Authors: Dinah McLeod
She nibbled her bottom lip as she considered his proposal. Really, there was no drawback for her. She’d need to get home somehow. The only problem was, even if she decided that she didn’t want to try again, she was afraid being in the same car with him would change her mind. Still, unless she made double the tips she’d gotten so far, she wouldn’t be able to afford a cab ride, and she’d really rather spend the money on groceries, anyhow. She was running low on ramen.
“Okay?” he echoed, with another heart-twisting grin. “Alrighty then, I’ll be here. Don’t you go runnin’ off on me now.”
“I wouldn’t dare,” she giggled.
“That’s right. It wouldn’t do you any good no-how. My horse is an excellent tracker, you know.”
She wrinkled up her nose as she considered him, smiling despite herself. “Really?”
“No,” he admitted. “But that wouldn’t stop me. Besides, I think I could sniff you out myself.” With that, he buried his nose in her neck and sniffed theatrically.
“Okay, okay!” she giggled, pushing him away even though she really didn’t want him to go.
“Two hours then. It’s a date.”
* * *
True to his word, when she got off her shift, even though she was almost half an hour late, Colton was sitting in the parking lot. No sooner had she spotted him than he was hanging out of his truck window and whistling at her.
As much as she wanted to play indifferent, her cheeks warmed at the mere sight of him and flushed deeper as he wolf-whistled at her. “Knock it off,” she scolded as she drew near.
“Oh, so you’re giving the orders now?” he challenged, raising both eyebrows.
“For the time being, yes,” she replied, trying to sound more confident than she felt.
His brows rose even higher, but he let it drop. “So, are you going to hop in?”
Scarlett looked down at her shoes and fidgeted for a moment. It was the question she’d been asking herself on a loop for the last two hours. She knew she was going to accept his offer of a ride home—she didn’t really have much choice. But the deeper question, the one he was really asking with those intense hazel eyes was whether things would go further between them. That was the one she hadn’t been able to answer herself yet.
“Let’s talk in the truck, where there’s air conditionin’,” he suggested. “You’ve got to be hot. It’s ninety degrees out.”
No sooner was the word out of her mouth than Colton was hopping out of the truck and taking her by the elbow, gently leading her to the passenger side. It was sort of embarrassing in a way, but so endearingly sweet that it canceled out any discomfort she might have felt.
“How was the rest of your shift?” he asked as he opened the door.
“Have you worked there long?”
“No, just six months.” Scarlett sat down and reached for the seatbelt, but then to her surprise Colton took it and put the strap across her shoulder before clicking it into place. “Um… thank you.”
“Um, you’re welcome,” he replied with a wink before shutting the door.
She couldn’t help but be nervous around him, it seemed. From the moment that he sat across from her, she felt like a bumbling idiot.
“Oh, um, I live in the, you know, Corner Villa apartments. Off Bell Street?”
“Hmm.” He frowned heavily as he started the engine and just the sight of it made her squirm.
“Is something wrong?”
“No, of course not. I’m just surprised that you live in that area, that’s all.”
“What’s so surprising about it?”
“It’s not the best place for a girl like you to live, is it?” Colton looked over his shoulder as he pulled out of the parking lot.
“A girl like me?” she echoed, not liking the sound of it one bit.
“Yeah. You know. You’re a tiny little thing, that’s all I’m sayin’. It makes me worry, is all.”
She should have been touched, but instead, she just felt annoyed. “It’s not your job to worry about me.”
“I know that, Scarlett. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t.”
“Besides, it’s what I could afford,” she muttered, the admission making her slump in her seat. She could feel Colton glance at her, but she didn’t look up.
“Well, I’d imagine that would be the case, livin’ on tips and all. Have you ever thought about doin’ somethin’ else?”
“Of course I’ve thought about it. It just hasn’t happened yet.”
“So, what would you like to do?” he queried.
“I don’t know, sometimes I think I’d like to be a detective.”
“For the police?”
“Yes, for the police,” she replied, rolling her eyes.
“That wasn’t very respectful, Scarlett,” he informed her, going from friendly to authoritative in two seconds flat. “I was just asking a question.”
“Oh, so I have to be respectful now, do I?” she sneered, not even knowing why she was pushing him so hard.
“You do if you want to ride in my car.”
“You’re the one who offered to drive me in the first place,” Scarlett muttered, looking out the window.
Without a word, Colton signaled and pulled the truck to the side of the road and shut off the engine.
“What are you doing?” When she turned to him and saw the hard look in his eyes, her heart jumped into her throat.
“We’re going to sit here until you’d like to change that tone of yours.”
Scarlett didn’t know what to do with a man who stood his ground, who did what he said he would. She hadn’t ever known anyone like Colton before and as much as there was a part of her screaming at her to apologize, she just couldn’t. She was too stubborn, and truth be told, still a little hurt and angry even though she’d done her darndest to move past it.
“Fine. I’ll walk.” Her hand was on the handle when he spoke in a tone that literally sent chills down her spine, it was so commanding.
“Little girl, if you open that door, I promise you’ll wish you hadn’t.”
“You can’t do this,” she whined, sounding much less convincing than she would have liked. “You can’t boss me around.”
“Look, I’m real sorry that you’ve apparently had a bad day—”
“My day was fine,” she grumbled.
“Okay, then fill me in. Why are you in such a sour mood? Please, feel free to share, because I’m dyin’ to know.”
“That’s fine, I can wait.” He made a show of laying his seat back and pushing his hat down over his eyes as though he was ready to take a nap.
Scarlett watched him, debating on whether or not to come clean. She didn’t want to. God, how she didn’t want to. She didn’t want to risk being that open, that vulnerable again, especially in light of what had happened before. Then again, didn’t everyone deserve a second chance? If her pitter-pattering heart had anything to say about it, then Colton did.
“I’m scared.” She spoke so softly, she wasn’t sure he’d heard her. She knew she must look like a wild, frightened animal, and she hated herself for it. Yet, when he tipped his hat back and looked her square in the eye, she saw nothing but kindness there.
“I reckon I can understand that, and I’m mighty sorry to be the cause of it. But I sure would like to make it up to you.”
“It’s… it’s not just you.”
“But I didn’t help matters none,” he guessed, sitting up only when she gave a tiny nod. “Tell me what I can do, Scarlett. I know I don’t deserve it, but I’ma have to ask you to help me out here.”
“I… it’s hard to think when you’re looking at me like that.” She ducked her head as soon as the words escaped her mouth. She couldn’t believe she’d actually said that out loud! Oh, what she wouldn’t give for the floor to open up and swallow her whole right now!
“Like what, darlin’?”
“Scarlett? Come on, honey. Talk to me.”
When he put his hand over hers for extra encouragement, she felt her sex clench and her panties dampen all at once. “Like… like you want to hug me and never let go and devour me in the same moment.”
“That about sums it up.”
Shyly, she lifted her eyes to see if he was making fun of her. To her utter astonishment, he looked quite serious. “But why? Why me?”
“Why you?” he echoed. “Scarlett, don’t you know that you’re the cutest, most adorable, most ravishing little thing I’ve ever laid eyes on?”
The compliment literally took her breath away. Her heart was no longer pounding like a drum in her chest because it had ceased to beat at all. For a moment, she didn’t know what to think, much less what to say. “Then why did you tell me to go home the other day?” she asked once the fog had somewhat lifted.
“Because you make me nervous, little girl.”
“Me?” she screeched in disbelief. “
“Damn right you do.”
“I… I don’t… I’m sorry, I just can’t even wrap my head around that right now,” she admitted, looking at him with round, awed eyes.
“That’s okay, I’ll give you all the time you need. Now, I believe you owe me an apology.”
She was so stunned by what he’d revealed that it took her a moment to realize what he was talking about. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have spoken to you like that.”
“Good girl,” he praised, giving her hand a squeeze. “Now, you can say no, but I think a spanking is in order for that attitude you gave me earlier.”
Scarlett had never felt so overwhelmed in her life. There was just too much, too many revelations and questions and they all swirled around in her brain until she could hardly think straight. But she couldn’t deny that at the word
her pussy had opened like a floodgate, completely soaking her underwear. She squirmed in her seat, biting her bottom lip hard when she considered that if she agreed, he might see them! Then what would he think of her?
But the truth was she
him to spank her. God help her, she might not know why, but she did. The one he’d given her before hadn’t been fun by any means—it had stung like hell for days afterwards—but somehow it had left her feeling relaxed in a way that she hadn’t felt in months. Maybe even years.
“Okay,” she said at last, sneaking a quick glance to observe his reaction. She wasn’t disappointed—his face lit up in a way that warmed her heart. Was it possible that he did truly care about her?
Colton quickly unbuckled his seatbelt and patted his knee.
“Here?” Scarlett squeaked, her eyes widening. “You want to spank me here?”
“Well, technically I’m going to spank your cute ass, but yes, here, in my truck.”
“I…” She glanced apprehensively out the window. “I don’t know, Colton.”
“What don’t you know, sweetheart?”
Those words were gentle as any caress and when he reached over to cup her chin, his touch feather-light and full of strength all at once, her eyes suddenly filled with tears.
“Hey, what’s this for?” he asked in obvious concern as a tear slid down her cheek.
“I don’t know,” she sniffled.
“Sure you do. Now, let me in on the secret so that I can make it better.”
She gave him a watery smile—oh, how she wished he could. “It’s nothing. I guess… I’m just scared.”
“Scared of me?”
“Not of you, exactly… although I’d feel a bit better about going over your knee if your hand didn’t hurt so much.”
“It wouldn’t hurt so much if you weren’t so incurably naughty.”
Scarlett smiled at his light, easygoing tone. “I… have you ever wanted something so badly that when you were close to getting it, it scared you?”
Colton tilted his head to the side and surveyed her. “I think I know what you mean, yeah. But you don’t have to worry—I already told you I’d spank you.”
She rolled her eyes and giggled despite herself. Colton certainly had a gift for putting her at ease. “Not that.”
“Then what? You don’t have to be afraid of anything when you’re with me, pretty girl.”
But that was just it—it was the way he made her feel that was precisely what she was afraid of. Yet, she couldn’t bring herself to admit it aloud. He’d laugh at her or change his mind altogether and she suspected that if it happened a second time, her heart truly would break. “It’s nothing. Just cold feet, I guess.”
“Ah. Well, how ‘bout I warm them up right after I do the same for your bottom? Oh, there you go again,” he wagged his finger at her, “rolling your eyes at me. I think you’re long overdue for a tail warming, missy.” Without another word, his hand dropped down to her wrist and he gently tugged her toward him.
She could have pulled away if she’d really wanted to. She could feel that he was giving her the chance to change her mind, but even though her heart was pitter-pattering so fast she thought it might escape her chest any moment, she didn’t want to stop him. Not for anything.
“I want you to lie down over my lap, honey.”
She looked down at her hands and squirmed. “Can’t you just do it?”
“Come on. Show me you want to be my good girl.”
The words were like an elixir of courage for her nerves and she somehow managed to do as he asked, though she felt like a fumbling moron as she lay over his knees. His thighs pressing into her stomach made her tummy flutter nervously, yet she thought it might be the best feeling she’d ever experienced.
“Now I want you to ask for it.”
Colton’s voice was as soft and smooth as velvet and sent a shiver of excitement shooting along her spine. It was a moment before his words even registered. “Ask for what?”
“I… but… I don’t know how.”
“Don’t worry, you’re about to learn.”
Scarlett could hear the humor in his voice and when she rolled her eyes at him, she was immediately relieved to be over his lap where he couldn’t see. “What am I supposed to say?”
“Why don’t you start with asking me to spank you?”
“I…” Scarlett squirmed uncomfortably as she tried to think of how to do what he wanted. Suddenly, she felt tongue-tied and didn’t think herself capable of getting any words out, much less those. Her pulse picked up speed as her cheeks flushed in embarrassment. It was one thing to be spanked, but asking for it? She just didn’t see how she could do it.
As she lay over his lap fidgeting and trying to think of what to say, she thought he might scold her or get impatient, but Colton just waited for her, seeming content to give her the time she needed, no matter how long that might be.