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Chapter One

Cassie Whitmore woke on the pleasant Saturday morning to hear the singing of the birds enjoying the mild April that had settled over eastern Indiana. She turned slowly to peer at the singing robins through the window of the oak paneled loft bedroom in the a-framed house nestled among the dense and budding trees. She had placed feeders on posts attach to the rusted log exterior just so that she could enjoy their presence while barely lifting her head from the pillow.

In her childhood, an aunt had instilled in her a love for everything that lived in the woods.

At age 30, Cassie enjoyed the wildlife even more than during her early years.

The pair of red – breasted guests flew away, and Cassie turned onto her back to glance at

her husband Ben, still asleep next to her. She smiled at the memory of what had taken place in that room the previous evening. Neither had dressed in the aftermath. Since their marriage two months earlier, each time they had made love they remained in the nude until morning. Perhaps they both enjoyed the feeling of closeness it brought, or perhaps it was a way of simply being prepared and ready should more shenanigans of that nature be the first order of business on the following day.

In either case, when they would wake naked, each would begin to laugh and reach for the

other, if for nothing more than a pleasant snuggle or just some kissing to start the day. On this morning, Cassie's deep brown almond shaped eyes were waiting for her husband's equally entrancing blue eyes to open and gaze into hers.

As was often the case, that was all it would take on this morning. Soon they were in a

tight embrace, kissing and teasing and stroking each other until each was hopelessly aroused.

Having enjoyed a full night of sleep after the previous evening's romp, they found

themselves full of energy. Cassie was quickly in ecstasy as Ben treated her to all the soft caressing his fingertips could manage, coupled with an animated session of lively attention to her nipples provided by his tongue.

When neither could restrain themselves any longer, Ben put his hand around her lower

 back and held her close while he slid on top of her. Cassie could not recall a time when his thrusting had been so forceful or pleasurable for her. As she arched her back and then raised her own pelvis in a rhythm to meet his thrusts, she sensed that his own excitement was building as much as hers, and hers was substantial on this morning.

Finally, they simultaneously cried out in moans and pressed their bodies hard against

each other in their mutual climax. When both were spent, they rested limp on the bed, Ben still on top of her. They remained there for a while, purring and sighing and laughing while exclaiming their happiness at their mutual orgasms.

Ben finally moved off Cassie to rest next to her. She immediately turned over to lie on

her stomach, as she had always enjoyed having her back and bottom caressed after making love. On cue, she felt the pleasurable treat of Ben's callused but warm and welcome hand stroking her flesh.

She turned her head to look into the eyes of her husband. "My goodness… I can

definitely say that you outdid yourself this morning. That was quite a performance. It may take me a little while recover from that. Have you been taking more vitamins lately?"

Ben leaned over and kissed her. "I'm just trying to fulfill my obligation to thoroughly

pleasure you whenever possible."

Cassie began to giggle. "Obligation? You mean it's your duty to exhibit such manly talent

in bed?"

Ben flashed a sly grin and winked. "I just feel that it's my responsibility."

Cassie again laughed softly as the caressing continued. "I do want you to know, just how

much I appreciate the energy and time you devote to bringing me pleasure. I know it must be a burdensome sacrifice for you to make."

Ben nodded slowly. "A sacrifice… I couldn't have said it any better myself."

Cassie shook her head as she giggled again. "I appreciate all you do for me… I can

imagine just how weary and put upon you must feel every time you have to put that thing in me and go to all the work of pushing it in… pulling it out… pushing it in… pulling it out… over and over and over and over and over… I know that must be so revolting for you."

Ben looked down with a fake, serious look on his face. "Horrible… just horrible."

Cassie smiled and laughed some more as she continued to enjoy the warm hand roaming

around her lower back and her bottom. "That's so unfortunate… after all, you are so good at sex… and you work so hard whenever you are forced to do that."

Ben joined her in her laughter, and then sat up. "I think I'd better get up and get my

shower if I want to get anything at all done today." But before hopping out of bed, as Cassie lay in ultimate contentment, her eyes closed as she rested on the pillow, Ben raised his hand and brought it down with a sharp "CRACK" on her bottom. Cassie let out a yelp, and then began to giggle as she reached back and rubbed the stinging patch. "Now what did I do to deserve that?"

Ben leaned down and kissed her on the neck while patting her gently on the smacked

bottom. "That was just for being Cassie." He strolled to the bathroom, the sound of more giggling following him.

Cassie remained on her stomach, reaching back and gently rubbing the warm and still

stinging cheek. Ben had never before given her a spank. In fact, no man  ever had. She could not explain to herself why she was so enjoying the lingering sensations, as she confessed to herself her own surprise that she would have enjoyed receiving another. Or, maybe even several more.

For something that she seemed to find so immediately pleasurable, she wondered why it

had never before crossed her mind. Then she reminded herself that it was not her mind that had just been whacked.


Cassie stayed in bed as Ben showered in the small adjoining bathroom he had been able

 to add to the loft in spite of the angle of the walls. Listening to the rhythm of the streams of water beating on the floor of the shower and knowing that Ben was standing naked under the flow made her feel mellow. Even if they had not made love that morning, Cassie would have been content to simply be next to the rugged 36-year-old man who had been instantly attracted to the petite, raven – haired beauty he had met while attending a fundraiser at Manton University. The school was a landmark in the nearby Indiana town of the same name. It was also Ben's alma mater from which he had earned a degree in business administration. It was an education that served him well in his capacity as the owner of his own and newly renamed construction company. Manton University was also the place of employment for Cassie, who served as the secretary to the president of the university as the result of a recent promotion.

A year and a half before, Cassie had been sitting at a table just inside the entrance of the

college's basketball arena, accepting donations on behalf of the athletic department. Ben, who had been a discus thrower on the track and field team, was among the crowd assembling that evening to watch an alumni basketball game.

Upon entering the complex, his attention was immediately focused upon the attractive

and shapely woman. He waited until no one else was at the table before walking up and handing Cassie his donation check. She thanked him, and as she wrote a receipt, Ben looked around, and seeing no one behind him, he introduced himself and began making small talk about his fond memories of being a student there.

It was when he asked Cassie about her job at the University that she handed him a

business card, and invited him to call her if she could ever be of any further assistance to such an interested alumnus. He did indeed call her the next week, but purely for the sake of asking her out to dinner.

The relationship had started out slowly. On that first dinner date, they did enjoy each

other's company immensely. It was also evident that there was an immediate and mutual attraction.

At the same time, Ben detected a reticent and cautious side to her personality. As the

evening progressed in the corner booth of the Italian restaurant, he came to learn that Cassie had married in her early 20’s, full of hope and optimism. The man she had married was an intern at a large Fort Wayne Hospital and who had swept her off her feet with his intelligence and curiosity.

Cassie was working as a medical secretary in a surgical practice close to the hospital.

That proximity caused them to meet one day in the hospital cafeteria through mutual friends. The relationship blossomed, and all seemed well.

There was no question that they were in love, but the husband became driven by ambition

as his internship ended. By the time he was ready to enter into a general practitioner office, he was finding that he could not control the professional drive that was consuming him, and that he was treating with alcohol on a regular basis.

After three years of marriage, Cassie made the painful decision to leave the marriage

behind. She had pleaded with him several times to seek treatment for alcoholism and counseling for his extreme work related behaviors. Seeing no reason for optimism, Cassie obtained an annulment and responded to a job posting in the athletic department at the college in her home territory of eastern Indiana.

Cassie found contentment working at the small university in Manton. She decided to take

some time off from any romantic endeavors, and had not accepted a single date until she had been in Manton for four years.

She was scared of falling for anyone again. There was a date here and there, but she

always held back after that. That was a disappointment to the men who had taken an interest in the beautiful and curvaceous woman who was barely five foot three. The deep dark eyes and the straight black hair that fell down upon her upper back added to her attractiveness and sense of  mystery, and made her harder to forget.

As alluring and desirable as men found her in a physical sense, those who could not get a

second date with Cassie primarily mourned the lack of follow-up because of the enchanting personality, and while she was reserved when it came to any commitments, her humorous and whimsical persona made suitors melt.

So it was with Ben Whitmore. The difference was, he was able to get an

affirmative answer when he called two weeks later to ask if she would like to go out with him once again. In doing so, Cassie surprised even herself, even though she found herself very attracted to Ben after that first date at the restaurant.

Ben considered himself a perceptive man. He sensed that his chances for spending more

time with Cassie would be best served by taking things slow. In fact, when he took her home after the first date, he stopped at the outside door of her apartment building, thanked her for an enjoyable evening, leaned down, and gave her a kiss. He simply reiterated how much he had enjoyed her company, then leaned down and planted another light kiss on her cheek before stating that he hoped they might see each other again in the future.

It was on the second date that Cassie began to learn about Ben's own past. Over dinner in

Manton's most elegant restaurant, Ben slowly and carefully began to speak of his post – college days. He had gone on to earn a Masters degree in business administration while concurrently toiling as a construction worker for an elderly man who was willing to teach him the practical side of running the business.

That arrangement lasted for several years, as Ben diligently saved his money and paid

close attention to the mentor who had taken a special liking to the young man, and made him a foreman. The old man operated the company until he was well into his 70s, then sold the company and his rustic and wooded home to Ben before moving to Florida.

Cassie was impressed upon hearing Ben's professional history. She could not help

appreciate that the physique of the former discus thrower had not at all suffered through the years of rigorous physical work. His shoulders were wide, and his waist was narrow. He was obviously muscular, but she found it to be an attractive attribute that he was only three inches taller than she was.

What gave her some pause were Ben's candid comments about his past dating activities.

He confessed that he had been somewhat enthusiastic in his enjoyment of women throughout his years. When Cassie tried to emphasize that she felt he had no obligation to reveal his dating past, he told her that he hoped to see more of her, but that he sensed that her own personal life had been more responsible, and he did not wish to present any pretenses.

While Ben feared that his confession of past revelries might end any chance he had with

Cassie, he found instead that she appreciated his honesty. She was definitely attracted to and interested in him, and she took his revelations as a confirmation that he felt the same, and did not want to risk losing her by holding back about his past.

Although Cassie felt a need to remain cautious in the arena of romance, she could not

help but think that a man who had enjoyed several sexual relationships would likely be able to provide some interesting moments should their relationship progress that far. And after he took her home for the second time, and once again paid the same respect to her obvious desire to allow time to take its course, she hoped that the relationship would indeed progress.

Their time together was initially spent simply getting to know each other better. They

often had dinner together, as frequently at one of their apartments as at restaurants. When the weather allowed, they would spend hours on the nature hikes that Cassie loved passionately, and Ben came to enjoy increasing as time passed.

Cassie became more trusting in Ben until the day came when she knew he was the right

one. She became more candid in her conversations, confident that she could share any thoughts or hopes with him.

As for Ben, he had quickly fallen for the warm and delightful woman. When he realized

that he liked her as much as he loved her, he knew he was hopelessly smitten. In his younger days, the shapely body, the impressive breasts, the deep beguiling eyes and the soft scented black hair would have had him at her mercy. But he loved Cassie because of the warm, gentle, and caring person that she was. He was also surprised and delighted by the sense of humor she displayed more as time went on. He immensely enjoyed her satirical take on life, and in contrast with her image as a steady and staid professional office worker, in her off-hours she could be a prankster, with Ben often being the recipient of her off-the-wall antics.

Their dating became more frequent, and when they had been seeing each other for ten

months, they were engaged. Cassie would never be able to decide if she were more surprised by hearing the proposal, or the eagerness with which she accepted it.

Several months into the relationship, Ben had told Cassie that he yearned to make love to

her, but respected her desire to take things slow. She acknowledged that her desire was just as strong, but they agreed that she would be the one to decide when the time was right.

It was a month after their engagement that they slept together for the first time. After that

 first night, there was no doubt in the mind of either that they were going to be happily compatible in the bedroom.

Still, Cassie had explained to Ben before they entered the bedroom in his condominium

for the first time that she wanted such nights to be rare and precious in advance of their wedding. She told him that she shared his desire to make love, but at the same time, wanted to have that early stage of their marriage full of the passion that new lovers enjoyed.

Ben was as hopelessly in love with Cassie as she was with him. Just hearing her say those

words made him look very much forward to the marriage, and in the months leading up to the private ceremony conducted by the university chaplain, they spent the night together just three more times.

Cassie's strategy had worked. Even though she had been married in the past, and Ben had

 been with several women, they were like a pair of young lovers experiencing carnal bliss for the first time.

Ben finally emerged from the shower, toweling himself off. He strolled over and sat

down next to where Cassie still lay on her stomach. "I didn't mean to smack you so hard. I was just horsing around."

Cassie turned on her side to face him. "I didn't mind that one little bit. Actually… I kind

of liked the lingering effects of it."

Ben breathed a sigh of relief. "I'm glad because… I really didn't mean to smack you


Cassie began to laugh softly. "No, really… I kind of… you know. It was kind of like…

Oh, yeah!" She reached back and dramatically rubbed the warm spot where his hand had landed. "I did read one time that the nerves back there run to… other places. I always knew that some women enjoy getting their butts smacked, but the thought never did much for me… until now." She winked at her husband and began to stroke his damp back. "It's just another erogenous zone. Maybe you can smack me again one of these days."

Ben tilted his head inquisitively. “A hot chick like you… never had some guy gave you a

smack on the butt?”

Cassie laughed. “Afraid not. Not even my ex. He was kind of like the Star Trek character

Spock. It would simply have not seemed logical.”

Cassie began to laugh again. “I am totally at a loss to explain this… but now the thought

of you smacking my ass seems like a real turn on.”

Ben arched his eyebrows as he rose. "You hot little thing… you're just one surprise after


Cassie sprang from the bed and kissed Ben on her way to the bathroom. As she entered

and turned on the shower, she felt flutters of anticipation throughout the entire middle of her body.


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