Authors: Dinah McLeod
“OK by me,” Colton replied easily. If he noticed that she seemed to have lost a few years, he didn’t comment on it, but simply hugged her back, continuing to give her little pats as she sniffled into his shirt.
Scarlett took her time calming down. There was something so soothing, so special about being in his lap and being cared for like this. She couldn’t put a name to it, but she knew that she didn’t ever want to leave.
Unfortunately, as they say, all good things must come to an end. Scarlett knew that this would be no exception, but it happened way before she was ready.
“Oh, crap,” Colton muttered under his breath as he looked over his shoulder. “Get your pants on, baby. We’ve got company.”
“What?” she squeaked, jumping to the passenger side and hurrying to adjust her clothing as Colton opened the door.
“Hello, officer,” she heard him say. “Yes, we’re fine, thank you. We had a little car trouble, but we’ve got it worked out now. Yes, sir, we were just about to leave. Thanks for stoppin’.”
“You lied,” Scarlett accused with a smirk as she buckled her seatbelt. “I guess you should be spanked after all.”
“You’re welcome to try, baby-girl, but I’d wait a day or two if I was you. Your bottom couldn’t take the consequences just now,” he said with a wink.
Scarlett giggled to herself the entire way home, feeling deliciously happy with a tingling, hot bottom underneath her blue jean shorts.
is where you live?” Colton asked, looking around in dismay and disgust. He couldn’t imagine just leaving Scarlett—beautiful, tiny Scarlett—here in this dump. The paint on the walls was peeling, which wouldn’t be so bad except he could swear he tasted lead just being near them. That, and the dim yellow bulbs through the apartment corridors didn’t do much to dispel the shadows that did little to inspire confidence. He’d been skeptical since they’d pulled into the parking lot, which was why he’d insisted on walking her in, but the more he saw, the more he couldn’t stand the idea of leaving her.
“Have you ever thought about… you know… finding a better place?” As soon as the words left his mouth, he could tell by the way her back went rigid that he’d offended her.
“I can’t really afford a better place, Colton.”
Once he’d started, he couldn’t stop, so he plunged ahead, knowing he might come across sounding like an asshole. “You could get a better job.”
That did it. She whirled on him, her mouth turned down and her brow furrowed in annoyance. “If it were that easy, if I could snap my fingers and have a better paycheck, I would have done it already.”
* * *
Colton did his best to suppress a smile. Lucky for her, the words were said without any heat behind them, despite the fact that she was clearly irritated with his meddling. As much as he wouldn’t mind bending her over and taking a look at his handiwork, he very much doubted she could take even another swat.
And truth be told, that was one of the things he loved about Scarlett. To look at her now, no one ever would have believed that she was the same girl that had been sobbing in his arms only half an hour earlier. She was strong, yet she could submit. She was a good girl, but not so good that she didn’t need the occasional correction—something that, if he read her right, they both enjoyed.
“I hear what you’re sayin’. I just wonder, is it safe?”
Scarlett seemed to grow more annoyed with each question he asked. He could see her visibly getting herself under control before she answered. “I’m fine, thanks.”
He looked around once more at the shadowed hallways. Several of the doors had cracks in them and it just didn’t sit right with him. He’d only known her for a few days, and yet, the urge to protect her and make sure she was safe was overwhelming. It also didn’t hurt that he’d very much like to fuck her—more than any woman he’d ever met, actually.
“I had fu—well.” She grinned up at him. “I enjoyed spending time with you.”
“Did you?” he grinned back. He pulled her in close, enjoying the way he towered over her and reaching behind to gently pat her bottom.
“I did.” She batted her eyelashes at him and his cock stirred. Damn, she was sexy. Even when she was trying to change the subject. “I hope to see you again sometime.”
“That sounds like a great idea. In fact, how about I take you to my place?”
She frowned and backed away. “Colton, I’m really not sure I want to rush into things—”
He couldn’t help but chuckle. He’d just had her bare-assed and begging over his lap, but she didn’t want to rush things. “Don’t worry, sweetheart. I have a couch and I plan on sleeping on it. I just thought maybe you’d feel safer—”
Her frown deepened, much to his dismay. “
feel more comfortable, you mean. I appreciate your concern, really, but I’m fine here.”
“Okay. I know when I’m beat.” He held up his hands, palms face-up. “Can I call you?”
“I’d like that.”
To his relief, her frown melted and gave way to a smile.
“Thanks again. For tonight.”
.” He closed the distance between them and bent his head to give her a gentle kiss on the lips. Much to his surprise, when his lips touched hers he felt electricity shoot through his body, making his cock shoot straight up as his balls tingled.
“Oh, Colton,” she murmured in a sleepy, little-girl voice that made him want to throw her over his shoulder and run away with her, no matter what she said.
“Goodnight.” She gave him another small, shy smile before walking to her door. She found the right key on her ring and stuck it in the door before looking back at him.
“You’re sure that thing has a good lock, right?”
Colton,” she chirped before opening the door and disappearing inside.
Much to his amusement, he immediately heard the click of the deadbolt and then the chain as it was set. He could see her now, smiling saucily at him through the door and he couldn’t help but grin back.
* * *
“Oh, my God, Colton!” Scarlett exclaimed the next morning as she nearly tripped over him coming out of the door.
He started awake, still blinking sleepily when he looked up at her. “Mornin’.”
“Morning?” she echoed in disbelief. “What are you
“Isn’t it obvious?” he grinned. “I just couldn’t stand to spend a night away from you.”
Scarlett surveyed him with skepticism, wondering if that was sweet, or creepy. No, it was definitely creepy. “I don’t understand.”
Colton got to his feet, quick and agile despite the dark circles under his eyes. “I was just worried about you, that’s all.”
“I know you did. But I still worry. I’m allowed to care, aren’t I?”
His sunny grin managed to melt her unease in seconds. “Of course you are. But I wish you wouldn’t worry. I’m fine here. I’ve lived here for six months, and I’ve been fine.”
“Just because nothing’s happened to
…” he muttered under his breath.
“You’re being ridiculous. Although, come to think of it,” she tapped her finger on her chin thoughtfully, “an old lady three doors down was mugged last month. I didn’t think much of it, but if you think it’s the neighborhood—”
“You’re kiddin’ me!” he exclaimed, eyes wide with apprehension.
“Of course I am,” she giggled, laughing all the more when his expression went from fearful to irritated in mere moments.
“That’s not funny, Scarlett.”
“It’s a little funny,” she countered, batting her eyelashes coyly.
“Yeah? I wonder just how funny you’d think it was if I put you over my knee and spanked you right here in this hallway,” he suggested, trapping her body with his and making her back against the wall.
Immediately, Scarlett’s heart began beating wildly in her chest and her breath quickened. “You can’t do that.”
“Oh, no?” he grinned, looking downright wicked and much too pleased with himself.
Clearly, he knew he had the upper hand. Damn her fair skin! Her emotions showed much too easily.
“Well, maybe you could.” She scooted to the left, but he saw it coming and matched her step for step. Was it hot in here, or was it just him? “But just because you
do something doesn’t mean you should.”
“Wise words, for such a little girl.”
little,” she protested.
“I wasn’t referring to your height, baby.”
She furrowed her brow, but couldn’t work out what he meant to save her life. “I have to go to work.”
“I know. I thought I’d give you a ride.”
“That’s thoughtful. You’re not stalking me, are you?”
“Would I tell you if I was?”
“No, Scarlett, I’m not. I think you’re fun to be around, and cute as hell, but I promise, I was genuinely concerned for your safety. Because, if I was a stalker, I wouldn’t hide in plain sight like this, would I?”
“I don’t know,” she shrugged. “Maybe you’re just a bad stalker.”
“Hey! I resent that!”
Scarlett giggled and when Colton growled playfully at her, putting his palms on the wall and leaning into her, she surprised him by darting underneath his arm.
“Hey! Get back here, you minx!”
“First I’m a little girl, now I’m a minx.” She smiled coyly at him. “My, it looks like I’m coming up in the world.”
“Hmph. That’s a matter of opinion, I suppose.”
“Well, it’s been nice chatting, but like I said, I have to get to work.” She slung her purse around her shoulder and began to walk past him.
“Aren’t you going to let me drive you?” Colton asked, catching up to her in two long-legged strides.
“Hmm… I think I’ll walk.”
The way he said her name in his deep, ominous voice made a shiver slide down her spine. It was the delicious kind, the kind that also made her pussy wet. “What? Was I being disrespectful,
“You know what I think? I think you like playing games.”
“Is that so?”
“Yep. I had a lot of time to think last night.”
“While you were gazing at me through the peephole,” she added cheerfully.
“Hey. You’re bordering on disrespectful right there, so you know.”
Scarlett smiled to herself, since she could hear the playfulness in his voice. “Thanks for the warning.”
“You only get one—I think you’d do well to remember that. Anyhow, like I said, I was doing some thinking, and something occurred to me.”
“I figured out exactly what you need.”
She slid her eyes toward him, still smiling like the cat who ate the canary. “Oh?”
“Yep. You need a man who takes good care of you—even if that means never letting you out of his sight,” he said with a wink. “Isn’t that right?”
Oh, if he only knew. His words sent an electric thrill through her that woke up every nerve in her body. She’d longed for the kind of care he mentioned for so very long. In fact, she’d been having a recurring dream for years, and it was always the same. She was sitting in the lap of an older man. She never could glimpse his face, as her face was pressed into his chest, but that wasn’t important. All that mattered was his arm around her waist, his hand petting her hair, and how very safe and loved she felt. In the dream, she called the man ‘daddy,’ which she always found odd in the waking hours, since she didn’t have one. It was more than odd, though—it shone a spotlight on a hole she’d always felt in her heart. Hearing that word on Colton’s lips just brought those feelings of longing rushing back.
“Scarlett. Are you okay, darlin’?”
“Yes.” She smiled up at him. “I’m fine.”
“Then why are you cryin’?”
She couldn’t help but be touched at how his face twisted with concern when he looked at her. “Oh, this?” she laughed as she wiped a lone tear away. “Don’t worry, daddy. These are nothing but happy tears. I’m a very lucky little girl to have you.” When she snuggled against him, he pulled her close, wrapping his arms around her until she felt so warm and safe that she never wanted to leave his embrace again.
* * *
One week later
“Is that what you do with all your girlfriends?” Scarlett asked skeptically.
Colton couldn’t help but smirk at the way she was looking at her reflection in the full-length mirror. After he’d picked her up from work, he’d brought her back to his trailer and presented her with a big white box with shiny pink ribbon. Her reaction had superseded his expectations. Watching her tear into it, and the girlish delight on her face when she’d discovered her present inside gave him a smile that he suspected would last for days. He’d bought her a very young looking sundress, with oversize flowers and lace around the sleeves. He’d also picked out matching panties. Scarlett seemed to be of two minds, as far as he could tell—on the one hand, it had been obvious that she’d been touched by his gift. But the moment she’d opened it and examined the contents, she seemed to be warring with her emotions.
“Don’t you like it?”
“I do,” she answered slowly, not taking her eyes from the mirror. “It’s just…” She pulled the fabric of the skirt in her hands, seeing how far it would stretch.
This time, he didn’t bother to try and hide his grin. “You look beautiful. Go on, give me a twirl.”
When she back at him, looking so shy and unsure, he gave a nod of encouragement. With a giggle, she spun around in the dress and the skirt flared up, showing off her long, pale legs. She twirled again and again until he thought she’d be breathless with laughter. Somehow, putting on the dress seemed to unlock a side of Scarlett that perhaps even she hadn’t known was buried deep inside of her. She seemed so innocent and so free, unburdened of the problems that she normally faced. His eyes never strayed from her. He didn’t think he’d ever tire of seeing her just like this.
“Whoa there.” He put a hand out to steady her as she began to get off balance. “I think that’s enough for now.”
“Thank you for my dress.” She beamed up at him, her blue eyes shiny with gratitude as she stepped on tiptoe to give him a peck on the cheek. “I love it.”