Her Unjust Spanking

In The Trailmaster’s Bride by Maddie Taylor, our heroine is recently widowed and remarried under urgent circumstances along the Oregon Trail. An unknown enemy has plagued the caravan with minor acts of sabotage designed to implicate her, and her new husband, with whom she has been getting on quite well, decides to lecture and punish her for her supposed misdeeds:

“What has you so scatterbrained, Mina?”

“I know it seems that way, Wes, but it wasn’t me. Something isn’t right. And, as I told you after each mysterious mishap, I didn’t do any of those things, I swear.”

His brows drew together in a dark frown at her answer, his disappointment in her apparent in his eyes. “Lying only makes the situation worse, darlin’.”

She bristled. He hadn’t believed her before either. “I’m not lying, husband.”

“Do you have a more reasonable explanation, a culprit behind these mysteries, perhaps?”

“Well, no, but—”

Sighing heavily, he drew her closer. “Then I think it’s time I give you another little lesson that will help remind you to be careful with your chores in the future.”

“The last time you gave me a little lesson, you spanked me.”

“Which is what I intend to do now.” He gave her wrist a tug and pulled her forward and across his lap.

Like the last time, his hard thighs supported her belly and a solid arm wrapped around her waist. Despite his steadying hand, she instinctively reached forward, her fingertips in the dirt, which was all that she could reach from her precarious perch over his long legs.

“But, Wes,” she protested urgently as his hand swept down her legs to her skirt hem. “I swear, none of it was me. I don’t know how it happened—”

With one quick movement, which startled her silent, even though she’d been expecting it, he flipped her skirt up onto her back. Clearly, he was unconvinced by her weak excuse and was intent on proceeding without delay.

She couldn’t figure out what was going on, although she’d tried to all week. She would swear on a stack of the bibles as tall as she was that she’d taken the lid off the barrel that night. Furthermore, she knew she’d tied the square knot like he’d shown her because she recalled double-checking it. She also specifically remembered washing the coffeepot and skillet, then storing them in the wagon as she did every evening. The wagon brake, well, she’d been known to forget that several times and Wes had scolded her about it. Had she done it again? Uncertainty swamped her as she struggled to remember. Was it possible that she’d been reckless and done all of those things while unaware?

Air across her backside brought her out of her ruminations. She became aware of her husband untying and separating the split in her drawers, baring her bottom to the warm night air. Her hand flew back to cover herself. “What are you doing?”

“You’re a wife now, Mina. Wives get spanked on their bare backsides.”

She began to struggle. “No. This isn’t fair. I didn’t do anything wrong.”

“And that, right there, is why you’ve earned this spanking. If you’d have owned up to these oversights, I would have been more forgiving, but for you to continue to deny them day after day, until one lie builds upon another, when there is no other explanation except your own carelessness, isn’t something I can let slide.”

She heard the crack of his palm first. It echoed in the valley like a gunshot. An instant later, a sting like that of a thousand bees flared across the surface of her bottom. It was followed by another, and another. Then a barrage of searing fire rained down over both her hind cheeks and her upper thighs. Her hand, which had flown back out of self-preservation, had long since been pinned to her lower back by one of his own, all while he kept up a blistering pace of intense swats. She kicked, twisted, and even bent her head and tried to bite him.

Only then did the spanks stop falling. In their place came his angry voice. “Mina Carr!” he growled. “You will stop all this fussing and take the spanking that you earned or you’ll feel the snap of my belt on your willful behind.”

She stiffened, appalled that he would even think to use his heavy, wide leather belt on her tender skin. That’s when the tears came, not from the pain in her backside, but the ache in her heart. He didn’t believe her, which meant he didn’t trust her. Crushed, she sobbed out her sorrow.

Unmoved by her tears, evidently, his spanking continued. Another ten swats or so fell before he moved lower and delivered a half dozen to her upper thighs. Once done, while she was swearing she hated him and vowing to never speak to him again, he calmly held her in place, rubbing his big hand soothingly over her burning skin. The disparity of swatting her until her behind was on fire, and then attempting to extinguish it with a gentle touch, was not lost on her. Although, it helped soothe the sting somewhat, it didn’t stop the tears from falling.

“There, there, darlin’. Such a fuss over a little spanking.”

That broke through her emotional pain. His anger seemed appeased by the punishment. On the other hand, she was only getting started.

“Little,” she all but shrieked in outrage, her voice resonating in the night more so than his spanks. “I’d like to see how little you’d think it, if a huge brute took his giant paw to you.” She dissolved into sobs of frustration, much to her dismay, as soon as she’d said her piece.

“Mina, I spent the better part of my youth in my pa’s smokehouse with a strap blistering my butt. By comparison, this is nothing. I didn’t appreciate it at the time; still, I learned right from wrong as a result of my father’s discipline and I’m hoping you will too. He loved me, but when I messed up, he didn’t spare the strap. I shudder to think how I would have turned out if he hadn’t.”

“Were you guilty of all the misdeeds that earned you that strap?”

“I was,” he admitted, chuckling softly, as if lost in memory.

She pushed up from his thighs and twisted, looking back at him over her shoulder. “Therein lies the difference.” She couldn’t mask the hurt in her voice. “I am innocent. Except for the brake.” This she disclosed honestly as she looked away. “I can’t be completely certain about that.”


She set her mouth in a mulish frown, not sparing him a glance. “Are you finished?”

“Not quite.” He pulled her into a sitting position on his lap. “Look at me.”

It took sheer determination to meet his midnight gaze, shrewd as it ever was. When she did, she didn’t say a word, glaring at him while waiting for him to say whatever he needed to say.

“Are you going to hold to your story? That these things happened unbeknownst to you?”

“I am. And darn you for not believing me.”

Their eyes locked in a war of wills. Unblinking, dark eyes met ones as light as a clear noontime sky. She was first to look away.

“Am I excused?” she asked with a sniffle.

His frustrated sigh spoke volumes, although he let her go. “You are.”

As she stood, her drawers, which were still undone, drooped. Catching them, she fussed with the ties in back, finding it difficult to do with her hands full of her wadded-up skirt and at the same time keep her fiery behind covered and away from him.

“Let me help,” he offered.

“That’s unnecessary.” When she struggled for a moment more, he pulled her back between his legs, turned her about, and brushed her hands aside. In no time he had her back to rights.

“You’re all set,” he murmured low, as he rose to stand beside her. “Let’s head on back and get ready for bed.”

“I’d rather spend some time alone, if you don’t mind.”

“As a matter of fact, I do mind. Wash up, change into your nightgown, and climb under the wagon. I’ll be right there.”

“I don’t want you right there, husband.”

“That’s too damn bad, wife. You go where I go, as I’ve told you before.”

“Then I hope the reverse is true and you go to the devil, Weston Carr, because that’s what this marriage is to me, hell.”


She didn’t wait to hear what he had to say next or if she’d dug herself a deeper hole with her words, which she didn’t mean and rather than better made her feel ten times worse. Instead, she whirled and stomped off, wishing him to perdition as she went.

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