Four great romantic reads of the Old West!
Kayla and the Rancher by Paige Tyler
Cord Holderness needs a wife, but with few prospects in the Wyoming Territory, the only way to find a well-bred young lady is to get a mail-order bride. However, the girl that’s supposed to be his bride gets cold feet and leaves it up to her new friend, Kayla Mathison, to tell him that she’s changed her mind.
When the handsome rancher assumes that the fiercely independent and stubborn Kayla is his mail-order bride, she finds herself going along with it. Running from an arranged marriage herself, she decides to lead Cord on so she can steal the money she needs from him. As the days turn into weeks, she finds that the money doesn’t interest her anymore, especially when Cord puts her over his knee and spanks her whenever she becomes a little too willful for his liking. Much to her surprise, she discovers that she’s fallen in love with him.
Life on the ranch gets even more complicated when a ruthless land baron tries to take over every piece of grazing land in the territory, including Cord’s, and will do anything to get it. Then, as if that weren’t enough, Kayla’s very determined fiance comes to town looking for her. But Kayla has built this relationship with Cord by letting him think that she’s someone else. Can she hope that Cord loves her enough to forgive her when he find out she’s not really his mail-order bride?
Mail Order Mama by Courage Knight
Morgan gazed out of the stagecoach window, struggling to keep her disappointment from showing. She’d traveled hundreds of miles to marry a man she had never met before – a widower with five children, a hundred and sixty acres, and a flock of sheep. It had sounded so romantic once, before the dirty, dusty reality sprawled before her in all its fetid glory. She scanned the crowd, wondering which of the paunchy, balding men would claim her.
None of them, apparently. Mr. John O’Shea was nowhere to be seen. What’s more, the townspeople try to convince her to leave, to give up her dreams without even meeting her intended. They believe he’s not quite right in the head. Undaunted, she hires a driver to take her to his homestead.
But when she finally meets the man who sent the poetic letters and fare for her passage, her dreams are shattered, for John O’Shea is little more than a child himself. Had she come all this way for nothing? Would she ever be a bride, or was it her destiny to be a mail-order mama?
The Marshal’s Rebellious Bride by Starla Kaye
Whiskey, the mischievous imp of Dodge City, thought it was bad enough for her brothers to sell their shares of her father’s ranch to their US Marshal friend, Morgan, but what was even worse was that those men all had it in mind that Whiskey would actually marry Morgan–this hard, firm, large man she had barely met before.
Morgan thought Whiskey just needed a firm hand to keep her in line, but Whiskey, who is constantly getting tied up dangerous situations, was nearly impossible to control. Things get even more complicated when her twin sister comes into town.
But Morgan has a dark shadow following in his path, threatening the peaceful life he meant to create with Whiskey. Will they come through this together? Or will Morgan’s past bring tragedy on everything he now holds dear?
Depths of Desire by Carolyn Faulkner
A bright, adventurous young woman dreams of travelling to the Western frontier, but in the late 1800s, young women were expected to be neither bright nor adventurous. Despite the contentedness she sees in her mother, whom she knows is spanked by her father, Mary Rose thinks she’s looking for independence and the opposite of what her parents have.
Heroes come in strange packages and she’s not long there before a rough-seeming package finds reason to put her over his knee. Once she realizes he was right, she’s faced with a strange compulsion for someone -and something- she thought she’d never want.
Kayla & the Rancher by Paige Tyler
Kayla Mathison would have done anything to escape her life back in New York. Anything included traveling cross-country, in a cramped, uncomfortable stagecoach in the blistering heat to a city she didn’t know. At the moment, she and another girl, who looked to be about her age, were the stage’s only occupants. Before that, they’d been joined by an elderly woman traveling with her granddaughter, a portly businessman and a sour-faced old man who did nothing but complain about what the rough ride was doing to his behind.
Kayla didn’t give the other travelers too much of her attention, however, preferring to concentrate on the sketchpad she kept balanced on her lap. Not only did her drawings keep her from having to make polite conversation with the other travelers, but they also kept her from dwelling on the reason she was running away in the first place. Every once in a while, one of the other passengers would look over at the sketches she was doing of dress designs and make a comment, but she’d merely smile and disengage herself from the conversation as quickly as possible.
At twenty years of age, Kayla’s father had decided it was high time that she got married. It seemed that he thought her willful, independent ways were going to get her into trouble. And he didn’t want to marry her to just anyone, of course, but to William Delmont. Which probably wouldn’t have bothered her so much if the man weren’t marrying her simply to get half of her father’s company. Though that wasn’t William’s fault, she supposed, since it was her father who had bribed William and made it a package deal. Kayla had never been so insulted – or outraged – in her entire life. She couldn’t decide what enraged her more. The thought that her father felt he had the right to decide whom she married, or that he felt it would take half his company to get someone to marry her.
Kayla had pleaded with her father, but it hadn’t mattered. He was determined to see her married, and would hear none of it. So, with a small suitcase, her drawing materials and what she thought would be enough money in hand, Kayla left home to head west to San Francisco where she would become a seamstress. She could sew, and she knew that her designs were pretty good. She’d always dreamed of one day becoming a clothing designer in New York, maybe even Paris. But her father had changed all of that, so she would have to be a designer in San Francisco instead. However, she’d gone through her money faster than she’d thought she would, and she still had a few weeks of travel left.
“Those drawings are beautiful.”
Kayla lifted her head to look at the girl sitting across from her. Slightly plump, she had a rounded, freckled face and curly carrot-red hair that she wore back in a bun at the nape of her neck. She gave Kayla a shy smile.
“I didn’t mean to be so nosy,” she hastily apologized before Kayla could answer. “It’s just that you’re so talented. I can’t seem to draw a straight line myself.”
Kayla smiled. “Straight lines are highly overrated, anyway.”
The other girl laughed. “I’m Abigail, by the way.”
“I’m Kayla.” She turned her attention back to the sketchbook on her lap, hoping to put an end to the conversation, but the other girl didn’t take the hint.
“Are you going to Copper Creek, too?”
Kayla had never heard of Copper Creek, but it didn’t sound like a place she’d want to visit. She shook her head. “No, I’m going to San Francisco.”
Abigail’s eyes lit up. “How exciting!” she exclaimed. “And how brave of you. I’d be terrified at the thought of going so far.” She frowned as if considering something. “Actually, I’m terrified at the thought of going to Copper Creek.” She gave Kayla a small smile. “I agreed to be a mail-order bride, you see, but I don’t think I can go through with it.”
Kayla’s brow furrowed. She’d seen the advertisements placed by men who were looking for wives, but she’d never actually known a woman who had responded to any of them. Perhaps she should have considered becoming a mail-order bride herself, she thought wryly. It certainly couldn’t be any worse than marrying William Delmont.
Across from her, Abigail was telling her about the stranger that she’d left her home in Boston for. “His name’s Cord Holderness and he owns a cattle ranch outside of Copper Creek. It’s positively huge, at least as big as the city of Boston. And he has all these cattle and horses and lots of people working for him. But he’s not all about the money. He sounds so nice in his letters, just like the cowboys that you read about in the dime-store novels. A true gentleman.” She laughed, blushing. “I never told anyone this before, but I’ve always been fascinated by cowboys. In the books, they’re always so big and strong and handsome and gentlemanly…” A dreamy expression came onto her face, but it faded after a moment. “But the men that I’ve met since coming out here aren’t at all like they are in the books. They’re rough and unmannerly and not at all what I imagined. Most of them actually smell.”
Kayla couldn’t help but smile. She’d met a few of those men herself on this trip. “And you’re afraid that this Cord Holderness is going to be like that, too.”
Abigail nodded. “Yes…no…” She sighed, slumping back in the seat. “I don’t know. He sounds so wonderful in his letters, but I’m afraid that he may have just made everything up so that I’d marry him. Plus, I have to admit it, I miss Boston. I never thought I would, but the west just isn’t the way I thought it was.”
The stage slowed, and through the small windows, Kayla could see that they were approaching a town. The driver had said it was called Hangman’s Bend. Who would name a town something like that? she wondered.
Across from her, Abigail was shaking her head. “I can’t do it. I can’t marry him,” she said. “I’m getting off here and taking the next stage headed back east.”
Kayla frowned. “But what about Cord? Isn’t he going to be expecting you?”
The other girl nodded miserably. “But if I went all the way to Copper Creek, I’d have to tell him face to face, and I can’t do that.” She looked at Kayla pleadingly. “What am I going to do?”
Kayla said nothing for a moment. She didn’t know anything about being a mail-order bride, and since she’d run away from everything she knew to avoid her own wedding, she didn’t think she was the right person to be asking for advice. “Well, since you agreed to marry him by way of a letter, then I suppose you can tell him that you changed your mind the same way.”
Abigail seemed to be considering her suggestion, but after a moment, she shook her head. “But that seems so impersonal.” She thought a moment, and then looked at Kayla, a smile brightening her face. “Perhaps you could tell him for me.”
Kayla blinked in astonishment. “Me?”
Nodding, Abigail leaned forward in her seat excitedly. “Copper Creek is the next stop, so you’ll be going through there anyway, and I know it would sound so much better coming from you than from some letter.”
“Oh, please, Kayla,” Abigail begged. “Please say you’ll do it. You have to pass through Copper Creek anyway, so it’s not even out of your way. It would just take a minute or two of your time. If Cord is as nice as he seems, then I don’t want to hurt him. This way I’ll feel better about doing such a horrible thing. Please, Kayla.” She reached into her reticule and took out some money, which she held out to Kayla. “For your trouble.”
Kayla’s gaze shifted to the money that Abigail was still holding out to her. She was down to her last few coins, and the five dollars that the other girl was offering her was a lot of money. As uncomfortable as she was with the idea of going up to some stranger and telling him that his mail-order bride had changed her mind about marrying him, the money was too good to turn down. It seemed like an easy way to make five dollars.
Reaching out to take the money from the other girl, she nodded. “I’ll tell him.”
Smiling, Abigail sighed with relief. “You don’t know how much this means to me. Thank you!”
Kayla put the money into her own reticule. “How will I know him?” she asked Abigail.
“He described himself as tall, with dark brown hair and brown eyes,” the other girl offered.
Kayla frowned. “That could describe half the men in the territory.”
The other girl shrugged. “Sorry. He knows I was coming in on this stage, though, so he’ll probably be looking for me.”
Again, that wasn’t much to go on, but Kayla supposed it would have to do. The stage came to a halt just then, and Abigail’s gaze went to the window. She looked out at the small town, but said nothing.
Kayla regarded her for a moment. “Are you sure you don’t want to go to Copper Creek anyway and meet Cord, just to see what he’s like?” she asked. “You could always say that you want to get to know him a little better before you marry him.”
Abigail seemed to genuinely consider her words, and for a moment, Kayla thought the other girl would actually agree, but then she shook her head. “I’ve made up my mind. I’m going home.” She looked at Kayla. “Thank you.”
The driver opened the door then, putting a halt to any further conversation, and Abigail stepped out of the stagecoach. They stopped in Hangman’s Bend just long enough for Kayla to stretch her legs and to pick up their new passengers ? two elderly sisters ? before going on their way again.
It was several hours to Copper Creek, but the driver assured them that they would be there before sundown. The two women, though pleasant, ignored Kayla for the most part, which suited her fine. She tried to concentrate on her newest drawing of a lady’s day dress, but all she could seem to think about was what she was going to say to Cord Holderness. She probably should get in the part about the inconvenience to her and imply that some type of payment would be nice before she told him that his fianc? wasn’t going to be coming. However, she couldn’t figure out how to even start the conversation. The man was expecting his mail-order bride to step off the stage, not some stranger there to tell him that the girl had changed her mind.
As the driver had promised, they arrived in Copper Creek well before sunset that evening. Like so many of the other towns where the stage had stopped, Copper Creek was small, with one main road running through the center of it. Of course, there was the requisite saloon, general store, telegraph office and sheriff, but more interested in the people than the town, Kayla took little notice of more than that as she stood in front of the stagecoach office.
Kayla noticed several dark-haired men, regarding her with interest, but none of them came over to her immediately. One of the men, however, was looking at her with more interest than the others, and after a moment he approached her.
Kayla said nothing for a moment. This was Cord Holderness? Tall and well-built, with dark hair, warm brown eyes and the faint hint of a beard along his jaw line, he was absolutely one of the most handsome men she’d ever seen. And dressed in denims, a shirt that he’d left unbuttoned at the neck, a hat and well-worn boots, he looked every inch the cowboy, she thought.
“Abigail?” he asked, looking at her curiously. His voice was soft, sensuous.
Kayla opened her mouth, all set to ask him for a monetary award in exchange for her information regarding Abigail, but all she could seem to manage to say was, “Cord?”
He grinned, flashing white teeth at her, and Kayla just about melted on the spot. Putting his arms around her, he bent his head and kissed her cheek. “I’m so glad you’re finally here.” Lifting his head, he gazed down at her, his brown eyes soft. “You’re even more beautiful than you led me to believe.”
Kayla blinked. She was rarely, if ever, at a loss for words, but with him standing so near, she couldn’t seem to formulate a complete thought. He thought she was Abigail, she realized. She opened her mouth to explain, but Cord continued before she could speak.
“As you can see, most of the town came out to meet you,” he said, gesturing to the people who had gathered nearby. Leaning close, he spoke conspiratorially in her ear. “Don’t worry. I told them they had to wait until you settled in.”
Standing in front of this man who was so handsome that he literally made her dizzy, she suddenly began thinking of a different plan. She had no idea where it came from; it just popped into her head. Maybe she could go along with this, let him think that she was his mail-order bride. From what Abigail had said, he was probably rich. He was certain to have money or something valuable around his home that she could take to sell later. She could certainly use a little bit of extra money to get herself started in San Francisco. And Cord being so attractive was an added bonus. Pretending to be his fianc? certainly wouldn’t be distasteful. She had a momentary twinge of guilt, but it disappeared quickly when she thought about how easy it would be to start in San Francisco if she had a little bit of money.
Kayla looked around to see groups of people clustered along the street. Some were looking at her with open curiosity, but most, judging from their smiling faces, looked genuinely happy for Cord. That just gave her added justification. After all, how could she tell him about Abigail’s decision not to marry him in front of all these people?
“Is this the only bag you have?”
Kayla saw that Cord had picked up her small suitcase. She nodded as a plan began to develop in her mind. “Yes.” She gave him a pretty little pout. “Everything else I brought with me fell off that stupid stagecoach. My trunk opened and everything inside was ruined, of course. The driver said that the stage wasn’t responsible for such things, but…”
Her voice trailed off helplessly, and he gave her one of those dazzling smiles of his. “Don’t worry, Abigail. I’ll buy you whatever you need. Copper Creek’s small, but the general store has some good mail order catalogs you can get things from.”
This was even better than she’d hoped, Kayla thought. Conniving him out of his money would be as easy as pie. She would have no problem wrapping this big, strapping man around her finger. She probably wouldn’t even have to actually steal anything. Smiling up at him, she took his arm and let him lead her to the waiting wagon. As they walked, she couldn’t help but notice that his forearm was strongly muscled beneath her hand. When he offered his hand to help her up into the wagon, she smiled and thanked him. Then, before she knew it, he’d climbed in beside her and took up the reins, sending the wagon in motion.
“You must be tired after your journey,” he said, giving her a sidelong glance.
“A little,” she admitted. “Stagecoaches aren’t the most comfortable form of transportation.”
“Or the safest,” he added, glancing at her. “I was concerned about you traveling alone, especially since you said that you’ve never been out of Boston.” When she said nothing, he continued. “It must be a big culture shock for you, not just leaving Boston, but coming all the way out here on your own.” He gave her a lopsided grin. “And it certainly doesn’t help that we’ve never met before. But I just want to let you know that I’m not going to rush anything. We can take our time getting to know each other. There’s no pressure, Abigail, so you can just relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.”
Once again, Kayla was rendered speechless by this man. Cord Holderness was so nice; deceiving him just didn’t seem right. She should tell him the truth, she thought. But then again, she reasoned he did order a bride through a catalog, so how nice could he really be?
Well, just because she thought that he might be a wolf in sheep’s clothing didn’t mean that she couldn’t appreciate the surrounding mountainous landscape of the Wyoming Territory. The sun was just beginning to set, and she didn’t think she’d ever seen a more vivid display of colors. “I would never have thought it would be this beautiful,” she said, almost to herself.
Beside her, Cord laughed. “So, my letters didn’t do it justice, then? And here I thought I was sounding poetic.”
She looked at him in confusion. “What?” Then she remembered. Cord and Abigail had probably corresponded for weeks, months maybe, before the girl had begun the trek out here. Kayla laughed nervously. “Oh…of course…I didn’t mean to imply…”
Cord reached out and covered her hand with his own. “I was teasing you, Abigail,” he said, turning his head to look at her. “It is beautiful, but not as beautiful as you.”
Kayla caught her breath. His hand on hers was doing funny little things to her pulse, and once again, she couldn’t seem to think clearly. Blushing, she looked away. “Th…thank you,” she stammered, and then gave herself a mental shake. She had to keep focused on her goal with this guy, or she was going to find herself grinning at him like a lovesick teenager all the time.
They arrived at his home a little while later. It was a big, two-story house with a porch that went around the entire perimeter. Several hundred feet from the house was an immense barn with several other smaller buildings around it, and Kayla could see horses in the adjoining paddock. Cord brought the wagon to a stop outside the house and offered his hand to Kayla, helping her down. Taking up her small suitcase, he led her up the steps and into the house.
Inside, it was simply but comfortably furnished. Though she could see why he needed a woman out here. There was nothing soft or feminine about the place. No pictures, no curtains, no rugs, not even a throw pillow. Directly opposite the front door was a staircase that led to the second floor. Though Cord said there was dinner waiting for them on the stove, he gave her a quick tour of the house before they ate. Off the entryway, there was a living room to one side and a dining room on the other. Beyond that was the kitchen, where Cord served them hearty bowls of stew and a plate of biscuits. Though the food was quite good, Kayla had to concentrate so hard on what she was saying that she hardly tasted any of it. Pretending to be Abigail was going to be more difficult than she thought.
She was relieved when the kitchen door opened. Kayla turned her head to see a tall, dark-haired man entering the kitchen. He was older than Cord by several years, and from his clothing, she assumed that he must be one of the ranch hands.
The man’s blue gaze went from Kayla to Cord. “Sorry, Cord. I didn’t mean to interrupt,” he said. “I’ll come back later.”
Cord shook his head and got to his feet. “No, stay. Lucas, this is Abigail Murray.” He looked at Kayla. “Abigail, this is my foreman, Lucas Johnson. He’s been my right-hand man around here for years, so if I’m out and there’s anything you need, he’ll take care of it for you.”
Kayla smiled and held out her hand, which Lucas took in his work-worn one. “It’s nice to meet you,” she said.
Lucas dipped his head. “Pleased to meet you, Ma’am.” He looked at Cord. “I have some things to talk to you about, but it’ll keep ‘til morning.”
Relieved at the interruption, Kayla pushed back her chair and got to her feet. “You two talk,” she told Cord. “I’m so exhausted from the trip that I’m half asleep at the table. It was nice meeting you, Lucas.” She smiled at Cord. “Good night, Cord.”
“Abigail,” was all he said, but she could feel his eyes on her as she left the kitchen. As she made her way up the stairs, the men’s voices carried to where she stood, and though she’d been taught never to eavesdrop, she paused a moment to listen to their conversation.
“She’ll make a very attractive wife,” Lucas said. “It’s difficult to believe that she’s not already spoken for.”
“I couldn’t agree more. The men in Boston must be crazy to have let her go.”
Kayla felt her pulse skip a beat at his words, and for a moment she wondered why her father couldn’t have found a man like this for her to marry instead of that yes-man, Delmont.
There was a pause before Cord spoke. “So, what was it you wanted to talk to me about?”
“McCauley sold his ranch to Dalton Jeffries this afternoon,” Lucas said.
“Damn,” Cord muttered.
“Someone cut his fences and made off with almost half his herd last night. His son was watching over them and got pretty beat-up. That was the last straw for him,” Lucas said. “A man can only take so much, you know.”
Their conversation about the other rancher continued, and since it sounded like Cord was going to be awhile, Kayla decided it was the perfect opportunity to snoop around. Thinking that the most likely place Cord would keep money or anything valuable would be his bedroom, she went there first. She wouldn’t take anything right now, of course. She just thought that it would be good to know where the valuables were kept.
It was right across the hall from hers, and she’d gotten a quick look at it when Cord had showed her around before. Taking the lantern from the table just inside the door, she used a match to light it, and then closed the door behind her.
Like the other room in the house, Cord’s bedroom was simply furnished. Besides the big four-poster bed and nightstands, there was a washstand with a mirror, a low dresser and a wardrobe, but it was the chest at the foot of the bed that caught her attention.
Placing the lantern on one of the nightstands, she knelt down beside the chest and lifted the lid. Thinking that there had to be something of value inside, she was surprised to find only some blankets, an oily jacket and two pistols with boxes and boxes of bullets.
Her brow furrowing, she sat back on her heels and looked around the room. That was when she saw it. A metal box underneath the bed. Now, there had to be something valuable in there, she thought. Lifting the edge of the quilt, she reached underneath the bed to pull it out. It was heavier than it looked, though, and she needed two hands to do so. With her bottom in the air, she scooted her head and shoulders as far as she could under the bed.
Which was exactly how Cord found her when he walked into his bedroom.
Unaware that she had an audience, Kayla grabbed hold of the latches on either side of the heavy box and yanked. It scraped along the floor, but didn’t budge much, and she tightened her grip, ready to pull on it again.
“Just what do you thing you’re doing?”
At the sound of Cord’s voice, Kayla jumped, thumping her head on the underside of the bed. Muttering something unladylike, she reflexively touched her fingers to the back of her head. Darn, but she’d thought Cord would be busy with his foreman at least long enough for her to get a look around. Knowing she couldn’t very well stay in this position while he was still standing there, she wiggled out from under the bed.
Smoothing a stray piece of silky auburn hair back from her face, she met Cord’s accusing gaze with one of complete innocence. “Cord!”
“Abigail,” was all he said.
She glanced at the bed, and then back at him, nervously smoothing her hair back again. “I…I was just looking for one of my hair pins.”
“Really?” He folded his arms across his chest. “It looked more like you were snooping to me.”
She flushed. “Snooping! I most certainly wasn’t snooping. I can’t believe you would even imply such a thing.” She tried to sound as indignant as she could.
He lifted a brow, but said nothing.
She bit her lip, and looked away. “Well…maybe I was snooping a little,” she admitted softly. He’d caught her red-handed, so she would have to try and wiggle out of this using her charm, a tactic that had worked many times before on the men in New York, especially her father. She turned big green eyes on him. “But I was just trying to find out more about you.”
He scowled. “By crawling around under my bed.”
Kayla managed to look suitably embarrassed. “I certainly realize that it looked bad, but I hope you understand that I’m just trying to ensure that you are the wonderful man that you described to me in your letters. After all, you know it’s quite a shock for me. Being out here all alone without my family back in Boston and all.” She put on a sad face as she spoke. She’d used this same expression often on her father with great results.
Cord regarded her in silence for a moment, but he didn’t appear to be swayed. “Well, I don’t know how they do things in Boston, Abigail, but out in the west, we respect other people’s private property. It’s a guiding principal out here that you’ll have to come to learn.”
She flushed again, and lowered her gaze. “I’m sorry, Cord,” she said quietly, hoping she sounded suitably chastised. “I won’t do it again.”
His mouth quirked. “Oh, I intend to make sure of that.”
As he spoke, he reached out to take her arm and led her over to the bed.
Kayla hung back. “What…what are you doing?”
But Cord ignored her question. Instead, he sat down on the bed, and in one swift motion, pulled her over his knee. Kayla simply lay there for a moment, too surprised to do more than that. He wouldn’t, she thought in disbelief, then let out a startled “Oh!” as his hand slapped her upturned bottom. Outraged, she struggled, trying to push herself upright, but a strong hand on her back held her in place while he spanked her again. Another followed, and then another, each slap harder than the previous one.
The spanks stung, even through the thick material of her dress, but more than that, it was the embarrassment of being held down across this handsome man’s strong thighs with her bottom in the air that made her struggle to free herself.
“Let me go!” she ordered indignantly, trying to push against him again.
“Not until you learn some manners,” he replied, lifting his hand to spank her again.
“What would a hick cowboy like you know about manners, anyway?” she demanded, craning her neck to look at him over her shoulder.
The insult earned her an even harder spank and she cried out in protest. “Obviously more than a spoiled city girl like you,” he retorted, bringing his hand down again and again on her poor bottom.
“Ouch! That hurts!” she whined.
“It’s supposed to hurt,” he told her, spanking her again. “How else are you going to remember not to snoop around in other people’s things?”
“Please, Cord,” she pleaded before he could continue with the spanking. “I won’t do it again.” Of course she would, she told herself; she just wouldn’t be foolish enough to get caught next time.
But her words must have been enough to sway Cord because he let her up. Or maybe he had just simply decided that she’d been punished enough. He had spanked her at least twenty or twenty-five times, she thought; her bottom was still throbbing even now that she’d stood up. She couldn’t decide if she should say something to him, or just turn and leave the room without another word, but he made the decision f