Friday, February 22, 2013

Saturday Spankings From Underwear Probation #SatSpanks

Has it been another week already? Apparently so and now it's time for Saturday Spankings.

This week's snippet is from Underwear Probation. In Underwear Probation Daisy's husband Reece requires her to go to work without underwear so that the feel of her clothes against her bare skin will act as a reminder of the rules she is to follow. In this scene, Reece has stopped by Daisy's office to see how her day is progressing but when she disobeys him, he asserts his authority over her...and her backside.

“Well, look at this.” Daisy knew from the tone of Reece’s voice, this was a rhetorical question and she kept her face down. A different, more intense, sting pulsed through her rear end. “Who knew that office supplies could be so much fun?”
In the shiny finish of the desktop Daisy saw Reece’s reflection as he reared back for another swing---a wooden ruler in his hand. She’d be sure to throw that thing away the first chance she got.
She could not believe that he was making such a game out of this when just a few feet away, anyone, including her boss, could come to her door and see this little domestic scene playing out across her desk. She’d never work in this city again. 

Please visit the other Saturday Spankers. 

Spanking Stories Book Club Desire In Any Language Final Discussion

It's the final discussion for Desire in Any Language by Anastasia Vitsky

Let's think back to our very first discussion of this book when we talked about our experiences and attitudes toward F/F spanking fiction. If you would like to refresh your memory, you can find that discussion here. 

Now that we've finished this book (you have finished, right?) what do you think? 

If this was your first experience reading F/F, how did it measure up to your expectations? 

Are you more or less likely to read other F/F as a result? 

Any other thoughts/comments on the book? 

Remember that next week we will begin our discussion of Jade Cary's To Love A Woman

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Giving Something Up For Lent

The season of Lent began last week with Ash Wednesday. Here's part of what Wikipedia says about Lent: 

The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer—through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial. Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week, marking the death and resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events of the the Bible when Jesus is crucified on Good Friday, which then culminates in the celebration on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
During Lent, many of the faithful commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence.

I'm going to enter into a modified fast. Not food (though that wouldn't be a bad idea) but from the internet. 

Shocking, I know. I still intend to be on line at least a couple of times each day but I plan to be more focused in the time I use. 

Since I began this "fast" on Wednesday I have read four books, spent time with friends, cleared my mind a bit and renewed my relationship with God. 

What does this mean to you? Probably not a whole lot. I'll still post on my blog and respond to emails, though maybe not immediately like I usually do. I probably won't spend as much time visiting other blogs and I hope that none of you take my diminished visits and comments personally. 

I'll keep you posted on my progress. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Saturday Spankings #SatSpanks

Saturday Spankings is a weekly blog list devoted to, well, spankings. Authors who write spanking stories are invited to post six to eight sentences from one of their books. 

You can find links to the other Sat Spanks Participants here. 

Last week's Love Spanks story was a continuation of Twenty One Days to A Better Attitude I thought I'd go backward to the original. In  Twenty One Days Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Darcy Hughes has her life tightly under control, at least until Ben Dawson moves in next door. Ben’s attempts to be friendly are quickly rebuffed. He calls her out on her rude behavior and suggests that a good spanking will cure her bad attitude. 

Here is part of their first spanking together. 

Ben had bared her bottom.
She nearly jumped off his lap in protest, but quickly decided that she would not allow him to see how his behavior unsettled her. Fine, she thought, let him see my butt. I can handle it. I’m not a child or a prude. With her jaw set tight and a firm grip on one leg of the bench, Darcy braced herself for her first spanking in thirty years. In a final act of defiance, she even pressed her rear end upward in a taunting invitation. I can take it, she thought. How bad can it be? The first crack across her exposed butt gave her the answer to that question.

Thanks for stopping by. I'll see you next Saturday for more #SatSpanks.

Be sure to visit all the other SatSpankers. 

Spanking Stories Book Club: Desire in Any Language Week 3

Last week we talked about Mira's longing for agape love. As we continue our discussion of Desire in Any Language this week, let's talk about how that longing seems to have taken Mira on a strange path to....Mistress (or Mister) Susan.

This is the chapter entitled Desire Endangered.

Mira has been chatting online with Mistress Susan and eventually makes a plan to meet her. The rest, is a eerie, creepy scene that had me jittery until the end.

What were your reactions to this chapter? How does it fit (or not) with Mira's desire for agape (pure) love?

Any other thoughts on the middle part of the book? We'll have more of a free for all next week for our final discussion of this story.

Remember, in March we'll be reading Jade Cary's To Love A Woman. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Congratulations Love Spanks Winners!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Thanks to everyone who participated in Love Spanks and to all the Spanking Fiction Writers who worked hard to make it a success.

We had some wonderful prizes donated and without further ado...the winners are:

  • Love Spanks paddle, donated by Blondie's: Minelle
  • Book Bundle, donated by Stormy: SH (Sammie)
  • $15 Amazon Gift Certificate, donated by Stormy: Kelsey Summer
  • $40 Loose Id Gift certificate, donated by Cara and LI: Cat
  • Kindle Fire/Nook Color, donated by Blushing: His First Mate

And the winner of my drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card is...

72 Violets!

Congratulations everyone and thank you for participating. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Talking to Monique DeVere About Publishing and Book Rights

Hi Everyone, 
I'd like to welcome Monique DeVere. You may recall that Monique has made a couple visits to my blog and I'm pleased to have her back today to talk about her journey from traditional publishing to indie publishing. I'm sure you'll all find something interesting here. 

Thank you for the introduction, Celeste!

Today I’m talking about traditional publishing, book rights, and indie publishing.

First, allow me to draw a quick picture of my path to publication. Like many wanna-be Harlequin Mills & Boon writers, I spent more years than I wish to reveal trying to crack the category market without success. In the mean time, I was getting short stories published and read on radio but I just couldn’t break into Mills & Boon. I kept at it nonetheless, excluding any other possible area of publication. I became almost like a dog with a bone—obsessed.

Each time I had a rejection, I’d convince myself I had no talent and should look elsewhere for a career, so I’d toss out the MS and go off to study something in complementary therapy. All the while, I’d still be writing because I just couldn’t NOT write. Then I would grapple back some confidence and send off something to HMB again, only to be rejected, and the process would start all over again.

Finally, my husband suggested I send the last rejected book to a small press and see what happened. To my shock-horror, they accepted Divorce Etiquette straight away and offered me a contract!

I envisioned a rapid succession of books going out the door. I wrote and sent my new publishers a novella, which they took and all looked bright...

That is until a couple of months before the first book was due to be released when my last baby (then age seven) got sick and it turned out to be Leukaemia. I was living miles away at the hospital with her when my first book released so I did no promo for it. I wrote another novella while in hospital with my little girl and that got accepted also. Proof that I really did have some kind of talent, even if it wasn’t for category romance.

After that, things became a bit of a haze of chemotherapy and sleepless nights for three and a half years. My books weren’t really selling, but why would they when I wasn’t promoting?

Let’s fast-forward four years to present day and why I decided to go Indie. I have a few girlfriends who made the decision a few years ago and are doing amazing on their own. They encouraged me to take the plunge and late last year I did so with my novella More Than Friends. I wanted to start small so opted for a novella to get my feet wet. Now I have total control over my books, and I love it that way!

I got back two of my novella rights this year and decided to add those to my indie list. I can’t get back the first book rights just yet since I signed an extended contract offer when the book was picked up by a publisher in Greece who has translated it into Greek.  

When you get your rights back, you aren’t allowed to use the cover the publisher commissioned, and you have to change the contents a little so it isn’t the same book the publishing house first published.

I think Crystal Swan, my cover designer, did an amazing job with the three covers she’s created for me. So with covers sorted, how much work did I have to do to change the contents? Not as much as you might think. For More Than a Playboy, I added an epilogue and a full love scene, changing the novella from sweet to sexy. I’m not sure how it happened because I hadn’t don’t any real promo, but More Than a Playboy made it to 55 in one of Amazon’s Bestseller lists only hours after going live! It hung in there for a couple of days. Not a long time, but I’ll take it!

For Let’s Pretend, I added two chapters to the beginning and ‘went all the way’ with the love scene. Previously, I’d closed the door, but it’s wide open in this new version of Let’s Pretend (about to go live on Amazon any day now).

I love having sole control of how my books get into the world, and I love that I no longer have to wait close to a year to see my books on the virtual shelves.

I say if you’re considering going it alone, you should first ensure you have access to professional editing and amazing critique partners. I love, love my CPs and wouldn’t feel as confident without them. As Indie authors, we have to wear many hats and we have to remember we are competing with the big six authors out there. We need to give ourselves the best possible chance at success. 

This means, good, better, best, never let it rest, until your good is better and your better best—in every area of your book project. Indie books are getting a bad rep and we need to pull this back! As they say, an author is only as good as her last book. A scary prospect, don’t you think?

Thanks for having me back on your blog again, Celeste! As always, I love hanging out with you. J

You can find Monique at any of her hangouts below.

Monique’s Hangouts:
More Than Friends is free at Amazon from 12-14th Feb 2013!

Download your free copy of More Than Friends here:

More Than a Playboy can be purchased here:


Monday, February 11, 2013

Creative Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day

For Love Spanks, I asked readers to describe their best (or worst) Valentine's Day. Since I bet some of you are still trying to figure out just the right way to say "I Love You", I thought I'd share a few of the suggestions from my readers.

My best valentines day was the first one with my husband. He left gifts and a card for me on the kitchen table before i went to work. One of the gifts was a Hershey chocolate heart that when you broke open the chocolate heart there was also a little bag of hershey kisses inside. I did not open the chocolate until much later in the day, but when I did i discovered that he had somehow opened the chocolate heart at the seems, slipped a diamond necklace inside, melted the heart back together, and re sealed the box closed very carefully. The whole thing did not look like it had been tampered with at all! I almost missed seeing the necklace at all! (His First Mate)

My best V day involved the bed, chocolate and the ol man. Nuff said. (Jade Cary)

Two years ago at V-day my dear Dev, brought allllll (5) of my friends each their own box of chocolates because we were all together working on our new home. He is always sweet like that. (Patty Devlin)

My favorite valentines day was my husband and my first Valentine's day together. I awoke to two dozen roses and lots of mushy gushy newly in love romance. (Sassy Chassy)

My best Valentines day would have to have been last year where I was fortunate to be able to celebrate it on my first ever vacation to Orlando Studios in Florida. I never had a real wedding I married my husband a year after high school in my pastors home (not very romantic). To help make up for it for our six year marriage anniversary and valentines day (we combined them for cost purposes) my husband bought me a new wedding band set and reproposed to me in Orlando Studios, and in our true geek fashion we were both in full Harry potter robes he had bought us standing in front of Harry potter ride and rings were on my new "official" wand! Although most of my family just found it humorous it was most romantic act my husband has ever done, and thus making it my best Valentines day ever.(Kelly Adams)

 I think the best year was the first year we were married. We’d only been married for a couple of weeks. We didn’t have much but my husband made heart shaped pancakes, that weren’t very heart shaped lol and gave me a single long stemmed red rose :)  (Constance Masters)

My best Valentine Day was last year. We spent the day doing little things for each other and exchanging cards and small gifts. I remember that LD loved the mixed roses that were delivered to her in the afternoon. 
I cooked chicken marsala for her on top of risotto and placed a candle on the diner table. We had a glass of Cab with the meal. Afterwards, we made love to each other. I remember it was a perfect day. (Joeyred51)

I remember a good Valentine's in Grade 12 my boyfriend and I at the time, were together 2 years. I over heard him talking to someone about a Valentine Day stuffed animal he bought for me... I went out and bought him the same one... so he would think we were kindred spirits... the look on his face was priceless... his mom even asked if I didn't like it and gave it back to him, he was like actually we are so connected we got one another the same gift... she hated me, so she was furious... hahaha It was awesome...(Natalie O'Connor)

We celebrated in grand style each year of our marriage and would usually go to a resort and just bask in each other's love and desires. We were engaged on Valentines day and made it a celebratory anniversary of sorts, scheduling it into our lives... (Joseph McNamara)

My best Valentine would be a boring tacky dinner and a cheesy movie which lead up to a wonderful night laying on the wet grass at a park, under the clear sky....cuddling and just talking and wondering how our future will be and what will we become (was in my late teens back then)...and lots of making out.  (Chuenn)

My hubby is pretty romantic, more so than me, so I would have to say my best was probably our first one together, but it was a long time ago and I can't remember all the details, but it was the day he first told me he loved me. (Sunnygirl)

My best Valentine's day was spent in Dominican Republic with my husband. Sun, sand and chocolate covered strawberries + room service...I'm pretty sure my daughter was conceived that night : )  (C Munro)

My best V-Day was when my husband and I were dating. He'd sneaked into my house and left a 100 roses all over my house. I went from room to room to find them all. (Cara Bristol)

We are usually pretty low key but he always brings me flowers which is sweet.(Zoe)

Best Valentine's day - being a human tray for the sushi. It was pretty sexy being objectified in that manner. (La Crimson Femme)

I was pregnant and so ill from the pregnancy that I slept 20 hours a day, cried because everything tasted horrible, cried because I had no energy...I had NEVER been so miserable in my life.
The doorbell rings on Valentine's Day and a woman walks in with a huge basket of goodies from Jared, chocolates, fruits, even even a bottle of non-alcoholic wine. Then she said, "I hear you've not been feeling well, but your husband asked me to give you a message. This is from him."
She began singing a love song...and to this day I couldn't tell you what it was. I remember falling to pieces, tears rolling down my face, she got choked up was horrible and hilarious and wonderful and unforgettable.
She even gave me a hug. :) 
I still have that unopened bottle of wine, too.  (Rogue)

Most fond memory was first Valentine's day 20 years ago i was in high school & he planned a rommantic getaway to beach city complete with dinner, flowers, a bracket my sister helped pick out & my favorite musical. Very sweet for an 18 year old boy.(SassyTwatter)

I'm hoping my best Valentine's Day will be the one five days from now. Hubby is taking me to see Spank! The 50 Shades of Grey musical parody. (Kenzy Cameron)

My most memorable Valentine's Day was in a graveyard in New Orleans. I love to photograph headstones that contain personal epitaphs of love, so my husband packed a picnic lunch and wandered through cemeteries with me all day. (Karri in SF)

I guess my best Valentine's Day was the first VDay when my husband and I were dating. I had a big organic chem exam the next day, so I had to study all night, so he set up a "study area" in his house, and every so often I would get "study breaks" if you know what I mean. LOL. (Sue Lyndon)

my favorite Valentine's day was actually a few days after the actual holiday, while at a themed spanking party. Cookie and I took part in a "spank the heart" contest to spank the shape of a heart on a bottom. We won first prize, with each of her cheeks being one side of the heart. The hardest part (for both of us, probably) was the diagonal edges of the heart, which ran down each thigh to the center. :)  (Thomas III)

Note: There were a number of people who  mentioned having children or grandchildren born on Valentine's Day but that probably involves a little more advanced planning than can be accomplished between now and Thursday. 

Thanks for all the great ideas everyone! I was so inspired that I wrote my husband a *slightly* fictionalized version of our first date. He'll be out of town on Valentine's Day so I'm going to tuck it in his suitcase for a surprise. Usually I leave all these things til the last minute, but thanks to all your suggestions, I'm prepared. 

Friday, February 8, 2013


It's finally here. Love Spanks!

This will be a long post, but it's full of good info.

Welcome to Love Spanks 2013!  Would you like to win a Kindle Fire or Nook Color (donated by Blushing Books), a $40 gift certificate to Loose Id (donated by Loose Id and Cara Bristol), a $15 gift certificate to Amazon (donated by Stormy Night Publications), or a book bundle (donated by Stormy Night Publications)?

For updates and the complete list of information, please see the main contest page.

Here is a quick rundown of the rules:

  1. Visit each blog between Saturday, February 9th and Sunday, February 10th to read the posted stories and excerpts.
  2. Leave a comment answering the story question on each blog.  You will receive one entry per blog for the grand prize drawing.
  3. If you have visited all the blogs, visit Anastasia Vitsky’s blog to sign up for FIVE bonus entries to the grand prize.
    Deadline is midnight EST (UTC -5) on February 10th!!
  4. If you successfully completed the Spank or Treat challenge and were notified by Ana, you may add “VIP” to your comments.  You will earn THREE bonus entries toward the grand prize.  (Yes, we will be doing this again.  Yes, if you successfully complete the Love Spanks challenge you can become a VIP for our next activity!)
  5. Visit any of the participating blogs on Valentine’s Day to find out the lucky winners.  Will it be you?
As an extra treat, all Love Spankers are eligible for free books!  (Donated by Lazy Day Publishing)

  • Of Yesterday by Alta Hensley
  • To Love a Woman by Jade Cary
  • Rules of War by Sue Lyndon
  • Deep in the Heat of Texas by Amy le Blanc, Melissa Ecker, and Alta Hensley
To download your free copies, go here
 All the other rules can be found here.

Plus, I'll be giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter who answers the question at the end of the story. Please leave your email address in your comment.

After that, be sure to visit all the other Love Spanks participants and comment on their blogs to enter individual contests as well as the grand prize drawing.

Whew. And now, here's my part:

I'm so excited to share this story with you. It's a follow up to my book Twenty One Days to a Better Attitude. In the original story, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Darcy Hughes has her life tightly under control, at least until Ben Dawson moves in next door. Ben’s attempts to be friendly are quickly rebuffed. He calls her out on her rude behavior and suggests that a good spanking will cure her bad attitude. 

This story picks up a few weeks later.

A Better Valentine's Day

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Darcy!” Mindy, the administrative assistant and staff wrangler called out.
Darcy paused and looked around the central area of the county prosecutor’s office. Red, red, red. Everywhere was red: streamers, hearts, balloons. Fortunately a big bowl of red foil wrapped chocolates sat on Mindy’s desk. Darcy took a handful and stomped to her office.

Valentine’s Day. Damn. First, she’d forgotten all about it, which was good because that saved her from spending more of her day pissed off, second, it was the most annoying work day of the whole year.

In a job that saw the worst of humanity on a regular basis: drug dealers, child abusers, thieves and murderers, you’d think that Valentine’s Day would be a highlight. Not for Darcy Hughes, Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and all around grouch.
She made a mental note to schedule the day off next year. Maybe she’d make an appointment for a colonoscopy. It would be an improvement.
For her this day would be a marathon of reminders that she'd failed at love. Every office in the building from the board of elections to the dog catcher would have flowers delivered to some lucky lady who would blush and giggle and parade them through the office, or the whole courthouse if she could figure out a way to do to it, to show that she had a Valentine.
Valentines: the universal sign that you were spoken for.
Darcy couldn’t remember the last time she got a Valentine, though she suspected it probably was deposited into a foil covered shoe box on her desk in the third grade. Even the few dismal adult relationships she’d had seemed to always go down in flames before February 14.
Most people would try to bury themselves in their work in order to avoid the constant reminders of romance, but even if Darcy tried that tactic, which she was prone to do, it wouldn’t help. You see, courthouses have courtrooms and courtrooms have judges and judges perform marriage ceremonies.  
Much as it annoyed Darcy to watch brides on TV competing with each other for the best wedding, while acting like spoiled self-centered brats, at least they didn’t interfere with getting her work done. Although she applauded the practical aspects of a quickie courthouse ceremony, on Valentine’s Day the volume of giddy brides was nearly puke-inducing.
Darcy needed a judge’s signature on a document she’d spent several days preparing, but in order to get to him, she had to wait behind three couples who wanted to be amongst the first married this Valentine’s Day.
The whole thing made her skin crawl. She was a professional, after all. Her business should come first.
She scowled and took her place in line.
Ben Dawson grabbed his bag from the airport carousel and hurried to his car. His flight had been delayed which put his plan several hours behind schedule. He’d have to make a couple of adjustments, but it could still work.
He smiled to himself as he pulled onto the highway.
He had a feeling that Darcy didn’t like surprises. No, it wasn’t just a feeling. It was a certainty. Darcy was a control freak who liked everything her way and planned out in every detail.  Adaptability was not her strong suit. Bossiness was.
But damn, she turned him on. He loved her feistiness. When she got on a roll of self-righteous indignation, it was all he could do not to bend her over the back of the couch and screw her until she stopped talking and started moaning.
He hadn’t done that…yet. He knew she wanted him to and often she went out of her way to provoke him. 

Other times, she provoked him without even trying.  
When he’d first spotted Darcy stomping across her driveway to his house on moving day he’d had one overwhelming thought: “She needs a good spanking.” His second thought was another thing he’d like to do to her that was also stress relieving. And no, it wasn’t yoga.
That had been six weeks ago. And every Saturday night since then, he’d gone to her house and spanked her naughty bottom. 
He wondered what the folks down at the prosecutor’s office would think if they knew that every week Darcy “The Dominator” Hughes got  her butt reddened by her new neighbor.
Maybe they wouldn’t be so surprised. Darcy thought she had the whole world fooled into thinking she was tough and independent, but to him it was obvious that she was simply afraid of being hurt so she’d put up some pretty high walls and wrapped herself in a cloak of law and order.
She’d let her guard down a few times during their Saturday night spanking sessions, but he longed to see her in the wild abandon of passion.
Darcy finally got the judge’s signature, scurried back to her office and closed the door. How many more hours until this day would be over?
She opened her email and found a message from her friend Rhonda. Happy Valentine’s Day! Will you and the new neighbor be steaming up the sheets later?
Darcy chuckled and shook her head. There was nothing subtle about Rhonda, which explained why they got along so well. They both shot from the hip. What you see is what you get.
Which is why Darcy had no idea what to say in response to Rhonda’s message. You see, Darcy had fibbed. Stretched the truth. Lied.
Well, what else could she do?
She could hardly tell Rhonda, or anyone, that the reason she couldn’t go to the movies or out to dinner or to see the latest play on Saturday nights was because she had a weekly appointment to get a spanking from her sexy neighbor. Could she?
So she told Rhonda it was date night. It was sort of true. They had a date for a spanking. Usually they had pizza and wine beforehand, though sometimes Darcy was in such a mood and there was so much bickering that clearly the spanking needed to be administered first.
She still had trouble wrapping her head around the fact that spanking made her feel better. There was just something about laying herself across Ben’s lap that began the process of draining away her stress. She felt safe.
Yep, bare assed across a man’s lap while he prepared to administer a spanking made her feel safe.
It made her feel a lot of other things too.
And that explained why she was extra cranky today.
She’d thought---hoped---that she and Ben would be in a relationship by now but it sure didn’t seem like it. And, according to all the dating advice books, if you aren’t sure if you’re in a relationship or not, you aren’t.
Would it have killed him to send some flowers or a card or even, heaven forbid, make a call to wish her a Happy Valentine’s Day? She rarely heard from him during the week, though he showed up every Saturday night with a smile on his face and discipline on his mind.
She hated to admit how much she looked forward to Saturday nights.
Maybe Ben would bring her a Valentine Saturday night. It would be late, but it would go along with their weekly schedule.
To hell with that. It was Valentine’s Day and if he didn’t want to be in a relationship with her then she was going to put an end to the whole thing. No more spankings. No more anything. In fact, she looked up the number for a local realtor, printed off the flyer from the website and put it in the pocket of her jacket. She’d sell her house and the neighbor problem would be solved.
Who did he think he was? Showing up when it pleased him just to spank her with no intentions of having a real relationship with her. She’d show him.
Originally, Ben had planned to leave a Valentine for Darcy on the windshield of her car so she’d get it when she left for work.
Although the chemistry between the two of them was evident, he’d never acted on his desire for her. He wanted a woman who was willing to submit to him and follow his rules. He’d been burnt in the past and didn’t want to repeat that mistake. He was taking things slowly with Darcy, but the arrival of a holiday devoted to love and romance seemed the perfect time to take things to the next level.
Now that he had missed his chance to set his plan in motion this morning, he had to re-think his strategy. Should he wait until she got home or go to the courthouse and find her?
It would be fun to see the look on her face when he showed up unexpectedly. He liked keeping her on her toes.
“Overruled. The defendant is released on his own recognizance.” The judge’s voice boomed through the courtroom.
“Your Honor,” Darcy stood to address the court “A five thousand dollar cash or surety bond is completely reasonable in this situation.”
The judge leaned forward and peered at Darcy over the bench. “Are you implying, Ms. Hughes, that I am being unreasonable?”
Darcy clenched her fists in frustration but kept her tone measured. “No, Your Honor, I am simply----"
The judge interrupted her. “We stand adjourned.” The gavel rang down on the bench and everyone in the courtroom, including the half dozen couples waiting to be married, stood while the judge exited.
Great. What’s better than losing a pretty simple argument in court? Doing it in front of an audience.
Darcy glanced over at the spectators which included two women in full bridal regalia, one in a lovely short white dress, two in jeans and one woman who looked very excited wearing  shorts and a Mickey Mouse T-shirt. She had a veil attached to a pair of Mickey Mouse ears and when she turned Darcy saw the name “Ana” embroidered across the back.
Oh for Pete’s sake. Will this day never end? Darcy pushed through the door of the courtroom and nearly knocked over a bride, this one carrying a pink suede flogger as a bouquet. “Mimi, are you alright?” the man in a tuxedo whom Darcy assumed was to be the groom said to his intended in a sexy voice that distracted Darcy causing her to bump into yet another woman in white.
That was the final straw. “Move it, bitch. Real woman working. Get out of the way.” Darcy elbowed the soon-to-be-Mrs. forcing the other woman to take a step backward to keep her balance. A misplaced step on the long train of her dress sent the woman tumbling, veil flying and flowers flinging.  
Ben made it to the third floor of the courthouse. He was new in the area and had not visited the historic building with its winding marble staircase and wide hallways divided by pillars. The long line of couples waiting to be married made it easy to find the courtroom.
Maybe he could sneak in and see Darcy in action. She was probably a real spitfire in the courtroom.
The idea of Darcy pacing the courtroom, arguing her case to a jury, pointing an accusing finger at the defendant, played through Ben’s mind like a geeky porn movie. He tucked the box of chocolates under his arm and went in search of his naughty neighbor.
“Move it, bitch. Real woman working. Get out of the way.”
The voice. The tone. The words. It could only be one woman.
Eyes flashing, feet stomping, the object of his desire strode toward him like an angry bear.
He stepped behind a pillar. The click of her heels on the marble floor helped him time is actions and at precisely the right moment he grabbed her arm and pulled her into his secret hiding place.
The sudden halt to her momentum combined with the height of her heels sent Darcy toppling into Ben who had no choice but to wrap his arms around her to steady her. Her chest pressed against him and her mouth was mere inches from his. Instinctively he leaned forward to claim her lips in their first real kiss.
“What the hell are you doing here?” The mouth that he’d intended to ravish hissed at him.
Darcy pulled herself out of his arms and tugged at the hem of her jacket to straighten it. When she finished righting her clothing she glared at him. “I have work to do. Are you spying on me?”
Man could she get under his skin. “No, I am not spying on you.”
“Spies hide behind pillars in courthouses and nab people. That’s what you did. Therefore, you’re a spy.”
“Wow. That’s some hefty legal reasoning right there.”
“Oh shut up.”
By this time two newlywed couples and a floral delivery person had stopped to watch the Ben and Darcy show.
“Darcy,” Ben looked meaningfully over her shoulder to signal that they were not alone, “maybe we should finish this conversation in private.”
Darcy ignored his hint. “There’s no more conversation to have. Get out of the courthouse before I call the bailiff over and have you escorted to your car.”
“That seems like a good use of taxpayer money.”
“Bite me.”
“Maybe later.”
Ben took a firm hold of Darcy’s elbow and walked her toward a darkened room. “Let go of me,” she growled.
Ben nodded to a couple of the new husbands who had a distinct look of pity in their eyes.
The heavy wooden door clanged shut behind her and she heard Ben turn the lock. Oh crap.
Late afternoon sun shone through the windows at the back of the room and once her eyes adjusted to the low light she recognized her location. The law library.
Now that everyone did their research online, the old law library was rarely used other than for local bar meetings and occasionally for some research that was just easier to do the old fashioned way. It was a majestic, manly sort of room with antique bookcases lining the wall. Wooden chairs surrounded substantial tables and amongst the stacks there were old leather wing chairs tucked away for quiet reading.
“That was quite a show you put on out there.”
“You’re not supposed to be here.”
“If a woman is a brat and the man who spanks her doesn’t see it, is she still a brat?”
“You’re not the man who spanks me.”
“I sure thought I was.” He reached around and gave her butt a quick smack. “Yep.  Seems familiar.”
He was the most aggravating man Darcy had ever met, and in a profession heavily populated by jerks, that was saying something.
Maybe that was the problem. He wasn’t a jerk. He was always calm and caring. He paid attention to her and made her feel special.
But he’d never even given her a real kiss. Sure, he’d spanked her bare butt a number of times, and he was always caring and gentle with her afterward, often kissing her forehead or her temple in a way that soothed and calmed her.
Damn it. She was tired of being soothed. She wanted to be fucked.
“You’ve got some nerve.”
“I’m not the one accosting brides.”
“Who do you think you are? You come strolling into the courthouse where I work like you own the place and like you own me. But you don’t. You’re just mean and selfish and all you want to do is use me for your own kinky spanking pleasure.”
“Is that what you think? That this is only for me?”
“And you get no enjoyment or benefit from the ‘arrangement’ we have.”
“No, I don’t. In fact, I think that our ‘arrangement’ is a complete failure and I don’t ever want to see you again.”
Darcy turned on her heel and reached for the doorknob but the lock was old and hard to turn. Her shaking hands didn’t help the situation. Finally, she kicked the door in frustration. Dumb idea. Despite comments written in the courthouse men’s room, Darcy did not wear combat boots. Pain shot through her big toe.
Ben rushed to her side but she pushed him away. The pain in her toe quickly subsided. The pain in her heart continued to throb. “Just let me out of here.” She worked the doorknob with the persistence of a yappy dog on a pant leg, ignoring the tears of frustration that pricked the corners of her eyes.
Strong arms wrapped around her waist and Darcy found herself lifted off the floor.  “Put me down.” She windmilled her arms and kicked her feet like a kid having a tantrum.
And like a wise parent of a child having a tantrum, Ben did not give in to her bad behavior. He managed to get seated on a hard wooden chair, where he grasped Darcy’s arms together behind her back and trapped her flailing legs between his thighs.
“So,” his hand cracked down on her skirt-clad bottom, “you don’t like our ‘arrangement’.” Four quick swats landed on her right cheek before he continued. “You think you don’t get anything out of it.” He peppered the left side of her butt with rapid spanks. “Is that right?”
Darcy continued to kick her legs. She wished her hands weren’t trapped behind her because her nose was starting to run and tears of anger and frustration were flowing freely. In addition to the indignity of a spanking, she was also a snot covered cry baby.
Definitely getting a colonoscopy next Valentine’s Day.
A hard swat to the curve between her thigh and butt got her attention. “You haven’t answered me.”
“Yes, you haven’t answered me or is ‘yes’ your answer to my question about our arrangement.”
Just when Darcy’s aggravation started to fade, it came back in full force. She inhaled and then let her thoughts, and words, fly. “I think this is bullshit. Spanking does nothing for me and you are a selfish jerk who only thinks of himself.”
“Really?” Ben punctuated his words with a hard crack to the top of her thigh. “Do you think that’s why I came to the courthouse today? To satisfy some selfish urge to spank you?”
“Well, why else would you be here?”
The spanking stopped and Darcy wasn’t sure if she was relieved or annoyed. Was that it? He didn’t even care enough to give her a decent spanking?
In an impressive display of female clothing removal Ben unzipped her skirt and pulled it down to her knees. Her still kicking legs managed to fling the skirt so that it landed on the top of a stack of books.
Her panties followed and ended up hanging off the corner of a portrait of an old judge.
Ben’s hands rubbed across the curves of her ass and the Darcy started to relax. Her legs stopped kicking, but she knew the spanking wasn’t over.
The crack of Ben’s hand on her bare skin echoed around the large room.
“You,” sniffle, “haven’t answered my question.”
“Why am I here?”
“Right now I’m here to help you relax a bit before you find yourself escorted out of the building by a bailiff.”
“I don’t need to relax.” Now that she’d stopped kicking, Ben had fallen into a familiar rhythm. Left cheek, right cheek, left thigh, right thigh and back in the same circuit. Silly as it sounded, the pain and the rhythm were comforting to Darcy.
“Really? You always call the people in the courthouse hallways ‘bitches’ and try to push them down?”
“N-no.” Had she really done that?
“Seems like you’re having a tough day.”
“I hate Valentine’s Day.” Ben changed up his pattern and worked on reddening the tops of her thighs in a stingy assault to her tender flesh.
“You hate it?” His hand cracked against the curve where her thigh and rear end met. Darcy winced. Valentine's Day wasn't the only thing she hated at the moment. 
“Can’t get my work done. The whole building is full of florists and brides and people acting all mushy. This is a courthouse. We administer justice, not hugs and kisses.”
“Oh. I think I see the problem.”
“I’m right, aren’t I?”
“No, you’re not.”
During their conversation Ben ended the spanking and rubbed Darcy’s butt and back in gentle circles. Now he turned her over and set her in his lap. He pulled a starched white handkerchief from his pocket and gently wiped the tears and other bodily fluid from her face. He returned the cloth to his pocket then smoothed Darcy’s hair away from her face.
“Maybe it’s time to have more hugs and kisses in the courthouse.” His finger outlined her lips. Blood pounded in Darcy’s ears. She stared at his mouth as it moved toward hers.
In all the hours she’d spent fantasizing about what this moment would be like, and there had been many, it still paled in comparison to reality. His lips were soft yet insistent, gently teasing her to respond. When she kissed him back, he tightened his hold on her and deepened the kiss.
The pain in her butt was forgotten. The pain in her heart disappeared, along with most of her self- control. Her hands wound their way into his thick hair and gripped his head like she feared he’d run away.
By the time Ben finally lifted his mouth from hers, they were both bright eyed and breathing hard.
“I think you’re right,” Ben said.
“About hating Valentine’s Day?”
“No, about our ‘arrangement’. I think it’s time to make some changes.”
Darcy’s breathing became shallow. Did he mean what she hoped he meant? She wasn’t sure what to say, so for once she kept quiet.
“Just like the courthouse, we still need to administer some justice and punishment, but maybe we need more hugs and kisses too.”
Darcy’s toes curled and she felt a dopey grin spread across her face. “Really?”
Ben’s mouth lowered to cover hers again but before he claimed her lips again he asked that all important question.
“Darcy, will you be my Valentine?”
The End. 

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