She loved him. Kara Kerrington knew that with all her heart. He’d been there for her, from the moment they’d first met – at the scene of a terrible accident in which she was the injured party, through the weeks of courtship, for that was what she had to call it. Good, old-fashioned courtship. It was so much more than casual dating! Doctor Nick Sherman was kind and caring, strong, protective to the point of nearly being over-protective, and he believed that actions had consequences. She squirmed, knowing what the consequence would be when she saw him again. If only she could turn back time, return to a place where she felt safe – cocooned in his loving embrace.

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“Kara,” he said in a calm, even tone, “I guess now is as good a time as any to have another little talk. Let me reiterate, if you answer me again in an evasive way or don’t tell me the complete truth about your health, you will be spanked. But there are other things that will get you spanked, as well. Those things are cursing, and your attitude. Because I care a great deal about you I won’t allow you to do things that can be dangerous or harmful to you. But I also feel there is a strong chemistry between us and we owe it to ourselves to see what we have. Therefore, I also care a great deal about our relationship, and I will not allow you to do things that can be dangerous or harmful to it. Cursing, especially after being warned about it, or being rude or disrespectful to me are good examples of that. I will always be respectful to you, and I expect the same in return.”

“Spanking me is being respectful to me?”

“Yes, it is,” he assured her.

Before he could explain why he felt that way, she exploded. “Like hell it is!”

She never did understand exactly what happened next, but somehow she and her cast were both gently flipped over and she ended up face down over his lap. He gave her six good swats over her shorts before she could gather her wits enough to say anything. When she could, all she could say was, “Ow! Stop! Nick, no, that hurts! Ouch!”

“I know it hurts, sweetie. It’s a spanking,” he said, not letting up. “We talked about this, not very long ago as a matter of fact. Remember? I said I would spank you for not being honest with me, or for cursing, or for being disrespectful. And you just chose to do two of those three. So, being a man of my word, you’re getting the spanking I promised. You see, Kara, I keep my word. If I tell you I’ll take care of you, I will. If I tell you we’ll go out for dinner tonight, we will. If I tell you I’ll help you do something, I will. But if I tell you I’ll spank you if you curse or are rude or disrespectful, I will do that, as well.”