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Chapter One

Christmas was coming… again, and there just had to be something she could do besides the normal that her family did every year. Bobby Sutterfield paced the floor in her bedroom and then stopped and looked out the window to see what was happening. She let out an outraged squeal of hotheaded anger and went running out of her room and down the steps.

“Roberta Lynn Sutterfield, what do you think you are doing running through the house like that?” her mother called after her, but Bobby didn’t stop to answer. Instead, she grabbed a rifle from the wall in her father’s study and then ran out the front door and down the porch steps to take off flying toward the corral as fast as she could.

“Holy toads, Law, you’d best git!” Casey, her father’s foreman said, his eyes on the redhead charging toward them like an angry bull.

“I’m not worried about that spoiled brat,” Lawson Carter said calmly, his dark eyes taking in the fact she was wearing those damned tight britches of hers again. Only a blind man could fail to see that she had a fine figure, but part of that figure needed a firm hand applied to it, and he was just the man for the job.

“I warned you to keep your ass off of this ranch, Carter!” She raised the gun and fired, blowing his hat right off his head.

“That was my brand new hat, you wild little hellcat!” Law declared, his brown eyes flashing with a temper of his own. “You’re damn well gonna buy me a new one, too.”

“The hell you say,” she argued. “You just get your ass off this ranch right now, or I’m gonna shoot you for trespassing. You’re probably the one doing all the rustling in these parts,” she accused, not believing it for one second, but determined to get his goat.

“You take that back or I’m gonna blister you.”

“We aren’t alone on the range now, cowboy. You just try puttin’ a hand to me here on my father’s ranch, and you’ll be shot dead so fast you won’t know what happened,” she informed him, turning up her chin in pure defiance. Then Bobby noticed he was walking toward her, purpose in his step and determination in his dark eyes. She quickly backed up, and then she took off running when he didn’t stop. “Do something, Casey!” Bobby ordered.

“You shot at the man, missy. I reckon you got a lickin’ comin’ to you.” Casey hurried into the barn and Bobby was suddenly very much alone with the angry cowboy who owned the next ranch over from her father’s.

“Don’t you dare touch me!” she yelled at the angry man, and then ran a few more steps when her threats didn’t stop him in his tracks. “I mean it! Daddy will shoot you dead!”

“If your daddy would have put you over his knee a few times when you were younger, then I wouldn’t have to do his job for him now.” Law lunged and snagged her wrist and before she could put up a fuss, he took the rifle from her and gave it a toss so that she couldn’t reach it. He already knew she was an excellent shot, and he knew for a fact that if she had been trying to kill him, he would be dead. Still, she needed a spanking, and he wanted to give her a spanking, so it was going to happen here and now, and to his satisfaction.

“No!” Bobby screamed when he flipped her over his bent knee. He had his foot planted on the ground, creating a place to put her behind, and just that quickly his firm hand was smacking hard against the seat of her worn pants. “I wish I’d shot you instead of your stupid hat!” she said, and quickly learned it was a huge mistake to taunt him. He simply spanked harder, and it hurt. “Stop!” she screamed in outraged dignity.

“Maybe next week,” he told her, enjoying the feel of her cute backside under his hand. He loved her wiggle, too, and he hated the fact that she dressed in pants and other men got to see his wiggle.

“Boy, you let her up and you do it now or I’ll blow you to kingdom come.” There was no mistaking RJ Sutterfield’s gravelly voice, or the fact that he held his pistol to the back of Law’s head.

“Daddy, he spanked me!” Bobby jumped to her feet and rubbed her bottom with both hands, tears running down her cheeks. Her backside was on fire, and she wanted the man out of her life permanently.

“Tell him why I spanked you, unless you’re chicken?” Lawson taunted her.

“You spanked me because you’re mean and I hate you!” The brat in her made her lie. It was obvious she was enjoying the fact that her daddy was about three seconds from blowing his head off.

“That ain’t the truth, missy, and you’d best own up to it before I tan your hide myself, and I won’t use my hand, neither,” Casey spoke up, leaving the barn in time to defend Lawson.

“Girl, what’s Casey tryin’ to tell me?” RJ demanded, looking at his girl who was suddenly pretending to be crying too hard to talk. “Casey, speak your piece,” he ordered.

“She done come runnin’ out of the house with your brand new rifle, RJ, and plumb shot the hat right offin his head,” Casey tattled. “If she’d missed, he could be lyin’ on the ground dead and she’d be facin’ a hangin’, even with all the money you got, RJ.” He looked at Bobby and said, “You’ve spoiled her rotten and she needs a good lesson.”

“You take yourself to your room, Roberta Lynn, and we will discuss this after I speak with your mother. I think maybe it is time for that school back east she wants you to attend.”

“I am not going to any school, Daddy. I promise you I won’t go.” When he growled, she took off running for the house and the relative safety of her room.

“I’m right sorry my girl shot at you, Carter. I’ll gladly buy you a new hat.”

“Sir, you didn’t ruin my hat; Bobby did, and she is going to buy me a new one.” Lawson was determined that she pay the full penalty for what she did, and he knew how much she would hate purchasing him a new hat.

“She’s a wild one,” RJ said, shaking his head. “Why don’t she like you?” he asked with a parent’s intuition.

“Because I caught her jumping that stallion of hers over that gulch on my property. I pulled her off that beast and paddled her proper for bein’ so foolish, and she warned me then if she caught me over here she’d shoot me,” he admitted, and then grinned. “We seem to set each other off.”

“I can’t believe she was jumpin’ Diablo!” RJ’s face paled at the thought. “Thank you for stoppin’ her. Damn, I’m gonna whip her myself!” he growled and then headed for the house. He should have tanned that girl when she was younger, but her mother wouldn’t permit it, and now look what she’d become. Lawson Carter was the only man in the territory who wasn’t afraid to stand up to Bobby.

By the time he reached the house, RJ was convinced that Lawson would make a good husband for his little girl. He wanted to see her settled and with children he could spoil rotten and teach all about ranching. Yes, he wanted him some grandkids before he was too old to enjoy them.

“Robert John, you need to speak to your daughter. She is running through this house as if she was a child, and I will not stand for it. And, those pants she is wearing! She needs to be sent to a finishing school.”

“There ain’t gonna be no finishing school, Pris. What that girl needs is a husband.”

“No man around these parts is going to offer for her when she behaves like a hoyden,” Priscilla argued.

“Pris, you need to trust me. That girl is gonna get married real soon or I’ll eat my hat. Now, I know how you feel about punishing the girl, but I’ve got to be firm with her right now, much as it pains me. She fired a shot at Lawson Carter; if she’d missed he could’ve been killed and she would hang or spend the rest of her days in prison. I learned from Carter that she was jumpin’ that stallion of hers at his place, over that gulch of his.” He watched her blue eyes widen in alarm. “Yes, I know. I cain’t let it pass, dear. I’m gonna do what a father who loves his daughter would do under the circumstances.”

“Oh, Robert John, I don’t think that is a good idea. No, I can’t let you.”

“Priscilla, I let you have your way most of the time ‘cause you’re usually right, but there ain’t gonna be no discussion over this. I’m going to give that girl a reason not to go ridin’ for a few days, and if I hear one more no from you on the subject, I’ll give you a good spankin’, too.”

“Robert John! I am forty years old, I’ll have you know!” she indignantly pointed out.

“No woman ever gets too old for a good spankin’. Do I need to prove that?” he asked meaningfully, and Priscilla shook her head no. She knew he would do just as he said. He had done it before, but the last time was years ago. “Good.” He went to the staircase and on up to deal with his daughter.


Her poor bottom was on fire! And even worse, her father didn’t shoot that odious Lawson Carter. And, she just knew that Lawson tattled on her and she just knew she was going to get another scolding for riding Diablo with abandon. It was a thrill to give the black stallion his head and ride like the wind. If she had known that Carter was watching, she wouldn’t have jumped the gulch. And now she was positive her daddy knew. Lawson was probably a tattletale!

There was a knock on her door and Bobby decided she might as well get the scolding over with. She was prepared, and her father was always a sucker for her tears. “Come in, Daddy,” she whispered emotionally, allowing tears to escape her eyes and run down her cheeks. “I am in so much pain!” she dramatically declared. “Lawson Carter is so mean, but I know that doesn’t make what I did all right. I suppose I will need to buy him a new hat now,” she said, delicately dabbing at her pretty green eyes with her lace-trimmed handkerchief.

“Yes, you will buy him a new hat, and you will apologize to the man and invite him to have supper with us tomorrow night.”

“Oh, Daddy! Must I?” she asked, clearly upset by the idea. “Don’t you think that buying him a new hat is enough?”

“No, I don’t. It’s my money you’ll be using to pay for the new hat, but that apology is comin’ from you, and you are goin’ to cook the supper when he comes.”

“Me!” she exclaimed. “Oh no! I don’t cook!”

“You do, too, and you can quit fibbing about that. Jenny already told me that you help her out in the kitchen all the time. You will cook, and you will do your best. Hear me?”

“Yes, Daddy.” She didn’t dare argue. He was in one of his rare firm moods, and she didn’t want to anger him.

“Now then, you can get your hairbrush and bring it to me, girl. You jumped that horse of yours again, and after I done told you it was forbidden. I’m gonna see if I can tell you in a way you’ll remember the next time you feel like sittin’ your saddle.”

“No, Daddy!” she whispered, shocked. “No. You never punish me like that, and besides, I’m already very sore from Lawson Carter putting his hands on me.” Damn it! Lawson Carter tattled on her like she was some little girl!

“He had every right to tan you for shootin’ at him, and I have every right to tan you for jumpin’ Diablo. Now, you get your hairbrush and come here,” he said, sitting on her bed. “If I have to tell you again, I’ll take Diablo away from you. Then I won’t have to worry about you jumpin’ him.”

“Please don’t do that, Daddy,” she begged, truly upset. “I won’t jump him again. I promise.” He just looked at her and Bobby knew he was not going to relent. He intended to spank her with her hairbrush, and if she didn’t bring him the brush now, he would take her precious stallion away from her. Losing Diablo would hurt much worse than any spanking. She picked up her brush from the vanity and walked slowly to where he was seated. “You really don’t need to do this, Daddy. I give you my word.”

“Did you jump Diablo?” he demanded.

“Yes, sir,” she had to admit. And that was that. It was a terrible spanking, too. Robert John Sutterfield didn’t do anything by half measures, and that included punishing his daughter.

Before he left her room he said, “I don’t want to see you in pants for the next three weeks, daughter. You won’t be riding, and you will dress like a lady to please your mama. Is that understood?” He accepted her nod since she was still crying too hard to speak coherently.


Law was trying to repair one of the boards in the corral where one of the wild broncs let fly with a kick and splintered the fence, when a rider approached. He did not know the young man, and kept an eye on the youngster. His years as a lawman taught him that a gun was just as deadly in the hands of a green kid as it was in the hands of a long time criminal. “What can I do for you?” he asked cordially, waiting to see what the kid wanted. If he was here to ask for a job, Law just might give him a chance, he decided, noting that the mount he was riding appeared to be well cared for.

“Are you Mr. Carter?” the youth asked.

“I’m Lawson Carter,” Law replied.

“Good. Miss Bobby asked me to deliver this note to you, and she asked me to wait for a reply.” He dismounted and reached into his shirt pocket for a folded piece of paper, which he handed to Law. He stepped back then, to give Law time to read the note.

The last thing Law expected was a note from the lovely redhead, and he was pretty darn sure that she was sending an apology per her daddy’s orders. He opened the folded paper and read:

Mr. Carter, I am writing to ask if it would be convenient for you to join us for supper tonight? If you have other plans, could you please suggest another time you would be able to come? Please give Jake an answer, and I hope we will see you tonight. Roberta Lynn Sutterfield

Carter was surprised, and he chuckled. It appeared that RJ was attempting to sit on his wildcat of a daughter. He looked at the young man who was waiting patiently. “Jake?”

“No, sir. Jake couldn’t come ‘cause the boss said he had to help round up some strays. I’m Willie.”

“That’s fine, Willie. You can tell Miss Sutterfield that I would be pleased to come to supper tonight. I will be there by six.”

“I’ll sure give her the message, Mr. Carter.” He mounted his gelding and headed back to the Sutterfield Ranch.

Lawson chuckled again and decided it was going to be fun to watch the redhead squirm on her seat tonight. She would still be finding it difficult to sit after the tanning he gave her just yesterday. The only thing he had to do was to watch the food and make sure that she hadn’t done something terrible to what she served him. A friend of his was sick for three days after his angry wife baked him a pie and added too much of an herb. She admitted her deed when she saw how sick he was from his repeated trips to the outhouse. When Ned was better, he took a wooden spoon to her bare backside and she spent the next three days standing to eat her meals. No, if that sort of trickery was what little Miss Sutterfield had in mind, it was not going to work.


“Where is Bobby?” RJ demanded as he took his seat at the table for the noon meal.

“She doesn’t feel like coming to the table, my dear,” Priscilla said softly, hoping her husband would take the hint and leave their daughter alone.

“Is she sick?” RJ asked. “Or is she poutin’ because I gave her a tannin’?”

“Robert John, our Bobby is much too sore to sit at the table! You were awfully hard on her, and you can’t expect her to want to sit down when she is in so much pain. I cannot believe you insisted she invite that horrid Lawson Carter to eat at our table, either!” Priscilla was not happy with her husband. “I intend to give him a piece of my mind, too,” she insisted, her blue eyes snapping with temper.

RJ looked at Priscilla and just shook his head. He knew that his daughter got a lot of her temper from her mother, even though most folks thought it was from him. RJ admitted he had a temper, but he always heard both sides before he made a snap judgment. “Pris, have you even met the man, or talked to him?” he asked.

“No. The only place I ever go is to church, and to our ladies meetings. I surely didn’t see this awful man at church on Sunday.”

“That’s because he was moving his cattle to the ranch, and he couldn’t stop to attend church. You know that after bein’ married to me for so long.”

“What I know is that he accosted our daughter, and if you won’t defend her, then I will!”

Unfortunately, Jenny came in from the kitchen right then, carrying a fancy bowl with soup inside. “Jenny, would you please put that back on the stove to keep it hot? Missus Sutterfield and me got some talking to do, and Bobby ain’t down here yet.”

“Yes, Mr. Carter,” the young woman replied, doing her best to hide a smile. She had often thought that Priscilla Carter needed a good comeuppance, and that daughter of hers needed one, too, even though she truly loved both of them. Word had it that the new neighbor spanked the sassy redhead soundly, and then her daddy paddled her with her own hairbrush. Jenny knew that for a fact since she was cleaning upstairs when it happened and she heard the entire thing. RJ didn’t do anything by half measures, and Jenny was having sympathy pains on her own hind by the time the man finished walloping Bobby.

Bobby sobbed and cried for hours afterwards, and RJ told his wife that their spoiled daughter was sent to bed for the night. When the woman protested and asked about supper, he said Bobby didn’t need any supper that night. Jenny thought it a fitting punishment for risking her life by jumping her horse, and now it seemed that Priscilla was in some trouble herself.

Jenny put the soup back into the pan, and turned the flame as low as possible. She then took out paper and a pencil and started making a list of what she would need to make the Christmas gifts she planned to give, doing her best to ignore the argument in the next room.

“You just come with me to my study, woman.”

“I most certainly shall not do so! It is time for lunch, and I am starving.”

“You are starving because you never eat breakfast.”

“I don’t like breakfast.”

“Either you git your fanny up off that chair, or I will pick you up and carry you, Pris.”

“You wouldn’t dare!” Priscilla argued, and then squealed when RJ not only picked her up, he tossed her over his shoulder and let her dangle down his back. Her hair came loose and fell, too.

RJ marched through the parlor and across the entry way and through another door and into his study. He used his booted foot to kick the door shut, and then carried his wife to the sofa that sat in front of the fireplace. He took a seat, and then put his wife face-down over his lap.

“Oh no! Robert John, please! I am too old for you to— NO! Do not toss up my skirts, and leave my drawers alone!” she screeched, trying to hold onto the garment. It did not work and she soon found her nether regions completely bared. “Robert, please don’t do this. I do not even know why you are so upset with me. We need to talk about this.”

RJ ignored his wife’s pleading and brought his hand down with a snap on her behind, causing her to squeal. He repeated the action to her other cheek, and this time she whimpered.

“Robert John, please stop! I am sorry for whatever I said to upset you! Please, dear? Talk to me.”

“I tried to talk to you in the dining room, but I wasn’t gettin’ your attention.”

“I am so sorry; I will pay attention now,” she promised.

“In a few minutes, my dear,” he replied, and commenced to spank her white bottom cheeks.

“Ow! Owww! Stop!” Pris cried. “You are hurting me, Robert!”

“A spankin’ is supposed to hurt,” he told her without the least bit of sympathy. “I want to make sure I have your attention before we have our little talk.”

“You do! I promise you do! Ow!” The spanking was terrible – especially on a bottom that hadn’t been touched in at least ten years. “You do not know your strength, Robert,” she declared.

“I’m not spankin’ you that hard, Pris. Stop fussin’ at me and think about what you did to earn this spankin’.”

“I just spoke my mind! Is that suddenly so wrong?” she demanded, her tears starting to run down her cheeks. “It’s not like the last time you did this when I was behaving badly!”

“I happen to think you are behavin’ badly, wife. Instead of takin’ our daughter’s side in this matter, you should be listenin’ to me and doin’ your best to make our Bobby into a woman who would make a good wife to a good man.”

“What? Roberta Lynn isn’t looking to get married! Ow! Not so hard. I can’t think while you are spanking me. Stop it now, Robert. Please!”

RJ gave her a few more hard slaps that made the others seem like love taps. Priscilla was sobbing by the time he decided she was ready to hear what he had to say. He sat her on his lap, and when she would have jumped to her feet, he held her in place. “You sit right here, Mrs. Sutterfield. We are goin’ to have us a talk now, and I want your attention. Is that understood?”

“Yes!” She sobbed the word, giving him a wounded look. “How could you do that to me, Robert John? Don’t you care that you hurt me?”

“I will always do what is best for our marriage, dear one, and you needed a spankin’. A man isn’t a man if he lets his woman call the shots.” He handed her his clean handkerchief. “You are a good woman, Pris, and I love you more than my life, but I won’t have you takin’ Bobby’s side when she is in the wrong.”

To be continued…


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