Chapter Seven

Kingdom of Gates

Tuesday, November 30, 3515

I was planning my wedding and this alone was reason for excitement and joy…and trepidation. I had returned to my chambers a week ago and had since then only left accompanied by Jonathan. We had gone riding, hunting, and he'd even introduced me to a Sian warrior who would help me start harnessing my Dragon power. It was nothing short of perfect and Jonathan, the future King of this land was making all this possible. It was with this thought in mind that I made no complaint when Jonathan suggested that we retire to one of his country estates to more intimately plan the wedding. I knew that some part of him remained wary of my mother, but I said nothing, considering that it would be easier to get to know this older and more dictating Jonathan in a private setting. And my instructor would be joining us, so it was only a matter of wishing my parents goodbye for now. Until the wedding.

And it would have been easy to do so, enjoy the solitude between Jon and myself, while he slowly taught me even more delicate aspects of coupled life. No matter that we were not yet married, it was as good as done and no one would dare question him. It would have been easy, had I not received a letter from Cheryl Yemen who was overjoyed to hear of my completion of a god's trial and my imminent wedding to the Prince. She was inviting me to a small gathering with other friends – she named them and I actually had a pang of longing seeing names I had almost forgotten – at the Juniper Bazaar, a sort of desert music festival that was famous in the East. I had never been and the thought of one last trip before marriage seemed incredibly tempting.

"They've invited me and I'm…I would like to go." I made my announcement at the dining table and watched as Jonathan looked up from his plate to cast a sardonic glance my way.

"And where," he asked with an annoying hint of amusement, "have they invited you?"

It occurred to me that the conversation that had occurred regarding the ladies excursion had taken place exclusively in my head. Not, and I could only assume he had not been doing so, that Jon could not have heard it.

"To the Juniper Bazaar, for just a week, in our own accommodations of course, just to spend some time with them after my ascension." I said the whole thing very quickly, trying to read anything beyond mild curiosity behind that raised brow.

"And who, if you would be so kind as to enlighten me, are they?"

"Oh! My friends, from school…" I watched that brow rise even further as he took a bite of fruit.

"I see," he said shortly. "No."

"No? No what?"

"No, you may not go."

"But why? I mean…" I bit my lip, knowing I was dangerously close to whining and knowing too that I should have said anyone but my school friends who Jon had always held in very little esteem.

"I would really…it would bring me great pleasure to go, at least one more time before…"

"I have said 'no,' Augatha, do drop the topic." He sounded bored of all things.

I didn't think before slamming my fork down on the table. His eyes rose to meet mine and he made a gesture to the footmen I had momentarily forgotten were behind me. I swallowed.

"I'm sorry," I added quickly. "May I go upstairs?"

"No. Finish your breakfast and whatever you are just beside yourself keeping behind your lips." He still sounded amused and that was my excuse for my retort.

"I won't, it will only get me punished." I couldn't help glaring at his now smiling countenance.

"By no means should you spare me, I am extremely curious."

"Fine! I think you are being an autocrat and an ass; I know you don't like my friends but I haven't seen them in years and you can't even offer me the decency of an explanation for why you are refusing me this small pleasure."

He was silent and then placed his cutlery down on the table, taking a sip of his coffee before dabbing, with deliberate slowness at the corner of his mouth. A corner that turned up with what I can only now describe as unholy amusement.

"You're correct, Augie, that is deserving of punishment. If you are quite finished with your meal, you may go up, to my bedroom study, and wait for me there."

My mouth went dry at these words.

"Wait…I…that's not…you told me to…you said I should…no, that's not fair!"

"Is it not? I will endeavour, in the future, to remind you to be more tactful when sharing your views. Now, I would go up with you, but I have to attend to a matter outside regarding a horse of all things."

"I'm sorry," I said quietly, to my plate.

"For what precisely?"

"For being so rude, there was no excuse."

"Apology accepted," he said with a wink. I let out a breath I had not realized I was holding. "I still expect you in my study when I return though," he finished standing up.

"Wait…but…I apologized!"

"Very prettily too," he commented, strolling over to my seat. "And I have accepted."

"Then…then why?"

"Because, my dear Augie," he said, leaning over so his voice sounded right at my ear and his scent heated my cheeks. "Punishment is about deterrence, not forgiveness. And you were correct on one point, I am a bit of an autocrat." He straightened up and brushed against the curve of my cheek.

xx

I waited in his study feeling equal parts terrified and furious. Furious with myself for having fallen so easily into what had clearly been a trap. I had not forgotten what Jon had said about enjoying exercising control over me. He had wanted to punish me and I had handed him a reason on a silver platter. It was with these wrathful thoughts that I faced the man who would be my husband when he entered the room with a riding crop in one hand. His smile told me all I needed to know about his enjoyment of corporal punishment.

"I…I don't think it's fair for you to do this when you…you asked me to tell you…to tell you…" I lost track of my words as he stalked toward me, soon effectively trapping me between the window and his hard body.

"To tell me what?" He asked, in a casual drawl.

"To…to tell you what I think!" I hated how shaky my voice was in front of him, and how afraid he was making me, merely by staring at me with that predatory smile.

"I will tell you a secret, Augatha, although I sense you may already know it: I don't need an excuse to punish you, it merely becomes convenient when you offer such delightful provocation."

"Well…well I hate it, even if you don't!"

"But you don't hate it, my delicious masochist."

I was shaking my head, but I didn't trust my voice to not betray me in the face of this accusation.

"Perhaps you are confused because there are times – and in the past this was certainly mostly the case, except that one time – when my sole intention is to make sure you are feeling very punished."

"It's always like that…you always…you always want to break me."

"You haven't broken yet," he retorted in a soft, almost contemplative voice.

"Because…because…"

"Because I have never intended to break you, only guide you along the path of my debauchery. Mayhap I will show you the difference? Come."

I belatedly recognized he had taken my arm until he began to lead me toward his desk.

"Wait! What are you doing? We were talking!"

"What I am going to do is punish you, completely, so you understand that I am your lord, your master and your owner, and if ever a disrespectful word toward me should cross your lips you will regret having been born. And then we will make love and I will show you that spanking you when I am aroused is an entirely different experience."

"No!" I cried out as he deftly bent me over the desk, throwing up first, the skirt of my gown, then my shift and leaving my nakedness bared to the sunlight.

I barely had time to register the ignominious position before the first horrible strike of the crop fell against my cheeks. I screamed and thought surely I would faint but my treacherous body remained awake as sobs broke from me and the evil instrument whistled through the air before landing devastatingly across my bottom. Each stripe was a line of fire and it seemed to continue for an eternity. Even when Jonathan had spanked me, I understood now that he had been holding back. There was no reprieve, he said no words, simply struck, again and again until I beginning to wonder from whence such a monster had come from. I pleaded in every way I could, promised to be so perfect and yet he did not stop.

"Do you understand what it means to be punished by me, Augie?"

"Yes, please, I'm sorry!"

"Will you ever disrespect me again?"

"No, no never! Please, Jon, please!"

"I do hope you mean that," he commented, pausing in the brutal assault. "I plan to hold you accountable, once we are wed, to higher standards than a young impertinent miss who I was courting."

"I mean it!" I would have literally promised anything for this punishment to not continue.

"Hmmm."

He placed the crop by my head on the desk top. And stroked the welts across my bottom in a distractingly sensual manner. I was still trying to breathe when I felt his fingers caress between my legs. My face burned with the mortifying knowledge that despite that terrible punishment, I was practically dripping unto his fingers.

"Don't move my dear, I am about to atone for my sins." I didn't understand what he meant and I didn't have time to ask before I felt the warmth and softness of his tongue where his fingers had been. I squirmed despite his command, my sex – I did know what it was at this point – seeming to ignite in small explosions that pulsed from between my legs up my still tender cheeks and through my body. His mouth seemed to know every part of me, his tongue surrounding a nub that seemed to pulse in a maddening manner and drawing it into his mouth in a way that truly made me feel faint.

I said his name and if I wasn't bent face forward over his desk, I would have been reaching for him. He made a murmur of acknowledgment, as he devoured me, sometimes taking that overly tender nubbin in the mastery of his tongue, sometimes thrusting deep into me. Several times I was drawn to a peak of delight and several times he thrust me over that edge until I could not feel anything, but the overwhelming lust that burned me. My body was drenched in perspiration as I writhed beneath his ministrations. Suddenly he rose, and I heard the rustle of clothing just before he thrust his manhood into me and I moaned in what can only have been abandoned ecstasy at his size and the heat and firmness of him stretching me beyond what I could ever have imagined. Was I supposed to be so tight? Was he supposed to be so large?

I didn't have time for these thoughts as he thrust again and again, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly and then in a moment I could not have predicted I felt the sharp sting of the crop on my upturned cheeks.

I screamed but it was a cry of passion as I felt my body pulse around him. I hadn't even heard or noticed him picking up the crop. It fell a few more times, but I was so consumed by the sensation of that crescendo that I barely registered it. He continued driving his body into mine, so hard and velvety and obscenely large until after what seemed like ages he stiffened and with a groan pulsed within me. I felt the strength of his body emptying into mine and then he lay over me, clearly as exhausted as I felt. I saw the crop drop before my eyes. The instrument of my torture and my desire.


A/N: What do y'all think so far? Please R&R!

Cheers!

Starox