Candy Travers needs money. Her mother is failing fast, and she is drowning in debt, even though she is working two – and sometimes three – jobs. Her friend suggests that Candy apply to the same government facility she works at. It will be more money and better benefits if she can get in.

It isn’t a job for a thinking person; it’s mostly janitorial, really. Until the day their trainer/manager asks for a volunteer to help her with a “special” patient. Dr. Hart Redmond was a golden boy in his time, but that ended the night there was an accident in his lab that changed everything for him.

Since then, Hart has tried to make his handlers see that only men should be coming in and cleaning his room. But he can’t stand incompetence and stupidity in anyone, male or female. And after he’s driven away the last one, they have no choice but to take who they can get.

Enter Candy Travers.

Publisher’s Note: This steamy sci-fi romance contains elements of power exchange.

Excerpt

It was a humiliatingly short amount of time before the tears that she had been horrified to realize had filled her eyes from that first awful swat—and that she had done her darnedest to hold back—spilled down her cheeks at her next blink.

And it was all downhill from there. She couldn’t stop crying once they started, and that seemed to open the floodgates, a mere two or three smacks later, for her to do everything else she’d been desperately trying not to do. Squeaks and squeals fell out of her lips with every jolting whack against her bare behind that became moans and groans not long after.

But that was nothing to what came later as he continued to relentlessly blister her bottom.

Those open lips let out more than pained expressions of how terribly effective he was at doing this.

She began to beg, which she didn’t think she’d ever had to do—in any way but jesting—in her life. But Candy was definitely not kidding about this. She wanted him to stop—and stop now, rather than later!

“No more, please!” she panted, her face now bright with more kinds of humiliation than she wanted to put names to, the tears that continuously dripped down her face actually feeling cool to her hot skin in comparison.

Hart ignored her entirely, although he did acknowledge to himself that he loved hearing her beg him like that, and he knew there would be more to come.

And she did not disappoint him in the least, with tearful, and obviously pained, promises of what she’d vowed to do before—to disappear, never to be seen again by him—but also plaintive pleas for mercy.

She couldn’t know that that was a concept he no longer believed in, although she was likely to get a good inkling about that by the time he was finished with her.

It was then that he reached for a thick wooden ruler that happened to be lying conveniently on his desk. It was quite solid. They had to be for him or he’d snap them like twigs in the course of using them as any scientist would normally. And when he first laid it brutally down across the fullest crest of her cheeks, she emitted such a scream of pure discomfort that he very nearly soiled his pants.

Instead, he was treated to an entire chorus of them as he laid into her with that thing, systematically covering her entire bottom as well as the tops of her once pale thighs. Hart punished her with the implement at least as long and hard as he had his own hand, completely disregarding the state her flesh was left in just by the cruel caresses of his palm.

There was no decisive end to it, either. He didn’t just stop, merely slowed the tempo at which he sliced down onto her cheeks. And for the last quarter of the punishment, she had no idea when he was going to swat her next, so each new strip was a new blooming of the pain she had been just beginning to come to grips with.

When he leaned down and picked up the pants—both pairs—and panties that had ended up being kicked off early on, of course, she began to struggle, however weakly, to get off his thigh again, but he held her fast, pulling them over her feet and ankles, then up her calves and thighs until he used the material to lift her off him and set her down on her feet.