The Demure Bride

By: Joannie Kay
Chapter One

"Miss Chambers, I am sorely tempted to turn you over my knee and apply my hand to your posterior in such a way it would leave you no doubt as to how foolish I find your reckless behavior!"

Amanda glared at the man from her inelegant position on the ground, her green eyes glittering with pure temper and malice. The horse she had been riding balked at the last minute, coming to an abrupt stop before the stone fence Amanda was intent on jumping, and she had flown over the mare's head to land with a jolt on the wet ground. "Are you going to help me up, or are you going to stand there spouting drivel, Mr. Thorne?"

"It was extremely dangerous for you to attempt that jump," he stated, making no move to take the muddied hand she held outstretched toward him.

"You are not my father, Mr. Thorne," her voice was full of contempt. "If you recall, I told you I did not wish your company today. Either help me up, or get on your mount and leave me in peace to make my way home!"

"Are you injured?" he knelt beside her and started examining her closely for any sign of broken bones. He took the proffered arm and his strong fingers moved over the dirty sleeve of her ruined riding jacket. Her skirt was ruined, too, and her boots would take a lot of hard work to make them usable again.

"Stop that!" Amanda jerked her arm free of his grasp. "I have had enough of you for one day, Mr. Thorne. You may go now."

"I am not a servant to be dismissed, Miss Chambers," the expression in his dark eyes was full of disapproval. "Your manners are appalling, and it is apparent that your Father has neglected his duty toward you."

"How dare you speak ill of my Father?" she gasped, thoroughly outraged. "It is you who brings out my worst. I do not like you, Mr. Thorne. I do not wish to spend time with you, and I fully intend to tell my Father to stop encouraging your attention! Now go away and leave me to myself!" She picked up her small riding whip and lashed out at the infuriating Robert Thorne, wishing she had never set eyes upon their new neighbor.

"Do NOT strike me again, Miss Chambers," Robert warned her mere seconds before the small whip caught him again, across his cheek this time. Without giving the matter conscious thought, he captured her wrist with his left hand and wrenched the whip from her grasp with his right hand. In the next instant he pulled her from her position on the wet grass to land across his bent knee and then he started spanking her with the whip through her wet clothing! "This is a lesson sorely needed, young lady," he announced, feeling no remorse at all for his actions. The welt on his cheek was stinging furiously, and he was going to make sure she had a few welts of her own!

"Let me go!" she screamed. "Let me go right now!" He didn't listen to her and continued to strike her with the small whip across her derriere. The sting was unbearable! "Owwww!" she howled. "Stop this instant! I'll have my Father take a horsewhip to you!" she threatened.

"Your comments are only prolonging this chastisement, Miss Chambers," he said solemnly. "I would think a clever girl such as yourself would realize that a sincere apology would be in order."

"I would think even a bully like you would realize that you are going to be dead when I tell Father about this!" she retorted.

"Perhaps your Father will shake my hand and congratulate me for taking his bratty daughter in hand?" Robert said calmly, and he didn't stop spanking her even when he saw a rider approaching. Perhaps it was time Matthew Chambers heard about his daughter's less than perfect behavior.

"I hate you! I hate you!" Amanda screamed at the man who was bringing her to the point of tears. She would never ever forgive him if he made her cry! "I am not going to apologize, either!" she added, bracing herself for more fiery strokes from the riding whip she vowed to throw away the first chance she got! "Let me go, you bastard!"

"Your language is inexcusable, little girl," Robert spanked even harder, determined to give her a reason to regret her impulsive behavior. He was well aware that her Father was fast approaching and he increased the tempo and the strength behind the punishment. Miss Chambers was going to have ample reason to recall this spanking when she attempted to sit down over the next few days.

"What is the meaning of this?" Matthew Chambers dismounted and ran over to pull his precious child off of Robert Thorne's knee. "Amanda, honey, are you all right?" he asked solicitously, his green eyes watching the younger man who dared to strike his daughter.

"He spanked me with my own riding whip, Father... and after I took a spill from Glimmer!" she accused, her eyes overflowing with tears. "I am so humiliated... and in pain, Father!" she sniffled.

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