A handsome viscount. A headstrong Suffragette. And a cause worth dying for.
She grew up while I wasn’t looking. My sweet little half-cousin is now a beautiful woman. I’ve adored her for as long as I can remember. It’s high time I made her my viscountess.
But there’s just one problem. While my back was turned Clarissa has joined the Suffragette Movement. And now, I gather, she’s incarcerated in Holloway facing their vile force-feeding regime and God only knows what other horrors. I need to act quickly.
I’ve never been more pleased to see my handsome cousin. Always my guardian and protector, James rescued me from that awful place and brought me home to Smallwood where he is determined to keep me safe. And he insists upon employing his own brand of discipline, to teach me the error of my ways.
I want to surrender to him. I love him. I think I always have. But I love the Suffragette cause too. James wants me to submit to his authority and continue the campaign without endangering my life. But this has become a fight to the death, and I will not desert my sisters.
Warning: This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story was previously published in the 2019 anthology Once upon a Christmas Wedding. This version is a stand alone story, re-edited, and with new content added.
mybook.to/DeedsNotWords (and it’s FREE to read on Kindle Unlimited)
She folded her drawers with care and placed them upon the low stool at the foot of her bed. Straightening, Clarissa checked her appearance in the full-length mirror to make sure that she had not disturbed her clothing in any other way and that there was no outward sign that beneath her plain cotton skirt her buttocks were naked.
The fact that she would soon be obliged to display those naked buttocks to her handsome cousin caused her other cheeks to heat. What would he think? Would he be… moved in any way?
Something coiled, deep in her core. Even if James found nothing to unduly excite him in this situation, she could not say the same for herself. The fluttering in her belly was not altogether to be attributed to apprehension, though she would not for a moment deny her nervousness. But she trusted James. He had sworn not to harm her and that was good enough.
Twenty strokes, though. With his belt, at that. Dear Lord, help me…
Better yet, she might help herself by going down to the study and getting this unpleasantness over with as quickly as possible. Her resolve buoyed as high as she could manage, Clarissa hurried from the room.
Downstairs in the main hallway she hesitated just briefly then lifted her hand and knocked softly on the study door,
At his summons to enter she slipped inside and closed the door behind her.
“There is a key in the lock,” James said, leaning back in his chair to regard her entrance. “You might like to turn it. We would not wish to be disturbed.”
She could not argue with that sentiment. Quickly, she locked the door, then faced him again. “I removed my drawers already.”
“I see. You are ready, then?”
Her chin high and her spine stiff, she nodded briefly. “I am.”
“In that case,” he got to his feet and moved around the desk, “I shall not keep you waiting. Perhaps you would be so good as to position yourself across the desk. I have made a space for you.”
He had indeed. The entire expanse of polished mahogany had been cleared of the usual documents and other paraphernalia usually scattered about, the casual clutter of a man of business with much to occupy him. Today, right now, his focus was entirely upon her.
Clarissa had mixed feelings about that dubious honour as she stepped forward to lean on the desk.
“I am not sure how… I mean, I have never…”
“Lean forward. Rest your upper body on the desk top and reach out in front of you. You will find it easier if you grip the opposite edge. I suggest you do not let go, and above all, do not even think about reaching back to protect your bottom.”
“Do you need me to lift my skirts?”
“I will do that. All you need do is make yourself comfortable.”
“Comfortable?” She gave an inelegant snort but wasted no unnecessary time in spreading herself across the desk. “Is this all right?” She lay with her cheek pressed against the polished wood and regarded him.
“Yes. Perfect.” He unfastened the buckle of his leather belt. “We agreed upon twenty strokes, did we not?”
“That is what you said, yes.”
The belt slid free of his trousers with an ominous whisper. James folded it in half, then laid it on the desk beside her. “I shall raise your skirts now. Perhaps you would lift up your stomach slightly in order that I may tuck the fabric beneath you.”
Clarissa found herself obliging him without comment, though the cool breath of air wafting across her bared buttocks as he rolled her skirts to her waist caused her to screw her eyes tight shut. Maybe, if she did not open them until this was all over, she might blot out the worst of the humiliation.
“You make a pretty sight, Clarissa Bellamy, and one I sincerely hope to view often in the years before us.”
His tone was low, warm. Something in that soft timbre made her want to purr but she quickly stifled such nonsense. “Please,” she groaned. “Just get on with it.”
“Very well.” He picked up the belt, grasped the two ends and the buckle within his fist, and swung it by his side. “I do not believe there are many servants about this morning, and no visitors expected. Even so, a spanking can be a noisy business. I shall not require you to remain silent, but you might like to consider it anyway. Whilst we shall not be disturbed in here, noise does carry…”
“I shall be as quiet as I can.” And she meant it. This whole business was quite mortifying enough without the prospect of Victorine witnessing her shame and indignity as well.
“Good. Then, we shall begin, shall we?”
About Ashe Barker
USA Today Bestselling author Ashe Barker writes erotic romance and spanking romance in a variety of genres including contemporary, BDSM, paranormal, historical. ménage, gay romance and time travel. She is a #1 Amazon Bestseller and all her stories feature hot alpha males and sassy submissives, often with a lot to learn. Kink abounds, and there’s enough dirty talk to satisfy the most demanding smut lover. However dark and dirty the setting, love always emerges triumphant, and her stories never fail to deliver a satisfying happy ever after.
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