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Chapter One


The last few weeks had been the hardest of Andria's life. No other experience, with the exception of the daily torturous grind of school, could compare to the hike up the Chilkoot Trail to the Golden Staircase while facing starvation and dealing with a woman like Olivia. All the while the small group re-enacted the Yukon Gold Rush of the 1890s and she offered herself up as whipping post, or, to be more accurate, a spanking post, to two men who were pretending to be her husbands.

On the other hand, her times with Van and Tyson were best of her life. Even as she marched over the snow-covered ice that was the path to Lake Bennet, the next point on their way to Dawson City, her bottom sore and bruised from recent spankings, her clothes soaking wet and covered in mud, a heavy pack on her back, and bag filled with food stuff slapping against her hip, she looked forward to when they stopped. She would not only enjoy the chance to take a break and rest her feet, but the thought of draping herself over Van's or Tyson's lap for a little pre-dinner paddling was oddly enticing. A month ago, she never would've thought that she'd look forward to a spanking.

A smile pulled at her lips and she sped up a bit to walk next to Van, sliding her fingers into his.

Green eyes glanced her way as his warm, large hand took hers in a firm grip. They walked in silence, warned as they were every few hundred feet by a sign reminding the hikers of avalanches.

They didn't stop to eat. Andria passed out balls of dandelion leaves, blackberries, and bacon fat to everyone who requested food. Olivia wrinkled her nose, her full lips thinned flat in anger, but she didn't say anything as she took the meager fare. Brian and Grecia hesitated, but after the initial bite, they slowly warmed up to it. Matt picked off the leaves and gave them to his lover, Celia. She took them with her usual soft smile, humming Let it Snow under her breath.

Tyson and Van, who had been eating the dandelion balls almost since the start of the trip and knew how scarce food was, ate sparingly. Andria waited until her stomach hurt with hunger pangs before eating one and then forced her stomach to accept that as it would get no more until much later.

But at least the fun of Avalanche Pass was finite. Very finite. One moment she treaded lightly upon snow and ice and in the next, her boot crunched upon dry gravel and dirt. She blinked around in surprise. The snow had all but disappeared. There was an actual hard line where grass grew and snow lay. The group gathered, shocked.

Brian planted one foot on the lush, green grass, and the other ankle deep in a snow drift. He laughed as he looked at everyone. "This is nuts."

Grecia gasped and looked around, whispering, "Can we talk yet?"

Andria stretched before shifting the weight of her pack. "Yes. We're out of the chute. Though, I wasn't expecting so sudden a transition."

"The mighty Andria doesn't know everything?" Olivia put a hand to her heart as her eyes mocked. "I'm shocked."

"Give it a rest, Olivia," Tyson said. "We're all tired; we're all hungry. No one needs to hear your bullshit."

The Welshwoman whirled on him. "You snot-nosed—"

Van grabbed Olivia's arm, swung her around as he pulled her pack from her shoulders, and landed several swats to her backside.

Andria looked away, trying not to feel jealous. It didn't mean anything. He did it to keep the peace, to keep Olivia pleasant.

Tyson lightly brushed the backs of his fingers along her arm. "I'm sorry. That was uncalled for."

Andria tried to smile at him, but she wasn't sure she succeeded.

Van released Olivia quickly. "You'll speak to my brother and my wife with respect. Another outburst like that, and this is the last spanking you get from me."

Her smoky, come-hither look froze on her face before it was half-formed. "Of course," she said neutrally.

Van turned and pointed a finger at his little brother. "You—"

"I know; I'm sorry." Tyson held up his hands. "Like I said, we're all tired. We're all hungry. Walking with an avalanche hanging over our heads was tense for everyone. I needed a release and I snapped at Olivia."

"Hey, at least you're man enough to apologize," Brian said.

Andria slid herself under Tyson's arm. "I was daydreaming all day about getting a pre-dinner spanking. When we get to Lake Bennet and have our camp set up with our food cooking, I'll put myself over Van's knee for a warm-up. For dessert, you can use your belt."

Tyson's eyes sparked and a slow smile brightened his face. "Oh yeah?"

She flicked her hair. "It's bad enough I have to share my food and my pillow with a frog. It will take more than your flipper on my ass before I'll kiss you."

The grin that was Tyson's trademark returned. "What are we all standing around for? We've got a trail to hike!"

Brian shook his head as he started after Tyson. "How do you guys have the strength for all this? I feel beat and they're talking before and after dinner spankings."

Grecia giggled. "A little slap and tickle could do wonders." She pulled Brian to a stop as she stood up on tiptoe to whisper into his ear. He snapped upright, exhaustion gone, as he took her hand and nearly ran along the trail, pulling her behind him.

Grecia tried to look back over her shoulder as she stumbled to keep up. "You coming, Ron?"

The Georgian flushed but smiled. "A'right."

Andria glanced at Van. "We're going to need to run to catch up."

He took her hand, setting off at a sedate stroll. "The anticipation will do him good."

She smiled as he gently squeezed her fingers. "Do you mind, about the spanking?"

He looked at her with some surprise. "After the last several weeks, you feel you need to ask?"

"It's weird, I know, but as I've gotten to know you, I wouldn't think you the sharing type." She frowned at her own words. "Unless it's Tyson. You share almost everything with him."

Van barked a sharp laugh. "If Ty heard you say that, he would argue with you. The whole point of this trip was for us to reconnect and bond again. He thought I wasn't sharing enough."

Chuckling, she peered down the trail to where she could see Tyson gesturing wildly to the amusement of Brian, Grecia, and Rondale. "I think he's retelling his fishing story of Steve the Fish."

"The funniest part of that was Brian trying to come up with an alibi for you two cheating on me," he said, grinning. "He said you were doing the dishes when Ty yelled 'Who's your daddy'."

Andria threw back her head to laugh. "Oh my God, really?"

He put his arm around her shoulders as she slipped hers around his waist. "I went along with it. Didn't seem like much of a point to make them even more uncomfortable by calling them on the lie. Besides, Steve was delicious and I think that lunch was a turning point in everyone's opinion of you."

Sighing, she glanced over her shoulder to where Celia and Matt walked with Olivia a short distance behind them. "Looking back, I don't understand how things got so bad so fast. And we're not even out of the woods yet." She looked around at the trees. "So to speak."

"I know what you mean. I don't believe for a moment that Olivia is done making trouble. I just hope my spanking her will appease whatever demon possesses her."

"Demon? You don't think she has a reason for the things she does?"

"No."

Andria blinked at his hard tone. "Okay."

"Sorry. I don't mean to snap at you." He rubbed at his eyes and pulled at his beard in tired agitation. "She's gotten under my skin."

"So a little warm-up spanking will do you some good, too."

His eyes warmed as the lake came into view. "Provided I get a few licks in during dessert."

Her body tingled with a mix of pleasure and dread. She knew what his bare hand could do, knew what he could do with a switch, but a belt was Tyson's preferred method. A part of her didn't want Van to intrude on that. But then, Van's preferred method was his bare hand. She could hardly ask Tyson never to use his bare hand on her, how else was she to get warmed-up for the belt?

"What is it?"

She gave him a sheepish smile. "I swear, sometimes I think you can read my mind."

He waited as they walked.

"The belt is what Tyson prefers. I don't want to mix you and him." She frowned as she corrected herself. "I don't want to mix everything. I want some things to be private. Special."

He nodded. "You want the belt to be special between you and Ty."

"Just as I want certain things to be special between us," she told him.

He leaned towards her. "And what things would you have special with us?"

"Brushing my hair," she answered softly. "Falling asleep in your arms."

His teeth sparkled through his beard.

They walked down the trail and stopped at the base where Tyson and the others waited. Tyson pointed off into the distance, grinning. "Look!"

Van and Andria turned their heads. Through the trees a small town could be seen. Amongst the little, white buildings was a neon sign for a hotel and a billboard for a market announcing bananas were on sale.

"Oh! A bed, we'll get to sleep in a real bed tonight," Olivia gushed.

"I'm afraid not, my dear," Celia said softly. "We'll be expected down at the lake before nightfall."

"Way to crush morale," Brian groaned.

"Schma, town," Tyson scoffed. "I still have my bratty princess to look forward to. I don't care if we're sleeping on the ground again."

The group turned to follow the marked path leading to the camp ground by Lake Bennet. More than one head turned to watch as the town disappeared once more from view.

***

¡°Ow!" Andria jerked over Van's knee as his palm cracked across her skirt-covered bottom. The feeling of stinging nettles set in, burning her from the outside. The skirt scratched her tenderized skin, but with the group gathered around the fire, she wasn't about to lift them and take the spanking bareback. Going over Van's knee was as much as an exhibistionist as she was going to get.

Three more quick, but hard swats smacked across her backside and she jumped, biting down on her lip to keep from yelling. She kicked her feet into the dirt, scraping groves into the hard-pack, forest floor.

"Don't overdo it, bro. I'm going to be using the belt on her later," Tyson reminded him with a wink to her.

Van hmmed as he lifted the edge of her skirt enough to slide his hand up her leg. His fingers touched the curve of her bottom and she moaned, flinching from the slight touch. She wiggled as he rubbed, having to concentrate on her breathing to keep from sounding like a bad porno.

"Nicely toasted," Van said as he gave her bottom one last pat and set her down.

She sent him a dark look over her shoulder as she rubbed where he'd patted her. "Nicely toasted? I'm not bread."

"Speaking of," Brian said, leaning forward. "What's for dinner?"

Andria started to turn, but Van drew her back so she was kneeling between his knees. He started to take her braid apart. She lost her train of thought. "I, uh…."

People looked expectantly at her and she couldn't remember what she was going to say. All she could think of was the feel of his fingers brushing the tangles from her hair. Her eyes drifted closed and she leaned back.

"Well," Brian said loudly. "Looks like our cook is too distracted to fix dinner. I say we hike ourselves into town and grab a pizza. Who's with me?"

"Here!" Rondale cheered, raising his hand in the air. "Ah'll buy the first round of beers."

"Now we're talking!" Brian and Rondale jumped to their feet.

Andria opened her eyes with a frown, reaching back to stop Van. "Isn't that cheating?"

"That is most defiantly cheating," Grecia said, crossing her arms under her slight bosom to glare at her pretend husband.

Tyson shrugged. "Why is it cheating? There had to be a town here originally, right? They would've had a saloon or something."

"Sorry, Ty, but there wasn't," Matt said. "There were one of two groups of people who stayed here on the banks of the lake trading supplies. By the time most prospectors get this far, they wanted to get on their boat and get across the lake as soon as possible. No one wanted to stay here."

"So they just got on the ferry and went, huh?" Tyson shook his head. "Waste of a good town."

Matt smiled. "Wrong again. There was no ferry. They had to buy a boat or make their own. Some groups were here for months waiting for a chance to get across."

"No ferry?" Brian turned to look across the lake. "How are we getting across?"

Celia pointed down the shore to a fishing cabin with a stack of kayaks and canoes, advertising bait and boat rentals. "We get our boat from them. The Bakers are a nice couple. Very Canadian."

Van leaned down to whisper into Andria's ear. "Let them go to town and get their pizza. It's been a hard trek and they need to replenish their strength. Morale is just as important to survival as conserving food."

She frowned, but nodded.

Van straightened up. "If you all want to go to town for pizza and beer, it's all right. No one can say for sure that there wasn't a chuck wagon for the prospectors that were made to wait."

Brian clapped his hands. "That's right!"

"I still say it's cheating," Grecia grumped.

"C'mon, baby. Pizza and beer. How can you say no to that?"

The green haired pixie visibly weakened, her body softening as she chewed at her lip. "It does sound good."

"Ron's buying the first round," he cajoled, taking her hands and lightly pulling her to her feet.

Grecia sighed and then smiled. "You talked me into it."

Brian gave her a quick, hard kiss before turning. "Who else is with us?"

Matt draped an arm around Celia. "I believe we'll stay. Going into town after climbing the Staircase is too much for these old bones."

Brian slapped Rondale on the shoulder. "Let's go, then!" With Grecia between them, they headed off towards town.

Olivia stared after them, her eyes narrowing.

Andria leaned forward to check the beans. "We're having tomato-less chili tonight with a side of wild greens. I was thinking in the morning of making oatcakes, set us off across the lake with a full stomach."

"That sounds like a good idea," Matt said.

She gave him a soft smile. "Like I've said before. No one sits at the fire with an empty cup or an empty plate."

"Hey, that sounds like the Bushman's code."

Everyone turned as a couple came walking up. They were, in polite terms, hippies, complete with love beads.

"Do you know my dad?" Andria asked.

"The Bushman's your dad?" the man asked.

"Rod the Bushman Johnson, yessir."

The man turned to his companion. "Rainbow, we are among greatness!"

Van noted Andria's blush and he half rose to hold out his hand. "I'm Van. You're welcome to rest up at our fire."

"I'm Mountain Oak. Most people call me Mount Oak." The man took his hand in a strong grip. "We'll take you up on that and give you some of our home grown nature bars."

Van returned to his seat as he gestured towards the log chairs Brian and Grecia had vacated. The perfect camp hostess, Andria found something for everyone to drink from, offering both coffee and pine needle tea to their guests. Rainbow and Mount. Oak took the tea and sat cross-legged on the ground.

"A little late in the season to be hiking the pass," Mount. Oak said.

"We're on a tour to re‑enact the Yukon Gold rush," Matt replied.

"Far out," Rainbow said, her voice carrying a dreamy quality, like she saw more than just the world, but all Worlds.

"We're heading home. We got a homestead farther down Lake Bennet." Mount. Oak pointed over water. "We spend the winter working our craft, then in the spring we head south to sell and trade our wares as we walk the Old Roads."

Andria stirred the beans. "How do you know my dad?"

Rainbow and Mount. Oak grinned. "We spent a year at the Ranch," he said. "We got to play with all of the Bushman's brood."

"Meadow is real good for him," Rainbow said in her dreamy voice. "We were there when he got back to the Ranch after dealing with his ex‑wife. His chakra was all out of whack and he gave off a very dark vibe, but after an hour in the sauna and love with Meadow, he was calm and releasing the most amazing energy."

Andria's movements had slowed until she merely knelt, staring at the pot.

Celia took over cooking.

"The Ranch?" she asked in a small voice.

"Yeah, out in Montana." Mount. Oak frowned. "Come to think of it, I never saw you out there. Didn't you say he was your dad?"

"Yes. He is. I thought." Her brow furrowed into an unhappy frown, her eyes looking inward as she searched her memories for some sign of the man these strangers spoke of.

Rainbow was swaying and bobbing her head slowly. "Oh. I see. You're his other daughter."

"Other daughter?" Mount. Oak asked.

"Yeah, like, Bushman had a girl with his ex‑wife. Meadow says she's the only thing that keeps him from staying at the Ranch, where he's happy."

Andria added some spices to the beans, made sure everyone's cup was full, then, just, sat.

"That sounds like the Bushman. Selflessly going out of his way for others. He leaves the Ranch to teach corporate tyrants and their blind sheep about the freedoms of Mother Earth on those 'Team Building' hikes," Mount. Oak wiggled his fingers to show quotes. "You watch, the day will come when all the bureaucrats and the bankers and the warmongers will fall under the yoke of their own destruction. On that day, there will be a re‑wilding!" His voice rose louder and louder until he shouted the last two words.

All but Rainbow and Andria stared at him.

Olivia shifted in her seat, scooting a little ways away from him as she eyed him nervously.

Swaying and bobbing her head, Rainbow looked up at the sky. "We need to, like, fly. The sun calls to me, tells me I need to move."

Mount. Oak passed out the promised granola bars before standing. "Rainbow's right. We gotta get on the lake before the weather turns back. Wrong time of year to be hiking."

The hippies finished their pine needle tea before leaving camp to walk along the shore.

"Were they high?" Olivia asked in a stage whisper.

"I think the phrase you are looking for is perma‑fried," Matt said.

Tyson glanced at Van, catching his eye, before he nodded at Andria. She was still kneeling before the pot that Celia had once more taken over stirring. Her hair hung limply around her shoulders, casting shadows over her troubled features.

Van reached over, hooking his arm around her waist, and brought her back onto his lap. She looked over her shoulder at him and he could see the unshed tears gathering on her lashes. He held her against his chest as he whispered into her ear, "Ignore them. They don't know your father as well as you do."

"Or they know him better."

¡°What are you? Six? You're an adult, if he wants to be rid of you, let him go," Olivia said with a shake of her head. "You don't need parents at your age anyway."

Andria slumped back against Van as the words washed over her.

"Don't think of it that way," Tyson said with a glare towards Olivia. "It doesn't matter how old you get, you're always going to want a parent's love and approval. To the day he died, I worked hard to get my dad to say he loved me. Even past the time when I knew he never would, I kept trying and a part of me, to this day, aches that I'll never get it."

Andria turned to look at Tyson, her eyes burning with unshed tears.

"Ah, don't do that," he groaned as he wrapped an arm around her shoulders to pull her against his chest and onto his lap, where she sniffled. "Bratty princesses don't cry."

"They do after they've had their butts toasted," she argued, laughing through the tears. "And Van has most certainly toasted my butt."

"You can hardly call those few love taps a real tear-jerking toasting," Van told her.

¡°It's my butt, I can call it what I want," she said with a huff.

Van leaned over to search her face. "Are you arguing with me for argument's sake or are you trying to goad me?"

She smiled and then giggled. "A bit of both. You can spank me later, I've got dinner to fix."

Van straightened up as he raised an eyebrow at her. "Who are you to tell me when I can and cannot spank you?"

Tossing her hair over her shoulder, she lifted her chin at him. "I'm the wife and it's my butt."

Tyson groaned her name as Matt laughed.

Van half rose up from his seat, raising his voice in mock anger. "You are my wife, therefore it is my butt!"

Grinning, she quickly turned her eyes back to the beans. "There's still time for a walk or something before it's ready to eat. I think I might go forag—"

"Let us, dear," Celia said. "You're looking a little pale. Rest for a while."

She nodded, smiling as Matt helped Celia to rise like a fairy princess and draw her away. She missed the shared look between the brothers and then their stares to Olivia, which the Welshwoman ignored.

Van leaned towards her to whisper with a grin, "A toasted butt and a promised strapping with Ty will not save you from going back over my knee."

"Ha! You wouldn't deny your little brother the chance to spank me." She glanced at him over her shoulder. "Right now, I'm off limits to you."

The brothers laughed as Van sat back in amazement. "Wife, are you aching to go back over my knee?"

¡°Can't do it. I'm off limits until Ty has a turn."

Tyson turned to his brother. "Van, I give you permission to teach our wife some respect."

Van grinned at her.

Letting out a squeal, she tried to scramble away. He caught her easily as he swung her up into his arms. She shrieked and kicked her legs, but he simply tossed her over his shoulder. With an arm wrapped around her legs to stop her squirming, her bottom was now an easy target and he laid several sharp smacks to it.

"Ow, you big bully!" Her fist smacked against his back.

Olivia left the fire with a huff and disappeared into her tent.

"Good riddance," Tyson muttered.

"Don't be an ass, Ty."

Andria turned enough to see the younger brother over her shoulder. "Keep the beans from burning and wash the dandelion leaves in fresh water."

"Just so long as you guys remember that I still have my turn later," Tyson warned.

Van flipped up her skirts and outlined a part of her sitspot. "I'll leave you this pale patch right here."

"Put in this patch here," Tyson outlined a spot on her other nether-cheek. "And you got yourself a deal."

Andria dropped her head as she started to laugh.

"Hm, I think I can manage that. Bring me the hairbrush."

Van returned to his seat as he let Andria slide from his shoulder. She put up a token resistance as he brought her down across his thighs. She felt him shift as he lifted his arm and she grabbed a hold of leg with both hands. She stiffened, bracing herself against the pain that was about to be smacked into her backside.

It didn't matter how often she went over Van's knee, how much time passed in between spankings, or how many times the brothers had spanked, paddled, strapped, and just generally smacked her bottom around, the first whack always made her jump in shock. This time was no exception. The flat of the brush cracked across her already warmed bottom with the force of a planetary collision. She felt the burn down her legs and up her back as she nearly bolted upright with a hiss.

"You need to relax," Van told her as he waited for her to settle back down across his knee.

"You try relaxing when you've got a hairbrush posed and ready to strike your butt," she told him.

It cracked again and she jumped with a small yelp. The stinging ants were back in full force, biting across her skin with a vengeance. The amazing thing about it, in her mind, was that she wanted this. She had asked for it, practically begged for it. She must be out of her ever-living mind!

The hairbrush cracked again against her backside and she yelped, "Ow!" only to whisper "Owowowow," under her breath. She grabbed his leg to keep from reaching back, knowing that it would only get her wrist pinned. But after the next stroke of the brush, her resolve went out the window and her hand shot around to try and cover her bottom.

Van took a hold of wrist and held it against her lower back.

"Nooo," she moaned. "I've changed my mind. I don't need this."

"Too late," he said, almost cheerfully. The brush smacked again and her legs came up, kicking dirt into the air.

Tyson coughed. "Hey! Watch it. You almost got a pinecone in the beans."

Tapping at her calves, Van tsked. "You don't want me to pin your legs down, Andria. Keep them down."

She panted as she nodded. In her mind she told her to keep them down, keep them down, keep them down. The hairbrush cracked again; her feet shot up.

"Ow! Ow, ow, ow! Really, Van, I'm done."

"I know," he said, chuckling. "But I'm not."

She moaned. And she'd asked for this. They needed to lock her up in a padded room.

The brush landed; her legs kicked.

"Well, I guess I'm washing the dandelion leaves again," Tyson said with a sigh.

"You need to do that anyway," she told him. "Several times to wash away the bitterness."

Van shifted her as he scissored her legs through his. This moved her forward so her nose particular touched the earth and her bottom and the tops of her thighs were positioned perfectly for striking.

The next stroke brought tears to burn at her eyes.

"Hey, hey, hey! That's my pale spot!" Tyson jumped to his feet.

Van set the brush down on her back and his fingers traced two circles over her bottom. "You had these two spots."

"They were bigger than that," Tyson objected.

"No they weren't."

"Yes, they were!"

"Yes, they were," Andria said.

Van slapped her bottom, making her yelp. "You hush."

"Ha! If Andy says they were bigger, than they were bigger. You're spanking on my territory, bro."

The brothers fell quiet as Van idly started to rub her bottom. All the heat from the spanking refocused to the secret core of her. She let her head hang, her hair falling about her into the dirt. His fingers dipped between her legs, drawing forth a moan from her.

"Was it bigger?" he asked.

"Oh, not fair," Tyson said.

"Was it, Andria?" Van asked again, ignoring his brother.

She lifted her head. "I will not be bribed, but you can continue to try."

Tyson laughed. "Take it to the tent, then."

Van brought her up to sit straddling his thighs. He wrapped his arms around her to hold up her skirts, letting the cool Yukon air blow across her heated flesh. His beard tickled at her lips before he crushed his mouth to hers. She whimpered, her fingers clutching at his shirt as she returned the kiss. His tongue slid along her bottom lip before slipping into her mouth.

Andria moaned as her arms wound around his neck. His hands were warm on her back, burning through her clothes.

Tyson cleared his throat, reminding them again, "You might want to take that inside. In case we get company."

Van swooped her up as he stood, causing her to tighten her arms around his neck. "Call us when dinner is ready."

Andria looked over Van's shoulder to see Tyson give them a wave without looking around and then they disappeared into their tent. He knelt, lowering her to the bedding before he unbuttoned her blouse.

She lay back, staring up into his eyes as they darkened into green fire. His fingers lightly caressed the skin along the lace hem of her chemise before he gently tugged it down to expose the hardened nub of her breast. He bent down, taking it into his mouth and she gasped at the almost electric shock of pleasure. She arched up as his palm skimmed up along her leg, bringing her skirt up as he went. As his fingers touched the inside of her thigh, she was felt as if she was burning for him. He groaned as he slipped his fingers between the moist, hot lips of her sex.

"Van," she moaned.

He pushed the hem of her skirt over her stomach as he edged down. She caught her breath as he settled between her splayed legs only for it to exhale on with a gaspy cry as he put his mouth where his hand had just been. His tongue ravished her as his beard and moustache tickled and scratched at her tender skin, heightening the sensation of what he was doing to her clit.

It was more than anyone could stand and Andria jerked off the bedding as she came. Panting, she was only vaguely aware of Van removing his clothes, but all of her senses came to vibrant life as he knelt between her thighs and fit himself to her passage. She wrapped her body around his as he thrust home.

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