And then, finally it was over and Riley was back on her feet. Torn between slapping Cade Cutler across that handsome face of his for what he’d just done, and rubbing the sting from her throbbing ass, she chose the latter. She was afraid that if she tried to smack him, she’d be right over his knee again anyway.
As she stood there rubbing her bottom, Riley thought that she should at least be telling Cade off, but for the first time in her life, she was speechless. The man had given her a spanking! What kind of brute had they sent to protect her?!
Riley barely had time to think about his unselfish act before Cade was up and returning fire with his own weapon. She didn’t know if he hit the assailant or not, but regardless, the would-be assassin stopped shooting. A moment later, she heard the sound of retreating footsteps.
From where she lay on the floor, Riley looked up at Cade. He still had his weapon pointed toward the door. “Is he gone?” she asked softly.
Cade looked down at her. “Stay here,” he ordered. “And stay down.”
Realizing that Cade meant to go after the gunman, Riley opened her mouth to protest, but the Marshal had already gotten to his feet and was racing toward the front door.
Her heart pounding, Riley knelt behind the couch, trembling. What if the gunman came back? she thought. Or what if there was a second man, and the first one had just been meant to lure Cade away? Without Cade, she knew she wouldn’t stand a chance against a hit man.
Cade’s order to stay where she was echoed in Riley’s mind, and she chewed on her lower lip, debating whether to disobey it or not. To heck with this, she thought. Ignoring the Marshal’s command, she scrambled to her feet and ran out into the night after him.
“I don’t think I’ve seen you around before,” she said, giving him another smile.
He tore his gaze away from her perfect breasts. “Just passing through,” he told her.
Madoc thought he detected a hint of disappointment in her dark eyes at his words, but it was gone before he could be sure.
“Where are you headed?” she asked.
“Denver,” he said.
She looked at him in surprise. “Denver?”
He nodded. “Have you ever been there?” he asked curiously.
She reached up with one hand to adjust her glasses in what he was sure was an unconscious gesture. “Me?” she said. “No. I’ve never even been out of Flint Rock.”
Madoc regarded her for a moment. That was difficult to believe. “Really?” he said. “You kind of look familiar. I thought maybe we might have run into each other back there.”
That probably sounded like some sort of pick-up line, and a really lame one at that, Madoc thought, but it was true. Though he hadn’t noticed it when he’d first seen her, the more he looked at the waitress, the more sure he was he’d seen her somewhere before. Then again, maybe it was just wishful thinking.
She let out a nervous, little laugh as she reached up to fiddle with her glasses again. “I don’t think so,” she told him. “I’m sure I would have remembered if we had.”
He gave her a smile. “You’re probably right,” he agreed.
“If you had just come quietly like I told you to, then I wouldn’t be forced to do this,” he retorted, punctuating each word with a sharp slap to her derriere. “But you leave me no choice. Trust me, spanking you into submission is a lot better than the alternative.”
Shayna didn’t know what the alternative might be, but she had certainly never been spanked in her life, and she couldn’t believe how much it stung! But every time his hand came down on her ass, it felt like her cheeks were going to catch on fire.
“Now, if I let you up, are you going to behave yourself?” he asked, pausing momentarily.
Shayna gritted her teeth. Damn the man! “Yes!” she hissed. “Just let me up already!”
He slanted her a hard look. “No.”
“I promise I won’t try to escape,” she added.
Madoc let out a harsh laugh. “I’ve heard that before.”
“That was when we were back in Flint Rock and there were lots of places to go,” she pointed out. “It’s not like I can jump out of the truck. Besides, where would I go out here in this snow? Even if I managed to get away from you, I’d probably end up freezing to death.” A pause, then, softly, “Please.”
Madoc clenched his jaw. He had no doubt she was playing him. But, damn him, he had a weakness for beautiful women. And Shayna Matthews was definitely beautiful. What harm was there in uncuffing her? It wasn’t like she could really go anywhere.
Fuck! If his prisoner hadn’t been so dang sexy, would he even be considering taking the cuffs off? he asked himself. Probably not, he decided. But thirty seconds later, Madoc found himself slowing to a stop in the middle of the deserted highway and putting the truck in park. Shutting off the engine, he pulled the key out of the ignition.
“Turn around,” he ordered Shayna.
She blinked, clearly surprised that he had agreed, but then scooted around on the seat so that her back was to him. Inserting the key into the lock, he undid it, and then took off the cuffs. Rubbing her wrists, Shayna shifted around in her seat again to look at him.
“Thank you,” she said softly.
Madoc scowled at her, hoping he wasn’t going to regret this. If she thought that doe-eyed Bambi look of hers was going to have some sort of an effect on him, then she was wrong. It didn’t matter how damn sexy she looked in those black-rimmed glasses of hers.
“Just don’t get it into your head to try escaping again,” he said gruffly. “Because those spankings I gave you back at the boarding house will seem like love-pats compared to the one you’d get for making me chase you through this storm.”
Cade frowned slightly as he considered that. “You’re probably right,” he agreed after a moment. “I guess I’d better spank you now then.”
She gasped. “Now? Are you crazy? On the plane?”
But her husband had already taken her hand and was pulling her to her feet.
“Honey…” she began, but the words trailed off as he led her toward the back of the plane.
Since it was an evening flight, the interior of the cabin was dimly lit, something a blushing Riley was grateful for as they made their way to the restroom. She needn’t have worried, though, because none of the other passengers were paying any attention to them.
While Riley couldn’t deny that the thought of her gorgeous, dark-haired husband spanking her thirty-thousand feet in the air was rather thrilling, it also made her a little nervous, and she stopped outside the door to the restroom to voice her concerns to Cade.
“Honey, we can’t,” she protested. “Someone could hear.”
His mouth quirked. “Then we’ll have to make sure we’re quiet.”
As Cade opened the door and urged her inside, Riley could only wonder what had gotten into her husband. He was always up for adventure, especially when it came to sex, but they’d never done anything this daring. Not that she was complaining really. The whole thing was a major turn-on!
Madoc made a show of looking around the deserted rest area before lifting his gaze to hers again. “I don’t know. It seems pretty private to me.”
Her eyes widened. “You can’t be serious?”
“Why not?” He slid his hands up to cup her breasts through the thin tank top.
Shayna caught her breath as she felt her nipples immediately harden in response. It had always been a secret fantasy of hers to make love outdoors, but she didn’t think she could ever be bold enough to act it out.
“Madoc…” she began.
But her husband was already unbuttoning her khaki shorts and pushing them down her legs. As he gently ran his hands up her bare legs, Shayna felt the last of her resolve disappear, along with her shyness. Surely, they could have a quickie without getting caught, she told herself.
Shayna waited breathlessly for Madoc to take down her panties, but instead he surprised her by taking her hand and guiding her over one of his muscular legs. Though she went willingly, she couldn’t help but give him a confused look over her shoulder.
The corner of his mouth edged up. “Since I don’t know how much spanking we’ll be able to do while were at my parents’ ranch, I thought I’d give you one now to tide you over until we get home.”
Shayna hadn’t thought about that. But she supposed Madoc was right. They wouldn’t have much privacy at the ranch. Which would mean she would have to wait two weeks for another spanking.
She gave her dark-haired husband a naughty smile. “Well, when you put it that way, I definitely think you’re right. I do think you should give me a spanking.”
Riley squirmed on his lap; the mock scolding Cade was giving her was as much of a turn-on as the spanking that would soon accompany it.
Without warning, his hand suddenly came down on her ass with a sharp, resounding smack. She jumped, letting out a startled, little yelp.
“Don’t you?” he prompted again, giving her another smack.
“Owwww!” she squealed. “Not really, no. As I tend to remember, I never agreed to that whole ask-you-for-permission-to-buy-shoes thing.”
That earned her another half dozen spanks. “Oh, really? You don’t remember the conversation we had where you asked me to help you get control of your shoe buying fetish? I agreed because your side of the closet is already filled to capacity.” He paused long enough to administer several more firm smacks to each cheek. “I’m not sure you even have room for these boots.”
She shrugged, as much as she could shrug while hanging upside down over her husband’s knee. Even though the spanks stung, she couldn’t resist provoking him further. “I’ll just put them on your side of the closet then.”
Above her, Cade chuckled. “Ten extra for being so saucy,” he told her.
Riley looked over her shoulder to stick her tongue out at him.
“Make it twenty,” he said.
Though she gave him a pout, Riley couldn’t help but smile at their light banter as she turned back around to focus her gaze on the hay-strewn floor. The hand that came down on her bottom was anything but light, however, and she squirmed and yelped as he applied a series of stinging smacks to her entire bottom.
“Hey, that stings!” Shayna protested.
Madoc chuckled softly. “I’d better rub it and make it all better then.”
There was silence, then another soft, throaty moan from Shayna. Riley’s pulse fluttered wildly as she pictured her pretty, dark-haired friend draped over her husband’s lap while he lovingly rubbed her reddened bottom. It was just like Cade did to her, Riley thought. And it sounded as if Shayna liked it just as much as she did!
“Oh yeah,” Shayna breathed, the words barely audible through the door. “Touch me right there.”
“You girls could have been killed up there this afternoon, you know,” Cade said. “If Madoc and I hadn’t gotten there when we did, you would have been.”
She and Shayna didn’t really need a reminder of how stupid they had been to go up there, Riley thought, but she said nothing as Cade continued.
“And if you’ve ever deserved to get a spanking for something, this would definitely be it,” he said.
Riley blinked in surprise. She must have heard him wrong, she told herself, because Cade could not just have said the word “spanking” in front of Shayna and Madoc. But when she darted a quick look at the other girl, Riley saw that her friend was staring at them opened-mouth.
Riley swung her gaze back to Cade. “You’re can’t seriously be saying that you’re going to spank me in front of them, are you?
It was Madoc who answered. “Don’t worry,” he said. “Shayna is going to be getting a spanking, too.”
Stunned, Riley glanced at her friend to find the other girl blushing furiously and looking at Madoc in disbelief.