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Chapter One

I glanced up from my book, sensing something was amiss. Red and blue lights flashed through the sheer living room curtains, confirming my suspicions. I set my romance novel aside and ran a hand through my hair, sighing. Not again. Crawling off the couch, I crept toward the window and drew a breath to call out to my husband.

“Craig! More cops!” I said, and a second later heard his footsteps in the hallway. Looking over my shoulder, I watched as he hurried into the living room, his mouth set in a tight line. At least his anger wasn’t directed at me though. We’d moved into this new gated community and into our dream house after our wedding, and a few months later the vandalisms and break-ins had started. Luckily no one had bothered our house yet, but we feared it was only a matter of time. The police didn’t have a clue who was responsible.

“Across the street?” Craig asked, coming up beside me and placing his hand on my lower back. His touch comforted me, and I leaned against his shoulder.

“Yep.” I pulled the curtains farther aside. “Looks like Mark and Carol’s house. We should make sure they’re okay.” Bystanders were gathering around the three police cars, and the porch lights of all the surrounding houses began to flicker to life, illuminating the night.

“I’ll go check,” Craig said, placing a kiss atop my head. “You stay here.”

Annoyance hummed through me, and I frowned up at him. “I’m coming with you.”

His jaw tightened and his eyes darkened as he drew up straight. “No, you’ll stay here, young lady. I’ll find out what’s going on and then I’ll be right back in.”

Resting one hand on my hip, I tapped my foot and glared up at him, feeling a burn creep up the back of my neck. Ever since the troubles in the neighborhood had started, he’d become far too overprotective for my liking. All the other wives were standing outside, plus the perpetrator hadn’t escaped capture for weeks by being stupid and sticking around after the police showed up.

Despite how badly I wanted to go outside and make sure the neighbors were all right, I knew Craig wouldn’t back down. Continuing to glare at him, I said, “Fine! Go!” I turned to the window, muttering, “Big meanie.”

“We’re going to have a discussion about your attitude when I get back, Sarah Jane.” His deep voice and his pronouncement sent a jolt of fear through my body, coupled with a shiver down my spine that aggravated a pulsing sensation between my thighs. Damn it. I loved him, but he could make me so angry sometimes, especially when he managed to put me in my place and turn me on all at once.

“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” I said as he left the room. The front door opened and slammed, and the alarm started beeping, signaling that he was setting it from the outside just for his short trip out of the house. Heat seared my cheeks as my anger flared hotter.

From my spot at the window, I watched as Craig crossed the street and began conversing with a police officer. Mark and Carol appeared beside the officer and the four of them spoke for several minutes while more and more neighbors spilled out of their houses.

It wasn’t fair! My teeth grinded together and I spun around, feeling angry and reckless. I was going outside and there was nothing Craig could do about it. Besides, I reasoned, he’d already mentioned we were going to have a discussion about my attitude when he arrived home. Discussion meant he’d probably turn me over his knee and spank my bare bottom while he lectured me about my behavior. The same jolt of fear bounced through me, followed by another shiver and heat pulsing in my pussy. I tried to shake the unwanted feelings away and focus on the injustice of being ordered to stay inside.

Taking a deep breath, I walked to the foyer and slipped on my warmest jacket. I entered the code to shut the alarm off and strolled outside into the frigid night air. Puffs of white streamed from my mouth as I crossed the street and joined the throng of neighbors. It was then that I saw two of the front windows of Mark and Carol’s house were broken.

I walked through the crowd, greeting those who looked my way, and took my place at Craig’s side. “Are you guys okay?” I asked, directing the question at Carol. Next to me, I felt Craig’s body stiffen, and his hand came to rest upon my shoulder, squeezing tight in warning.

Carol nodded, her face pale and her eyes wide. “We’re fine. We’d gone to bed already and heard a crash, followed by another crash. We found two large rocks in our living room and didn’t see any sign of the jackoff who did it.”

We spoke for a few more minutes, and eventually the neighbors began to disperse, satisfied that everyone was okay and the threat was gone for the moment. Craig kept his hand on my shoulder the entire time, and when I dared a glance up at him, his features were tense and forbidding. Anger radiated off him, and I suddenly second guessed my excursion outside. The white puffs of breath streaming from his mouth and nose might as well be smoke.

Finally, Mark and Carol ventured back into their house to deal with the damage, and Craig steered me toward our house. My tummy flipped as his grip on my shoulder tightened. I felt like I was a naughty girl being marched to her punishment. And I suppose I was. I gulped and tried to think of a good excuse to get out of the spanking I knew he planned to deliver, but deep down I knew I deserved it, and also that no amount of reasoning could dissuade Craig once his mind was made up.

Our mutual interest in spanking had brought us together, and now that we were husband and wife we practiced domestic discipline in our marriage. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but that didn’t mean I didn’t get nervous in the face of real discipline. My bottom tingled and my mouth went dry as we entered the house. Craig released me, shutting the door and then promptly setting the alarm.

I waited as he entered the code, my head bowed as guilt began to gnaw at my insides, battling with the remnants of my anger. I knew he was frustrated over the problems in our community. Newbury Ridge was supposed to be safe. No one had gotten hurt yet, but that didn’t mean it wouldn’t happen. He wanted to keep me safe, and I understood the reasons for his overprotectiveness, but I still got frustrated from time to time when it all became too smothering.

“Sarah Jane Mills, you are in so much trouble, young lady.” He grabbed me by the shoulders, his stern expression turning me into a puddle of nerves.

“Craig, everyone else was outside. I didn’t see any reason why I wasn’t allowed to go out there too. You need to loosen up a bit. Please don’t be mad at me.” My voice trembled as I pleaded my case, the best I could come up with under the circumstances.

“I’m not just upset with you because you went outside, Sarah Jane, I’m upset because you seem to think you can do as you please. I’ve come home too many times to find the alarm not set, and you always blow me off and continue to disregard my wishes. You’re my wife and I want to protect you. The cops will eventually catch this guy and then everything can go back to normal, but until then I expect you to obey me in this.”

I swallowed past the dryness in my mouth, feeling my lip began to tremble. The disappointment in his eyes tugged at my heart. “It’s just a vandal, really,” I said, though my stomach sank with the knowledge that Craig would take this discussion up to our bedroom where I would undoubtedly end up over his knee with my pants and panties tangled around my ankles.

“What happens if he breaks into a house and someone sees his face, Sarah Jane? You’re inviting disaster by not being careful. You will keep the doors locked and the alarm set at all times. You will tell me when you are leaving the house and text me when you get home. And you will stop fighting me over these simple rules and lose the attitude, Sarah Jane. Is that understood?”

“Yes, sir. I’m sorry.” There was nothing else to say.

He nodded and some of the sternness left his eyes, though his jaw remained tight, the muscles in his neck as rigid as ever. His hands dropped from my shoulders and he took a step back, his gaze roving over my body. “I believe that you’re sorry, Sarah Jane, but that doesn’t change the fact that you disobeyed me yet again.”

I shifted in place and twisted my hands together, my eyes growing wide. “Please Craig, I really am sorry and I promise to do better.”

He shook his head. “You were naughty, young lady, and you will be punished. Thoroughly. I intend to make sure you understand the seriousness of this situation. Now be a good girl and go wait for me in the bedroom.”

I shot him one last pleading look, but I couldn’t find my voice. My insides quaked as I turned and headed up the stairs. Dread weighed my feet down and slowed my steps. Craig didn’t anger easily, but I knew him well enough to know he was absolutely furious with me. And disappointed. Tears threatened to spill down my cheeks, and I blinked quickly and sniffled, trying to hold my emotion in.

Entering the master bedroom, I spun around and listened for his footsteps. Silence. I frowned, knowing he needed to calm down before he took me over his knee. I removed my coat, sat on the bed, and begin watching the door. I wished he’d hurry up and get it over with, yet feared my punishment at the same time. Minutes passed. I glanced at the clock on the nightstand. Ten minutes. Twenty. Twenty-five.

Footsteps sounded on the stairs, at last, and my stomach flipped. Anticipation quickened my pulse, and I brushed strands of hair from my face and straightened on the bed, trying to make myself look presentable and contrite. Not that I didn’t already feel contrite, but I hoped Craig would go easy on me if he believed I was sorry.

I nearly gasped when his hulking form filled the doorway. His gaze zeroed in on me, dark and forbidding, and my heart skipped a beat when he finally walked into the room and shut the door. His strong presence overpowered me, and I felt completely at his mercy and regretful of my actions.

He paused halfway to the bed and stared at me for a long minute. Tension swelled in the room, and I felt faint, as if all the oxygen had suddenly been sucked out the window. I waited for his instructions, returning his gaze as my hands trembled in my lap.

“You mean the world to me, Sarah Jane.” The softness in his voice contrasted with the steel in his eyes. “I will not stand for your constant disregard for your own safety, just as I won’t stand for backtalk and childish behavior.”

“I know, and I’m sorry,” I said, the words spilling out as I fought to control the shaking of my hands. I loved the dynamic of our DD relationship, and I knew Craig wouldn’t mete out more than I could handle, but that didn’t diminish the fear I felt in the face of a punishment spanking. I much preferred the fun spankings and the naughty roleplaying sessions we enjoyed on Saturday nights.

As he continued to stare at me, as if trying to decide the specifics of my punishment, his hands moved up to his belt buckle.

“Please not the belt,” I begged, shaking my head. My bottom clenched as he pulled it off his pants and folded it in half. It dangled from his hand ominously, and I couldn’t look away.

“Yes,” he said. “The belt. We’re going to nip this behavior problem of yours in the bud before it becomes more of an issue, Sarah Jane. Now stand up.”


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