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The widowed Duchess of Sailer has desires that are hard to fill in polite society. To that effect, she visits a brothel to have her bottom reddened. If word got out, her reputation would be ruined. So, when a member of society is murdered, and her name turns up in the books he is using to blackmail people, the metropolitan police show up on her doorstep. Olivia does the only thing she can to keep her name from being dragged through the mud: she agrees to take the investigator into her life so she can help him find a killer.
Inspector Rupert McKinley expects to get in and out, and figure out who killed Lord Ethan. He doesn’t care about Olivia’s desires… until he starts to spend time with her, and realizes she’s more interesting than he ever expected her to be. When their business relationship turns into a personal one, Rupert is determined to find the murderer before someone else – like Olivia – is killed.
Is Rupert strong enough to protect Olivia? Will she be able to follow Rupert’s lead to remain safe, or will he have to lay down the law? Is their personal relationship going to blossom or weaken amidst the danger surrounding them?
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit scenes and discipline scenarios.
*** Available exclisively at Amazon ***
“Olivia, I really wish you’d stay.”
Olivia Strahern, the Duchess of Sailer, pasted a false smile on her face. In the ten years she’d been a duchess, Olivia had grown used to hiding her true feelings from people, even her friends. And Margaret was her friend. But her party was a crush, and Olivia had other things she’d rather be doing tonight.
The sounds of dance music filled the air and mixed with the laughter of the attendees having a grand time. But that didn’t make her want to stay. She just had to make her wishes to leave seem real, as if she really did want to go home and not go somewhere else entirely, which was Olivia’s true reason for leaving.
“I’ve had a busy day, Margaret, and it’s almost eleven,” Olivia said. “I’m sorry for leaving early, but I am so very tired.”
Margaret sighed. “There are several eligible gentlemen here tonight.” She looked around the room. “You should go and have your dance card filled and talk with some of them.” She paused again, and Olivia knew what was coming. “You can’t stay a widow forever, Olivia.”
“You know, because of my title, I can’t marry without permission from her majesty,” Olivia said. “Since she is mourning the loss of her own beloved, I don’t think I’m high on her list. I will stay a widow for a while longer, I’m sure.”
Olivia certainly hoped that was true. She had loved her own husband with all her heart, but he’d been dead for three years now. She had mourned him as Victoria was now mourning her Albert. Olivia had no wish to remarry, but because she and Robert had no children, and he’d been an only child and had such a small family, the queen had allowed Olivia to retain her title, which was not one of great power, until Olivia decided what to do. Part of her hoped she could tell the queen to take the title and award it to someone else. If she did that, hopefully she would give Olivia a small estate in which to live out the rest of her days. She would need a male companion, but one that would fill her special needs; and that would not be easy to find.
“You don’t have to marry one of them,” Margaret said. She’d moved closer, and when she spoke again her voice was lower. “You could, however, take a lover. I can’t imagine being without a man to take care of my needs.”
“The only man I want taking care of my needs is dead,” Olivia said. She felt a little twinge of guilt for saying something that wasn’t exactly true. Robert was the only man she wanted in her bed, true, but she had other interests that could be taken care of by men other than her husband. If her friends found out about those needs, they would scorn her, Olivia was sure of that. She prayed no one would discover what she did late at night.
Still, she had been truthful when she said she could not marry, or even see another man, without permission from the queen. Olivia hoped Victoria took a long time to make a decision.
“Please reconsider?” Margaret asked.
Margaret looked as if Olivia had taken away all her dreams. Olivia hugged her friend and held her close. “Please, Margaret, don’t worry so much. Why don’t you come for tea tomorrow? I’ll have cook make some of those shortbread cookies you enjoy so much.”
Margaret perked up, and Olivia put her hand on her friend’s arm. “Until then. Enjoy yourself tonight.” She left before Margaret could make any more objections. She knew her friend would keep pushing the issue. Margaret had been introducing Olivia to eligible bachelors ever since Olivia’s mourning period had ended.
Once she was in the carriage, she thought about going straight to the place where she found the most pleasure lately, but she knew it was best if she kept to her routine. She would go home, change clothes and sneak out of the house through the gardens. Only her maid knew about Olivia’s twice-monthly nocturnal activities. Only Olivia knew that twice a month was no longer satisfying her.
She needed to take a lover, as Margaret suggested, but doing so could prove to be dangerous. Olivia’s tastes were…different. Taking what she would call a normal lover would prove unsatisfying for Olivia. She needed one with a certain skill.
The carriage arrived at her home near Covent Garden. The house had been in Robert’s family for years, and Olivia loved its location. Once she was upstairs in her bedroom she opened the French doors and looked out. It was cloudy tonight, which was perfect for her excursion. Her servants would not speak out of turn about her leaving the house alone at dark, but others who saw her might.
“Your grace,” a soft voice said behind her.
“I’m going out tonight, Madeline,” Olivia said. “Help me prepare.” She turned to her maid. “The blond wig tonight, I think.”
“As you wish, your grace,” the maid said. But Olivia could see the disapproval in the younger woman’s gaze as she turned to get the things Olivia would require. Madeline helped her undress, and to put on a costume, including a mask, that Olivia would not wear in public. She sat down at her dressing table and Madeline piled Olivia’s light red hair into a cap. Then she covered it with a long, blond wig.
“Perfect,” Olivia said. She reached into a drawer and took out a five-pound note. Madeline’s eyes widened in glee as she took it. It was unnecessary, but Olivia liked to reward her servant when she helped with her nocturnal activities. “I won’t need you anymore tonight.”
“I can wait until you get back, your grace,” Madeline said.
Olivia appreciated her maid’s willingness to stay, but doing so would raise questions. Other servants would want to know why Madeline had been in Olivia’s bedroom for several hours. It would start rumors that Olivia would rather not deal with.
“You can tend me in the morning when I awaken,” Olivia said.
“But your grace, what about,” there was a slight pause before Madeline said, “won’t you need me to get ready for bed tonight?”
“No,” Olivia said. “I will ring for you in the morning.”
Once the maid was gone, Olivia went out the French doors and down the stairs. She wanted to get to her destination as soon as possible.
She needed a spanking, and she hoped it would be a good, hard one tonight.
The house was set back from the main road, surrounded by foliage that hid the front and back doors. The lady who ran it controlled who came into her business with an iron fist. The only reason Olivia was allowed inside was because the lady had known Robert. After Robert’s death, Contessa, as she called herself, had been reluctant to allow Olivia to return. At first, Olivia had thought it had been because she’d stayed away for more than a year.
But the madam had let Olivia know that was not the reason. “Single women cause troubles, especially a duchess,” Contessa had said after Olivia had asked to visit following her mourning period. They had met at the museum and Contessa had told her, in no uncertain terms, that Olivia was not welcome in her establishment.
Olivia knew, though, that money was power, and when she named an amount well above what Robert had always paid, Contessa had agreed. Olivia had been coming ever since, once every six weeks at first, but now she was here at least twice a month.
At first, one of the madam’s oldest courtesans had spanked Olivia, taking the duchess over her knee and paddling her as hard as Robert had done when they were first married. She used her hand, and then a wooden paddle, the application of said tool always made Olivia soar with desire.
When she’d first started going after Robert’s death, she never achieved orgasm at the house. She waited until she was at home, in her own bed. In her mind she would relive the spanking she’d received as her fingers teased her clit, bringing herself to climax as Robert had taught her.
That had lasted for a few months, but then Olivia had craved a man’s touch. Contessa had refused at first, but Olivia had produced more money. It was always about money.
There were two men now, one at a time. Both men wore masks; that didn’t surprise Olivia, since she herself wore a disguise when she visited. She didn’t want anyone to know the Duchess of Sailer loved to have her backside paddled. Neither of the men tried to touch her in an intimate manner, but as the time increased between Robert’s death and Olivia having a man inside her, she had been tempted to ask Contessa if one of the men could fuck her.
All it would take was money. It was always about money.
But she hadn’t asked yet, because she knew that, once she did, she would crave having a prick inside her as often as possible.
Robert had made sure that Olivia loved sex. During their marriage he had tied her to the bed, spanked her, whipped her bottom with a cane, and fucked her in the mouth, quim and ass.
The carriage drew up at the gate, which opened slowly. Olivia questioned her decision to come tonight. Too many memories were rushing around in her brain, recollections of Robert fucking her, of sucking his prick while her backside throbbed from the whipping he’d just given her.
A soft sigh escaped her lips as she thought about him fucking her in the ass at a particularly busy party at Baron Wilt’s house. They had been in the gardens, and he’d pounded her hard, despite the fact someone might have come along at any moment and caught them.
That had been two weeks before he’d died. Tears rose as she remembered the police commissioner who had shown up at her front door to tell her of the accident that had claimed Robert’s life. Robert had no heirs, cousins, uncles, or any other male relatives to take the title. Despite what she’d told Eleanor earlier in the evening, Olivia was sure the queen would soon force her into marriage so the title could be passed on.
But until then, Olivia would enjoy her time as a single woman; that included tonight.
The carriage pulled up at the front porch and a hooded figure helped Olivia alight. He escorted her into the house and led her upstairs. Once she was in the room, alone, she took off her own cape. The blond wig hid her hair, but the skimpy shift she wore covered little.
Olivia sat down on the bed and reclined. She closed her eyes and thought about what was about to happen. She squeezed her large breasts, pinching the nipples until pain shot through her. She moaned softly and squeezed them again.
“Ouch,” she whispered. “So good.” She continued to play with them, savoring the pleasure building up inside her.
She knew he was watching, waiting for just the right moment to join the scene. The thought thrilled her, and Olivia’s fingers drifted to her quim. She was soaking wet, her lips parted easily and she stroked her clit, moving her fingers into her wetness and dragging the liquid up. She increased the pace frantically sensing orgasm before the actual event started.
But it was not to be. She knew her orgasm was close, one, two three more strokes and she would explode.
But the door burst open and he was standing there.
“What the hell do you think you are doing?” It was the second man tonight. It was a bit of a disappointment, because she enjoyed the first man rather than the one that had just come through the door. This man was harsher. It meant that her climaxes were more intense, but there was something about this man she didn’t really like.
Still, she would make the best of it.
“I’m…trying.” Her fingers were still moving.
He slammed the door behind him and crossed the room so quickly that Olivia gasped.
“You little slut,” he said. “Playing with yourself like the whore you are.”
“I’m sorry, I needed it.”
“Get your hands out of your cunt,” he yelled, his voice making her shiver. “I know what you need, whore.” He yanked her up and sat down on the bed, pulling her across his lap. The spanking started immediately, his hand coming down on her ass so hard that tears sprang to her eyes.
Olivia tightened her thighs together as he spanked her harder. She rubbed herself against him and exploded, stars appearing behind her closed eyes as her body trembled at the climax and the harsh spanking he continued to deliver.
“You. Little. Whore.” He pushed her to the ground and Olivia tumbled, her body quaking with the mixture of pain and pleasure. How she wished the man sitting in front of her was Robert, and not some unknown stranger. “How dare you find completion in your punishment. On your knees.”
She did as he said, trembling. She lowered her head, staring at his feet.
“I want to hear the words come out of your mouth,” he said. “The same words you used the last time this happened.”
“I’m a little whore,” she said. “I deserve to be punished.”
“Yes, you do,” he said. “But it seems spanking doesn’t do any good. I believe you need a caning.”
“No, no!” Olivia would rather have another implement, a crop or anything else, really. And she could stop him from caning her if she really wanted to, by saying one little word. She’d set that up with Contessa, in case something happened that Olivia did not like. She could end the caning before it started, but Olivia knew if she did, Contessa would be unlikely to allow her to come back. Olivia wasn’t sure she wanted to take that chance.
“You climaxed while I was spanking you, did you not?”
“I did,” she said, keeping her voice low.
“Spread your legs,” he said, his voice low.
“Play with your quim.”
She found her clit and let her fingers roam over the hard bud.
“Ten strokes with the cane,” he said as her orgasm drew near.
“Fifteen,” he said.
“But sir, I…”
Olivia clamped her lips shut as her fingers continued to tease her pussy.
“Very well, twenty it is.”
Olivia trembled at taking that many strikes from the cane. She would end up using the word she and Contessa had agreed upon before it was over. The only question was how many she would be able to take, and what the consequences would be from her backing out during the event.
“I have a proposition for you,” the man said.
“Yes?” Olivia lifted her gaze to him and swallowed quickly. Even behind the mask she could see his eyes, dark and penetrating.
“I will change from a cane to a crop if you can take all twenty swats without making a single sound.” He sounded amused, and Olivia wasn’t sure she liked it.
“What happens if I cannot?” She’d always made noise while she was being cropped. Robert used to tease her about it, saying half of the fun for her was crying out to let him know she was enjoying it. But she wouldn’t enjoy this. This was not something that she’d anticipated.
“Then we give you twenty with the cane.”
His words brought her back to this room. Olivia considered his pronouncement. It would take a great deal of discipline on her part to stay silent while he applied the crop to her ass. But she felt certain she could do it. However, if she were unable to, it would mean twenty with the cane on top of what he had already given her with the crop.
The idea was frightening, and she wasn’t sure what to do. She argued with herself, different voices telling her what to do. Finally, she said, “Very well, I will take the crop.”
A smile appeared through the mask on his face, and Olivia shivered.
He stood and called out, “Bring me a crop, and a cane.” The later request was added for her benefit, she knew, to try and rattle her. He was letting her know he didn’t think she would be able to fulfill her end of the bargain and he would need both implements.
Olivia almost smiled. He didn’t know her very well. Thinking she would fail would only make her work harder to fulfill her end of the bargain.
“There is still time to back out,” he said. The contempt in his voice was clear.
“I am not the type of woman to back away,” she said.
A woman came into the room, a crop in one hand and a cane in the other. The man took them both from her. As she left, he examined both implements, turning them from side to side, one at a time, as if looking for some sort of flaw.
“Bend over the bed,” he said, sounding almost bored. “Lift your shift so that your arse is bare for the whipping.”
Olivia trembled as she followed his instructions. When she was in place she put her hands on the bed, above her head. She took several deep breaths, working to keep herself calm. But her ability to stay silent would depend on how fast, and how hard, he wielded the crop.
“Girl!” he yelled out, and Olivia turned her head, ready to answer. He wasn’t looking at her, though. He was turned toward the door. She studied him. He had the crop gripped firmly in his fist. The cane lay near the divan. Olivia turned away; she fought the urge to use the word that would end things. But she worried this man would not honor that particular part of this escapade.
The woman who had delivered the implements came back into the room.
“Count,” he ordered, right before he slammed the crop down on Olivia’s bum.
“One,” the girl said.
The man delivered a second strike.
“Two,” the girl said.
Tears welled in Olivia’s eyes as he slowly cropped her. When he reached nine, the cut was particularly harsh, and she almost cried out. Instead she buried her face in the bed and told herself she would not fail.
“Twelve,” the girl said. The poor thing sounded as if she might cry herself. Olivia wondered if she had ever tasted the bite of a riding crop against her ass. It was indeed painful, but it was much better than taking the cane.
The crop came down harder.
“Thirteen,” the girl said.
One more cut, even harder than the last. Olivia bit down on her lip. Was it her imagination, or could she taste blood from the bite?
“Fourteen,” the girl said. Olivia could hear the fear in her voice. She imagined the girl trembling, praying she would not be next to take this man’s harsh punishment.
“Fifteen,” the girl said.
And suddenly the crop came down five more times, in such fast and hard succession that Olivia almost cried out. It was all she could do to keep her mouth closed, to swallow the cries of pain that threatened to spill forth. She’d tasted the crop before, but it had never been this bad before.
The girl worked to keep up with the pace, and when she said twenty, Olivia relaxed against the bed. She’d done it. She’d taken twenty hard licks from the crop and not made a sound.
“Go!” the man yelled and Olivia heard the girl scurrying from the room.
“You may stand up, since you’ve won the bargain,” he said.
Olivia did. Her bottom throbbed as it never had before. When the man bowed to her she gasped softly. Did he know who she was? Was that what the bow was about, an acknowledgement of his knowledge that she was a duchess?
“You’ve won, this time,” he said. “I’ll have to practice my skills, to make sure you cry out in real pain next time.”
He left and Olivia collapsed on the couch. She lifted a shaking hand to her face. There would not be a next time. She would make sure that Contessa knew she never wanted to see this man again in her life.
“Your grace, please calm down.”
Olivia glared at Contessa. “I’ll ask you one more time. Does this man know who I am?”
“Then why did he bow to me?” Olivia hadn’t planned to confront Contessa tonight, but the more she thought about the man’s actions, and the gleam in his eye, the angrier she’d become.
At first, the staff had said Contessa was not available, but when Olivia, still in her mask and wig, had told the woman who had counted her swats to find Contessa or risk a visit from a constable, the woman had rushed off and returned with her boss.
“I want to know who he is,” Olivia said.
“Your grace, I would not reveal his identity, the same way I would never reveal yours.” Contessa sounded angry, but her face was impassive. Olivia supposed that was a skill she’d learned in her line of work.
“I want you to mark it down that this man will never, that is he and I will never have dealings again.” Olivia leaned toward the older woman. “Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes, your grace,” Contessa said. “I am sorry that the two of you had a misunderstanding. Did he not provide the service you required? Did he try and force himself on you? If he did, I need to know.”
Olivia sighed heavily. “No, but I could not get over the feeling that he knew me, that I would somehow—I’m not sure of the word I’m seeking, but his attitude was not to my liking.”
Contessa nodded before she said, “Have you felt this way about him before? This is not the first time he has provided a service for you, your grace.”
“It is the first time I have felt uncomfortable.”
“I apologize for that.” Contessa sounded as if she meant it. “If you had these feelings before, I wish you had informed me.”
“It has never happened before,” Olivia said.
“How can I make it right?”
“Assure me this man does not know who I am.”
“I can assure you of that, your grace,” Contessa said. “I apologize for his behavior, and I will see to it you never interact again.”
It was better not to push the issue, Olivia decided, and to take Contessa at her word.
“Thank you. Please have my carriage brought around to the side door.”
“As you wish,” Contessa said. She left and Olivia rubbed her sore bottom. It wasn’t the spanking, or rather the whipping, that had bothered her. No, she had enjoyed the first one. And the second one would have been fine, if he had not smirked at her the way he had.
Perhaps she should not come back to the establishment. Finding another one would not be an easy task, but she would be able to find one, with some careful investigation.
She thought about it for a few moments, and then decided she would take some time off from here; that would allow her to think about this place, and decide whether or not she should return.
A young woman came to tell Olivia her carriage was ready. She led her to the side door and another servant helped her inside. As the carriage pulled way, Olivia settled onto the seat. Her bum hurt, but the feelings she had about the man who had delivered the spanking made it so Olivia didn’t enjoy the sensations.
Not this time. She wondered how long she would have to wait before she enjoyed a spanking again.