She was warming to him… whether she wanted to or not.
She is the ‘savage’ of the Red Petticoat Saloon, a white woman raised by Indians only to be ripped from her adopted family by enemy soldiers and—with her half-breed son in tow—forced back into a life she does not remember or want. She does not smile; she does not trust, but she will, for a few extra dollars, put her buckskins on before taking a man to bed. Called Emerald, she has bitten more customers than she has forgiven. It never once occurred to her that anyone would find that treatment enamoring… until the day of the Great Brawl when the eldest Drake brother stormed the Red Petticoat in his vengeful hunt for Gabe and the youngest, Garrett, tackled her to the floor. She’d lived up to her reputation that day, grinding her teeth into the palm of his hand until she tasted blood, and forever won herself the erstwhile affections of a man who refused to understand the concept of ‘get lost’.
No one knew how to hide behind a smile like Garrett Drake. Haunted by a past he would never honor with words, he knew the soul-biting pain of incorporeal scars when he saw it. And from the moment he clapped eyes on Emerald—and she clamped her sharp little teeth on him, painting her lips with his blood—Garrett recognized his suffering soul’s long absent mate. She was prickly, temperamental, tense… afraid… what about that could draw him as intensely as it did, he had no idea, but the more she insisted he go away, the more impossible he found it to leave.
And then soldiers came to Culpepper Cove with orders to remove Emerald’s very young son to a reservation in which she could not go. After that, leaving ceased to be an option. Armed with an off-kilter joke and a smile, Garrett allied himself to the woman he loved…whether she wanted him to or not. Because she was warming to him, by God, and that right there made everything he was about to do worth it.
DISCLAIMER: This book contains the spanking of adult women and explicit sexual scenes. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase this book.
“You’re not spanking me,” she breathed, hating how it came out of her low and trembling. As if she were afraid. She wasn’t. She wasn’t afraid of anyone, much less Garrett.
Garrett both nodded and winced. “I am hoping I won’t have to, but you’re kind of backing me into a corner. Let’s see if we can avoid it.” He patted his knee. “Sit.”
She’d sooner sit on a cactus. Her look must have said as much, because his look also changed. Only his eyebrows moved, and yet that feeling of ominous warning began to grow heavy all throughout the room.
“One,” he said, in a tone that was no less menacing for all that it held notes of amusement.
“One, what?” she countered, honestly unsure what she was more: confused over why he should think counting numbers worse than simply spanking her, or annoyed that he had to sound so damned paternal while he did it. She had a father. Hell, she’d had two. They were both dead now, and she wasn’t in any mood to be adopted by a third.
He pointed to his knee and with even softer authority said, “Sit down, Lydia. Right here.”
Sit, not bend over? If not for his grip on her arm, she would have recoiled. It was a trap, it had to be. Lydia shook her head. “You don’t have any right to—”
“Two,” Garrett said, cutting off her protest mid-sputter.
She floundered, blinking rapidly, at a total loss for how to proceed. “H-how many do I have?”
“Not nearly enough, I promise. Your hairbrush fell out of your bag when you threw it at me. It’s there on the floor behind you. Would you mind handing it to me?”
Startled, Lydia twisted far enough to—sure enough—see the hairbrush lying bristles-down on the floor practically under her skirts. Just as startled, she looked back at him. “Yes, I do. I think I mind very much. If I hand you that hairbrush, you’ll use it on me!”
“Would you like to sit on my knee instead?”
Indignation, embarrassment, anger—the heated flames of all licked up behind her cheeks, flushing them hot as a sunburn. “If you think I’m just going to let you spank me like—like—like some errant farm girl dancing to the tune of your hickory switch—”
“Nice imagery,” he complimented, a spark of interest in his eyes even suggesting that compliment was sincere. “Hairbrush, though. There aren’t any good switches here in town.” He brightened. “All the best ones grow out behind my house. Don’t ask me how I know. A man should never reveal the secrets behind his brother’s harmonious household.”
“—you can think again!” Lydia stubbornly continued, her voice rising in volume and shrillness. “I do not accept your authority over me!”
His smile turned wry. “I’ve noticed.”
About Maren Smith
I am a wife, coffee whore, pain slut, administrator at two local BDSM dungeons, resident of the wilds of freakin’ Kansas (still don’t know how that happened) and submissive to the love of my life. An USA Bestselling Author, I have penned more than 120 novels, novellas and short stories, and am the author of the Masters of the Castle series, of which Kaylee’s Keeper reached #1 on all Amazon.
Visit her blog here:
Friend her on Facebook
(which she visits far more often than she does her blog):