Pendragon’s Lash is now in KU

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My oldest spanking romance novel, Pendragon’s Lash, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HGFFN5Y, is now in the Kindle Unlimited program. For those of you who don’t know, this means you can read it for free if you are a subscriber. If you read lots of books, this makes sense, especially if you are willing to take chances on relatively unknown authors in the hope of finding a diamond in the rough. That’s because you can have as many as 10 books “borrowed” at a time. So if one doesn’t float your boat after a chapter or two, ditch it and get another one.

In Pendragon’s Lash I tried something most romance writers don’t do — I created four different romantic relationships that I nurtured along as the plot progressed. In your typical romance there is one relationship that is the focus of the story. I just expanded that a little.

The plot resembles a Star Trek episode. Four agents of a space-faring culture, the Star Federation must land on Pendragon, a forgotten and remote world, whose civilization resembles 15th century Europe. Their mission is to facilitate a treaty allowing the Federation to harvest medicinal plants in exchange for technology. A key to the treaty is an alliance between two kingdoms which will be cemented by a marriage. Not everyone on the planet likes the idea, and there are forces seeking to undo the alliance by preventing the marriage.

So far this sounds like typical sci-fi, but wait! On Pendragon, the corporal punishment of females is ingrained in the culture. That’s right. If you are woman on Pendragon, you are apt to get spanked when you disobey the law (or your man).

This is a revelation to the 3 females and single male agent and the novel deals in depth with their experiences in this odd and primitive culture.

The male agent, one Trevor Crane, is paired with Iris, a young woman operating under cover as his assistant. His cover story identifies him as a tutor to the daughters of a nobleman suspected of being part of a plot to disrupt the wedding. Of course, to be a tutor on Pendragon, he must know how to keep order, especially if his charges are spoiled daughters who don’t want to learn…..

Trevor had started classes, but it was not going well.

“I’m not getting much in the way of results at trying to teach the baron’s daughters,” he said. The tone was one of wry amusement. It had been frustrating. They paid little attention to him and refused to do reading or exercises, preferring instead to ride or call on friends or any number of other pursuits.

“That’s because these silly girls refuse to learn,” said Iris.

“The baron will be very unhappy at their progress.”

“Yes, he will. And he’ll blame you. You could be relieved of this post if they don’t display more knowledge than they demonstrated last time. They were supposed to have learned mathematics, bookkeeping, history, and geography. Instead, they do as they please, openly defying you.”

“Well, they are the baron’s daughters. What would you suggest? I tie them to the desks? Flog them?”

“Actually, yes.” She noted the startle in Crane’s eyes. “This is Harkovia. If they had been sent to a university in the capital, they would have learned the hard way. Remember what the baron said about using any means to motivate them?”

“You’re joking. Surely not for the daughters of the nobility?”

“Especially for the daughters of the nobility. They are expected to acquire a toughness, a steely fortitude. The boarding schools are designed to prepare them for life as a true daughter of Harkovia, and it’s a rite of passage. If they are going to have a life of privilege, they should endure pain and humiliation when they are learning how to manage that life—so the general attitude goes. What you need is an easel. It’s what every Harkovian estate has.”

“An easel?” He had no idea what she was talking about.

“It’s a triangular frame, a tripod. It has a large cylindrical crosspiece right at the hips. It is commonly used to secure lazy servants or petty criminals so they can be flogged. Hands are tied at the apex, feet at each leg. The crosspiece causes the derriere to arch out. Then you raise the skirt and apply a birch rod to the buttocks. Some universities have a tall stool with straps on the legs. Most households, too, if they are of any size.”

“But I can’t do that…” Trevor protested.

“It’s quite common for tutors to punish lazy students. I had a professor at the university who was from Harkovia and he would—”

Trevor stopped her. “But what about propriety?” Trevor sputtered. “I am a man and they are daughters of an important general. He’d have me flogged if I did such a thing.”

“That is a risk,” admitted Iris. “But you can call in witnesses. And I’m here, too.”

Trevor ran his hand through his hair. What a system. It was hard for him to believe.

“You have to get them to pay attention to you. You’ve let them run roughshod over you, and now they haven’t learned anything. The baron will be displeased.’

Trevor sighed. She was right, and after the message from Elana’s escort, Rhys Hollander, it was imperative that he remain where he was. Envoys from Archbishop Leister were on the way and a plot was afoot. He had to ferret it out, and to do that, he had to stay employed.

“All right. Tell me what I have to do.”

“Come with me,” said Iris, grabbing her satchel.

Iris led him across the courtyard, past the barn, to an old stone storage building. It was unlocked. Inside, it was dark and dusty, illuminated only by high windows. Iris poked around, looking through the items strewn about, which amounted to old casks, tables, tools, and crude wooden furniture.

“What are you looking for?” asked Trevor.

Iris did not answer. Her attention was directed to what looked like a wooden frame in the corner. She pointed it out to Trevor and picked up a broom. Dust billowed as she swept off cobwebs.

“Here it is,” she said.

“What is it?”

It looked like a painter’s easel, only sturdier. It was a wooden tripod frame with cross bracing between the legs. Only, where pegs would have gone to support a painting, there was a thick cylinder.

“It’s an easel. I thought they’d have one. Most Harkovian homes do.”

“Is this what you were talking about?”

Iris smiled. “Yes. It’s where Harkovian serfs learn their lessons. It’s a birching frame.”

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“A what?”

“Help me drag it out. It is used commonly all over Harkovia. I wonder why the baron retired it to here. In most homes, there is a special room for this, sometimes a shed or building outside, where it stands, ready and waiting.”

Trevor helped her drag it to the center of the room and finish dusting it off.

“The purpose,” said Iris, looking Trevor in the eye, “is for holding the misbehaver in the proper position for application of the birch rod.”

Trevor watched while Iris assumed the position at the frame. She leaned against it, placing her feet at the legs and leaning forward over the cylinder. The posture forced her to thrust her buttocks out so that her rear end was prominently positioned for chastisement. Even under the long frock, she was alluring, her bottom clearly outlined by the clingy fabric. It was a tempting pose.

“See?” said Iris.

 

Trevor could see all right. His lovely assistant was sticking her curvy bottom out in a posture of submission. He felt some tightness in his groin as an erection began to grow.

“So they assume the position, and what then?”

“Their skirts come up, drawers come down, and it’s a dozen or more swishes with a whippy birch rod,” said Iris.

“I don’t know,” said Trevor. “I don’t know if I should do this. Thrash the baron’s daughters for poor lessons?”

“You’re going to have to. The baron expects results, and those three spoiled brats are doing nothing. They think you’re weak, and here, that’s the worst sin of all. You must take charge. You have to remember, this is Harkovia. It’s expected.”

Trevor sighed. “So how do I find a birch rod? And how do I use one? There will be hell to pay if I injure one of these little madams.”

Iris cocked her head and smiled. “Come with me.”

She led Trevor into the woods. Finding a tree with thin shoots on it, she pulled a slender blade from a pocket in her dress and proceeded to cut some thin switches.

“This is the Northern birch. These shoots are thin but very strong and very flexible.” She cut about a dozen and trimmed them carefully. “Commoners and serfs everywhere are all too familiar with this type of tree. Sometimes the miscreants are sent out to prepare the instrument for their own punishment. It can be part of the ritual. You might even think about that for later. For now, here.” She handed him what she had made.

It was a pair of rods, each having half a dozen switches. The sheaf was tied at one end with some ribbon from Iris’ hand satchel. He swished it around. It made a whining sound. He tapped it on his hand, noting the sharp sting.

Trevor was so absorbed he almost didn’t notice what Iris was doing. She had doffed her frock and was standing next to a low branch in her chemise and drawers.

“What are you doing?” asked Trevor. The sight of Iris in her underwear was alluring.

“You need to understand how to apply a birch rod the way the Harkovians expect, firmly, but without going too far. So, I’m going to have to be your test subject. I’ve been given this mission by Prince Alfred himself. We must succeed. You must retain your post. As far as this house is concerned, disciplining me is an unremarkable event. Remember, I am also a student of yours and theoretically subject to your discipline anyway. You could punish me for some failing at any time.”

She deftly lowered her drawers, blushing all the while. Then, as an amazed Trevor looked on, she bent over, holding onto the branch. Her white moons protruded pertly, her legs straight. Trevor caught his breath at the sight.

“Go ahead,” said Iris, looking over her shoulder. “I’ve been a lazy and insolent student. Whip me. I should have at least a dozen lashes to make me obey.”

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Almost in a daze, Trevor came forward and stood to her side. He extended his arm and lined up the rod so that the ends of the switches spanned both cheeks of her bottom. He tapped her a few times. She gripped the branch tighter.

“Use a smooth stroke. You don’t need much arm, just a little wrist flip at the end.”

Trevor drew his arm back, then stepped into the stroke. The birch whined and hit sharply.

Thwick! Trevor heard a hiss as Iris drew a breath through clenched teeth. Red lines appeared on her bottom.

Swish… Thwick! He delivered another stroke. Her bottom jiggled with the impact.

Swish… Thwick! Her body tensed as the birch struck.

Swish… Thwick! “Ahh… oh,” she cried, throwing back her head.

Trevor paused.

“Don’t stop,” she gasped, but kept her position. “You can’t back away now. Continue. You are an angry and determined tutor. Teach me a lesson.” As if to emphasize her resolve, she hollowed her back, making her bottom jut out.

Trevor did as she asked. Eight more times the birch rod sang its song of hot, stinging pain. Eight more times Iris felt the sharp whick of the supple birch rod. It was a fiery and ever-intensifying sting as stroke after stroke landed, scorching her bare behind.

After twelve, he stopped. Iris let go and stood. Her hands flew to her bottom, and she massaged her throbbing rear. She managed to smile at him through tear-filled eyes.

“Whew! I think you almost have it. I hate to say this, but maybe you should take a fuller stroke, really follow through. You may have held back a bit. Try three more.” She bent back over.

Those last three removed all doubt. It was all Iris could do not to screech at the top of her lungs. When it was over, she congratulated Trevor on his prowess.

“Just like that. You need to do it just like that,” she said as she winced and rubbed her bottom vigorously. Then she replaced the fallen drawers and slipped her frock back over her head.

“But are you all right?” asked Trevor. “Your bottom is really red.”

“I’ll need a pillow at supper,” said Iris, gently rubbing her bottom. “If anyone asks, you could just say that you found it necessary to discipline me. They will all understand that, and it will send a message to the baron’s daughters that you do dispense discipline when necessary.”

“You really think I should do this?”

“You have to,” said Iris. “I’ll have the servants move that easel into the classroom and place the birch rods in plain sight.”

“Iris, I hope you know what you are doing,” said Trevor.

 

* * *

 

She did. Iris had thought about it all the way out into the woods, ever since she had found the easel in the shed. The thought of exposing herself once again to this man, this handsome and intriguing off-worlder, had been oddly thrilling, even though, from the incident at Hastings Bay, she had known it would hurt. Still, she had resolved to go through with it.

Indeed, she had known exactly what she was doing. Iris had to admit to herself that the prospect of submitting to Trevor Crane for punishment had excited her. She wanted Trevor Crane. She had wanted him ever since they met, but he had kept her at arm’s length. Even after the incident at Hastings Bay. She had been close that night, but there was this awkwardness. They had barely met then.

But it was weeks later now, and there was a genuine rapport growing between them. So how could he refuse her after he had whipped her? Before she had handed him the rod, she had decided that she would endure a flogging if it meant ending up in his arms.

That evening as Trevor retired for the night, she entered his chamber, clad in a diaphanous shift. She saw his eyes grow wide as she lifted the shift over her head to reveal her nakedness. The room and the curves of her naked body were bathed in the light of Pendragon’s three moons that shone through the window. Soundlessly, she slipped into his bed, pressing herself against him and embracing him in her arms.

He brought his face close to hers. “What brought this on, Iris? I was cruel to you today.” She could sense that he was startled that she would come to his bed, but even so, he ran his hands over her body, igniting little brushfires of desire. She sighed with pleasure.

“You have ignited a flame, Trevor Crane, and there is only one way to extinguish it.”

He seemed to need no further urging. After all, she reasoned, how could he deny her after that birching? She felt his lips pressed to hers, and she responded eagerly, pressing her body against his lean and muscular torso.

Their embraces led to gentle stroking. He lowered his head and kissed her breasts, and her nipples became hard. The feel of his hands on her was heavenly. He touched her everywhere, teasing and stroking. Up and down her legs. On the inside of her thighs. Squeezing her breasts. His lips found the nape of her neck, and his kisses sent shivers up her spine. She hissed when he forgot and cupped her lush buttocks, still sore from the birching, but he rubbed her gently, and the circular motion of his palm on her bottom made her moan.

“That feels much better,” she said. “On Pendragon, women respond to men who wield the switch if they care for them, and it is for their own good. You did what you had to do, and I find that it aroused me.”

“I do care for you, Iris. Very much,” he said. “You are a remarkable woman, like no one I’ve ever met. I don’t want this to end.”

He rolled her over and prepared to enter her. She was more than ready. Down below her sex felt wet and slippery, and she opened her legs and lifted her hips to receive him. The knob of his erection found her moist slit, and he slid in with no resistance. Oh! It’s so big. It’s filling me, she thought as his penis stroked the slippery walls of her vagina, teasing that spot within that sent waves of pleasure surging through her.

Their bodies rocked with a slow sensuous rhythm at first, then the intensity built, and they moved faster until they came together, thrashing and bucking in climax. The second time was less frantic, but just as intense. They lay side by side and she stroked him until he had been renewed. Deftly, she slipped his hardness into her once again, placing a leg atop his. He thrust into her with a motion that was agonizingly slow, and they started a slow back and forth reciprocal pumping with their hips. They kept it up for quite some time, but for Iris time stood still. It was a slow burn that finally erupted in an explosion of sensation. But even that could not satisfy either of them for long. It would be far into the wee hours before the couple would fall into an exhausted sleep.

 

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