as he walks toward me.
“What are you going to do with that?” I ask, but my heart is already thudding, because I’ve grown up in the south and know the answer.
“I’m going to spank your ass, Gina Louise,” he says.
“This is ridiculous,” I say, and now I’m on my feet, eyeing the brush like it’s a viper. “If you think I’m going to let you beat me for leaving you…”
“I’m not going to beat you,” he says. “I’m going to spank you, just like I said. And it’s not for leaving me. It’s for accusing me of cheating. You’re welcome to say what you like about me, but the first lesson you’re going to learn is that you can’t lie.”
He sits down in one of the two easy chairs and ushers me over. “Come on. Let’s get this over with.”
I can’t help but laugh. I cross my arms across my chest. “You really think I’m going to walk over there and drape myself over your lap?”
“Well, now, I guess that depends on whether you want twenty licks over your panties or double that number on your bare backside.” He crooks two fingers at me, beckoning me over.
I cross my arms. “No,” I say. “I agreed to stay with you, but I didn’t agree to this.”
“You agreed to doing whatever I said, when I said it,” he said. “I’m going to count to three. One…”
“This is bullshit!” I start looking around for an escape but he’s between me and the door.
How can he move so fast? He’s on me before I realize it and I know it’s about to happen. After years of threatening to put me over his lap and pull down my drawers and spank me until I cry—his exact words—it’s happening.
Did I will this? Can I lie and say that sometimes I didn’t make myself come to the memory of those words, to the possibility that they could be prophetic? But afterwards, the shame… I couldn’t allow myself to be the woman who’d bend her will to a man. I wouldn’t end up like my mama.
When Cole grabs me, I’m ready. And this time I’m not just fighting him, I’m fighting myself because I will be damned if I’m going to make it easy for him to spank me. It’s easy enough for him to put me over his knee, but as soon as he does, I grab his lower calf and bite down. I feel the weight of his hand come down hard on my ass and I see stars as I cry out. He grabs my hair and I cut my eyes back at him.
“Bite me again,” he says, “and you’ll get the belt after this hairbrush.”
OK. I’m officially terrified. My heart is pounding. I’m in the clutches of a sadistic madman and biting is no longer an option. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to fight. His long, muscular arm wraps around my waist and tightens like an anaconda. I feel him shift as his arm goes into a backswing and then the brush descends and sears me on impact. A burn radiates from where the brush lands and I howl in a most undignified fashion as I arch my back and try to draw both my hands and feet up to shield my bottom.
Again, my attempts at self-preservation are thwarted. Cole traps my legs between his and jerks my panties down. My ass is bare and he’s going to spank me. I put my hands back and he tells me to move them if I don’t want the belt. I kind of doubt that would happen, but I don’t want to risk it, so I stuff my knuckles into my mouth and tell myself that if I must endure this, I won’t cry like some little bitch.
But I do cry like a little bitch, because when Cole starts spanking, it’s unlike anything I could have imagined. He’s relentless, landing the brush with cruel precision first on the crest of my buttocks and then on the lower portion above my thighs. The sting of each blow has no time to fade before he lands another one, usually overlapping the previous mark. Tears course down my face and I’m vaguely aware that he’s released my legs because one is pushed forward as I try to work myself sideways off his lap, and I’m also aware that this has forced my legs apart so that my pussy is visible between my burning cheeks.
“Stop it, Cole! Please stop!” I try to say, but it comes out as an unintelligible jumble of what sounds like garbled vowels uttered through ragged gasps of breath. My ass is bouncing as I kick my legs. My cries are practically infantile. If Cole ever wanted his comeuppance, he’s getting it, and there’s not a thing I can do. I’m defeated, vanquished, exhausted. I can’t stop him from spanking me, and it’s pretty clear he won’t stop until he’s good and ready. Now all I can do is feel the jolt of pain through my helpless ass with each blow. I don’t even realize he’s stopped until I hear the brush clatter to the floor.
I’m shaking and sweating. The nightie is stuck to my back. My nose is running and my eyes are puffy and red-rimmed with tears. My voice is hoarse from screaming for mercy. Cole raises me to my feet, but they won’t hold me. He catches me as I slump and picks me up. I don’t fight as he carries me to the bed where he lays me down and rolls me onto my stomach.
My ass—my poor, splotchy red ass—is turned up to the ceiling fan, but even the air hurts. I glance back and cry even harder at what I see. My bottom is covered in angry oval marks, some rimmed whitish around the edges. He’s left me with welts pulsing with hurt. I bury my face in the pillow and succumb to self-pity with deep, ragged sobs.
“Ouch!” My head pops up as I feel a sting, followed by cooling relief. Cole is sitting at my side dabbing my punished ass with a washcloth. I start to object, but think better of it and instead lay my head back down on the pillow and stare at the brochure holder on the bedside table. The top one is for the local rodeo, and it promises visitors the chance to experience ‘old-fashioned cowboy culture at its finest.’ If I weren’t crying, I’d laugh.
“You won’t be so sore in the morning, sugar britches,” Cole says. “And I know you think I was hard on you, but it was important to prove to you that I’m not playing around. I’m calling the shots this week, and you won’t have to worry about another licking if you mind me. Understand?”
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