“I’m sorry, Your Grace. I am a disgrace. I shall plead for mercy.” She sank dutifully to her knees and clasped her hands before her. The roles she dished out, being told how to behave—be this, be that, make him happy, don’t let on you might be bored—were irrelevant with this grand client. If she failed him, she would take the shame of it personally.
“Mercy? I think I shall decide if you deserve mercy after you have undressed and presented yourself to me naked.” He eased himself back in his chair. “Now, enough sniffling. Or do I have to count like last time?”
She hurried to obey. The laces were fiddly, the layers of skirts a nuisance and she wished that Madame Irene had not cinched her so tight. However, once the corset fell away, she was able to take a deep breath and the lungful calmed her. Throughout her less than graceful stripping, His Grace, the Duke of Savoy, looked on with immense amusement.
“Dear me, that was hardly done well, was it?” He loosened his waistcoat and rolled up his sleeves.
“I’m sorry, Your Grace,” she mumbled.
“I am sorry, Your Grace. Would you like me to get dressed and do it again?” She risked a little impertinence; what gentleman did not like a little riposte?
He narrowed his eyes, but she thought beneath the veneer of his strict face, he might be laughing gently. Or at least, that was what she hoped she saw.
“Kindly, young lady, avail yourself over my lap at once.” He patted his knees.
“Sir. Your Grace.” She dashed to his side and bent. The chair was low and she ended up on her knees with her head nearly touching the rug.
He hooked his arm around her waist. Below, where her belly rested on his thigh, she felt a movement, the stirring of his invisible cock. How long must I wait?
He stroked a few circles around each lobe. “Spread your legs so that I can see your cunt.”
She dared not hesitate a fraction of a second and she shuffled her knees apart and lifted her bottom higher.
“Excellent,” he said. “Would it help if I pinned your legs beneath mine?”
“Probably, Your Grace,” she agreed. She was a terrible wriggler.
“I thought as much.” He raised his leg and pushed the backs of her knees down under it. “Let’s begin, shall we?”
“Yes, please, Your Grace.”
The formula was set, the preludes complete. She inhaled, screwed her eyes shut, and readied herself for the first smack. It knocked the wind out of her lungs as he bounced his hand back and forth between her buttocks without pausing. She squealed, surprised at the energy and vigour of his arm. After their meeting at the Velvet Glove, he clearly had a measure of her endurance and intended to test it.
“Argh,” she cried out. The tears confused her. Why did they fall so easily for this one person? She usually had no problem holding them in check and quite often had to rely on the crocodile version if the client insisted she sobbed. The wetness dripped down her cheeks and off the end of her nose.
He continued, unperturbed by her fuss and futile attempts at squirming. She tried to think of snow or the cold Thames, but all that came to mind was a blacksmith’s forge and a baker’s oven—her bottom was on fire and yet, she could not bring herself to call a halt. Why?
“Tell me again about that first spanking. What did you do, Eloise?”
He walloped her arse right on the spot where she sat. “I think that it is unlikely to be the reason. Barmaids are supposed to flirt. It helps sells ale.”
She cringed and buried her face in her hands. “I don’t remember,” she said feebly.
He paused and sighed. “This is most disappointing, Eloise. Most,” he said with what seemed like genuine emotion. “Well, it seems this warmup—”
“Warmup!” she shrilled, twisting about on his lap. Over her shoulder, she saw the redness of his cheeks and a bead of sweat on his brow. The fire was the cause, probably, but he also had a wildness to his eyes that she not witnessed the last time he spanked her. Could she really trust him to go further?
“Do not interrupt,” he said, resting his hand on her fiery arse and giving a cheek a heavy-handed squeeze. “Yes. I merely wished to ensure your flesh is suitably prepared for my strap.”
“Strap!” She detested the strap more than the cane. A sting was far easier to absorb than a heavy strap with its enduring thud.
“Be brave, Eloise. It is hardly as cruel as a horsewhip. And I shall ensure you are kept still. I’ve brought silk bindings to tie you to the bed in the next room—”
“Tie me up? I… I’ve never been bound before now, sir,” she said.
“Um. I find that surprising.” He slipped his finger along her furrow and between her slit. “Your cunt is wet as morning dew and,” he paused to inspect, “as pink as a blooming rose. I think restraining you will temper this wantonness.”
Temper it, no! She was likely to explode with anticipation. The very thought of not being able to move suddenly excited her. What a strange mixture of emotions he had conjured up just by speaking with assured confidence. He had also assumed that her blind obedience was unlimited. She did have limits, but frankly, she was sure they were being rewritten that evening.
“Yes, sir… Your Grace.”
He released her and she slipped onto her knees in front of the chair. He reached forward and wiped away the drying tears with a thumb. “Perhaps, before we continue, a little respite.”
He leaned back, slouching slightly in the seat and closed his eyes. When he parted his knees, she licked her lips and shuffled forward on her knees to occupy the space between his legs.
His eyes opened. “No. You’ve not earned that right yet. Go stand in the corner with your hands on your head and contemplate your errors while I rest.”
She rose, suppressing a huff of irritation at his delaying tactics. She sashayed her hips as she walked to the corner, giving him a perfect view of a red arse and the prints of his hands. If he smiled, she could not see it. She hoped he was.