Authors: Dinah McLeod
“You know what,” Colton said, leaning across the table toward her. “If you’re not careful, I just might be.”
Her mouth dropped open and her eyes widened until she thought they might bulge out of her head. What the hell had just happened here?
“And you wanna know somethin’ else, missy? I think you just might like that.”
“Yeah, that’s ‘bout what I thought you’d say.” He sat back in the booth, feeling damn-well pleased with himself.
She couldn’t speak. She tried, but though her lips parted, words escaped her. Suddenly, the air around her felt electrified, so much so that every hair on her body stood on end. She should laugh at him. That, or slap his arrogant, oh-so-handsome face. But she did neither of these things. She couldn’t move. The way her chest tightened, constricting around the beating drum of her heart, she didn’t think she’d be able to breathe much longer, either.
“Is that how you get your rocks off?”
“You don’t know the half of it, little lady.”
She refused to let his wink make her blush or distract her from her question. “Is that what you’ve done with the girls you’ve dated?”
“Now you oughta know that I’m not the kind of man who kisses and tells. But let’s just say that I tend to give orders.”
Scarlett felt a delicious shiver skitter across her skin. “Why’s that?”
“Because I’m good at it,” he replied, as though it was the simplest thing in the world.
Oh, that she’d believe. She had no doubt that Colton was good at many things, and she was sure giving orders was chief among them. She knew that his calmly stated arrogance should make her want to run in the other direction, but instead she found herself glued to her chair. Ridiculous or not, she just had to know more.
“And the girls you’ve been with… they like getting orders?”
“Some of them did. Others were… well, let’s just say that I can be
With those arresting eyes, that knee-weakening grin and strong jaw of his—lined with just the right amount of dark stubble—she doubted he had to do much talking at all.
“It’s my turn to ask a question now,” he said. “Is that something that would appeal to you?”
“Which one? Being given orders, or…” She glanced around subconsciously before lowering her voice, “having a daddy?”
She picked up her sweaty glass and brought it to her lips, draining half the Coke in one swig just to have an excuse not to reply straight away. She needed time to think. Hell, what she probably needed was a first-class ticket out of there.
* * *
Colton couldn’t believe the turn their conversation had taken. He’d been at half-mast ever since he’d suggested that he be her daddy and seen the look in her eyes. Her angel blue eyes had looked bright and feverish in a way that made him want nothing more than to play doctor. God, what was she doing to him? He was used to quick meet-and-greets, one-night stands, fuck buddies. Yet, something about this girl told him that if he ever got her in bed he’d never want her to leave, which was precisely why he’d suggested they leave his trailer in the first place.
It was ridiculous, what she was doing to him. What was it about her that made him feel like he was swallowing his heart every time he was in her presence? It was those eyes, he decided, admiring her baby blues. Or that halo of soft, beautiful hair. Or that plump, spankable ass.
Then again, he’d slept with more than a handful of beautiful women—some of them even prettier than her. So what was it then?
There’s only one thing to do,
he told himself as he watched her swallow her drink. Just the sight of her swan-like, pale throat made him think of other, more pleasant things he’d like to see her swallow. He’d been overcome with this brand of sickness before, just as evident by the way the air grew heavy around him as the fever in her eyes.
“I… I don’t know,” she said, though the way her voice caught on the words, he would have bet his last dollar that she was lying.
“Well, there’s only one way to find out.”
Her cheeks colored in a way that stirred his cock even further. “When?” she murmured, so softly that he had to strain to hear the question.
Just then, he caught sight of their waitress approaching with their food. “After your salad.” He leaned toward her and whispered, “And you better eat every bite, little girl.”
* * *
As they pulled up to his trailer, Scarlett felt her heart thumping wildly in her chest, just as it had earlier that morning when she’d first approached it. She hadn’t known what to expect—she’d thought that he might laugh at her and send her on her way. And here she was sitting in the exact same boat, not sure what to expect, but certain that she was nervous about all the possibilities.
There was something special about Colton. She’d known that when she’d watched him jump onto the bull last night and ride him for all that he was worth. He’d stayed on for nearly thirty seconds—she knew, because she’d counted each one with a breathless sense of anticipation. And when he’d been thrown, she’d felt her heart drop down to her stomach and there it had stayed until he’d gotten up and dusted himself off, a big grin on his handsome face as the crowd cheered its approval. It must have only been seconds, but she’d thought she might stop breathing altogether.
She’d been shocked beyond belief when he’d put her over his knee and spanked her the night before, yet she’d allowed it. For one thing, she knew she’d deserved it, and for another, there was something oddly sweet about being corrected. It had felt like he genuinely cared. She hadn’t expected to see him again, but she hadn’t been able to keep away. She’d lain awake most of the night with a tingling rear, unable to think of anything but the way his hand had felt punishing her bottom. She’d only managed to catch a few hours of sleep after concocting a plan to see him again in the morning.
She was glad she had—at least, she thought she was. But sitting next to him and feeling the knots in her stomach clench and unclench, she wasn’t altogether sure.
“Well, we should probably be gettin’ in.”
He locked those hazel eyes on her, and she saw the question in them, in the slight quirk of his mouth. He was giving her an out, if she wanted to take it. Did she?
“I see you squirming over there,” he commented in his soft, husky voice as the corners of his mouth quirked. “Is your poor bottom still sore, or are you nervous?”
“I’m fine,” she lied, feeling her cheeks warm under his scrutiny. Damn it, why did he have to read her so easily?
“I don’t quite believe you,” he murmured, “but I’ll let it slide this time.”
Scarlett bit down on her bottom lip and flushed even hotter. She didn’t know why she even bothered—the man seemed to be able to read her emotions as though there were captions above her head. Either that, or she was just a terrible liar.
“I’m not going to pressure you into anything, honey. It’s your decision and I won’t think of you any differently no matter what you decide.”
Somehow, that made her feel better. “Okay,” she whispered, feeling equal parts excited and antsy all at once.
“Come on, then, before I do anything to make you change your mind.”
When he gave her a wink, she couldn’t help but giggle. He hopped out of the truck and walked around to her side, opening the door for her and offering her a hand. She’d never had a man open the door for her—she hoped she didn’t look as slack-jawed with surprise as she felt. She took his hand and let him help her to her feet, giving an involuntary shiver of excitement when Colton placed his hand on the small of her back and guided her to his trailer. Her heart was racing a mile a minute and could have surely powered a motorboat just then.
Once they were inside, Colton held the door open for her to walk through and shut it behind her, once again making her heart skip a little faster. She wasn’t used to being around men that still believed in being gentlemen—they both stood facing each other, awkwardly smiling and shuffling their feet for a second. She knew why she was here—or, at least she thought she had some idea—but she wasn’t sure what the next step was.
If Colton’s tapping the toe of his boot on the floor was any indication, neither did he.
“Would you like something to drink?” he asked at last.
She nodded, because at least holding a cup would give her something to do with her shaking hands. She suspected he’d had the same thought.
“What’ll it be? I’ve got sweet tea, water, beer. Hey, how old did you say you were again? Are you legal yet?”
“Not to drink,” she replied, a little more coyly than she’d intended.
Colton’s arched eyebrow told her that her comment wasn’t lost on him.
“Sweet tea is fine, thanks.” She smiled nervously when he brought her the cold glass, grateful to have something to hold onto. “Thank you.”
“My pleasure, ma’am.” He tipped his hat at her, making her giggle.
“I can’t believe you just said that.”
“Why? Too corny?”
“Maybe just a little,” she said, taking a sip of her drink.
“Just trying to break the ice a little.”
When Colton sat down beside her, she couldn’t help but notice that there were only three teeny, tiny inches between them. Such a small space, and yet…
“Do you think you need a daddy, Scarlett?”
“W-what?” she stammered, nearly dropping her glass. Her fingers clasped around it just in time and she quickly put it on the coffee table in front of her. She’d been so distracted by the sight of his hard thigh, the one she’d gone over mere hours ago, that she’d almost forgotten why she was there.
“I said, do you need a daddy?”
“Look at me when I’m talking to you, young lady.”
Despite her ever-increasing embarrassment, when he used that gentle, yet firm tone, her eyes were drawn to him like magnets. “I don’t know,” she whispered.
“See, I think you do. I think the simple fact that you didn’t say ‘hell, no!’ and throw your drink in my face means that you know.”
“Well, I wouldn’t want to get spanked again.” Immediately, her cheeks burned after she blurted out the first thing that came to mind.
“Oh, and you would definitely be getting that.” His easy grin was irresistible and she found herself smiling back at him, moments before he closed the distance between them.
“Have you… been that to other girls… before?”
Mutely, she nodded.
“No, I haven’t. While I’ve been with one or two who’ve needed their hides tanned from time to time, I have never been with a girl who needed a daddy. But you do, don’t you?”
She couldn’t help it—she dropped her eyes again, afraid to look at him and have him see the vulnerability that must be etched over every inch of her face. She knew it must be, because she felt it to the depths of her soul.
“Tsk, tsk. You’re doing it again. I tell you what, from now on every time I ask you a question and you don’t answer, I think I’ll put you in the corner.”
“What?” The corners of her lips quirked. “You can’t be serious.”
“Oh, I can’t, huh? Well, I ‘spect it’s time for you to find out just how serious I am, Miss Scarlett.” With that, he reached over and put a firm hand on her shoulder, pulling her to her feet.
Before she had time to make a sound of protest—would she have, anyway?—she found herself facing one of the corners of his trailer. The first thing she noticed was that it needed dusting. The second was that she was
standing in a corner
. It felt surreal—and yet, somehow oddly, belly-knotting, breath-hitching delicious.
“There, now you can just stay there until you realize that I’m a man of my word.”
* * *
Colton could hardly believe he’d just put a grown woman in the corner. Well, almost grown, anyway. Not that you’d know it, to look at her. With her innocence and fragility, often she struck him as more of a real-life doll. Albeit a very beautiful, very sexy one. Age play had never really been his scene—in fact, nearly every woman who’d warmed his bed knew he had kinky, dominating tendencies. But something about Scarlett seemed to bring out his inner white knight and make him want to protect her.
As he sat there, watching her quiver in embarrassment and perhaps something more—anticipation?—he could imagine getting under that skirt, sliding her panties down… his mouth watered at just the thought. He wondered what she’d taste like.
And then he imagined the innocence in her eyes, the sweet, little-girl innocence, and he hated himself for being a pig. He couldn’t lay a hand on this girl. He couldn’t trust himself to touch her. If he did, he’d just taint her somehow, take away the innocence that made her so beautiful. As much as he liked her now, if he got her between the sheets, she’d just turn out like every other girl he’d fucked. And she deserved better than that.
“Yes?” she giggled nervously, turning to look at him.
“Uh, I just saw the time and… well, I forgot… there’s somewhere I need to be right now.”
“You what?” She blinked in confusion.
“I have to go.”
“You… you have to go,” she repeated, confusion slowly giving way to disbelief. “But… I thought…”
“I know. And I’m sorry. But I really need to go.”
“Oh, um. Yeah. Sure.” Her pretty cheeks turned the color of ripened strawberries as she gathered her purse, gave him an awkward wave, and turned to leave. He watched her every step. She paused at the doorway, and his breath caught in his chest as he waited to see what she would say. Then, with a little shake of her head, she threw open the door and left, slamming it shut behind her.
* * *
He smelled her before he saw her: a strange, intoxicating mix of apple and honeysuckle. His pulse picked up as his eyes slid toward her. She was wearing a stiff, starched waitress uniform reminiscent of the 1950s and still, she looked beautiful to him. Well, except for the scowl on her face that surely had something to do with the guy who was talking to her in a low undertone.
Colton couldn’t help it; he didn’t like the look of him. And it wasn’t
because he was jealous to see her with another man. No, it had to do with his rapidly shifting eyes, the way that his leg bounced incessantly as though he had a nervous tic. Something in his slouching manner indicated that he wasn’t a man to be trusted. Add to that the fact that his angular face was scrunched up in anger and Colton felt he had no choice but to learn more.