Lucky St. James is the woman from the wrong side of the tracks, and despite her birth name, her luck with men has been anything but fortunate. Her biological father walker out on her and her mother when she was just a baby, her stepfather abused her mother and kept Lucky in a state of fear her entire childhood, and a string of boyfriends all cheated and lied to her. Now she meets Clay Jackson, a wealthy gentleman farmer who wants nothing more than to prove to Lucky that love and trust are worth taking a chance on. Lucky wants to give herself completely to him, even after he explains to her about his interest in domestic discipline in their relationship. But will she really be able to trust him and allow herself to be loved the way she longs to?
BDSM category: spanking only
NO EXPLICIT EROTIC SCENES but not suitable for under age 18
Lucky St. James started her 1972 Pinto and sat staring into space, as it warmed up. She shivered. It was a cold January morning, and her mission was an intimidating one.
As she pulled the noisy car from the sidewalk outside her apartment building and onto the street, Clay's words came back into her head, as they had time and again since she had last seen him. If you change your mind, you know where to find me; but there will be consequences, Lucky ... He had said it with ease, no menace in the threat. And, despite the consequences he spoke of, Lucky had held onto those words. There was a solace and safety there, a round-about promise that when she grew up a little and got herself sorted out, Clay would be waiting for her.
Outside her car window, the city flew by. The streets of Philadelphia were fairly deserted, many of the shops closed at this early morning hour. A few scattered Christmas decorations still hung on lampposts and buildings, oblivious to the fact that they had already had their heyday.
Unnerved by the solitude of the day, Lucy switched on the radio and fidgeted with the dial. Talk shows were the predominant feature across the Sunday morning airwaves, with only a few scattered stations actually playing music. She tried humming along with an old Harry Chapin song, but it was halfway over when she found it, and after it ended, a spiritual program began. Eventually she switched the radio off, realizing that the noise of channel surfing was far more irritating than the quiet had been.
Gradually, the cold gray concrete of city streets gave way to green lawns and clear blue skies. The huge buildings that knocked boldly against the foundations of Heaven dissolved into more modest houses that were built closer to the bounds of Earth. Lucky's heartbeat quickened. She remembered how she had driven out here once before with Clay; how he had told her about his childhood, growing up on the large farm where he still resided. He'd pointed it out to her as they'd driven by, but had respected her wishes when she'd declined several offers of a tour of the place. Instead, he'd always come to meet her somewhere, and when they had chosen to stay in for the night, those nights had always been spent at Lucky's small apartment in the city.
Now, she saw that circle of white buildings that was Clay's home off the road to her left, immensely impressive even from the road, which was a good hundred feet from the farm. Taking a deep breath for courage, she turned down the long, paved driveway.
The winter branches of the trees stretched out in a web of tedious, bony fingers above her as she drove. The Pinto rattled past several large barns and other outbuildings, where Lucky caught glimpses of ranch hands coming in and out with equipment and bags of feed. The pastures were dotted with horses; here a Chestnut, there a Black, in the far corner three Paints and an Appaloosa rolling in a patch of sunny grass. There was one pure white foal frolicking playfully with a denim-clad man as he led it out of the barn.
As Lucky pulled around and stopped outside the main house, she was surprised that Clay's SUV was the only vehicle in the driveway. With it being his birthday today, she had half expected to find his girls here to visit with him. Selfishly, she was relieved to discover that he was probably alone; she had yet to meet Clay's daughters and was nervous enough about that first encounter without having to manage it on today of all days. There was enough on today's plate as it was.
Probably alerted by the telltale rumble of her vehicle's about-to-fall-off-any-day-now muffler, a flutter of movement appeared at a first floor window curtain, drawing Lucky's attention as she parked. Clay's handsome, fine features appeared beside the large hand that had drawn back the drape. Despite the distance between where he sat inside his study and where Lucky fidgeted inside her Pinto, she would have still sworn that his eyes met hers directly.
Within seconds, Clay had left the window and was standing just outside the front door of that massive, yet somehow old-fashioned stone-front house. He stared anxiously, almost disbelievingly, at her car. Had the situation been different, Lucky would have burst out laughing to see Clay looking so befuddled and uncertain; the man was never anything but controlled, always certain of his actions.
But there was no amusement in this journey for Lucky. Her stomach was pitching with fear even as she sat there, her car still running, the heat trickling through the dash vents making her sweat. She paused further, telling herself that she was looking for something in Clay's gaze that meant he was happy she had come; but really she was looking for what she thought was more likely to be there--anger, indifference, or any other small sign that he no longer wanted her.
After several long minutes of sizing one another up from a distance, Clay slowly ambled over to her vehicle. His stride was bow-legged from so much time spent in the saddle, but he still walked tall and strong, despite the cold. He was dressed only in a wool sweater, jeans and heavy socks.
With shaky hands, Lucky rolled down her window as he reached the car. Why she didn't just get out of the Pinto, she refused to even think about.
"Hi there," he grinned down at her, just as if it had only been yesterday when they'd last seen one another, instead of three months earlier. There was a shadow of stubble across his jaw and he looked like he'd maybe lost a few pounds. His thick, dark hair was in charming disarray around his face, the result of only a few minutes in the January wind. Her eyes took in his familiar face, his warm voice, the body she knew so well how to please. She had to swallow hard on a rush of tears burning the back of her throat.
"Hi," she squeaked.
His smile broadened at her obvious nervousness. But his warm blue eyes were kind, as always.
"I confess I hadn't dared to hope for such a wonderful birthday gift as this." He opened her door then, and reached over the top of the steering wheel to turn the car's engine off himself. Just like him, to take control of the situation, especially since she was still sitting there like a stone, just staring up at him. Pocketing her keys, he held out his hand. "Come on in, Lucky."
She considered a few minutes longer, knowing the pleasures that awaited her if she went with him. And weighing the other things that were sure to accompany them as well.
Then, slowly, she nodded and climbed out of the car. The hand that clasped hers as they walked towards the house was surprisingly warm.
The inside of Clay Jackson's home was warm and decorated in masculine tones. Lucky glanced nervously around as he helped her off with her tattered coat, imagining she could smell the money that had gone into creating such a beautiful and well-kept home. The wooden handrail that led from the foyer to the second floor was intricately carved and shone richly, while a crystal vase housing a handful of sunflowers gleamed in the sunlight pouring down from the double skylights in the cathedral ceilings. Everywhere she looked she saw money--expensive furnishings, fine fabrics, original artwork, high tech electronics. And beneath her soiled sneakers, the tile floor stretched out down the hall towards the other first floor rooms, each one, she was sure, more extravagant and expensive than the one before it.
Feeling shy, and silly because of it, Lucky had to force herself to meet Clay's eyes. His expression was slightly amused. "Do you like it?" he asked quietly. Despite the amusement in his eyes, there was a seriousness in his tone that made her think her answer was important to him somehow.
"What's not to like?" she asked, spreading her arms out wide to include all that was around them. When she noticed how shaky her hands were, she let her arms drop and folded them stiffly across her chest. "It's beautiful. You have nice tastes, Clay."
His gaze dropped to her folded arms, and the amusement left his features. He grasped her hand again, leaving her no other choice but to drop her other arm to her side, and tugged her gently along beside him as he started down the hallway. "I can't take the credit for the dcor," he told her casually. "I had help from the girls. Though I am glad they didn't suffocate me with flowers and pastels."
Lucky smiled at the image. "I was afraid I'd be crashing a family birthday party. I thought they might be here already."
Clay flashed her a grin over his shoulder as they entered a large den. "It's too early in the day for my girls to be out of bed, much less out of the house. I'm sure they'll come around later this afternoon or maybe this evening."
He gestured for her to have a seat on the huge chocolate brown leather sofa that ran the length of the center wall of the room, then wrapped around the corner before finally finishing around the middle of the far wall. "Have a seat. I'll go and get us some drinks. What would you like?"
Timidly, she perched on the edge of the sofa. With a shrug, she said, "Something warm?"
"Coming right up."
She watched him stride away, her eyes hungrily taking in his long legged walk, the strong, athletic movements of his muscular, work honed body. When he had slipped out of view, closing the French doors to the room behind him with a quiet click, Lucky swallowed thickly and jumped back to her feet.
Move in with me, he'd asked her three months before. I want to wake up in the morning beside you, come home to be with you at night. I'll make you happy, Lucky, you know I will.
She'd wanted to do as he asked, more than anything else. That was the problem; she wanted it too badly, and anytime she wanted something that badly, it only ended up hurting her in the end. Lucky was afraid to trust, afraid to be happy. Afraid, and certain that it would--could--never last.
I can't see you anymore, she'd told him simply, that last night at the club, a week after he'd asked her to move in with him. I'm sorry.
He'd just looked at her sadly, disappointed. He knew why she was pushing him away, had probably even seen it coming. Don't do this, he'd said, even though the expression on his face said that he knew it was a waste of time to try to change her mind.
I have to. She'd straightened her shoulders then, and stood up from the barstool. Goodbye, Clay.
She'd almost made it to the door before he called her name. Her first instinct had been to just keep walking, pretend she hadn't heard him. But something else made her turn around, the part of her that didn't want to give him up.
If you change your mind, honey, you know where to find me. He'd sat tall and straight in the bar stool, his long fingered hands spread on his muscular thighs. His blue eyes had glinted across the distance of the club at her, dangerous and steely. But there will be consequences, Lucky...
She knew what he meant by consequences, though up till now she'd not experienced them. He'd told her shortly into their relationship that he had what he called some "unusual sexual interests." More specifically, spanking.
As it had been early in their relationship, he'd been quick to stress that for the most part, he had only used spanking in his relationships in a sexual context--for foreplay and pleasure. But, later on, he had been more honest, and told her that he did believe in domestic discipline, in a home where the man was the head of his household and when a woman did something to warrant it, it was the man's responsibility to correct and better direct her behavior.
Apparently, the spanking interest had been a major problem in his first marriage. And, he had told her one late night, he really did not see himself having another happy long-term relationship without that component being involved.
She hadn't been that put off by the idea of being spanked for sexual pleasure; it wasn't as weird a concept as some other things that people got excited over. But the idea of being punished, even in what Clay had described as a loving domestic discipline setting, made her nervous. It sparked too many memories of the stepfather she'd grown up with, who had let off steam and stress with a bottle of his favorite bourbon and a heavy hand to her mother's face.
Even so, she'd willingly read the stories Clay printed for her from his computer, glimpses into his soul and what he felt he needed to be happy in a relationship. And she began to see what he meant by the loving balance that could be achieved by the equalness and fairness and by the addressing of problems and forgiveness, instead of the holding of grudges and bad feelings. The night he'd asked her to move in with him, she'd been planning on telling him that she was willing to try their relationship his way, the old fashioned way.
But when he'd asked her to live with him, she'd gotten scared. And she'd run instead.
Now, she stopped her pacing and dried her sweaty palms on her skirt. She moved purposely to the windows and twisted the baton until the blinds were all closed. Next, she moved to the French doors, grateful that he'd led her to a room that had doors, and even more grateful for the curtain that she now untied and let fall over the decorative glass.
On quivery legs, she went to the far corner of the room, where she turned her back on the room and stood facing where the two walls met. One trembling hand reached behind her and, remembering a story she'd read that Clay had given her, folded up the back of her skirt, baring her bottom, encased only in worn white cotton. Gooseflesh broke out along her legs and arms and a shiver coursed through her.
The same hand hovered at the top of her panties, remembering how the girl in the story had also lowered those till they pooled at her ankles. Somehow, Lucky couldn't do that, though. Eventually, she brought her hand back in front of her body.
It was only a moment or two later, when she heard the doors open and Clay's steps as he entered the room.
"Sorry for the wait. I thought you'd like some cocoa, but I had some trouble finding..."
His voice trailed off as he took in her current position. Silence followed, the only evidence of his presence in the room the muffled clunk as he set their drinks down on coasters. Lucky fidgeted in the corner, her stomach a riot of butterflies, her face hot and red with embarrassment.
Though she kept her gaze focused on the crease of plaster before her, she was aware of Clay's approach. His hand caught her gently at the back of her head, smoothing back the waves of auburn hair in a calming gesture. Slowly, his touch continued down the length of her back, making the cotton shirt she worn stick to her slightly sweaty skin beneath, then over one hip, until it paused and rested just at the center of her pantied backside.
Once, then twice, ever so softly, he patted her there.
"I see you haven't forgotten our last conversation," he said softly, his voice right beside her ear, so close she felt the warmth of his breath and smelled the spice of his cologne.
"I remember," she whispered, still intently facing front.
Again, he patted her bottom, this time the slightest bit harder. "Look at me," he said.
Her eyes burning, she turned her head and met his gaze, finding relief in the warmth in his eyes.
"You can trust me." He told her.
Lucky nodded. "I know."