“Well, I was wondering… I mean, I was thinking, about what you said… I know I deserve to be punished. Do you think… would you… would you spank me?”
“No,” he said, just as Sean stepped out of the shadows.
“I think I’ll take this one,” he said, and Jarrod nodded. He turned to leave, but Sean’s voice stopped him. “I think you should stay. Just in case I need your help again.”
Kaitlyn had frozen the moment she’d seen her husband walk into the room. She’d gone as stiff and cold as an ice statue. She wanted to apologize, to throw herself at his feet if necessary, but she couldn’t move.
His eyes were hot on her as he waited for her to say something. “Jarrod, could you get me a chair?” he asked without taking his eyes from her.
She was in a trance, her eyes locked on his. Out of her peripheral vision she saw Jarrod return with a dining room chair, which he placed in the center of the living room.
“Thank you. Kaitlyn?”
She normally bristled when he used her name as a summons, but not this time. Tonight, she knew she deserved whatever punishment he meted out and more. She wished he’d let her explain—that is, if she could find the words to explain. She didn’t think she could bear to look at him and think that he hated her. But she’d dug her own grave. There was nothing left to do but stand on her wobbly legs and move toward him. She felt like she was moving at a snail’s pace, but he didn’t comment.
When she got within arm’s reach, she halted. Her stomach was doing somersaults being this close to him and knowing that inevitably she’d end up hot-bottomed and sore.
“Come here, please.”
She took two tentative steps forward and was surprised when, instead of pulling her over his knees, he took her hands instead.
“Look, babe, I know we’re still trying to figure things out and settle back in together, and that’s tough. I know I didn’t handle things the best way today, either. And I want to apologize for that. Also… when I spanked you earlier, I was angry. I never should have laid a hand on you because I was too upset. That’s why I stopped, but it never should have happened, and I’m sorry.”
Kate was surprised and touched by the heartfelt apology. She reached up and cradled his cheek. “It’s OK. I’m sorry, too.”
“Do you forgive me?”
“Of course I do.”
Sean raised her hand a bit and bent his head the rest of the way to kiss the back of her hand. “Thank you. Now as for the rest of it, how do you think we should handle this, babe?”
It was so close to something Jarrod might have said, that she did a double-take, just to make sure it was still Sean talking. But before she could answer, he was already talking again.
“I’ll be spanking you, of course, but I think this transgression requires a little more, don’t you?” Again, he didn’t wait for her to answer before he ordered, “Get the pepper sauce, please.”
Her green eyes widened slightly, and her pulse picked up, but she turned to do as he’d instructed. She reached the kitchen in a matter of seconds, it seemed. Why had they bought a house with the living room and kitchen so close to each other? That must have been Sean’s idea.
Her hand shook slightly as she reached to open the door to the pantry. The pepper sauce wasn’t visible at first glance, but she knew where it was by memory: the same place she’d hidden it when he’d left eighteen months ago. She pushed the bags of rice aside, weaving her hand around the muffin mixes and boxes of spaghetti until her hand closed around it. She shut her eyes and swallowed hard. She knew she wasn’t going to enjoy this one bit.
Still, she pulled the bottle out of the pantry, giving it a baleful look. She vowed every time she encountered it to smash it against the poor, unsuspecting floor, but she never had. Probably because she knew Sean would just make another batch, and she’d wind up handing him the bottle every night at supper for a week, if she was lucky.
They had been dating for a few months when Sean had begun scolding her for her sharp tongue. She really did say whatever thought entered into her mind, and knowing her aversion to all things spicy, he came up with a way to ‘cure’ her. She had been shocked when, during an argument where she’d ended up calling him an asshole, he’d produced the bottle and made her stick out her tongue so that he could put a few drops of the oil on it. She’d hated the sight of the damned thing ever since. She didn’t like to even touch it—the glass felt hot against her skin, taunting her with what was to come.
When she reached the living room—she briefly considered pretending to trip, so she could drop the damned thing, but she abandoned the plan when she saw the way he was watching her. He’d figure it out and then she’d really be in some trouble—she thrust it out toward him.
“I have to admit, I’m surprised.”
She lifted her eyes to his face, surprised to see the grin on his lips. It was a small one, but a smile nonetheless. “Sir?”
“I thought your first order of business when I packed my bags would have been to plan an accident for our little friend here.”
She glanced away, but not before a smirk slid across her own lips. Maybe he still knew her better than she’d suspected.
“It’s a good thing for me that it’s still here. You know how much I hate to make the stuff.”
Kaitlyn rolled her eyes. Sean had planted a small garden in the backyard, consisting only of peppers. Whenever he ran out of the damnable sauce, he just went to the garden—or the freezer, if they were out of season—cut a few up and made a new batch. It made the entire house smell awful, and set her tummy to churning. When the latest batch was finished, Sean had called her into the room, holding a spoonful. She’d looked at him with fearful, wide eyes, afraid that he was going to make her taste it as a reminder of what would be in store for her. Thankfully—sort of—that was not the case. Instead, he’d called her over and made her smell it. She’d done it as quickly as possible, standing up and wrinkling her nose at him. She’d been uneasy about it before, but having to get that close to it, fearful that even the smallest drop might brush against her lips, made her sweet-tempered for the next few days.
“I’m glad to be of service,” she said wryly.
“Hmm, I like the sound of that.”
He’d murmured the words softly, but when she caught them, she scrutinized his face. He didn’t seem so angry at her anymore. He seemed almost… what? Oh. He was in his element. He was back in control, and he was loving it. The funny thing was, though perhaps she should hate him for it, seeing him like this made her relax. This was the most cordial conversation they’d had since he’d been home—over pepper sauce, no less.
But as his blue eyes sparkled, she couldn’t help but notice how handsome he was. He had a lean face, with a well-defined jaw. Her eyes were drawn to the stubble that had grown since he’d been home, and she found herself wanting to caress it. Combined with the confidence in his voice, he looked downright sexy. Funny, she hadn’t thought of him that way since she’d first seen him step off the plane. She would have been happy to change his mind to more pleasant things and quell the pulsing in her quivering sex, but since he had that god-awful bottle clenched in his hand she doubted she’d have much luck. Just the sight of that bottle stilled her lust and turned it into something more akin to apprehension.
“You know that I love you, don’t you, Kaitlyn?” His voice was low, for her ears only.
She gave a tentative nod.
“No, I want to hear you say it, baby. Look, I know that I did some things that you disagree with. I know I hurt you, and I’m sorry for that. I really am. But then I came home, and I thought things would be better—normal, between us, but clearly that’s not the case. So, I need to ask, and I need to know your answer. Do you know that I love you?”
She searched his face, touched to see the uncertainty in his eyes. This whole time, she’d thought he was trying to hurt her, trying to be distant, but maybe he’d thought the same of her. She reached up to touch his face, giving in to her yearnings, the bottle be damned. “I think so.”
“I need you to know that I do. I would do anything for you.” He reached for her hand and gave it a squeeze before bringing it to his lips and kissing her fingers. “You know that the only reason I punish you is because I love you, don’t you?”
“Well, then I think in the spirit of love we should just put the pepper sauce back in the pantry, don’t you?”
“Kaitlyn.” His voice was edged with warning, but she could swear she detected a hint of laughter in there, too.
“Yes, sir. I do.” When she said the words, she felt something shift in her chest, like a heaviness being lifted from her heart. It was true—she did know that Sean loved her. He was just bullheaded about it at times, but hadn’t Jarrod accused her of the very same trait?
“Good girl. Now let’s get this over with.”
Kaitlyn watched with large, wary eyes as he unscrewed the top off the bottle. It took a matter of seconds, and then he was holding it in front of her. She looked up at him in a silent plea, but all she got in return was a shake of his golden head.
“Open up, honey.”
Reluctantly, she parted her lips and stuck out her tongue. At least her tongue got one last moment of defiance before the awful sauce dripped onto it. She was wincing and making faces from the onset, and too busy to notice that Sean had put the bottle down and pulled her over to the awaiting chair until she was flipped face down over his lap.
“Is it as awful as you remember it?” he asked conversationally.
She scowled at the floor, wishing she could do it right to his face. “Yes, thanks for asking. It’s horrible! Sean, please, can I get something to drink?”
“You can,” he agreed amiably. “Right after we finish here.”
She opened her mouth with every name in the book ready on her lips, but when she realized that it would inevitably lead to more pepper sauce, she closed it and bit down on her lower lip.
“Now, remind me why your tongue is burning.”
“Because… because I said something that I shouldn’t have. Something… hurtful,” she said, hoping he wouldn’t make her repeat the words she’d used. She regretted them enough without saying them a second time.
“Yes, you did. And naughty girls who say bad things get their mouths punished, don’t they?”
“Yes, sir.” God, she felt like her mouth was on fire. No matter how many times she swallowed, she couldn’t dull the fiery sensation that had filled her mouth the second the oil had dripped onto her tongue.
“Naughty girls who say bad things get what else punished?”
She closed her eyes shut tightly, wishing that he’d just get on with it. He was worse than Jarrod! How had she managed to forget that? “Their bottoms, sir.”
“That’s right. Do naughty girls get to wear clothing for their punishments?”
She sure hoped so! “Only if you see fit, sir.”
“Hmm… well, I think in this case, looking at the seriousness of the transgression that your spanking is going to have to be on the bare.”
Kaitlyn winced and tried to swallow past the awful spice filling her mouth. Thankfully, Sean didn’t seem to be waiting for a response from her, because as soon as he’d given the pronouncement, he began sliding her pants down. She wiggled over his lap, both shamed and somehow turned on by the gentleness in his touch as he began to bare her for her punishment. The panties were the next to go, the last layer of protection from his paddle-like hand.
She was still tingly from the swats he’d given her earlier. Though there hadn’t been many, they’d been hard. She could feel his eyes on her backside, perhaps assessing the state of her naked skin. She could feel it when he raised his hand, and though she knew what was coming would hurt, she was ready for it. She deserved to be punished, and she was more than willing to take it if it could erase the awful feeling that had consumed her the minute she’d opened her mouth and uttered those awful words. She would give anything to take them back, but since she couldn’t, paying for them with cheek-flattening swats and even that horrible pepper sauce would be the best she could do.
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean it.” She thought she’d whispered it too quietly for him to hear, but to her surprise she felt herself being helped up off his lap. When she came face-to-face with his soulful blue eyes, it was almost too much for her. She hadn’t seen him look at her like that in a long time. Suddenly, he wasn’t stiff, militant Sean right now. He was looking at her with tenderness in his eyes that suddenly made her keenly aware that they weren’t alone. She squirmed on his lap, wanting to look away while at the same time wanting to drown in his eyes.
“Do you know that’s the first time you’ve said that?”
Kaitlyn ducked her head. “Well, in my defense, I did try to apologize but you were too busy spanking me to hear me.”
“Well.” He kissed her on the forehead. “I’m sorry I missed it, but it’s still nice to hear.”
“I am sorry, Sean. You have to know that. I swear, if I could find a time machine, I would.”
He let out a low chuckle. “I appreciate the sentiment.”
She raised her chin, hoping for a kiss, but to her disappointment, he only bounced his finger off her nose. “What?” she demanded. “Afraid of a little pepper?”
“Not at all,” he laughed. “But you are being punished, remember? I wouldn’t want to risk undermining my own authority.”
“No, we wouldn’t want that.”
“All right, let’s get this over with. Lie over my lap, honey.”
She thought of mentioning that he was the one who was stalling, but decided against it. Her panties were already on the floor, after all. Once she was back over his lap, Sean quickly made it clear that he didn’t intend on delaying any further. The first swat was so sharp, the crack of it against her ass resounding through the room, that it took her by surprise. Before she’d even had time to properly feel the sting, the second came behind it, followed by an equally fast-paced, smarting third.
In no time, he had her gasping for breath. Determined to be good and take the punishment she’d earned, she grasped his knee and clung on for dear life. It looked like it was going to be a long and bumpy ride.
Before long, gasps turned to cries. She was soon calling out with every hard smack he delivered. The burning in her mouth and the fire he was creating on her cheeks warred for her attention. As Kaitlyn bucked over her husband’s knee, she found herself hard-pressed to remember a punishment that had ever been so painful. As much as she tried to stay focused, to remember how she’d earned the chastisement she was receiving, the pain of those hard, never-ending spanks began to consume her.
As the pain spread in a line of fire across her ass, her fight or flight instincts kicked in. She began to claw at his knee, trying to find something to grab so she could hoist herself off his lap. He was swatting her too fast and she kept losing her hold, so she began to roll over, trying to twist free.
Sean caught her mid-spank and repositioned her, putting her ass squarely over his knee as he trapped her legs, leaving her dangling. She grabbed chunks of carpet, trying to use the shag fabric to pull herself out of his iron hold. As frenzied as she was becoming, even she wasn’t surprised when that didn’t work.
“Settle down, Kaitlyn,” her husband growled, his palm connecting with her quivering flesh in a barrage of spanks.
“But… it hurts!” she wailed.
“It’s supposed to. And remember, you’re paying for hurtful words, so I think the punishment fits, don’t you?”
She could find no response to that question, and as fast as the spanks were flying, she probably wouldn’t have been able to get the breath for it even if she had. She tried once more to kick her legs, but he had them pinned down. Once she gave up and relaxed into the position he’d put her in, she allowed the tears to come. They came quickly, pouring hotly down her cheeks and blurring her vision.
Right behind the tears were the sobs that she’d kept locked in her throat. Once she set them free, she was slumped and crying in earnest with no end in sight. And not just for her burning mouth, or her fiery-hot ass, though either was a reason to cry. She was crying for Sean, for how she’d hurt him. She could only hope that once this was over—if it was ever over, because she was beginning to have her doubts—that he would well and truly forgive her and allow her to make it up to him.
It was several minutes before Kaitlyn realized Sean had gone still. The spanking he had given her had created waves of heat that continued to radiate, and a burn that continued to rage long after his hand stopped delivering those stinging spanks. Even when she realized it, she still didn’t try to move. For all she knew, he might just be resting his hand for round two. She hoped not, but it was a possibility. Besides which, she was still stuck in the middle of a crying jag. She hated how she sounded—gasping, heart-rending sobs that kept coming over and over again, like a song playing on a loop. She hated it most because she knew how terrible it sounded and she didn’t like to think of Sean feeling sorry for her. Even though her ass might never recover, still it was her that should be sorry.
And she was. So very, very sorry. She intended to tell him, as soon as she regained the power of speech. So maybe in a day or two.
Sean waited, patiently patting her back as she wept. She knew she didn’t deserve his comfort, but she appreciated it nonetheless. It wasn’t until her wails subsided to sniffles that he helped her sit up on his lap.
“Feeling a little better?” he asked kindly.
“My b-butt hurts.”
He gave a little chuckle. “Well, since that’s the whole point of a spanking, you’ll understand if I say I’m glad to hear it.”
She gave him a small, teary smile, although she didn’t find it nearly as funny as he did. Which, of course she wouldn’t seeing as how it was her butt that was aching and in need of relief. “I’m very tired,” she said in a small voice, glancing over at Jarrod.
“Don’t worry, we’re almost through,” he replied, ignoring or missing her hint altogether.
“Almost?” she echoed, her gut clenching.
“Almost. Come with me to the bathroom, please.”
Suddenly, she felt herself being pushed to a standing position as Sean stood to her feet and began to make his way without further discussion to the bathroom. She gave Jarrod one more glance, only to find him staring back at her impassively, before she followed.
Kaitlyn stopped short before she ever reached the doorway. Sean was standing in the bathroom, opening up a brand-new box of Dove soap. She knew what that meant, and she didn’t like it one bit.
“Come on in.”
But she was frozen just outside the doorway, her eyes trained on that evil white box. She knew she’d messed up, but at this rate this was quickly becoming the worst day of her life! “You can’t be serious.”
“I can’t?” Sean seemed genuinely confused by her statement.
She looked back and forth between him and the thick bar of soap in his hand. She knew all too well that he could and he would, if his mind was already made up. The only chance she had was to throw herself at his feet of his mercy. “I meant please don’t.”
“I’m sorry, honey, but you brought this one on yourself. Like I said, we’re almost done, but there’s still some unpleasantness to be dealt with.”
Now that she wasn’t being held captive over his lap her flight instinct was kicking in hard. She briefly thought of making a run for it, but even as she envisioned it she knew it wouldn’t work. He’d catch her before she made it down the hall, or he simply wouldn’t bother, leaving Jarrod to haul her back. And either way her mouth would still end up soapy and bitter, and she just might earn herself another trip over his lap. She couldn’t afford that, so as much as it pained her, she walked toward him and opened her mouth.
“Good choice,” he praised her, giving her a loving pat on the rear.
She winced and uttered a small cry that made her husband grin ruefully.
“Sorry, babe. I was trying to be gentle.”
He had been, but the touch of a feather would make her cry out just now.
“Are you ready?”
She didn’t think she ever would be, but she nodded just the same and watched with horror as he turned the knob of the sink and began to get the bar wet. The knots in her stomach began to churn in earnest and were balls of angst as he began to push it into her mouth.
Kaitlyn wasn’t new to having her mouth washed out with soap, but that certainly didn’t make her a fan. She was especially unhappy about it tonight considering she’d just had pepper sauce in her mouth a few minutes ago. Her tongue had gone from burning to tasting bitter and soapy in a matter of seconds. The first time, maybe even the second that Sean had done this she’d fought tooth and nail. She’d clamped her mouth down and refused to cooperate, or batted the bar out of his hand, then when he’d finally managed to get it in her mouth she’d spit it on the floor. But she’d learned that such measures were futile and pointless and wouldn’t save her from getting the punishment her husband intended to give.
Which was why as much as she detested it she took the bar of soap, opening her mouth as wide as she could to the awful, acrid taste. Sean pushed the bar back and forth a few times before he removed it and placed it carefully on the sink.
“Ack!” she couldn’t help saying.
“I know it must not taste very good.” He gave her a pat on the shoulder and a smile that came close to being sympathetic. “Come on.”
She followed behind him with her head down. She was beyond emotionally drained. She’d been punished to the point where she didn’t think she could take anymore.
“Have a seat.”
Kaitlyn made a move to sit on the couch, but Sean stopped her with a shake of his head.
“No, honey. Go to your punishment chair in the corner.”
Her eyes filled with brand-new tears at the order, but she did it without a word of protest. There was a wooden chair sitting in the corner, facing the wall. It was made of wood that had not been sanded very well and still showed traces of the original bark in the seat. Sean had had an entire set of them when they first married—bachelor pad décor if she’d ever seen it. She’d demanded that he get rid of them and he’d reluctantly agreed to, save one. This, he’d told her, would serve as a reminder for her whenever she had a spanked bottom. At the time, she’d rolled her eyes, thinking he was ridiculous. She was sure it would collect dust over the years and that she’d be able to convince him to trash it.
It turned out that her hopes were unfounded. The damn thing never went too long without use. Jarrod had even used it once or twice while Sean had been away. She hated the thing on sight. She knew the rough wood would bite into her tender skin, making it impossible to get comfortable and difficult to think of anything but her spanked ass. Still, she sat, wincing as she did so. She shifted every few seconds, wondering how long Sean would make her stay there.
She could hear him and Jarrod talking. Though she wasn’t close enough to make out what they were saying, she could easily detect the low murmur of their voices and she’d bet anything that they were talking about her. Perhaps they were discussing exactly what shade of red her scorched ass was. Maybe they were comparing techniques. Whatever they were saying, they clearly didn’t want her to hear them.
Just when she’d begun shifting from side to side without finding any relief, Sean called her name.
“You can get up now. Go rinse your mouth out, honey.”