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The Power of the Pack: A Shifter Menage Romance by Maggie Ryan and Shanna Handel – Extended Preview

Returning to the bedroom, I moved toward the fireplace. Not for its warmth though there was a fire burning behind its screen, or because my favorite spot to sit, the window seat, was on the adjacent wall, but because the corner where the two walls met was in the direct line of sight from the door. With a shudder that was part anticipation of the punishment to come, and embarrassment at what my mates would see the moment they opened the bedroom door, I stepped into the corner.

You’ll stand, completely nude in the corner, with your nipples and nose to the wall. I want your legs spread and your ass pushed out into the room. I expect to be able to see not only your pussy, but your pucker. You’ll hold your cheeks apart to bare yourself completely to your mates while you think about how much we love you and how we will do whatever is necessary to teach you that every time you put your very life in danger, every time you ignore our rules that are meant to keep you safe, there will be a price to pay.

Those had been Draco’s instructions and as I pressed close to the wall, feeling the pressure on my breasts and the tip of my nose, I shuffled my legs apart, then reached back to drag the globes of my ass apart. Now all that I could do was wait.

It felt like forever but the moment I heard the door latch click open, I wished it had been hours more. I didn’t speak, didn’t turn to make sure it was my mates, I didn’t even twitch. I simply took a deep breath and waited a bit longer. They didn’t prolong the agony of anticipation.

“Why are you going to be punished?” Deo asked, as he never failed to do.

“I left Ravensloft’s grounds without informing you that we were going to ride out of sight of the castle. Instead of returning when I saw the car, I decided to engage the demons. I-I put not only myself but Calypsa and her unborn son in danger.” This last part had my voice shaking. I’d been doing a lot of thinking while standing in the corner. With the realization that I didn’t really care that Calypsa was a grown woman and capable of making her own decisions, that I still could have insisted she return with me and she would have, I’d finally understood how my mates must feel. They weren’t denying my abilities or even my freedom because I was female or weak… they simply wanted to keep me as safe as possible. Yes, we’d been victorious… this time. It could have gone the other way.

“That’s right,” Deo said.

“And why are you nude? Presenting your pussy and your pucker to us?” Draco asked.

I could feel my face heat and my fingers tremble but I didn’t release my hold, keeping my most intimate, most embarrassing opening exposed. “Because you want me to understand that every choice I make should be one that I am doing with openness, full disclosure. That if I have to attempt to justify my decision, then I shouldn’t have taken that path.” I took a breath, remembering Draco’s words in the forest, his instruction that the position they required would assure that I left nothing of myself hidden from their eyes. Had the request had the desired result? Yes, I thought it had as I not only knew that I’d allowed several things to convince me to attack when I’d known from the first that it wasn’t the proper decision, it also reminded me of something else and I continued. “Presenting myself reminds me that I no longer just belong to myself. With our vows, every inch of me also belongs to you. Every inch is yours to love, to keep safe, to pleasure, and… to punish.”

“Very well said,” Draco said. “We don’t hide our reasons for making the rules we do, Cassie. The reasons are transparent and meant to keep you safe.”

I felt two hands cover mine, felt two sets of lips as they bent forward to kiss the spots they’d bitten to claim me the night we made our vows. “We love you,” they said in unison.

“I know,” I said, and I did with every cell in my body, with my heart and with my very soul. “I love you, too.”

I gasped when I felt a finger press against a spot on my ass. “You’re bruised here and here,” Deo said, moving his finger to another spot. “From the throw, you said?”

“Yes, I-I landed on my butt,” I said.

“We don’t like to see marks on you,” Deo said as he stroked yet another spot.

“Not unless we put those marks on you ourselves,” Draco said, and I jerked a bit, hitching myself forward as if I thought I could step through the wall. Not from the pain of another bruise being gently pressed… but from a finger I felt being tapped against my anus.

“We’re not going to spank you,” Deo said.

“You’re not?” I asked, surprised at this news.

“That doesn’t mean you aren’t going to be punished. You are going to go downstairs. In the kitchen, you’ll find a nice big piece of ginger root,” Deo said, patting my ass again.

“You will peel it and then bring it to us,” Draco continued, his finger now circling the rim of my entrance. “Then you will bend over, spread your cheeks open, and asked to be plugged. Any questions?”

I had several questions—like why ginger and why they didn’t just pull out one of the many metal or glass plugs they’d inserted up my butt before. Why hadn’t they just brought the root upstairs with them? Why make me strip only to inform me that I needed to go back downstairs and fetch some root? Now I’d have to dress and… Suddenly, I had but one question that needed to be asked.

“Do I have to go… naked?” The idea of walking through the castle and running into another person was so horrid that I felt my knees begin to shake and my heart started to race.

“No,” Deo said instantly. “Every inch of you belongs to us, but we have no intention of sharing your body with anyone else.”

“Nor is it our intention to humiliate you,” Draco added.

Relief washed through me and I finally looked over my shoulder. “You do know that having to ask to have my… my butt plugged with something used in cooking is pretty embarrassing, right?”

Both my men grinned. “Yes, but ginger has many purposes and this will be a lesson that we are sure you won’t soon forget,” Draco said.

“And no one has ever died of embarrassment,” Deo added.

With a final pat, I was allowed to put on a robe and even a pair of slippers. I had to smile remembering how Uncle Artem had told me he better not catch me running around the cold floors of the castle barefoot again. At the door, I turned back when Draco called my name.

“Make it a large root or else you won’t like the consequences,” Draco warned.

I nodded and with a deep breath to gird my loins so to speak, I slipped out the door. I don’t know if it was intentional on my pack’s part to assure I wouldn’t be embarrassed, or simply good timing, but I didn’t run into a single soul on my way through the house. Walking into the kitchen I realized that I hadn’t really tasted much ginger in any of the dishes that Aunt Margaret had prepared. How was I going to find this root? Opening the pantry door, I stepped inside the large space. Flipping on the light, I was prepared to search for at least several minutes, but found it unnecessary. A basket sat on a shelf directly inside the door to the right. And in that basket was not a piece of ginger, but several of the largest pieces I’d ever seen. It was almost like someone knew I was… oh, my God. Forget about auras and blank canvases. Had Aunt Margaret’s sixth sense informed her that I would be needing a root to shove up my ass? If I ran into Margaret, I wouldn’t need Calypsa’s power to disappear… no, I’d just spontaneously combust with the flare of shame that would flood into my body. Grabbing the largest one I could see, I slammed the light switch down. I didn’t slip carefully through the house. Nope, clutching the implement of my punishment like some deranged sadist eager to get started, I sprinted as fast as I could, took the stairs two at a time, and burst into our room. It wasn’t until I turned to lock our door that I really looked at the odd root in my hand. The one I’d grabbed was sort of shaped like a mitten, the color a rather weird grayish green and there were a few odd, knobby protrusions along its length. Just thinking about this alien-appearing object being shoved where, as they say, the sun doesn’t shine, had my hand trembling and my face burning.

I practically tripped over my feet as I crossed the room, sucking in gulps of air as I yanked off my robe and tossed it onto the floor. My mates stood with their backs to the fireplace, looking a bit surprised… most likely shocked at how quickly I had obeyed their instructions, but I just wanted to get the whole thing over with. Thrusting the ginger at Draco, I immediately turned and bent over. Wrenching my cheeks apart, I said, “Please plug my ass, sirs.”

When I didn’t feel either the root or any lube being applied to my exposed little hole, I looked around my leg as best I could. “Did I say it wrong?”

Deo grinned while Draco shook his head, holding out the root. “You didn’t peel it.”

“Oh, I-I forgot. Does it have to be peeled? I’ve seen cooks just slice it up and use it without peeling to add spice to whatever dish they’re making.” Remembering my first thought, I straightened and turned around to face them. “And why ginger in the first place? I brought the largest one in the basket, but, well, to be honest, it’s not as big as some of the plugs you’ve required I hold for punishment before.”

“No, it’s not,” Deo agreed. “In this case, it isn’t the size that matters.”

Oh, it was hard not to make a joke about that particular statement, but the urge was suppressed when Deo rolled the root in his hands and said, “Remember the nettle oil?” Evidently my audible swallow and huge eyes gave him my answer as he just nodded. “When peeled and scored, ginger does far more than add just a bit of spice to a dish. Once it is introduced to the soft tissues of your back passage, the higher temperature from your body will begin to heat the root, drawing the juices out.” He paused and when I looked from the root to his eyes, then to Deo who was nodding, he continued. “And, Cassie, those oils are going to continue to leak and heat.”

“As I said, we aren’t going to spank your bruised butt,” Deo said. “But, I promise, the fire this little ginger plug is going to start will have you burning from the inside out.”

All I could do was move my gaze between my two mates and the ginger root and repeat the cycle. “Tha… that sounds like… it’s going to fe… feel aw… awful,” I managed.

“Not as awful as we both felt hearing that you put your life in danger yet again,” Deo said.

“We are extremely grateful that you and Calypsa were victorious, Cassie, but you’ve got to understand that while you’ll hurt for a bit, it could not compare to the way we would hurt for the rest of our life if the victory hadn’t been yours,” Draco said.

I could hear both the thankfulness and the fear in his voice as I remembered how terrified I’d felt seeing Deo injured during the battle we’d fought as a pack. Swallowing hard, and though I definitely didn’t believe I’d ever become a fan of a ginger plug, I accepted that I’d at least become familiar with one. Holding out my hand, I said, “I’ll go peel it.”

They looked at each other and, like they often did, seemed to communicate without speaking. It was Draco who gave their verdict. “You did very well in choosing a good-sized root. I will prepare it this time while Deo prepares your pucker.”

“Oh, thank you,” I said.

“How long do you think her sweet thanks will last?” Deo asked with a grin that had me a bit worried. Especially when the next sound I heard was Draco’s deep-throated chuckle.

“About as long as it takes to slide this little baby well up her ass.” Before I could contemplate exactly what that meant, Deo had taken a seat in the spanking chair and was patting his knee.

“All right, Cassandra, over my lap.”

I fought the urge to cup my bottom with my hands, determined to show my appreciation for their leniency in foregoing a spanking regardless of the trepidation I was feeling with their explanation of what was about to happen. After all, I’d had plugs inserted before and while they’d been both embarrassing and uncomfortable, my body had adjusted fairly quickly to holding the invader. Deciding my mates were most likely exaggerating a bit to make sure that I was contrite, I draped myself across Deo’s knee as gracefully as I could manage.

“Spread your legs,” Deo ordered, his hand already resting on my bare flesh. “We want you to remain completely open, hiding nothing.”

The moment I shifted my feet apart, I could feel the air wafting across my pussy and knew that his eyes were looking at my sex even as I felt his fingers dipping into the cleft of my ass. Despite the involuntary instant tightening of my muscles, he easily found his way to my anus, the pad of his fingertip pressing against my opening.

“You know better,” Deo said. “Clenching is not going to keep either my finger or the ginger root out.”

Experience had taught me he was correct, but I just couldn’t seem to help it. There was no other word for it… it was extremely embarrassing to know that both my pussy and my anus were visible. Even worse, I knew that not only was my most intimate opening going to be invaded by his fingers, it would be forced to open wider to accept something that was meant to be used in cooking… not to reside inside my ass. As if to reinforce that thought, I suddenly caught a whiff of the sharp, tangy scent of fresh ginger. Opening my eyes, I saw a long grayish peel fall to the floor in front of my face. Arching my head a bit, I could see Draco leaning casually against the mantel as he worked his knife around the root.

So engrossed in what he was doing, it took me a moment to realize that the shift in my attention had me relaxing my muscles, but the instant my opening was breached, I couldn’t contain my squeal. My protest was met with Deo’s finger delving deeper into my ass.

“We’ve only just begun,” Deo said, twisting his finger inside me, pulling it out a bit only to press into me again… and again. “If you’re going to make all those little squeaks and squeals with just a single finger, I’m wondering what sounds you’ll be making before I allow you off my lap.”

“Much louder ones would be my guess,” Draco offered. “A few more minutes and I’ll have her root ready to take your finger’s place.”

I clamped my lips closed, making a vow to myself that I would remain quiet, accepting my punishment with dignity. It wasn’t all that awful… just had startled me somewhat. After all, I’d had much larger things than a finger inside my bottom before. My mates were both well-endowed and had sunk their cocks into that forbidden channel on more than one occasion and… well, I’d enjoyed it. As a second finger joined the first, the two scissoring to begin to coax my sphincter to relax, I bit back a moan and took deep, calming breaths. I wasn’t sure how my mates would react if they knew that I was now positive that this wasn’t going to be anywhere near as horrid as I’d first believed. Only when I saw Draco drag the tip of his knife across the surface of the exposed white flesh of the root did I speak.

“Why are you doing that?”

“I’m scoring it,” Draco explained, turning the root in his hand to continue his cuts on the other side. “It allows the juices to flow more freely.”

“Oh,” was all I could manage as his talk of juices flowing had me conscious of the fact that my pussy was damp from Deo’s touch, his preparations for my punishment stirring my arousal. Evidently, my attempt to keep that little fact to myself wasn’t successful because I heard a tsking sound coming from Deo.

“Our girl seems to be forgetting she is being punished. I can not only smell the ginger, I can smell Cassandra’s arousal.”

Draco grinned and slipped his knife back into his pocket. Squatting down in front of me, he held up the ginger, and I felt the burn already beginning though it was not touching my flesh. Already embarrassed that I was leaking onto Deo’s lap, my face flamed hotter as I saw that the root no longer looked like it had when I’d presented it to my mates. Draco had not only stripped it of most of its skin, he’d shaped it to resemble a phallus.

“Don’t worry, Deo. That scent won’t be all to fill the room,” Draco said, his eyes dropping to the root he held, my gaze following his. “See this?” he asked, his finger running over the surface of a large bulge. When I nodded, he continued. “This knob is Deo’s handle and will keep your ass from swallowing your entire plug. It will nestle between your pretty little cheeks, keeping them apart after our mate inserts every peeled inch well up inside your ass. It won’t take long before the walls of your tight little tunnel warm your plug and those juices drip down to mingle with your pussy’s perfume to create a new fragrance.” I swallowed hard at his words, the odor of ginger was far stronger now, and I could see actual beads of juice dotting along the lines he’d carved into its flesh.

Draco reached out and lifted my chin with a single finger. “We know you can’t stop your body from responding to Deo’s play. It’s perfectly normal to be aroused from his touch. But, I promise that by the time you are allowed to remove your little ginger dildo, you’re going to be one sorry little girl,” Draco said, slowly rotating the root. “Both Deo and I are determined to teach you that breaking our rules about safety will never be tolerated. You will learn that choice will get you punished every single time, is that clear?”

“Ye… yes, sir,” I said, swallowing hard as I felt Deo’s fingers slip from my bottom, my eyes following Draco as he stood.

“Reach back and pull your cheeks apart,” Draco instructed. “Show us that you know you’ve earned a big fat ginger cock in your ass.”

God, was it really necessary to make this even more embarrassing? Evidently it was as Deo continued the instruction.

“Just as you did in the corner, we want you to present your pucker to us, so pull those globes as wide apart as you can and ask me to plug your ass.”

Reaching behind me, I took hold of my cheeks, dragging them apart, knowing that their eyes were watching my efforts. I so wanted to stop with them barely open, but knew they’d not allow the attempt at even a modicum of modesty. When I could feel the air flowing across my anus, my fingers digging into my skin, I took another breath and obeyed.

“Please plug my ass.”

“With?” Draco prompted, never one to skimp on the opportunity to drive a lesson home.

“Like you don’t know wh… Ow!” I cried as a slap landed directly on my anus, the sting sharp. Looking back over my shoulder, I protested. “You said no spanking!”

“We said no spanking as your butt is bruised,” Deo said, showing me the two fingers he’d evidently used as a makeshift paddle. “Your asshole isn’t and yet instead of being appreciative of our leniency, you chose to be snarky.” Before I could speak again, his fingers slapped against my sensitive flesh a second, then a third time, drawing another yelp from me. “Try again.”

All thoughts of arousal were gone as I fought not to squirm off his lap, my anus stinging from just three swats. “Please… plug my ass with the root.” Before I could blink, I felt my hands pushed away to be replaced by Draco’s as he pulled my cheeks even wider.

“Wait!” I said, but was ignored as Deo’s fingers began to slap against the skin normally hidden when my cheeks were relaxed. Several strokes were placed rapidly until my fingers were clawing at the rug beneath the chair and I was bucking up and down like some sort of crazed worm attempting to crawl away from the punishing swats.

“Please stop! I mean… please plug my ass with my big… big fat ginger cock,” I pleaded. I wasn’t praised as we all knew I’d attempted to skirt their absolute authority with my first requests, but the spanking of my inner bottom flesh ended and Draco’s hand released my cheeks.

“Cassandra…” Deo said sternly. That single word had my hands reaching back to voluntarily expose my now throbbing anus to my mates. The next moment, I felt something cold tap at my entrance and couldn’t contain a soft mewl. Ready or not, I was about to discover how it felt to have a phallus of ginger pushed into my ass.

“Keep those cheeks spread wide,” Draco ordered. “I want an unobstructed view as Deo fills your naughty ass, understand?”

“Yes, sir,” I said softly and while I would have to keep my ass open, that didn’t mean I couldn’t slam my eyes shut the instant the root began to push inside. Deo’s preparation with his fingers helped but soon enough, I was whimpering as the large ginger root was pushed deeper, the widest part forcing my ring of muscle to expand further, the stretch uncomfortable. Drawing in a deep breath, I told myself it would soon be over, the root would be seated and I’d be allowed to release my cheeks. I tried to curtail the soft mewls as Deo began to fuck me with the fake cock, the motion forcing my opening to stretch again and again, biting back the mortifying squeaks as I felt my nipples grow tight, my pussy leaking its tears as if jealous it was empty while my ass was filled. My arms were trembling with the effort to obey and keep myself open as my mind fought against the knowledge that even this… this act that should be nothing but humiliating, my body was finding arousing. I was very grateful when within another few moments, I yelped a final time as with a firm push by Deo’s fingers, the plug defeated my body’s defenses and I could feel the rough outer skin of the ginger’s handle against my fingertips that still held my cheeks apart. Slowly releasing my breath, I was glad my head was hanging down so that the small smile I gave wouldn’t be seen. Yes, the quick spanking had hurt and the insertion of the ginger had been embarrassing, but I’d been expecting the punishment to be far worse. With the phallus now fully within me, it was nowhere near as bad as they’d made it sound.

“All right, up you go,” Deo said, giving my bottom a pat before helping me to stand.

“Back in the corner, tits and nose to the wall,” Draco instructed.

My gait was off due to the ginger cock in my ass, but I shuffled my way back to the corner, my nose and the turgid peaks of my nipples touching the surface of the wall.

I was about to reach behind me to again grab my bottom when Deo spoke. “That’s not necessary. The knob is keeping your cheeks apart for us. Link your fingers and put your hands on top of your head.” I did so, settling into the pose, using the quiet time as I’d been taught… as a time to reflect on my decisions and the love my mates had shown me even though it had come with a price. My mind began to drift until I felt something change. I clenched my ass and gave a gasp as the move didn’t provide relief, but instead only seemed to raise the heat level that had begun to build inside me. A few moments later, I shifted my feet, my hips wagging a bit as the burn began to intensify.

“Stand still,” Draco said.

“But… it burns,” I gasped, once again shifting my body weight.

“Then it’s doing its job,” Deo said. “That fire has just begun. As the root softens, more juice will begin to flow.”

And flow it did. Before long, I could feel liquid oozing from where it had escaped my plugged anus to flow along my crack, over my perineum and slide between my pussy lips before dripping to the floor.

A few minutes later, Deo said, “Cassie, you’ve been told to stand still. Stop dancing and allow the lesson to be absorbed.”

I was far beyond being that ‘good girl’ determined to accept her punishment with dignity. I no longer cared how I looked, how embarrassing it was to know that my cheeks couldn’t properly close due to the large flange of a ginger root holding them open. All I cared about was that no matter how I shifted my feet or shuffled my body weight, nothing was helping to ease the inferno that was blazing deep inside my body.

Without thought, I dropped my hands, but when pushing my cheeks together didn’t stop the awful burn, I tried to grab the knob keeping the root seated inside me.

“Hands off your ass,” Draco barked. “Back on your head.”

Lifting them, I whimpered. “Please, I’m begging you… take it out! It burns!” I asked for probably the hundredth time.

“It’s a punishment,” Deo said. “Stop squirming. You’ve got another ten minutes.”

Whirling around, I pranced in place, my breasts bouncing as I danced from foot to foot. “No, please! Ten minutes! I’ll die!” I said.

“No, you won’t,” Draco assured me.

“I will! Please, just… just spank me! I don’t care about the bruises. Or spank my inner bottom again. Please… anything is better than this!”

Draco shook his head, his finger making a circular motion. “Turn around or we can make it twenty minutes. You lived through the nettle oil.”

“But that was on the outside!” I whined, remembering the burning from the nettle oil he had applied to my pussy for punishment the time we’d been hiding out in the woods. He hadn’t spanked me then either… probably for fear that my cries would be heard by Uncle Artem and Aunt Dolly.

“It was,” Draco agreed, his tone telling me he wasn’t going to give in. “And since that didn’t teach you the benefit of obeying your mates, it is our hope that burning on the inside will do a more thorough job. And, if you continue to complain, I can peel another nice big root and slip it right inside your little pussy as well.”

“No! I mean, no, thank you,” I said.

“Then get that nose and nipples back to the wall and think about how the only thing you are in control of here is your own behavior,” Deo instructed.

“Oh… God,” I said, moaning as I faced the wall again. I mewed and I whined, but I didn’t ask to be freed from the horrid root plugging my ass again. Finally, when Deo called me to him, I practically threw myself over his lap. The ginger phallus burned as much coming out as it had going in. “It’s still burning!” I cried when the root was finally extracted.

“And it will until it’s washed out,” Draco said.

Scrambling off Deo’s lap, I ignored the chuckles of my mates as I raced into the bathroom. If I needed more proof that they loved me even when they had to punish me, they proved it as I saw that the tub had already been filled. I yelped a bit when I was suddenly lifted off my feet, but then sighed happily when Deo stripped and stepped into the tub and reached for me. Draco handed me into his arms and then joined us after shedding his clothing. My mates washed me, taking turns lathering and rinsing every inch of my body.

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