“No, don’t,” she said, trying to free her hands.
He gently pulled the armor over her head and then loosened the fine silk tunic she wore beneath it.
“Let me go,” she said, squirming on his lap.
Alaric took a deep breath and steadied himself. She had no idea what she did to him when she squirmed on his thighs as his cock strained to break free of the confinement of his breeches. “That’s enough, Rowan. Settle down. I asked you a question, mate. I mean to have your answer.”
“No! A thousand times no. I will never be your mate.”
He regarded her with amusement. “We will see how you feel once I have knotted and tied you to me and your belly is swollen with our firstborn child. You will gladly call me mate then.”
“I’ll see you in hell…” she snarled.
“Now, now, mate, that’s no way to speak to your mate and alpha. You have been bested, Rowan. It is time to step down graciously and take your place at my side.”
“I knew you weren’t to be trusted. I knew that your helping the villagers was just a ruse.”
“It was no ruse, mate. There were things that needed repair or improvement. It is my responsibility as alpha to see them done, so my men and I took care of it. There are a great many things in our territory that need attention, we will see all of it put right together. But first we will see to my marking and claiming you as mine. Then we will tell our pack of the changes that have come this day and we will begin the process of integrating my men into our pack.”
“No,” she cried.
“If you will agree to take your vows in front of our people, we will gather my army and return to the keep and have it done there.”
“And if I won’t?”
“Then I will take you before our beta and omega and force your vows from you.”
“You can’t do this to me!”
“Of course I can. Male wolves have been forcing vows from she-wolves since our kind came into being. It just takes a wolf with a steady temper, a strong hand, and a hard cock to help his mate come around to the proper way of things.”
Alaric brought his hand up and used his finger to tuck a lock of hair that had come loose behind her ear. He was fighting the urge not only to taste her mouth but to claim her once and for all. The only thing that held him back was the reaction he might get from her people if they could see that her claiming had been rough and he had ravaged her completely while inflicting his mark.
Rowan head-butted him with speed and power, causing him to yowl at the pain. At the same instant, she tried to break free of his embrace. Alaric had to hand it to her; had he been a less experienced warrior that might have allowed her to break free. He did wonder if she had considered what she might have done after she’d gotten to her feet.
Alaric allowed her the illusion of her trick having worked, but as soon as she was standing, he spun her around, pulled her breeches down to her knees, and tilted her over one thigh. He trapped her legs between his with the other and pressed her down.
Raising his hand, he informed her, “I had hoped that your first discipline at my hands would be after I had pleasured you at least once or twice. But I suppose that was a foolish wish on my part.”
Alaric brought his hand down hard on her upturned rump and heard her sharp intake of breath. If she thought she would stoically endure her first spanking from him, he meant to show her how badly mistaken she was. He began to rhythmically spank her backside—from top to bottom on the fullest part of her butt cheeks. Rowan struggled and fought, but he had her trapped in the perfect position to receive her first punishment from him.
He knew he shouldn’t be enjoying the feel of her quickly reddening globes as they began to heat to his touch. Her body was well toned and her flesh gave to the impact of his swats but bounced back quickly as color bloomed from the handprints left behind. Alaric never struck the same place twice in the same way, but layered his blows so that they would cover her entire behind.
Her pale ivory cheeks began to take on a pinkish hue as he continued to lay into her. The pink soon turned to light red as she finally began to silently cry. He thought about stopping and letting her at least catch her breath and to give her a chance to behave and agree that she was his mate, but then remembered the head-butt. No, his Rowan needed her first spanking to be memorable and long-lasting.
Alaric laid a steady series of swats to her bottom before starting on her thighs and sit-spots. It was when he reached the latter that her steely determination not to make a sound and to fight back her tears crumbled.
“Alaric, please,” she cried.
“Please, what?” he asked calmly as he continued to rain hard strikes to her backside.
He brought his hand gently down on top of her red, and now swelling, rump. He tenderly rubbed her derriere to offer her a bit of relief from what he knew had to be a burning sting.
“We will get a few things straight, mate. First, I, Alaric of Ravenscar, now of Calon Onest, take you, Rowan of Calon Onest to be my true and fated mate. What say you?” He let the question hang in the air. “Rowan, take care. Should I decide that spanking you with my hand is ineffective, I will take my sword belt and lay it across your pretty bottom. When I’ve finished, you will have raised welts and find riding difficult and painful.”
“No,” she wailed.
Alaric was glad she couldn’t see him smile. At least he knew she didn’t doubt the veracity of his words.
“I ask you again, what say you?”
“You will spare my people and not force my sister into a pairing.”
“Your people are now my people. And I will not force your sister into a pairing not of her choosing unless I am convinced the wolf is her fated mate and that she is as stubborn as her older sister.” He brought his hand down hard on her behind again. “What say you, mate?”
“All right!” she snarled.
Alaric held her down and unbuckled his sword belt. “Keep in mind, mate, that I warned you.”
He doubled the belt over in his hand and brought it down across her backside, leaving a trail of fire and pain in its wake. Rowan wailed. Apparently, he’d need to have a good strap made to use on her when she chose to be stubborn and willful.
“You do not snarl or growl at me. What say you, mate?” He deliberately stressed the last word.
“I, Rowan of Calon Onest, take and accept you to be my one and only fated mate and alpha.”
He heard the last word wrenched from the depths of her soul and began to caress her sore bottom. He smiled as she moaned—the sound she made as even his softest touch made contact with her punished backside blended with the note of desire he detected.
“When we reach your stronghold this evening, you will take your vows again in front of our pack. Should you think to repudiate me or renege on your vows, I will take you into your council chambers and repeat this lesson until you are ready to admit to your pack that you are my mate and that you were showing the disobedient side of your nature. Do you understand me?”
“I understand,” she said, a note of defiance creeping back into her voice.
He swatted her once more and she wailed. “Watch how you answer me, mate. I have brooked enough of your insolence for one afternoon. Care to try again?”
“Yes, Alaric, I understand,” she said quietly in a neutral tone.
“Much better,” he said as he resumed his caressing.
He used the lightest touch as he traced designs along the back of her thighs, dipping between them and causing her to moan again. This time, there was far more arousal than pain in the sound.
“Part your legs for me, Rowan.”
“No, Alaric, please. I’m… I mean I’ve never…”
The thought that she was a virgin pleased him far more than it should have. After all, it meant he could not bury his knot in her this evening, but would need to introduce her more slowly to the carnal delight to be found as mate to the alpha.
“Shh, it’s all right, Rowan. I’ll be as gentle with you as I can be. Now part your thighs for me and let me pleasure you a bit.”
When she failed to do as he asked, he pinched her inner thigh, which made her part them quickly.
“I will only ask nicely once, mate. I will expect you to do as you’re told.”
Alaric stroked her inner thighs until she sighed and relaxed, enjoying his attention. He gently reached up and found her swollen nub and began to rub it gently. He chuckled softly as she began to push it against his hand looking for more contact, which he gave her.
“There’s my good mate. I will teach you there is far more enjoyment to be found as my mate than discomfort or pain.”
He continued to rub her nubbin and then tugged on it as her breathing became erratic.
“Alaric,” she cried almost silently.
“Yes, Rowan, show me what a good mate you can be and come for me.”
He continued to rub, pinch, and tug at her clitoris until she was undulating her hips to mimic what her body instinctively knew it wanted and needed. Rowan’s labia swelled and softened to his touch; he could smell her ever-increasing response to him. The evidence of her arousal slowly begin to drip along the top of his thigh. Alaric felt her body shudder and heard her call his name as she climaxed over his knee.
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