After midday, the horde, a jovial band of satisfied men, left the castle bound for another unknown destination. The extent of their satisfaction was apparent when rumours reached Sara’s and Matilda’s ears that the men had enjoyed the looser women who lurked near the castle and had taken them to their beds. At dawn, Gervais had roused the household and had the women thrown out as the men snored.
Arriving in Matilda’s room, he said nothing of the antics of his guests, or the success of the hunt. He merely took her hand and escorted her to the tower and his promised appointment.
Matilda dragged her heels. “Did I not please you last night?”
“Yes,” he said. “But I said you should atone for disobedience and I am a man of my word.”
“Then, could I not plead for a reprieve? I am sorry.” She plucked at his sleeve.
He turned the key in the door. “Over my knees and naked, you may plead as much as you like while I spank you. I shall enjoy the protestations.”
She huffed. “You take pleasure in this, don’t you?”
“I take pleasure in that sweet pout, my Tilda. It is fetching in its contrivance, and I know that when I strip you naked, your body will be both equally petulant and deceitful.”
Her mouth gaped. How could he possibly know the extent of her readiness when she had tried so hard to make it appear she was resisting? Should she try harder?
He waved her up the stairs to the top room. “After you.”
She stomped, carrying her skirts with her, and behind her back he chuckled.
“This is so unseemly, little Tilda. I shall take even more delight in colouring your bottom. It will not go well if you continue with the display of recalcitrance.”
“If you want, then why not take me downstairs to the dungeons and have me there instead. Would it not suit your mood better?”
He caught her arm and held it firmly. “Do you know what is down there?”
She turned on the narrow step and found her chin level with the top of his head. From above, with his tousled mop of sunshine hair, he appeared younger. However, staring up at her, the sharpness of his eyes was unnerving in their maturity. He kept his grasp of her elbow and guided her down the stairs, past the entrance, and further to the bleak lower floor that sank beneath the ground and into the stone of the cliffs. He lit a torch and approached a blackened door.
“Come, I’ll show you.” He unlocked the door with a different key. The creak was ominous and through the gap, a rush of icy air escaped and brushed her.
She was stuck close to his side. He lifted the light high and she waited for her eyes to adjust. The smell was dank and unpleasant, the kind that came with suffering. The opposite wall was dripping with damp and she spied chains hanging from hooks. Gervais swept the torch in a circle and she glimpsed a wooden post in one corner, and a grim table with manacles in another.
“What is this place?”
“A prison for the condemned. Did I not tell you the previous occupier of this castle was a traitor? Well, this is where he conducted his treasonous acts on the king’s loyal followers by whatever means took his fancy.”
She shivered. “And you left this untouched?”
He lowered the torch and the flame lit up his disapproving face. “A reminder not to others, but to me, that evil lurks in hidden places.”
He grasped her hand and hurried out of the dungeon, locking the door behind him.
“So you see, my lady, why I prefer the upper floor,” he said, his voice lighter and less frosty.
“Yes,” she said. “You’d best take me up there, then.”
She showed no resistance when they ascended for a second time. Neither did she argue when he told her to undress, or bend over his knee. Draped, positioned, and held in place by his steady arm, she separated her legs and braced herself for what she deserved. A well-earned spanking.
He’d chosen not the bench this time, but a stool, and she clung onto the legs. The smacks were relentless and covered every inch of her bottom from crease to just below her tailbone. It seemed more painful than the first spanking and although she kept still for the first part, she couldn’t hold steady forever. She squirmed, kicked, and attempted to cover her bottom with a flailing arm. He ignored her cries and pinned the culprit limb behind her back.
Throughout his lengthy disciplining, he lectured with an authority her father often lacked. She stuttered apologies and weak little pleas of mercy.
“Oh, my lord, I’m undeserving of this,” she wailed.
“Will you wear the harness all next week, day and night?”
He curbed her screeches with a string of well-aimed slaps on her inner thighs. “Keep these legs parted.”
“It will be impossible.” The tears were not a contrivance, neither were her sniffles. However, she was not able to curtail the need that rose within her clenching quim, and she humped his lap, aching for relief from both the spanking and the heat pulsing in her veins.
“If I command it, it shall be possible,” he said.
The smacks ceased, and he circled each roasted arse cheek with his palm.
“I will fail you; I know I will,” she said, wiping her nose with the back of her hand.
“Do you think that if I had gone into battle thinking I would fail I would come out alive?”
She shook her head. She’d not considered his arrogance had kept him alive. But how could she contain her vanity and provide him with the meekness he desired; the only battle she fought was with herself.
He patted her bottom. “Does it sting sufficiently?”
“It throbs, sir. Like a fire, like a battalion of hooves has trampled over my bottom. Like…”
“Good, then you may sit upon my knee.” He eased her up and swung her about.
She gingerly lowered herself onto his lap and stuffed her hands between her warm thighs. Perched there, she gnawed her lower lip, and tried to ignore the bulge that poked her sore bottom.
“Am I naughty,” she whispered. “So naughty and wicked, that I desire you even when you punish me?”
“The truth is that you need spanking, and probably regularly, and if it draws out your lust, then I shall enjoy capitalising on it. You fear failure because you wish to be a proud noblewoman without faults. It is your weakness, and I think that is why you put up barricades, even to those who serve you. You are also a sensual creature with an insatiable lust for bodily pleasures, even those that cause you pain and humiliation. But a desire for the lewd is not the same as rudeness.”
“No, sir,” she said, and wriggled her bottom harder.
“You can be kind to people. I know this, I have witnessed it. You can also be obedient.”
“Yes, sir.” Meekness came with benefits. His cock was an erection girded with iron blood. “I will obediently submit to whatever you wish, my lord, in the hope you will not regret choosing me as your betrothed.”
“I don’t regret it for one second.” He kissed her mouth, a dainty peck, then when she parted her lips, he sank his mouth onto hers and delivered the longest, most breath-taking kiss of passion she could possibly conceive. By the end, her hair was bundled into his fist and he tilted her head back and peppered hard kisses on her neck and cleavage.
She slipped into a daze, and for the first time in her life, accepted her body belonged not to her, but to a man who harboured dark desires, ones she had yet to fathom. He alluded to them as he fucked her, moving her from stool to bench, then bent over the table. He used his hands, deviously and sometimes roughly, and always his cock was buried in her orifices, whether it was her mouth, her willing cunt, or that wilful hole that liked to resist then yield to him, bringing them both immense satisfaction.
Eventually, he achieved a lengthy, vigorous climax, one to match her own, and emptied into her. She flopped across the table, spread-eagled and messy. The robust table had held them both, and she ventured it had been chosen for such a purpose, as had the other furniture. She opened her eyes. He was there, panting above her head, his knees either side of her hips, one hand bound to her hair, the other holding her wrist behind her back, just as he had done when he spanked her.
“Ye gods,” he said, breathless. “Are you alright?”
He asked the question as if he himself had awoken from a dream.
“Yes,” she murmured. “But I would like some room to breathe.”
He laughed. “Agreed.” He removed himself off the top of the table and brought over his cloak. Their clothes lay strewn about the room, including the shirt he had used to tie her wrists together while he fucked her on the bench. She remembered bits and pieces, fragments that in retrospect might never come together to create a complete picture.
He helped her off the table and slowly, they dressed. He watched her like his hawk, as if aware she might collapse in a heap of exhaustion, which she felt close to achieving.
“I can walk,” she said. “With your help.”
He aided her down the stairs, across the courtyard, and to her chamber. He summoned Sara.
“Take good care of your mistress. You must know that she might be delicate in body, but she’s strong in heart. Remember that, Sara, when you bathe her. Do not judge me.” He paused by the door.
Matilda, finding her legs steadier, curtsied low and rising, offered him a beaming smile. “You judged me perfectly, sir.”
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