Joni uprooted her life to move to Clearwater for her sister’s safety, but now her sister is safe. Hank is her next door neighbor and almost her best friend. But, sometimes he just irritates the heck out of her and she doesn’t know how to handle it, except to flounce away. He was too perfect! Who could deal with that? Hank figures out how to deal with it.

Hank Thompson loves where he lives and his job, and he is besotted with the girl next door. She’s a spitfire and beautiful, they’ve become almost best friends. He wants more, but he can’t figure out how to make her feel safe and secure. Until he does.

This is book five, the final, in the Clearwater Romance series and can be enjoyed independently.

Publisher’s Note: This contemporary romance has elements of mystery, suspense, sensual scenes, and power exchange. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase.

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“Not as sorry as you will be,” he replied way too cheerfully, she thought as he pulled into her driveway not a minute later.

Unlocking the child lock he put his hand over hers, curled her hand around the quarter and looked in her eyes. “Now march. Get yourself in there and get ready for me.”

“May I go to the bathroom first?” she asked feeling suddenly overwhelmed.

He hesitated just a minute. “You have two minutes. Do what you need to do and I expect to see a bare bottom waiting for your spanking in that corner when I come in.”

“Yes, Sir,” she said, wondering why she said that. She occasionally called him Daddy when he was being overly protective and dramatic but that was mostly sarcasm, she had never called him Sir. That was what she was concerned about right now? What she was calling him?

He reached back and plopped the hat on her head again to guard against the light rain. “Get to moving. Your two minutes start now.”

She hesitated. “Hank?”

“What, baby?”

“It will be okay?” Why wasn’t she fighting this?

“It will be. Better start moving.”

Grabbing her hat with one hand and her purse with the other, she ran to his house and let herself in with her key. Hurrying to the bathroom, she peeked in the mirror at her bottom. What would her bottom look like later? Surely he didn’t mean blisters for real? He couldn’t. He, well, was that even possible? Shivering, trembling, she dried her shaking hands, picked the quarter up again, and made her way to the fireplace. Could she do this? Maybe she should make a fire? Maybe she should do as she was told. She felt cold and damp, very nervous and even a little scared. Could she really do this? Shivering again while thinking of what he might do if she wasn’t waiting for him, where he wanted her, in the position he wanted her, she looked around the room for a clear wall. Most of the room was filled with bookcases.

He said by the fireplace, so she shuffled over as slowly as she could. Yeah, there was a spot. Clutching the quarter tightly in her hand, she unsnapped her jeans. Was she really doing this? Why was it so hard? She’d dropped her pants in front of him more than once, but that was always for a good time. This was to correct her behavior. She was a grown adult! She didn’t need her behavior corrected! Would this correct it, she wondered. After the next few minutes would no one ever ask again if they were together or not? Somehow she doubted it, but who knew? She guessed she’d find out.

She heard the back door open and close and hurried to the wall, she dropped her jeans but they only fell to her knees. She couldn’t bear the idea of pulling her panties down to match, though. However, she did put the quarter against the wall and pushed her nose against it. What was this supposed to do again? Oh, yeah, give her time to calm down and reflect. Was she? No. She was trying to hold the stupid coin up and trying not to wiggle with nerves and listening for him and…“So where is the bare bottom I wanted to see?” Oh there he was.

Her body almost convulsed with nerves and anticipation. “I can’t,” she whispered.

“Try,” he suggested. “By the time I count to five. One. Two.”

“I am! I am! Wait!” What was he going to do if she didn’t? Spank her? But she suddenly felt the need to do as she was told and wiggled while trying to hold the quarter against the wall. “See!” Her pants fell to her ankles.

“Panties too. I need a good target to get that little bottom nice and red,” he said and she choked back an almost sob.

Could she? Slowly, she put her fingers in her waistband and pulled them down to her thighs. They weren’t going to fall off like her jeans did, though and she couldn’t move because her nose made her immobile. However, despite her trembling fingers, she managed to shove them halfway down her thighs.

“Lift the shirt.” She heard from behind her. “I need to see that naughty bottom.”