Lynn couldn’t remember being more tired than she was the previous night.
She’d come home from an outing with her girlfriends around three in the morning, drunk out of her mind and knowing that she was going to be reprimanded for her behavior – drunk or not. Somehow, she had gotten lucky. When she stumbled into the bedroom, the bed itself was vacant – neatly made in a way that suggested no one had been there all evening.
She barely managed to strip out of her gaudy dress and heels before collapsing into its welcoming layers and letting sleep engulf her.
God knew how long ago that had been. What Lynn did know, however, was that she was far from ready to rise for the day – which was why the low, firm summons above her hardly jogged her from drowsy half-consciousness.
“Are you awake, sweet?”
A low, discontented sound escaped her as Lynn only pulled the sheets up firmly over herself. It was too early, she was still tired, and she was certain that when she opened her eyes, a fierce hangover awaited her.
“Lynn.” The voice above her was slightly displeased now – enough for her to drag her eyes open to half-slits. “I know you’re up.”
The young woman was just drowsy enough to resist – to burrow deeper into the pillow and hope she’d get let off easily. In hindsight, her naivete was breathtaking.
“Lynn.” Her name was the only warning she got before the sheets and coverlet were altogether ripped from her, allowing sunlight to wash over her mostly bare form. When the brightness pierced her eyelids, Lynn whimpered, covering her face with her hands. Not as bad as she had feared, but still bad enough for her to prefer the refuge of sleep. “This is your own fault, Lynn.” Her harasser accused from above her, making her insides twist in guilt. “Javier tells me you didn’t get in until 3 this morning. Is that true?”
Her first impulse was to be angry at the driver, but Lynn thought better of that particular notion in seconds. Who the hell could lie to Carter when he interrogated them? Anyone idiotic to commit such an atrocity probably wasn’t long for this world.
Swallowing thickly, the young woman drew her hands down to cross over her full breasts in a self-conscious gesture, chancing a glance up at the man standing over her.
The sight send both a thrill of arousal and a twinge of nervousness through her.
Even those who didn’t know him intimately were fully aware that Carter Wright was not a man to be trifled with. He made quite the visual impression on people – all six and a half feet, two hundred sixty pounds of him. He might have been carved from marble – his shoulders ridiculously broad, waist narrow, legs muscular enough that his Italian wool slacks were always tailored to fit. Dark hair that was usually slicked back from his wide brow hung damp around his shoulders from a recent shower, and that decadent, muscular chest of his was bare to her perusal. Lynn did her utmost to keep her eyes from straying southward , following the sprinkling of dark hair to where it disappeared beneath the minute towel that struggled to contain his ample assets.
In the meantime, the man’s steel-gray eyes were fixed on her, his ruggedly handsome face set into a displeased expression. Lynn was now conscious enough that his thin, down-turned mouth and the set of his strong jaw beneath a few days of dark stubble made her squirm slightly. Whatever punishment she thought she’d avoided last night was forthcoming – and there was nothing she could do to avoid it.
“Is it true, Lynn?” Carter’s voice was low and dangerous- and Lynn’s nipples pebbled embarrassingly at the dark promise it held.
“Yes,” she managed on a low whisper, not daring break his gaze. Though it was impossible to escape her punishment, perhaps she could mitigate it somewhat if she behaved accordingly. “I’m sorry, Carter. I was having a good time, I didn’t realize how late it was-”
“Hush.” The single word was enough to snap her mouth closed and Lynn fought the urge to fidget restlessly. Carter considered her for a long moment, his gray eyes skimming over her from head to foot so she was painfully aware of how well he could read her. “You’re still wearing your makeup too…and those underthings. How much did you have to drink?”
Part of her wanted to bolt, even though she knew she wouldn’t get very far. She had never been terribly athletic, but Carter ran five miles every day. He had proved to her, time and time again, that manipulating her physically was about as exerting for him as his morning coffee – Lynn both loved and hated him for it.
“It…it was Mariah’s bachelorette party,” she tried, again, to plead for leniency, “We were celebrating, Carter. I didn’t mean-”
“Avoid another of my questions and I’ll tan your fucking hide, Lynn. How much?”
She flinched, knowing the promise was far from empty. “Champagne…some wine. A few cocktails. I was…I was pretty drunk.”
It was the nail in her coffin. By now, any drowsiness that might have lingered was completely gone. All that was left was trepidation, and the delicious vein of arousal that coursed through her. Lynn had often wondered if she were criminally perverse for so enjoying what Carter did to her – what he was to her. But those doubts never lasted long. He didn’t let them.
“Sit up. Come here.” There were times where she resisted or played hard to get, but now wasn’t one of them. Lynn bolted upright and scooted to the edge of the bed where she sat, gazing up at the mammoth of a man above her. Carter stared down at her, his expression hard, a moment before he released the towel at his waist.
He was already hard – enormous, thick and red – bobbing proudly against the chiseled muscle of his abdomen. Lynn’s womb clenched once, hard, at the sight of him. When he reached down to tangle a hand in her already mussed hair, she swallowed the whimper of pain that rose to her lips. She had known this was coming. She wouldn’t resist. When she opened her mouth to receive him, however, Carter merely scowled, his free hand grasping her chin brusquely. “You want my cock in your mouth? After your little performance? Oh, sweet, you are sorely mistaken. Good girls get cock. Have you been a good girl?”
He was holding her so tightly that Lynn could barely shake her head, but Carter got the message. “Bad girls get the strap.”
Lynn’s heart dropped into her stomach. She wanted to plead – to beg – but she knew it would be fruitless. If anything, her punishment would only be doubled. Instead, she consoled herself with the promise that she wouldn’t cry.
How many times had she made that promise before?
“On your stomach.” Carter released her, thrusting her back against the sheets. Try as she might, Lynn couldn’t keep from trembling as she did as she was told, turning onto her stomach. In short order, she was laid out on the bed before Carter like a buffet. She clenched the sheets in anticipation, turning her head to the side to rest one cheek against the cool silk. By now, she knew better than to hide her face – it was one of Carter’s biggest pet peeves.
She inhaled sharply as his hands – large and strong, took two handfuls of her ass, kneading firmly, almost painfully – for a moment before his thumbs hooked beneath the waistband of the minute black silk thong she wore to work it down to mid-thigh. As her lower half was bared to him, the large man tsked softly. “You disappoint me. I had plans for you, Lynn. I was going to wake you gently with my cock inside you, but then you had to go and disobey me.”
That alone was almost enough to bring her to tears.
Lynn was frightened, to be sure – but there was something else beneath the fear. Something that Carter had helped her discover and cultivate. Sure enough, when he reached between her legs to cup the heat of her tightly, a low breath hissed from between his teeth. “Lynn…” A single finger slid over the seam of her and came away all but drenched. “My defiant little treasure…”
That brief touch was all she was allowed – and it was enough to curl her toes against the coverlet. Carter left her for a few brief moments, and the next sound she heard was the sharp crack of leather on leather. Impulsively, Lynn stiffened. It had occurred to her more than once that she could stop this. Salvation was only a single, painstakingly-chosen word away…but she had never used that word.
And she didn’t think she ever would.
“Don’t forget to count, sweet.” It was the last warning she got before the all-encompassing swish and crack of the leather strap. Lynn always registered the sounds before the pain – but when it arrived, mere milliseconds later, she bit her lip against the cry that welled in her throat. The sting was like fire, flaring high for a good second or so before fading to a duller throb. She was so absorbed in it that she barely remembered to choke out the words Carter required.
The second came hot on the heels of the first, criss-crossing the site so Lynn whimpered as the pain multiplied two-fold. “Two!” She shuddered, clutching the edge of the bed for purchase. Even as the sting sizzled along her nerve-endings, a deep-seated, delicious throb of pleasure settled between her legs. The pain only bolstered her pleasure and the anticipation that accompanied it.
By the third stroke, the tears she had promised to withhold prickled at the corners of her eyes, and by the sixth, she was gasping, biting her lip as she swallowed sobs. This, of course, was exactly why Carter continued. He had explained to her, once, that it wasn’t punishment unless she cried, and so that was always his aim.
He hadn’t failed her once.
It took ten stroked before tears coursed down Lynn’s face and the cries she struggled so hard to repress broke free. His goal achieved, Carter added a few more for good measure, bringing the total to a rousing fifteen. By that point, Lynn was a sobbing, trembling mess on the bed, her ample behind marked with deep red lash-marks from the kiss of the strap Carter favored. No sooner had she counted the last stroke in a quavering, hoarse tone than the cruel instrument was tossed aside and she gathered into his arms against his bare chest.
Lynn clung to him, both embarrassed and slightly overwhelmed, as she always was, by the particular effect Carter had on her. Her behind pained her so much that she could barely stand to perch on his muscular thigh, but a part of her relished the discomfort – it let her know that she was alive. That she was his.
“There, there, darling.” Now that her punishment was over, Carter’s voice was soft and reassuring in her ear, his mouth gentle against her neck. “You did well. So very well.”
“Y-you…you asshole…” Lynn hiccuped against him, still trembling. “That hurt!”
“That’s the whole point.” Carter chuckled, brushing a kiss across her forehead as he cupped her face, brushing her tears away with his thumbs. “It’s a learning device, Lynn, not a field trip.”
Lynn pouted. She had never thought she was the pouting type before this man entered her life. “I won’t be able to sit for a week.”
“Well, you’ll think of that the next time you disobey me, won’t you?” He inquired, arching a brow expectantly. Lynn’s cheeks colored and she ducked her head, burying her face in his shoulder to avoid answering him. The man’s heavy hand rubbed comfortingly over the length of her spine, from her nape to just above where the first stinging lash of the strap had landed. “You do know why I had to punish you, don’t you?” Silently, she nodded, a twinge of guilt creeping back in at the reminder. “I was worried about you. Jerry told me you hadn’t gotten back to the manor at one in the morning…and I was beside myself. You must adhere to my rules, sweet. They’re for you as much as they are for me, do you understand?”
“Yes,” Lynn managed softly, miserably, against his shoulder.
Carter reached down to take her chin gently, but firmly, between his thumb and forefinger, forcing her to look up into surprisingly soft gray eyes. “Yes, what?”
Lynn couldn’t suppress the shiver that suffused her. “Yes, sir.”
Carter’s smile was pleased and breathtakingly sexy all at once. “Good girl.” He lowered his mouth to hers to kiss her, long and lingering. Lynn’s hand rose to curl into his shoulders as she parted her lips with a sigh. Carter’s tongue took up the invitation immediately, sliding against hers and stroking her already ardent need even higher. If his punishment had made her slick between the legs, by the time the man had broken off the kiss with a long, lingering suck of her lower lip, the evidence was running down her thighs.
When his gaze met hers again, the raw want there was enough to steal her breath. The erection Lynn had almost forgotten pressed insistently against her thigh and Carter growled lowly in frustration. “I’m tempted to strap you again. If it weren’t for your little stunt, I’d be inside that hot little pussy right now.”
A soft moan escaped her at the very thought – she wanted him enough that Lynn tossed her pride out the window. “Carter, please…I’m sorry. I won’t do it again, I-” A low cry escaped her as the man shoved two fingers up into her clenching wetness without warning. Her inner muscles clamped down eagerly around the invasion as Carter curled them upwards just enough to stroke at the edge of a spot inside her that made her shriek.
But that was all.
As quickly as he’d penetrated her, Carter withdrew to shove the fingers he’d used to stimulate her into her mouth, his eyes blazing. “No. You don’t get to come, and you’re not to touch yourself until I come home later. And heaven help you if you disobey this time. Do you understand me, Lynn?”
The young woman nodded, even as her tongue eagerly cleaned his fingers, hoping that she might somehow changed his mind by being unabashedly filthy.
After a brief moment, Carter merely reclaimed his fingers to suck them into his own mouth, purely to torture her. Lynn groaned lowly as he emitted a low growl of frustration before pushing her gently from his lap to rise from the bed.
It was a crime that that gorgeous erection of his still stood against his stomach, unsated. Her need had turned Lynn into a writhing, wanting creature that was willing to do almost anything for him, but that didn’t change his iron will or the strict control he had over her.
But that was one of the reasons she loved him so…complicated as it made things for her.
Once Carter had disappeared into the bathroom, Lynn flopped back down against the mattress, wincing as the motion sent searing pain from her ass up her spine. Goddamn him. Goddamn him…If she weren’t still smarting from the lashing she’d just received, she might be in a mood to try him, but at the moment, Lynn knew better. If she touched herself, he’d know. He always knew.
Which meant that she was bound to squirm all day, sexually frustrated to the edge of her sanity.
Mumbling curses under her breath, she leaned over the edge of the bed to reclaim the coverlet and wrap around herself. She thought she might try to get back to sleep, but within five minutes, it was clear that she was far too aroused for that. What she needed was a hot bath to wash away all the stickiness between her thighs. Lynn was, however, reluctant to join Carter in the bathroom at the moment – she was still too pissed at him for both the strapping and leaving her in her current state.
She settled for simply staring at the wall opposite her, arms crossed over her chest, pussy throbbing with unsated need.