Hester has been hiding from Daniel in the hope of convincing she might have escaped. Miriam, her maid, has told Daniel of her disappearance and now, as she waits in her hiding hole, she overhears the consequences of her actions.
Hester jumped. She’d fallen asleep while sat upright against the warm chimney breast. In her sleepy head, she heard voices. Miriam’s, then Daniel—no doubt discussing her disappearance.
Pensive, she crouched by the small door and waited for them to leave, hoping the order would be given to the troopers to hunt her down. A scream. A high-pitched screech. Hester recoiled, stumbling backwards.
“Tell me!” Daniel’s deep voice, but muffled by the panelling.
“No!” A voice shrieked. Miriam?
Hester edged closer to the panelling. A smattering of light came through the cracks.
“Where is your mistress, Miriam?”
Another slap of flesh.
She gasped in horror. Daniel was spanking her maid, probably forcing her to reveal something the poor girl couldn’t possibly know: Hester’s location.
The blows continued, as did Daniel’s questioning and the strange squawks of Miriam.
Hester searched with her fingers, feeling for the latch. She couldn’t sit there in the darkness while Daniel punished Miriam for her wrongdoing.
She crawled through the hole, trampling on the ends of her cloak while blinded by the bright candlelight.
She stumbled to her feet. “Stop! Please leave her alone.”
Her mouth dropped open and she stopped in front of the bed. Reclining on the mattress was Daniel and nobody else. In his hand, the hairbrush.
He smacked it on the palm of his hand. “Ow!” he squeaked in a feminine tone.
“You tricked me!” Hester stamped her foot.
“As did you. I think we can call it a draw, can’t we?” Daniel sat up and tossed the hairbrush on the bed.
“How… how did you know?”
“I had my suspicions when I first searched the room on the day of my arrival. I came back later on my own.” He grinned. “Priest holes exist in many country houses. I spied the catch and checked the little room out. Nothing there but spiders. I realised you’d never left the room. You wanted me to think you’d gone so I would dispatch my men and leave you free to escape in your own time.”
“Miriam. I heard her voice.”
“I dismissed her. A quiet signal and then… you can guess.”
Hester fumed for a few seconds, angry at Daniel’s deception, then a sense of relief overcame her—Miriam was safe and unharmed. “You scared me.”
Daniel guffawed. “Good. You deserved it.”
His lack of remorse at his trickery demonstrated again his need to keep the upper hand with regard to her shenanigans. Her shoulders slumped. There was no point in raging against him as his actions had been justified. “What now? Please, I can’t bear being locked up any longer.”
“Where the hell did you think you’d go anyway?”
She gave a small shrug. “A tavern. Somewhere nearby. I suppose I didn’t really think too far ahead.”
“Um. Planning is not your strength. Consequences either. I would let you go, but you know too much now.” He puffed out his lips and lay back on the bed. “You’ve put me in a difficult position.”
Hester walked over to the end of the bed, perching on the edge between the carved wooden posts.
“I made a decision, in the priest hole. If this attempt at escape failed, I would surrender. Give in.”
Daniel propped himself up on an elbow. “Surrender?”
“No more fighting you. I can’t keep doing this. Also, I feel terrible. It’s like I’m torn in two. My loyalty to my family, my home and… what I feel towards you.”
His eyebrows shot up. “I thought you hated me.”
She averted her eyes and wrung her hands together in her lap. “I did, I tried to, but the reality is, I can’t stop thinking about you. It’s you who despises me, surely?” She peeked out from under her rogue locks of hair.
Daniel patted the bed. “Come here.”
She shuffled up the bed.
“I hate this war,” he said in a hushed tone, glancing at the door. “Not you. Englishman fighting Englishman. Scots too. I want to be a lawyer and dispense justice in the courts of law, not the battlefield. My mother is a staunch puritan and my father a preacher. They didn’t exactly insist I join the Roundheads, but I was honour-bound. My sisters take care of them and I wasn’t needed at home. So, I gave up my studies and joined the Eastern Association Army. I fought in the sieges of Lincoln and York, last year.”
“Are they proud of you, your family?”
“I don’t know. I’ve not been back home since.” He briefly rubbed his hands over his eyes. “You call us enemies, but are we? Truly? We follow the ideology of our parents, not our own.”
Hester pursed her lips. She didn’t think he understood. How could she make Daniel see what it meant to be part of the gentry and have expectations of rank and status? “It is not simple.”
“It should be. Who we are born to, our stations, shouldn’t define how we live our lives.”
His words struck a chord with her. If only she could shake off her responsibilities. She touched his hand and he slid his fingers between her knuckles.
“I want to start again. We two. Can we do that?” he asked.
She intertwined her fingers in his. “I think we can.” All about her body, her skin prickled, her blood pulsed in her vessels, and a strange awakening burst out of her loins.
He edged closer to her lips, drawing her down into an embrace, and wrapped his arms about her. The heat from his chest rose up into her bosom. He pressed his lips against her mouth and she tasted wine, then, as she exhaled, his tongue dipped into her mouth.
Extraordinary new sensations erupted about her body. Subtle involuntary motions she barely perceived—the tightening of muscles, especially at the apex of her thighs. Her head buzzed with a delicious dizziness. Even her scalp seemed to come alive with tingles. As his tongue explored, she responded with her own exploration, darting the tip of her tongue into his mouth.
Suddenly, he broke away and rested his head deeper in the pillow. Uncertain of his intentions, she sat up and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand.
His expression had transformed. She detected a serious, almost stern lowering of his eyebrows. If Hester’s father had pulled such a face, she’d have anticipated she was in trouble.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
He reached up and gathered up loose strands of her hair, sweeping them out of her eyes. “Before we go any further, I need to spank you.”
When the rest of her household flees the family estate during the English Civil War, Hester Cavell, a proud Royalist supporter, stays behind hoping to protect her home. Unfortunately for Hester, she quickly finds that she is no match for a troop of Parliamentarian dragoons, led by Captain Daniel Hasard. Once the dragoons take control of her house, Daniel lets Hester stay with her servants, but he warns her that he will punish her severely if she causes any trouble.
Despite Daniel’s warning, it isn’t long before Hester risks her safety and attempts to sabotage his troops, earning her a long, hard switching on her bare bottom. But as the weeks pass, she begins to realize that the man behind the enemy uniform is loving, intelligent, and kind, and she can’t help but grow more and more attracted to him. Daniel returns Hester’s affection, and while they remain enemies by day to protect her reputation, they soon become passionate lovers by night.
Not wanting the servants to guess at their games, Hester continues to make a pretence at mischief, and Daniel continues to punish her sternly. But when a servant at last finds out the truth of their relationship, will it bring an end to their newfound romance, or will Daniel cast aside politics and allegiances and ask for her hand in marriage?
Publisher’s Note: In Enemy Hands is an erotic novel that includes spankings, sexual scenes, anal play, elements of BDSM, and more. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
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