Nicky barely picked at her food. Her appetite deserted her completely when she thought about the punishment that was waiting for her after supper. Across from her, Jack sat silently, broad shoulders hunched, dark face like a thundercloud. The other ranch hands were talking quietly, their mood affected by their boss’s menacing gloom. Jack was the kind of person who carried his feelings around like his own separate atmosphere and anybody in the same room with him couldn’t help but be affected.
Did I push him too far? Doesn’t he love me anymore? She noticed that Jack wasn’t eating much either. Did that mean he was upset about what he was going to do? What was he going to do? From the moment she’d walked through his front door, he’d never raised a hand to her, had never touched her with anything but love and gentleness. Now he was going to what? Spank her? Beat her with his belt? Nicky just didn’t know and her heart was in her throat when she thought about how she was about to find out.
Jack noticed her watching him and his ice-blue eyes narrowed when he saw her nearly-full plate. “Not hungry tonight?”
Wordlessly, Nicky shook her head. She bit her lip, hoping he wouldn’t be even angrier with her for not eating. But instead of saying anything else, Jack rose from the table and pushed his own plate away. Then, giving her a significant look, he walked out and she could hear his worn boot heels stomp up the stairs to his room. The sound was filled with a grim promise that Nicky couldn’t ignore.
Might as well get it over with, she told herself with false bravado. Pushing away her own plate, she rose as well, oblivious to the looks the men at the table were giving her. She was wearing a new outfit, one she’d picked it out especially with Jack in mind.
She had on a denim mini skirt that was at least two sizes two small. The skirt was tight across her newly curvy hips and ass and it rode high on her thighs, nearly showing the tiny thong panties she’d bought herself at the mall, among other things, with Jack’s welcome home gift certificate.
For a top, she was wearing the first thing that Jack had ever bought her. It was a soft, comfortable T-shirt with the words, Yield to the Princess printed across its white surface in curving red letters. The T-shirt was soft and faded, worn thin by years and many washings but to Nicky is still spoke of love. It reminded her of the day Jack had bought it for her, of the day she first really knew she loved him and wanted to save herself only for him.
But while the shirt might have comforted her, it didn’t do much to cover her. It had been short when Jack bought it for her and that was back when she was bony and flat. Now the thin white cotton was stretched tightly over her full curving breasts, barely covering them and leaving her midriff completely bare. When she put her arms behind her back, one of her nervous habits, the creamy undersides of her breasts were visible along with a curving pink arc of areola. If she forgot and raised her arms over her head, her ripe pink nipples would be revealed, flashing whoever happened to be around.
But as Nicky climbed the stairs to her unofficial guardian’s room to face her punishment, she wasn’t thinking about what she had on. She was thinking about how much she loved Jack and hoping he wasn’t so angry with her that he forgot he cared for her too. She’d saved her innocence for him in more ways than one. Despite a strong natural curiosity about sex, she’d gone out of her way to avoid televisions shows, books or movies that might show more than she wanted to learn. She wanted Jack to teach her everything and to be the first and only man inside her body as he was the first and only man inside her heart.
She knew that lately she had been pushing things — wearing the skimpy little white baby-doll nightgown when he came to tuck her in and pressing her nearly naked body against him the night of the big thunderstorm. But no matter how hard she pushed, Jack refused to respond to her. She knew she had to be affecting him; the rigid lump of his hardening cock beneath her ass when she sat on his lap told her so. But Jack had refused to do anything about it, although she could tell that he wanted her as much as she wanted him.
How badly she had wanted to unzip his jeans and claim her prize — to take that long, thick shaft she could feel pressing against the groove of her ass deep into her sweet, wet pussy. She wanted to feel him press inside her, to break her maiden barrier and penetrate her, taking her long and slow and deep. Just the thought of it made her wet between her legs. Nicky pressed her thighs together, feeling the heat that was building there as well as the dampness behind her tiny thong panties. It made her almost despair when she realized that as long as Jack saw her as an immature little girl, what she wanted so badly would never happen.
How far would she have to go to get him to understand what she wanted from him? What she needed from him? How much would it take to push Jack over the line from guardian to lover?
Nicky wondered with a shiver if she had already pushed him too far. There was an intensity to Jack — a darker side that he seldom showed her that was only hinted at. She had a feeling that if he ever gave free rein to that dark, intense desire she knew he harbored inside himself, the consequences would be extreme. Though she longed to provoke the desire simmering under his seemingly calm surface, she often wondered if she would be able to handle the results.
Now, standing in front of his door with her hand raised to knock, she felt as though a flight of butterflies had just taken off inside her stomach. No matter what happens, I have to be strong. Have to show him I can take anything he can dish out. If I don’t prove myself now he’ll never take me seriously. With that resolution she knocked on the door and entered when she heard his low voice telling her to come in.
Jack’s office was also his bedroom and he conducted most of the Lazy Z’s business from the big antique roll-top desk that had been sitting in the corner of the room as long as Nicky could remember. But instead of sitting at the desk, he was lounging on the side of his bed, dressed in his customary tight jeans although he had taken off the Western style work shirt. Nicky eyes flitted over the broad muscular planes of his chest with the mat of black, curling hair and down to his lean hips where the dreaded black leather belt rested. Would he really use it on her?
“Nicollet.” The sound of her own name, gunshot sharp from his sensual lips, brought her attention back to his face and the blazing blue eyes that were currently glaring at her.
She opened her mouth to reply but he raised a hand to stop her.
“Don’t.” Getting off the bed he walked towards her. “You and I both know why you’re here, don’t we?”
Wordlessly, she nodded.
Jack frowned, taking a step closer to her. “That’s right.” His eyes softened a little as he took in her obvious fright. “You have to know I don’t want to do this, darlin’” The level of his voice went soft. “But I can’t have you runnin’ around acting the way you have been lately. Somebody might get hurt or killed next time and I sure as hell don’t want it to be you. Do you understand?”
Nicky nodded again, her breath catching in her throat as his large, capable hands dropped once more to the menacing black leather belt and began to unbuckle it.
“All right, then.” Jack’s voice grew hard and his eyes lost their softness, becoming cold chips of ice in his chiseled face. “It’s time you learned your lesson, Nicollet, and I can’t think of a better way to teach you than the way I was taught — with a belt.” He nodded at the high, old-fashioned four poster bed she had slept in with him on so many stormy nights. “Pull up your skirt and bend over the bed.” The tone of his voice was cold enough to freeze all the blood in her veins.
Nicky felt frozen to the spot. So he was really going to whip her? With his belt? She could scarcely believe it. Part of her wanted to back away and run down the hall, but where could she go that Jack couldn’t find her? Another part wanted to beg and plead — to tell him she hadn’t meant to act so foolishly and ask for another chance. But as Jack walked towards her, looping the black leather around his hand, another, more confident voice spoke up. Have to be strong — have to show him I’m not afraid . Nicky remembered her resolution before she had entered the room. She would be brave and take her punishment, not like an immature little girl as Jack so obviously saw her, but as a strong, unafraid woman. Besides, the thought of him whipping her, of being bare and vulnerable before him, was strangely arousing. She squeezed her thighs tightly together, feeling the heat that was beginning to grow there.
Straightening her spine, she looked him right in the eye, feeling the resolution fill her to the brim. “You can hit me, Jack.” He voice barely wavered at all. “You can beat me as hard as you want and maybe I deserve it. But I’m not afraid of you — not a bit. Do your worst.”
To show her utter lack of fear, she pulled off not only her skirt, but her panties as well and dropped them on the floor. Marching to the bed, she bent over it, taking a handful of the blue-green comforter in each sweaty palm and spreading her legs slightly bared her ass for his belt.
She felt the cool air of the room whispering over her tender nether lips and the tiny strip of blond curls that decorated her sex. She heard a low gasp from Jack as he saw her naked pussy open before him for the first time. Just knowing that his eyes were on her — that he was looking at her there , made her wet with need, despite the situation. Defiantly, she widened her stance, wanting to show him even more. Let him see that she didn’t fear him or his whipping. Let him see that she was a woman now, not a scared little girl to run crying at the first sign of danger or pain.
Let him see that she could take whatever he gave her and ask for more — much more.