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Sebrina Winchester brings you more tales of year-round discipline, in this collection of short stories.
Trying to do it all, flirting, coming to terms with the past and a couple contemplating divorce all make for an interesting read.
One thing each couple has in common…a forever kind of love and the need for discipline in their lives.
DISCLAIMER: Forever (Book Six in Sebrina Winchester's A Year of Discipline series) contains steamy sex scenes, along with consensual domestic discipline.
Her Favorite Holiday
Megan O'Malley got behind the wheel of her red convertible. She purposely slammed the door behind her as if to make a point. She knew that no one would know it but her, but even still, it made her feel marginally better. How could he do this? Today was St. Patrick's Day, her favorite of all the holidays.
Raised as the baby in an Irish clan of five, she adored her heritage. And today was the only day of the year where the rest of the world celebrated what it meant. Why wouldn't Sean want to be part of that? It wasn't as if he himself wasn't Irish. He was the oldest of a family of four. If anyone should have understood just how important today was, it should have been him.
As she drove through the streets to the old firehouse, she thought about the argument they'd just had. She had thrown a royal temper tantrum, no doubt. But it hadn't changed his mind. The man was as stubborn as a mule. She still didn't understand why a deadline was so damn important to him. Even more important, apparently, than she was.
Truth be told, she had never really been all that thrilled with his dedication to his job. Oh, she understood it, of course, and didn't mind the nice salary that came with it. But the way it always was the most important thing to him made her feel as if she came in second. And tonight just underscored that feeling. After five years of marriage, how dare he treat her like this?
She finally arrived at the old firehouse and couldn't resist a smile. The entire front had been decorated for the holiday with shamrocks, leprechauns and enough green to cover a football field. Her father had worked out of this very firehouse his entire career. He'd been retired since they moved to the newer, state of the art facility that had been built up the street. He'd said that he couldn't imagine working anywhere else.
The community had turned the old firehouse into a meeting hall of sorts. The schools, churches and organizations used it for all sorts of different events. And of course, the St. Patrick's Day party was always held here. She parked her car, noting that two of her brothers' cars were sitting alongside their father's vehicle.
Her oldest two brothers were firefighters just like her father. Then the next two in line had broken with family tradition and become police officers. She often wondered how her mother kept from worrying herself to death. But she knew how proud both she and her mother were of the men in their life.
She also noted the car of one of her brothers-in-law. Just like her family, they had two firefighters. The baby of that family was still in college and, not to anyone's surprise, thinking about firefighting. Her husband was the only one who defied tradition and became a businessman. Her father-in-law often laughed and called him the black sheep in the family. But she knew they were very proud of her husband's success. The same damn success that kept him away tonight.
It was in that instant, she made her mind up that she would show him. She could have a good time without him. He could just stay home with his damn deadline. She was young, beautiful and fun. Someone would be on the receiving end of that tonight, and to hell with her nose-to-the-grindstone husband.
She walked into the party, smiling at the group assembled. She gave each of her brothers and her father a kiss on the cheek, explaining with impatience where Sean was tonight. Her brother-in-law stopped by to say hello and inquire how she was. She took her time visiting with all the firefighters that were in her brothers' firehouse.
Most of them were like family members. She honestly appreciated and respected them, hearing many times how they had saved the lives of the brothers that she so adored, as all firefighters do. She was still set on making her husband pay for not being here tonight. Her Irish temper was as red hot as her flaming, curly hair. And for once, she didn't listen to the little voice in her head, which was screaming caution.
She wouldn't dare flirt with any of the guys that worked with her brothers. Even she was not that crazy. But there was a firefighter that was new, from one of the other firehouses in the small town. There were actually three firehouses in all. His name was David, and he'd never even heard of her brothers, brother-in-law or father. Soon, she was hanging on every word he said.
Inside, she felt terrible and wasn't sure why she was feeling so out of control. But it cut her to the bone that if the question was between Sean's job and her happiness, the job always won. For once, she wanted someone to pay attention to her. She could tell from the clues this guy was putting out there that she needed to pull back. But it actually felt good to flirt and laugh. It wasn't the green beer, either, as she wasn't drinking. She was feeling empowered with self-righteousness.
She stopped and spoke with some of the other people at the party. But David remained at her side, a physical reminder that Sean didn't even want to be with her tonight. At one point, he put an arm around her, and she managed to shrug it off. She looked up in time to be on the receiving end of a disapproving look from her oldest brother.
After that, she tried to circulate a bit more, but the young firefighter was stuck to her like glue. He was drinking the green beer and it didn't seem to be helping the situation. She wasn't worried, because the men in her family would die before they let anyone hurt her, but she sure as hell didn't want it to come to that.
She needn't have worried as she looked up in time to see Sean come through the door. She could see the surprise on David's face as he walked to where they stood and grabbed her upper arm. David didn't say a word as her husband gently guided her through the crowd into what had once been the firehouse kitchen.
The women who had been making the corned beef and cabbage were long gone. The kitchen was neat and tidy with its stainless steel counter tops and huge, old stove. The look on her husband's face worried her much more than she'd like to admit, but she refused to give him the satisfaction of knowing that. She crossed her arms over her chest and attempted to look bored with him.
"So what're you doing here, Sean? I thought you were going to be spending the entire evening making love to your freakin' laptop."
She saw the fury cross his features and it surprised her. She was the one with the temper in their marriage, not him. It took a lot to make him mad, and she'd never even seen him when he was furious before.
"Yeah, well, my plans to work were cut short by the need for me to come over here and keep you from making an ass of yourself in front of the entire town."
Now she felt her own temper go. "Who the hell told you that lie?"
She didn't like the sound of his snort at all. "Let's see, how about your father, my brother and both Mick and Pat. They took turns calling me to tell me that maybe I should get over here and set you straight."
She made a mental note to settle the score with her brothers, brother-in-law and, finally, her meddling father. Just as soon as she let her husband know just what she thought of his opinion.
"You aren't man enough to set me straight, Sean."
The words were out of her mouth before she could stop them. And they hung in the air for a second, like some horrible, tangible thing between the two of them. He took a step toward her, and she knew that he was going to walk out. She'd never intended for this to result in him leaving or her losing him altogether. She'd simply wanted to make him see things her way. And do what she wanted.
Instead of walking past her, he walked to her and grabbed her upper arm. He then pushed her over the stainless steel table, face first. She was confused as to what he thought he was doing. Then, the first swat landed. It made a loud cracking sound as his palm connected with her behind. The thin, tight, black spandex skirt she had on provided absolutely no protection. Before she had a chance to make a sound, the hard hand landed a dozen more times.
He let her up and she immediately grabbed her behind, her eyes filling with tears at the harsh treatment. That only lasted for a moment before the fury set in.
"How dare you! How dare you touch me! My father will beat you to within an inch of your pathetic life for that."
Before he had a chance to respond, they both heard a snort from the doorway.
"Don't count on it, Megan Margaret Callahan. I think the man is a saint for putting up with all your shenanigans for this long. A good old-fashioned hiding is exactly what you need, missy. And if your mother hadn't have been so against the idea, you'd have gotten it more than your brothers did."
For once, she was too shocked even to speak. She knew that, at times, she'd been a handful growing up, but this was just too much. Again, she rubbed her stinging bottom, completely thrown off by all of this. She just stood, dumbfounded, until her husband spoke again to her father.
"Dad, would you mind asking Mick to bring Megan's car home later? She's coming home with me now."
And as if the words weren't enough, he reached over and opened her small purse, which she had put down on the table. After retrieving her keys, he handed them to her father who nodded in agreement. Suddenly feeling like a second-class citizen, she stomped her foot, regaining her voice.
"I wouldn't go home with you, Sean Michael Callahan, if you begged me, you big bullying jerk!"
He now crossed his impressive arms over his chest. "Want to bet? Either you can go willingly, or I'll throw you over my shoulder and carry you out of here. It can go easy or it can go hard. Choice is up to you."
While her husband hadn't wanted to be a firefighter, he certainly could have been. At six-foot-four, he towered over her petite frame. She knew damn good and well that if he wanted to throw her over his shoulder and carry her out, he certainly could. And from the look on his face, he was heart attack serious.
"Fine, then. Let's go, but this isn't settled, Sean."
He nodded and she wondered what he was talking about when he added.
"Save the attitude, little girl, you're in deep enough."
She huffed as she made her way towards the door, not even stopping to acknowledge her father, who had been no help whatsoever. It suddenly dawned on her that the joy she had felt about her favorite holiday was now gone.
The ride home was uncharacteristically quiet. Arriving back at their house, she threw open the car door and stomped up onto the front porch. She had to wait for Sean to let her in, as he had given her keys to her father. He unlocked the door and turned the light on.
She walked into their living room with the intention of going up to bed without so much as a word to her husband. Unfortunately, he was quicker than she was and stepped in front of her. Taking her arm, he led her to the couch. Because of his size, she had no choice but to follow. He sat down, and in one quick movement, put her over his knee. Suddenly having some idea of where he thought this was going, fury overcame her.
"Let me up right now, or this is going to get ugly!"
He actually laughed at her words. She struggled for all she had but got exactly nowhere.
"You have been acting like an absolute brat. You didn't get what you wanted tonight, and you thought you'd show me. You knew damn good and well, one of our relatives would call me and tell me all about your flirting. The only reason you even did it was to hurt me. I'm sick of tired of you losing your temper and acting however you want to. That ends right now. I love you, but I have no intention of putting up with this."
It was the first time he'd ever chastised her like that. She'd been fighting a losing battle with her temper her whole life. In fact, this was the first time he'd ever taken her to task. And his words were true, all of them. Before she had the chance to further process that thought, his hand landed on her backside in a stinging swat.
Considering the position she was in, it shouldn't have surprised her but it did. The next one, however, did not. He began to go side to side, both hard and fast. The sting was ferocious and, again, she struggled to right herself, to no avail. The only result was that the swats he was putting down got harder.
"Settle down now, Megan, this has just started."
The words, combined with his holding her immobile, threw her into an absolute panic. The stinging swats continued, and her bottom was already on fire.
"Nooo, stop that, right now!"
She tried to use her most commanding voice but it came out sounding like the plea that it was. It solicited nothing more than a snort from her husband. Now, she, again, felt her temper rising to the occasion.
"I said stop it or else I'll divorce you!"
The words were out before she really had time to think about them. She didn't want to divorce him, she loved him. But she wanted the humiliating spanking to stop, not only was it a child's punishment, but her butt was just on fire.
"After I'm done, if you still want a divorce you can have one. But make no mistake; I am finishing what I started here."
His hand got even harder and squirming just made the sting worse. Finally desperate to make it stop, she leaned down and bit him on the leg. She was positive that would do it. And it got a response all right, just not the one she had hoped for. To her horror, she felt him yank her skirt up and her panties down. Before she had time to say anything, she felt his hand land in a hard, forceful swat. And if she'd thought it had hurt before, that was nothing to the branding his hand was now doing to her bare bottom.
She forgot anything but making it stop. He began to lecture as he spanked, and she was mortified at the truth of his words. She became completely overwhelmed by both the words and the stinging swats he mercilessly applied to her vulnerable bottom. She'd always thought her husband to be quiet and determined. And it seemed he was now determined to set a fire, and much to her woe, he was succeeding.
The heat continued to build, as did her misery. Finally realizing that the sobbing, begging and pleading was getting her nowhere, she went limp over his knee, resigning herself to take it. She'd really had no idea of exactly how selfish, manipulative and just plain bratty her behavior had been. She realized that she needed to change, for herself as much as for him. It was as if he knew what she was thinking as the spanking suddenly stopped.
"This is just going to be the first time, little girl, unless some things change. I can do this as often as I need to. We can make sitting an option for you. Understand?"
She stuttered out a yes, knowing that he meant it. But apparently, he wasn't yet done, as she heard him continue.
"And if I see so much as one shred of that temper when I let you up, I'm going to take off my belt, and we'll do this all over again."
Her eyes widened in horror at the words. She knew that her toasted bottom was in no shape for anymore spanking, especially not with a belt. Just the thought made her blood run cold. She had to make him understand that she'd gotten the message.
"I'm sorry, Sean, I know that I've been a real brat lately. I promise to try to be better. Please forgive me."
He let her up and pulled her back down onto his lap, sore bottom and all. He wrapped his arms around her in a loving embrace, letting her sob onto his shoulder.
"I forgive you, baby, but I think your reaction to this spanking just shows me how much you needed it. For a while, I think bare-bottomed spankings are going to be a part of our lives."
The words made her sob all the harder, knowing that she didn't want him to put her over his knee, ever again. It had been awful.
"Nooo, please, you won't need to. I promise."
He smiled at her plea but shook his head no. "Sometime, baby, in the next few days or even weeks, you are going to forget how much you hated this. The behavior that got you here is going to make another appearance. And your little fanny is going to pay the price. Eventually, though, we'll work through it."
The words made her feel sick, but there was something else too. She'd never seen him be more forceful than he was at this very minute. Even with a flaming behind, she felt something stir within her. She wondered just how badly she had needed him to put some limitations on her behavior. She tucked her face into the curve of his shoulder and dried her tears.
Suddenly, he was whispering soft reassurances of his love and devotion to her, pressing soft kisses into her hair. She shifted on his lap and felt the evidence of his desire suddenly pressed against her warm behind. It occurred to her that this little act of punishment had obviously had an effect on him as well. She lifted her face to his, and he hungrily pressed his lips onto hers.
The kiss had an element of passion that she had forgotten existed between them. He slid his tongue into the warm interior of her mouth and she actually moaned. His hand pressed her breast, and the touch made them both even more eager. He gathered her into his arms and stood, carrying her into their bedroom. He gently put her down on the bed and kissed her again. The kiss was deep and passionate, and, somehow, he managed to strip clothes off without ever breaking the bond between her mouth and his.
She felt him stretch out beside her, and as he ran a hand across her breasts, she forgot the stinging, sore behind. He settled between her legs and, with a forceful move that took her breath away, entered her. The feeling was unlike anything she'd ever felt. The dominant way he was moving on her was bringing her closer and closer to the brink.
She could feel his need for release building, just as hers was.
"You are mine, Megan, never forget that."
The intensely whispered declaration was all it took to push them both over the edge. She grasped the broad expanse of his back as she came, crying out her pleasure. It took a moment for them both to come back from the place their pleasure had taken them. She heard his masculine chuckle.
"If I'd have known spanking you would have gotten that response, I would have done it years ago. Lord knows you needed it."
She felt herself blushing, even after the passion they had just shared. And for once, she had nothing to say in return. He pressed a kiss on the top of her head, pulled her onto her side and smacked her still sore behind.
"Now, things are going to be different around here from now on. You are going to behave or else you're going to get a good, hard spanking on your bare butt. Understand me?"
Again, she felt herself blushing at his words. But there was something else too, that little thrill she'd felt after the spanking was back again. Could it be that she'd liked something about the horrible way he'd just blistered her behind?
Apparently, he didn't like the fact that she hadn't responded, and again, he placed a hard swat on her butt.
"I didn't hear an answer, Megan. Did you want another dose right now?"
She gulped at even the thought of more spanking on her sore behind. "No, please, I heard what you said. I get it. I'll behave."
She couldn't believe that, as independent as she was, as old as she was, as strong-minded as she was, she'd just agreed to 'behave' or be spanked. But she had. Maybe, just maybe, this incentive to behave was something that she really did need. She'd felt out of control for a while now. It didn't look like he was giving her much choice here, though. Sean was clear about all of this. She had a thought.
"What if I don't think I was misbehaving?"
"Well, we'll discuss that after the spanking."
She really didn't like the sound of that, but it seemed as if she wasn't being given any choice in the matter. Again, she wondered just how bad of an idea this was going to turn out to be. She had never seen him quite this commanding, and it both excited and terrified her.
"Now, Megan, lets jump in the shower and get dressed. I think the party is probably still going strong, and after all, it is your favorite holiday."
She rose onto her elbow to look him in the face.
"What? You said that you had to work."
He nodded and looked somewhat thoughtful. "I know, and I should have gone to the party with you in the first place. Work is going to start taking a second place to us. Sometimes, I can be a real jerk about that, and I'm sorry."
She felt tears fill her eyes at his unexpected apology. It meant the world to her. It was all she needed to realize that he wanted to make an effort to improve things between them as well. He rolled out of bed and grabbed her hand.
"C'mon, let's hit the shower and go."
She stopped in her tracks at a single thought.
"Oh, hold on, I can't go back there. My dad saw you swatting my behind. Lord only knows what he'll say or what he's thinking. Let's just wait a few days before we see the family again."
Again, her husband chuckled. "He's going to think that I finally stepped up to the challenge of being married to his daughter and spanked your deserving behind. Which I did. Now get that beautiful butt into the shower unless you want some more."
She headed for the shower, both delighted and terrified at this turn of events. She knew that the days to come would be interesting as well as challenging, and she knew this would be one Saint Patrick's Day she would never forget.