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Being married hasn’t moderated Ria’s cheeky take on life, and while Andrew frequently finds her comments humorous, other times it goes too far. He’s determined to help his new wife censor what pops out of her mouth, but that’s much easier said than done.
Their first year of marriage is full of daily adventures, including a luxurious honeymoon to South America, where even there, Ria manages to end up over Andrew’s knee. Then there’s Andrew’s new assistant, whose behavior towards Ria becomes a problem; a visit from Andrew’s best friend, Graham, who shares with Ria stories from Andrew’s childhood; and a visit to Scotland for Grandfather’s huge eightieth birthday celebration.
Their first anniversary finds them back in New York celebrating their love that’s only grown stronger, but whether or not Andrew has managed to curb Ria’s sass is an entirely different matter.
Publisher’s Note: This sweet romance contains scenes of domestic discipline and vividly described love scenes.
Chapter One: Every Time I Think You’re the Best, You Get Better
Andrew looked admiringly at Ria, who was lying on the bed wearing two tiny pieces of lace she called underwear. She was on her stomach reading a magazine, leaving him a full view of her exposed bottom.
It was their first full day at Punta del Este, the resort in Uruguay where they were starting their honeymoon, and now he went over and planted a kiss in the middle of each cheek. When that got no notice, he did it again, this time louder and more prolonged, finally eliciting a giggle from Ria.
“What are you reading, Mrs. MacNeil?” he asked. This was only their third day of marriage, so he was still using the name at every opportunity.
“If you must know, Mr. MacNeil, I’m looking at South American fashions. Their clothes are smaller than ours.”
“What do you mean?” asked Andrew, drawing designs with his finger on her just-kissed cheeks.
“You know, like they don’t cover as much as ours do.”
Andrew looked at the back of Ria’s very minimalistic bra and panties and wondered how that was possible. He leaned forward and took one cheek in each of his hands. “Hm-m,” he said approvingly as he squeezed gently. “Perfect size.”
“You know you’re very strange, don’t you?” asked Ria, still focused on the pictures in the magazine.
“I’m not strange. I’m just a normal man.” He cupped her tempting little cheeks in his hands again.
“You’re strange,” Ria repeated. “I thought most men did that to breasts, not tushies.”
“I can do it to both,” he replied smiling. “I’m an equal opportunity feeler.”
He took in the glory of her perfect backside and then felt it again, patting each cheek before putting his hand over her sit spot and patting that, too. He studied the beautifully shaped bottom with its two round cheeks and said thoughtfully, “It’s been way too long since you got spanked.”
“Andrew!” Ria sat up suddenly, removing her ‘tushie’ from his reach.
“I’m just thinking out loud,” he protested, his eyes twinkling.
“Well, you can just stop thinking, because you can’t spank me here!” She looked at him reproachfully, surprising Andrew with her vehemence.
“What do you mean I can’t spank you here?”
“You can’t spank me here,” she repeated. “My tushie is exposed every day, so I need it to look perfect.”
Their plan was to spend the first week of the honeymoon at the luxury beachfront resort, and Ria’s collection of swimsuits covered very little more than did her collection of panties and bras.
“We’re mostly in our private pool, so no one will see you but me,” he said. Then he added, only half kidding, “Maybe you should buy some swimsuits that actually cover part of your body.”
“Maybe you should exercise some of that marvelous Scottish self-control and leave my tushie alone,” she retorted tartly.
Maybe being at this beach resort wasn’t going to be all it was cracked up to be, thought Andrew to himself. Aloud, he said, “Believe me, I am exercising self-control right now. If I weren’t, you’d already be over my knee.”
Ria and Andrew had arrived at the resort three days before Christmas, so there were holiday decorations and twinkling lights that added to the already romantic atmosphere. Of course the hotel building itself was beautifully festooned, but the individual small houses like the one in which the newly-married MacNeils were staying also had small decorated trees and holiday lighting around their terraces and pools.
Today was Christmas Eve, and they’d gone up to the hotel for a huge holiday brunch buffet and were now back in their private house and were checking their laptops.
Andrew looked up. “I have a note here from your mother,” he said. “She sends her love.”
“Why is she writing to you instead of to me?” Ria sounded both hurt and annoyed.
“It’s a thank-you for the flowers.”
“The flowers we sent her,” said Andrew.
Ria was looking at him blankly.
“Maybe I forgot to mention it,” he said. “There was so much else going on.”
“What flowers?” Ria repeated.
“I had a huge arrangement sent to her,” he replied. “It was delivered yesterday.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I’m sorry. I should have, but with everything going on, I forgot. I had to order it on Saturday to be sure it was there on Monday, and, as you well know, Saturday was a rather busy day for us.” He grinned at her, then added, “If I remember correctly, I wasn’t even allowed to see you that day.”
“So why did you send the flowers?”
“I told you,” he answered. “It was like a thank-you. She spent a year working on that wedding and reception and all the rest of it, and she did a fantastic job. Our wedding was an incredible affair.”
“I know,” acknowledged Ria, “although the planners had a lot to do with it, too.”
“Also, I meant it to be a pick-me-up,” he continued. “I’m sure this week is a big letdown for her. The thing she’s been focused on for a whole year is suddenly finished. I just wanted her to know how much we appreciate everything she did.”
“Did you put my name on it too?” asked Ria, sounding concerned.
“Of course I did,” he answered, surprised she’d even ask.
Ria came over to sit on Andrew’s lap. “Do you know you’re a very nice person?”
“You told me not twenty minutes ago that I was a strange person.”
“Well, you can be both.”
Andrew kissed her, then stood up and led her to the huge bed in the room. “Why don’t you show me how nice I am?” he suggested, turning back the coverlet and pulling her down onto the bed with him.
These last three days had been glorious. The time before the wedding had been so full of schedules and requirements that he’d missed just being with Ria, so he’d purposely planned the first week of the honeymoon at a resort where they could simply relax and do whatever they wanted all day long. Later this evening they’d go up to the main building again for a romantic dinner, but right now, what he wanted was to make love to his new wife. Again.
He took off his shirt and shorts, then put his arms around Ria and undid her little lace bra. He hooked his thumbs under the elastic of the tiny matching panties, but then, instead of immediately pulling them off, he moved a hand down and ran his middle finger under the thin band of fabric connecting front and back. Ria squirmed as Andrew let his finger explore, and almost immediately he felt her becoming moist. He’d never been with a woman who was more easily aroused, and he hoped that wouldn’t change as they got older.
He slipped her panties off, then lay down beside her and started kissing her. His hands roamed her body, rolling her nipples between his fingers and resuming the exploration of her moist area, and Ria held onto him tightly as he explored more deeply.
She was breathless from the intensity of his kisses and his hand that was driving her wild, and she gasped loudly as she felt an orgasm start rippling through her body. She loved the way Andrew could excite her over and over, as if he knew a special language to talk to her body. He held her tightly with one arm while using his other hand to keep her orgasm going, but finally he stopped kissing her long enough for her body to relax again, although he kept her tightly against his chest.
He whispered his love to her for several minutes, then started letting his hand roam again, but this time he moved his head down so he could suck on her nipples, alternating them while his hand caressed her lower abdomen and inner thighs, lightly touching only the areas surrounding her femininity.
Andrew had discovered early in his relationship with Ria that much of her body was erogenous, and even now she was shivering with pleasure. She was like an organ with many manuals, and he loved playing them all. He reached down and pulled off his briefs, then moistened his hard penis with her wetness and ran it slowly over her lower abdomen, inner legs, and finally the wet folds themselves.
Ria was starting to tremble again, so he quickly slid partway into her and paused to help slow her body down, but then he slid into her all the way and started moving again.
Ria suddenly contracted and almost made him lose it, but he willed himself to hold on and gently started rocking, causing her body to respond strongly, and their movements quickly became passionate and intense. Andrew could feel her contractions squeezing him, and with a groan he released just as her whole body started shaking.
She wrapped her arms around his neck so tightly he could barely breathe, but if he had to die at that moment, it would be as a deliriously happy man. They held on to each other for a long time, and then Andrew started covering her face with gentle kisses.
“I love you more than anything in the world,” he whispered.
“Is that all?” she asked, her green eyes laughing.
They stayed wrapped together, Andrew still inside her, until finally Ria looked at him and said, “I’m starved!”
Andrew rolled away from her. “What a surprise,” he replied with amusement. “As far as I can tell, your hunger button is located immediately next to your sexual one.” He went on lying there lazily, so Ria climbed on him, sitting on his stomach.
“I need to be fed,” she announced.
“It’s still a couple hours until our dinner reservations. Do you want to order room service or go get a snack in the hotel?”
“The hotel,” she answered without hesitation. “I want to be around the holiday stuff. This is the first time I’ve been away from my family at Christmas, and I kind of miss them.”
“Why don’t you call them and talk a while?” he suggested.
“I’m going to do that tomorrow.”
“When do you want your Christmas gift, Mrs. MacNeil?”
“I don’t know,” she replied with a small shrug. “It’ll be more romantic tonight, but then there’s nothing for tomorrow.”
“I could give you a gift each day,” he offered. “Would that solve your problem?”
“You can’t give me two gifts,” she protested. “I only have one gift for you.”
“You’re my wife now, and I can give you as many gifts as I want.”
“But I won’t have a second one for you.”
“I’m sure I can think of something you can give me,” he said with amusement. Then he added as he patted her thigh, “If you want me to go with you to get a snack, you’ll have to get off me first.”
Ria jumped up and ran towards the bathroom with its roofless shower. “Last one in has to pay,” she called as she darted through the door.
“As if there was ever any question.”
They had a small snack in the festively decorated hotel and stayed to enjoy the holiday ambiance, but eventually they had to go change for dinner. When they finally came back to their small house after the six-course Christmas Eve meal, they put on casual clothes again and then stretched out on a double chaise longue on their private terrace. The reflection of the tiny lights wound through the branches of the trees shimmered on the surface of their infinity pool, and they could hear the sounds of the ocean.
“This is perfect,” announced Ria. “The only thing missing is some Christmas music.”
“Your wish is my command,” replied Andrew, getting up. He went back into the house and very soon returned with a small iPod that he’d brought for exactly this reason.
“I can’t believe you remembered to bring music.”
“It’s the only honeymoon I plan to have in my life, so I want it to be right.”
They lay there together, his arm around her, listening to Christmas music until Andrew finally broke the silence.
“So, do you want a Christmas Eve gift?” he asked.
“Do you want the seriously nice gift or the B-list one?”
“You bought me a B-list gift?” she asked indignantly.
“I guess you’ll have to see for yourself when you open it.”
Ria sighed. “All right, let’s give our gifts now. It’s nicer when it’s at night.”
“Let’s go inside, though,” he suggested. “You need more light to see yours.”
They went inside and sat down in the living room. “Merry first married Christmas!” said Andrew as he handed Ria a narrow rectangular box. It was beautifully wrapped in gold lace paper with red and green curled foil ribbon and a gold glass ball in the middle.
“How did you keep the wrapping so nice in your suitcase?” Ria wondered, looking closely at the tempting little box.
‘My secret,” he answered smiling. He watched as Ria hesitated. “Aren’t you going to open it?”
“I will, but then it won’t be pretty anymore.” She continued admiring the package.
“Should I take it back and wait for tomorrow?”
“No!” Slowly she undid the box, preserving the wrapping rather than ripping it off. Finally, she lifted the lid of a jeweler’s box and saw a simple white-gold bracelet with flared links.
“There’s a reason why I’m giving you another bracelet so soon,” he said, referring to the fact that he’d given her a bracelet in October for her birthday. “This one is a family bracelet, and I thought now was a good time for you to have it.”
“What’s a family bracelet?” she asked, taking it out and draping it on her wrist. Andrew leaned forward and hooked it for her.
“It’s designed so that gemstones can be added for each child you have, if you like,” he replied. “It’s totally flexible. You can leave it like it is now, or you can add any number of stones. One or two would look fine, but so would seven or eight.” He made a face at the idea of seven or eight children before continuing.
“You can use any kind of stone you want. They can be diamonds, you can choose another stone, or you can even choose a different color stone for each child. You can make it look however you’d like.”
Ria was looking at the bracelet but not saying anything, so he stopped and waited until finally she looked up, and he saw there were tears in her eyes. “This is for our babies!” she said with awe in her voice. “Thank you!”
She got up and moved onto his lap, then wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him. “Every time I think you’re the best, you get better! This is my best present ever!”
Andrew wrapped his arms around her and kissed her back. “We’re going to have a lot of fun creating each of those stones,” he whispered in her ear.
She giggled, then turned serious. “My gift’s stupid after this,” she said with a downcast face.
“Why don’t you let me be the judge?”
“Because you’ll just say what you think I want to hear.”
“Does that mean I don’t get my gift?”
Ria got off his lap, went to a drawer in their bedroom, and came back with a long flat box. “Here,” she said, handing him the box. “Merry Christmas!”
He took the box that screamed necktie and opened it. It was indeed a necktie, albeit a beautiful silk one that he knew had cost several hundred dollars. There was also a note with it, and when he opened it, he saw a picture of a handsome Italian sport coat. He read the note, then looked up at Ria and shook his head. “I can’t believe you planned this,” he said, motioning that she should come back to his lap.
“Do you like it?” she asked anxiously.
“I love it,” he said truthfully, “and what I love most is that you went to the trouble to do it.” Ria had chosen a sport coat to go with the tie, a sport coat which was now waiting in the store back in Chandler for him to go in for a final fitting. “How did you know what size to buy?” he asked.
“I snuck one of your jackets to the store so they could take all the measurements,” she said grinning mischievously. “You didn’t even know it was gone!”
“I didn’t know I had to count my jackets every night.”
“So now what?” Ria asked expectantly.
“Now I guess we’ve just celebrated our first Christmas Eve together.”
Christmas Day Andrew gave her a beautiful silk Cartier scarf, and Ria was impressed with the good taste of the design he’d chosen. Later they phoned both families to wish them Merry Christmas, and Ria and her mother talked for almost an hour, but Andrew felt it was money well spent.
Christmas afternoon they enjoyed a wonderful feast prepared by the hotel chefs and then later that evening made love again, this time in their private pool. Towards midnight they finally moved inside.
“How was your first Christmas as Mrs. MacNeil?” Andrew asked, handing her a glass of wine.
“I have no complaints.” Ria took her wine glass, held it up, and said “Here’s to the best marriage ever!”
“Hear! Hear!” Andrew held his glass up for the toast before putting it down on the table. Then he took hers and put it down too and, gathering her into his arms, started moving slowly to the music they’d put on after their return.
“Whenever you’re ready for bed, just say so,” he whispered in her ear.
She was pressed so tightly against his strong body that he almost didn’t hear the quiet response.