Highland romance with a paranormal twist and the use of a tawse.
Claire pressed her hips hard into the makeshift cushion and held her breath. The shameful pose—bare, spread-eagled on the table with her limbs stretched out before the man she preferred to see in a better humour—would be perceived as debauchery in anyone else’s eyes. No amount of praying could alter his decision to spank her with the tawse. A horrible thing with its forked tongue and wicked thickness. The noise it made when it struck the chair sent shivers down her spine. Yet, she remained in place, accepting her fate.
There was little point in asking for leniency and a strange swell of conflicting emotions kept her from pleading for mitigation. She had no clue as to why she felt the tingle of nerves or dizziness, other than it had nothing to do with faintness. She fancied it was his stern manner, which was increasingly appealing. She’d had a rigorous upbringing amongst austere persons and little freedom of thought or deed. Now that she’d escaped that life, she had run straight into the arms of Captain Hughes and his variety of dominance. She concluded it was much better in many ways, especially as he was handsome, too.
The tawse snapped over her cheeks and immediately it seared. However, the pain was not as fearful as she had expected. It was perhaps no harsher than her governess’ ruler on her palms.
Felix stroked his finger along the contours of her buttocks, tracing the line of stings. “One,” he said softly.
The next cracked lower and on the apex of her globes. She snatched a breath, but didn’t cry out. As the blaze the tawse lit evened out, she exhaled and let her tight arse cheeks relax a little.
“Two,” he said before circling her bottom with his cool palm. “You’re being very brave, Claire.”
The third brought tears to her eyes, not through unbearable pain, but relief that she bore the spanking with fortitude. She pinned herself down with willpower.
“Three. Don’t move. I know you can do this,” he impressed upon her. “Show me.”
The last whack met the crease of her thighs and she yelped, having correctly anticipated he’d given her the final blow with a measure of force. Somehow, she’d survived the tawse.
“Four. Good lass.”
She lay still, relaxing her grip on the table. What now? How could she convince him she could endure more than the wicked tawse? She’d so much more she could offer him, she realised. If this was a measure of her stamina, then she foresaw many other demanding acts she might endure for him. No, not endure, the term was inappropriate—she longed to submit to him.
Twisting around so she could prop herself up on her side, she met his gaze. Such bright eyes, dark, but brilliant—she loved him more than ever for his carefully delivered spanking. She’d not suffered unduly and he’d ensured her marks would be felt longer than they were seen.
“Take me,” she said. “If I am to be your wife, then I must consume your passions as my own. Let this be a trial. If I cannot endure what you desire, then I shall leave and never come back to Scotland. You will marry me and I will be the perfect wife for you, but I shall never step foot in the Highlands and I shall accept you will be a different creature here. But if I share this urge you have to mate and love it with all my heart, then please, Felix, let me be yours wherever you live.”
He dropped the tawse on the floor and scooped her off the table. She looped her arms around his neck and buried her face into his chest. He carried her up the staircase into the bedroom and laid her on the bed.
~ taken from The Highlander’s Mate