The kiss was urgent, insistent. It demanded as much as it gave, and she couldn’t help but respond. Her mouth opened of its own accord, accepting his exploration of her tongue, dancing in a rhythm they created.
His chest pressed against hers, causing her aching breasts to flatten. His body was hard, and she felt as soft as dough, molding herself to him. She wrapped her arms around his neck, drawing him to her, wanting for the kiss to last forever. His lips traveled south, along her neck to her shoulder, bringing every bit of her flesh to life.
He pulled away and looked into her eyes with what appeared to be a question of whether she wanted him to continue.
She smiled at him. “I assure you, I want you to kiss me. You may continue.”
His lips twitched. “I may continue, huh?”
“Yes. Have you ever kissed a woman as comely as me?”
“No, certainly not.”
Her smile broadened, satisfied that she was the best woman he’d ever had in his arms. But when he made no move to continue the kiss, and instead only drew her head to rest on his shoulder, lust bordering on desperation coursed through her. The thought of not having his lips against hers made her nearly frantic.
It was without much thought that she turned her head and sank her teeth into his shoulder.
He didn’t flinch. But for hearing a sharp intake of air, she wouldn’t have known he felt the bite at all. His hand traveled from her back to the nape of her neck. Threading his fingers through her loose hair, he wound it into his grip and tugged her head back. Her neck was exposed, like a lamb about to be slaughtered.
His voice was a growl. “Do you want to be punished, princess? Is that why you bit me?”
“N-no.” A pause to think. “Maybe. All I know is I don’t want you to stop kissing me. I want to forget that I’m a proper lady.” She hardly recognized her own voice. It was high and pleading, as though she begged for her life.
“I told you at the restaurant that you wouldn’t like what would happen if you bit me. Didn’t I?”
“Oh, god, yes,” she whimpered. His words only served to excite her more. A realization about herself hit her like a punch to the gut. All her life, she had hoped for a moment like this. Her rude comments, her goading, her sarcasm—all she’d done in hopes that a strong man would notice and respond. Up to that point, men had been repelled by it, her beauty not strong enough to offset her goading. But Frank was prepared to actually punish her, and she realized she infinitely preferred that to being dismissed and ignored.
He released her hair and took a step back. The sudden loss of his body’s heat seemed in and of itself a punishment. “Walk to the front of the classroom,” he told her.
On wobbling legs, Victoria obeyed, sensing that he was right behind her. She scanned the room for a dunce hat and chair, thinking he might humiliate her that way as punishment, but instead he told her to go stand in the corner.
“Touch the corner with your nose and wait for instructions.”
She could hardly believe she was obeying. She had never in her life been subjected to punishment. She’d only been indulged, and to have a man disciplining her at the age of nineteen made her feel a strange mixture of remorse and arousal.
It seemed like ages that she waited there in the corner, longing to hear his voice in the silence and to feel his touch.
She couldn’t have predicted what he’d finally say. “Take off your drawers.” His casual tone indicated he expected to be obeyed, despite how outlandish the request seemed to her.
She hesitated, and he spoke again, his voice even deeper. “Do it now, princess. Delay and your punishment will be worse.”
Her hands fumbled under her skirts, finding their way to the ties. Though he ordered her in a tone that brooked no argument, she knew that if she refused to comply and instead strode out the door, he would do nothing to stop her. But she wanted to be punished, and he knew it. Otherwise, why would she have bitten him?
Her acceptance of punishment didn’t make it easier to bear. Her face flamed, and she was grateful to be facing the walls of the corner as she wrestled her drawers down her legs and out from under her feet.
“Good girl,” his voice rumbled, from directly behind her.
For a reason she could not understand, his small praise caused her eyes to sting with unshed tears. He didn’t speak again for some time. She waited there in silence, holding her drawers in her hand, studying the chinking between the logs of the wall. The stretch of time allowed her to come to terms with what was happening, and at the same time added to the anticipation. The air of the room felt electrified. Though she felt uncommonly warm, gooseflesh appeared over her arms, and her breathing grew ragged.
His voice was deep with authority when he spoke again. “Turn around, hand your drawers to me, and open your mouth.”
As though being controlled by some force not her own, she pivoted and met his eyes. Was he serious? Did he really expect her to hand him her drawers and open her mouth like a fish gasping for air on land? He raised an eyebrow, telling her without speaking that he was indeed serious, and something in his expression told her she would be unwise to question him.
She thought about refusing. He was not forcing her to do anything. But inexplicably, her desire to submit to him was even stronger than her humiliation. She handed him her drawers.
“Thank you, princess,” he said, taking them from her. She had just sewed the drawers with great care a fortnight ago, adding a silk bow as embellishment, hoping but not guessing that a man would set eyes on them so soon.
“Naughty young ladies who bite don’t get the privilege of wearing underclothes. Your bottom must be bare for me when I spank it,” he said. He lifted his hand and traced his thumb along her cheek.
“Oh,” she whimpered. Humiliation washed over her, and at the same time excitement over the prospect of getting spanked by the cowboy schoolmaster caused her stomach to flutter. The skirts of her lace petticoat brushed her bare bottom, making her feel as if she were already naked, though she was still covered from head to toe.
“I believe I told you to open your mouth,” he said.
She parted her lips, in more of a gasp than in obedience.
“Wider,” he growled.
She did as he asked, feeling ridiculous and exposed. She much preferred for her mouth to be open when his was against it, not gaping alone while being observed.
He stuffed her drawers into her mouth, and she tasted her own essence the moment the fabric met her tongue. She moaned and closed her eyes, unable to bear looking at him. She wondered if he had felt how damp with need her drawers were when he held them. Did he know that from his very first order, he had aroused her to the point of moistening her own clothing?
“Do you like having your mouth stuffed, princess?” Frank asked.
Her eyes closed, she gave a quick shake of her head. No, she did not like it, and it took all her restraint to keep from spitting the material out of her mouth.
“Good. You’re not supposed to. Can’t bite so easily now, can you? Your gag will also stifle your cries as I spank your naughty bare bottom.”
Her eyes flew open. Now that it was about to happen, she did not want the spanking. She wanted to tell him that she’d been punished enough, simply by being forced to taste her own arousal, but she couldn’t speak.
He must have seen the sudden distress in her eyes, for his own eyes softened, and he cupped her chin. “You’ve accepted your punishment well so far. Can you be brave and accept the rest?”
His kind voice put her at ease, somehow. He was punishing her, but he was not going to harm her. A calm washed over her. She wanted to please him, to show him that she could accept punishment, and she nodded at him.
“Brave girl,” he said, offering her a small smile. He took her hand in his and led her to his desk. Gently, he pressed her forward until her chest touched the flat wood.
As he lifted her first skirt, the green linen fabric of her dress, he said, “I’m going to spank you five times with the ruler.”
She spotted the implement next to her. It was the standard twelve inches long and made of thick wood. She clenched her bottom at the thought of it meeting her bare flesh.
“After each stroke, I will pause and wait for you to pat the desk with your left hand, indicating that you are ready for me to continue. Pat the desk now so that I can see you understand.”
She obeyed, patting the desk.
“If you feel you can’t take anymore, pat the desk with your right hand and I’ll stop. Do you understand?”
She nodded and made a sound of agreement through her gag as he lifted her second skirt, the first of two petticoats. When he removed the final layer, air kissed her bare bottom, and she shivered as she marveled at her position, bent over a desk by her handsome, damaged beau who was keen to teach her a lesson. No man had ever seen her in such a state of undress. How many times had she removed her clothing and peered into a mirror to admire her body, which in her opinion was lovelier than most of the ladies she’d assisted with dressing?
Until this moment, she’d always felt so unseen. When she’d imagined herself being viewed and touched by a man for the first time, it was not like this, and yet it seemed perfectly fitting. She had behaved badly for some time. She had been jealous and vain and miserly. Her behavior had gone unchecked, and a deep loneliness had set in. Bent over the desk, her loneliness was gone, replaced by apprehension and a longing to be loved and accepted.
Frank couldn’t have known this, could he? As far as he was concerned, she was being punished simply for biting him, but it felt like so much more. It felt like he had stripped away the layers of her soul as well as her clothing.
When the first stroke of the ruler met her buttocks, she was not prepared for the sting. She cried out from behind her gag and straightened fully.
“No, I won’t have that.” Frank firmly pressed her back into position. “You stand up like that again and I’ll add another stroke.” Once she was bent over again, he landed a light, reprimanding spank with his palm, a gesture that caused her embarrassment and arousal to double. Being whipped with an implement was one thing. To be spanked by the palm of his hand added an unexpected intimacy that made her want to simultaneously disappear into the ground and throw herself into his arms.