“Hold on to the legs of the bench,” he instructed, his voice hard as steel.
She wrapped a hand around each of the bench’s legs and squeezed her eyes shut as he bared her bottom for punishment. It felt humiliating. Though they were the only people in the barn, she felt like the horses and milk cows were watching her as entertainment. First, he lifted each skirt and positioned the fabric on her back. With a tug at the ribbon of her drawers, they loosened around her. His hand slid under her belly and lifted her hips up briefly so that he could slide the material down her legs. His touch on her stomach was gentle and reminded her of how he touched her when they made love. A tickle of strange pleasure intermingled with her growing anxiety. Her drawers remained on her legs, just above her knees, which somehow made her feel even more vulnerable and naughty.
The minute that followed was the longest of her life. Cool air wafted over her bare skin, and she could feel her thighs shaking. Adam retrieved a strip of leather used to fasten the stirrup to his saddle. The strap was the length of her forearm after he doubled it.
He dropped the leather over her quivering cheeks, letting the implement of punishment reside there while he spoke. “You’re getting fifteen licks. They’re going to hurt, and you’re not to move from this position until you feel every last one. Do you understand?”
“Oh, Adam, you’re scaring me,” she cried, hating how harsh he sounded. No sign of his love for her could be detected in his voice, and it made her feel miserable.
A lick of fire across her cheeks made her gasp with alarm. It hurt far worse than she ever could have imagined.
“Do you understand?” he repeated with a raised voice.
“If you move from this position, I will repeat the lick. Is that also understood?”
She sniffled. “Yes, sir.”
He crouched down, twined his fingers in her hair, and lifted her head so he could make eye contact. “You’re being punished. You should be a little afraid of punishment because it hurts, but I won’t be cruel.”
“I know,” she sniffled. “I’m sorry, I deserve it.”
“Yes, you do,” he agreed. “If you had told me how you felt instead of throwing a tantrum and storming away, we wouldn’t be here.” He stood to his full height. Without further delay, the punishment proceeded.
By the time the fifth brand of pain had tattooed her bottom, she was begging him to stop. “Please, I can’t take anymore! I will never behave like that again.”
“I hope not,” he said, and snapped the leather across her bottom again.