Chapter Six

Bronze Study, Castle Gate, Kingdom of Gates

Monday, November 22, 3515

I felt him pull away from me and I slid down the wall, my feet tentatively coming to rest on the floor. The remnants of my gown inadequately shielded me from the chill of the room and I brought my arms up to cover my body. He walked away, fixing his attire absentmindedly. When he reached his desk, sitting at the edge, he gestured me forward. I pulled up the pieces of my gown that still clung to my body, ignoring the goose-pimples that crept up my skin. I considered him for a moment before shaking my head, pushing myself back against the wood paneled wall. He frowned, a small crease between his brows before snapping his fingers and twisting a slender black cane out of thin air. I felt my stomach tighten and edged sideways, closer to the door.

"Augie, I will only make this as hard as you wish. Come here. Now."

"Are you going to beat me?" I asked, jutting my chin out.

"I am." He made no further comment.

"Then I won't come to you!"

"That isn't an option, Augatha, and I won't tell you again to come here."

I bit my lower lip and considered what my options could be but didn't get far before I found my feet moving forward.

"No!" I tried to stop; I forced my mind into a million blocks, but he was stronger. He had had years to perfect his gift, whereas I was only just getting used to mine. In moments I was standing in front of him, still trying to force my mind to throw off the weight of his. I didn't know I was crying until he reached out and wiped a tear from my eye.

"Stop fighting me, Augie; I am older, stronger and your lord."

"You're not— we haven't said the vows yet!"

"Am I not?" He tipped my chin up so I would meet his eyes. I quailed under that steely gaze and stared at a point on his left shoulder.

"Look at me and answer the question."

I felt the weight of his power leave my mind and the relief was dizzying. But he had me in his grasp now; even physically there was no way I could match Jonathan.

"Am I not your lord, Augie?"

I was shaking, my body trembled like a leaf under his hand, under his eyes. I knew the words that threatened to spill from my lips. I knew he wasn't even forcing me. I knew I couldn't stay silent any longer.

"You…are." I felt perhaps a brief moment of relief at saying the words out loud. Maybe it was helped by the slow smile that grew over my betrothed's lips.

"Put your hands down."


"Put your hands down and don't cover yourself before me again." It took a few moments for the words to register in my mind, but they were followed swiftly by a sharp rap of the cane on my right knuckles. I jerked them away, dropping my hands from their protective wrap around my torso. I felt the dress begin to fall and instinctively reached to cover myself again.

"Don't." He stopped me with the cane, its hard length, cool against my fingers.

"I'm quite enjoying the view." I forced my hands down again and tried to get comfortable with Jonathan's contemplative gaze assessing, my open charms. And then he touched my left breast with the cane, just a brush, and that was all it took for my hands to jump up again.

He looked up from my chest and met my eyes for a brief moment, before turning and dropping the cane on his desk. He pulled me forward, taking both my hands in one of his.

"No, no, I'm sorry, I won't do it again," I was already promising.

"Won't you? Keep your hands down. Now." I brought them down quickly, hoping to demonstrate amazing obedience. But then he raised a hand, bringing it a hair's breadth from my cheek. I hadn't even realized I'd brought my hand up again, until I saw he'd stopped.

"Won't you?" He repeated.

"I'm so—sorry, but please don't hit me?"

I slowly put my hands down, feeling a bubble of apprehension blowing up inside me.

He stared at me for a moment, before nodding slowly and sitting back against the edge of his desk.

"I won't hit you; don't cover yourself again."

I nodded too, relief and anxiety colliding in my mind. I didn't remember a time when I'd asked for leniency before and Jon had listened.

"Very good. Now to more urgent matters. You've been wanting my attention for some time now, Augie. I'm going to give it to you."

"That was…I didn't mean…is that…is that why you said you were going to beat me?" He chuckled and I knew it was my careful phrasing.

"That is one reason, yes."

"What…is another reason?"

"Hmm…" he hummed the word, his hands soothing mine, feeling warm and large. "I'd thought I was responding to your testing me…until perhaps, now."


"Now I think…I think I'm eager, Augie, to show you the power I have. The power I can have over you. The question though, is are you prepared for that?"

"I've always been," I heard myself say. It sounded true to me, in any case.

"Have you? Do you understand what that means?"

"Honest, respectful…and obedient?" I asked in a quiet voice. I had never voiced these attributes before, but I'd always imagined they had been written at the top of the list of traits for any partner of the prince.

He chuckled and stroked my cheek. I felt warm all over, and simultaneously felt the tingle of goose pimples over my chest.

"Loyal, brave, and trusting," he intoned, drawing me closer to his body.

I felt my chest begin to rise and fall rapidly. Even though he had taken me – a fact I had not yet properly thought through – I felt a rush of excitement at being so close to him, being so exposed.

"Your power, Augie, is immense and only just starting to bloom. I feel it, when I touch you, do you feel mine?" I shut my eyes for a moment, focusing on the energy that strummed between us, like a tightly strung harp. I nodded slowly, thinking how lovely it was that we were having this moment of bonding.

"But now, to more important matters," he said brusquely, almost as if he'd caught himself being drawn into the moment as well. He drew my hands above my head, and I knew what he intended and began to fight him in earnest.

"Wait, wait, why?!"

He paused a moment, spinning me around to face him. I was still pulling down from his hold, until he tightened his grip. I winced at the strength and halted my fight.

"Think of this, Augie, as a reminder of what consequences there are to crossing me."

"But…but I remember! I don't…I really don't need a reminder!"

"You're lying; your body may remember, but your mind does not. It is completely useless for me to mention punishments if you can't frame them in your mind."

"But I can, I promise, please, I don't need it!"

"Prove it, then," he said, after staring at me for a heartbeat. He loosened his grip and lowered my hands.

"Prove it? How?"

"Use your mind, call the memory and show me that you remember."

"I don't…I haven't done something like that before…"

"I'll show you," he interrupted my hesitation. In a moment I could see and feel in my mind the roiling power of lust that he'd felt while he took me. My knees weakened, my limbs became like jelly, and I had to gasp to keep from becoming lightheaded.

"Call the feeling, send it toward me. In the future, I will ask you how you feel and there are times I will expect you to do this. Think of it now as practice."

I nodded and tried to compose myself after that erotic rush. I blinked a few times, swallowed and tried to recall what it felt like to be punished by Jon. The problem was, as soon as it became a palpable thing, my fear would creep out and I'd shut it away before I could send it over. I tried four times, and in frustration, sent out a wave of confusion that I'd tried to strip of fear.

He had watched me intently through this and I wanted to sit, from exhaustion. I opened my mouth, and he placed a finger over it.

"Hush. Come." Before I could think, he'd stripped off the rest of my gown and picked me up, walking toward the large couch. He set me down on my feet and let me sit. I remembered just in time not to cover my now nude form. I wondered if things would be better or worse if he were also naked. I saw him smile, before taking a seat beside me. Had he heard that? Could he?

"I can, you're sending those over quite clearly."

I didn't gasp, I just felt my jaw drop quietly.

"How is that possible? I'm not trying…am I?" I looked within myself, held a thought and asked him, "Did you hear that?"

"No, I felt something though…warm and…spicy?" I had called to mind the memory of my first Gatean chocolate but had only tried sending the feeling and not the literal thought. I felt my smile grow as I realized I could send just emotions, sensations. I took a deep breath and let it out.

"Okay, I want to try again." He gestured me encouragement. But as soon as the concrete memory took form, the fear came too, and I forced it down. I sighed, and I felt him take my hand.

"What are you trying not to send?"


It's hard to split a memory into distinct emotions when they are entangled. Also, I would like to know if you're afraid.

It's overwhelming…it makes me want to cry and hide.

You've never hidden from me, have you?

I've wanted to…I think you stopped me each time I was too afraid.

Have I really? I've noticed sometimes you get a look in your eye that tells me you'd like to escape.

Here's how it feels, I think.

I called forth the memory of a spanking, of the fear that I would be found out, the guilt before the sentence, the panic before the punishment, the anxiety before the first stroke and the fire that burned through the smacking. I knew there were tears in my eyes when I sent the feeling to Jon.

A contemplative look touched his brow and his eyes seemed to pierce further into mine.

Fearing punishment is okay, it keeps you from courting it too often. "Or it should." I jumped a little to hear him speak after communicating silently for so long. It had felt easier to unpack my feelings that way, whereas I would have stumbled with the words out loud, I had no filter when I spoke with my mind.

So, I don't need a reminder, right?

You do.

I felt myself frown and then I was getting up, taking two or three steps back. The weight of his mind was no longer there and the impulse to run was strong.

"Come. Sit." He looked up at me, with hooded eyes. Eyes that had grown almost white with irritation. Irritation? I didn't think I'd ever deciphered that emotion from Jon before, but it was clear to me now. I would perhaps have thought he was just angry before.


"Because I've asked you to."

"And if I don't?" I felt my chin rising. "Will you…?" I hesitated over the words. Beat me?

He raised a brow.

"I won't ask again."

"What will you do?"

"Judging by that defiant look in your eyes, you'll find out soon enough." He sounded…amused. He was no longer irritated…well perhaps just a bit. But he was comfortable; he could handle me, no matter my rebellion. Was this the insight into him, I'd always wanted to have? I felt a brief flair of irritation myself, because he was right. I couldn't fight him, no matter that I'd ascended under the Dragon. Shouldn't dragons be stronger than lions? Perhaps if I practiced…I could fight him one day. But I couldn't let on what I planned. I walked back to the couch and took my seat once more.

The edge of his mouth curled up slightly and he watched me shift under his gaze, my hands folded primly in my lap. I didn't even move when he leaned forward and took my chin. He drew my face forward and placed his lips on mine. My eyes closed instinctively, and I sank into the wave of lust that rushed forth. His tongue tasted mine and I felt a shock between my legs, and squirmed. I couldn't move though; his grip didn't loosen. Not that I wanted it to end. The thought came unbidden and I felt him smile against my mouth. Had he heard that?!

He pulled away and I opened my eyes to see him watching me with amusement and…fascination.

"I cannot stop you from plotting, Augatha, but understand that I won't let you win."

Not that I could not win, but that he would not let me. I bit my lip and looked down, feeling the tendrils of irritation again. I wanted to fight him. I wanted him to not be so smug, but the rational part of my brain warned me that it would not end well.

"It won't." His short answer made my frown more pronounced. I tried to pull away from him, but he would not let go.

I looked up to glare at him, but what I saw gave me pause. The amusement was gone now and was replaced with something distinctly less friendly.

"You have a short memory, darling," he said, softly. I swallowed and shook my head.

"I don't, I don't mean to be so stubborn…" I trailed off.

"Is that what you're being? Right now?"

"You won't have to let me win," I heard myself say.

"Do you think that?" He smiled. Then released my chin, only to take my hands in one of his, and pull me forward to fall over his thighs.

"No!" I tried to push up, but he just adjusted his grip, and pulled my right arm behind me. When I tried to elbow him in the ribs with my free left arm, he captured that too.

"No, no don't! I haven't–

I didn't finish my protest before the hard smack of his palm across my bottom stunned me. He spanked me five more times, while I tried in vain to escape.

"You know, Augie, I've grown tired of this conversation. No, not tired," he corrected with a particularly hard smack. "Bored. I've grown bored. And so, I'm going to make you beg me."

"What? No, no you can't!"

"I think you'll find that I can. Now, furnish some pretty pleas, my dear, or we'll be at this for some time."

"No! No, I won't!" I didn't know where I got this defiance from, even over his lap. He paused his smacking to caress my skin and the moment forced a sob from me, because it caused a particularly violent pulse of lust to course between my legs.

"No? Well, let's see then. I won't tolerate anymore words from you, unless they are pleas. And if you want to test me, Augie, know that I have the time today."

I opened my mouth to say something, then the thought that he still had a cane somewhere here, made me shut it.

"Wise." He said, before beginning again. It was a herculean effort to keep from saying anything. I felt the tears fall down my cheeks as he continued. I grew louder by the moment and wondered if anyone would hear me. No, if Jon didn't want to be interrupted, there would be no unexpected entrances. The words were on the tip of my tongue. I didn't even have a good idea why I was holding out. Would he really not stop? The panic of that thought rose in my chest and I truly started screaming. I was fighting in earnest, but I couldn't keep the energy I wanted.

"Please! Please, stop!"

He paused and soothed the burn of my skin.

"I do want to, Augie, but I don't feel you're really begging me."

"No, please, please, I can't…"

"Can't you? Hush then."

He resumed, this time focusing on the delicate region where my cheeks met my thighs.

"No, please, Jon, please don't, please stop! I'm sorry! Please! I can't take it! Please, I'm begging you!"

I don't think I realized the exact moment he stopped, but I knew when he released my hands and rubbed my back. I sobbed across his thighs; no energy left in my body. I felt something warm, spread from my back through my body. Lion fire curled around my dragon embers and lit them. He helped me turn over, so I was sitting in his lap.

I didn't know how to face him; he'd turned me into a sniffling, pleading mess, and, after my brief recalcitrance, I felt silly. He was right, I couldn't fight him; I didn't have the stamina.


I turned to look at him, feeling puzzled and a little hurt at this comment. Was he teasing me?

"Are you teasing me?"

"I'm not. I've touched your power, it's formidable. Perhaps with training, you could match me." He sounded thoughtful, and curious. As though the thought wasn't completely abhorrent to him. I couldn't completely imagine beating Jonathan in a fight.

"Oh, I wouldn't go that far," he said with a laugh that tossed his head back. I frowned.

"Come, don't be so prickly, I don't mean to tease you. There, and I'm sorry I spanked you for so long."

"That didn't stop you!"

"No, I couldn't lose that battle of wills, my dear."

I was acutely aware of his hands on my body, their warmth enclosing me. I enjoyed it, but I wanted to be upset, and even to throw a tantrum. Petulant.

How do I harness that power? Will you teach me?

"I will, although I think you might benefit from a variety of trainers." He had that thoughtful expression again, and I tried to listen to his thoughts. I hit a wall. He chuckled at the attempt.

"How do you do that without me feeling it?"

"Oh, you probably feel it; you're likely ignoring it."

"No! I'm not ignoring it."

Watch how you speak to me, darling, I'm not quite as tame as I may seem.

"You're not tame at all!"

He chuckled and I felt a ball of warmth settle in my center. Was it his reaction or mine?

"How can you hear my thought so clearly, when I can't?"

"Well, you're projecting so clearly, and I'm listening keenly." I frowned again, wondering if he was teasing again. "All right, are you ready to go back to your rooms?"

"My rooms? Not…then I'm not rejoining my ball?" I could feel my breathing speed up.

"No. You'll return to your rooms and you will not leave until notice from me. What? Are you going to argue with me?" I opened my mouth, but closed it.