Now, almost a year later, he lay beside her, his head propped on his arm and watched her sleep. He had spanked her hard - again - and he wondered how much of the spankings were due to Sophie's behavior or to his frustration that she wouldn't marry him.
He had also spanked her the day she came to his office and discovered all the baskets of flowers ex-girlfriends allegedly sent. It hadn't taken long to figure out that Sophie was the one who sent them in their names. At first, he thought she had been jealous. Later, he realized she was testing him. He thought about that for a long time and forgave her for her doubts. She wasn't committing to anything unless she knew where she stood.
Sophie hadn't forgiven him for the spanking and he smiled, remembering all the names she called him, all the threats she made at the time - still made when he warmed her bottom. But she had moved in with him and true to his word, he built a studio for her.
He watched her sleep and couldn't resist touching her, his fingers lightly tracing the line of her jaw, trailing down through the valley between her breasts, and the sweep of her belly. Leaning over her, he pushed the covers away and dropped feathery kisses on her mons, nosed her nest of silky curls and sighed when his eyes feasted on the pink folds of her sex. Come hell or high water, he was going to make love to her in the morning. His balls ached just watching her sleep and he pondered how he was going to get her to marry him.
"Do you know how much I love you?" he asked the next morning when she woke in his arms.
"How much do I love you?"
"Not enough? How can you say that?" He paused, about to kiss her when she spoke and looked into her eyes. "I love you like I've never loved anyone else in my life."
"Who else have you loved?" She gazed directly back at him.
"Hmmm," was all she said and pulled him down for a kiss.
"You spanked me very hard last night," she reminded him, one hand reaching back to rub the heat still lingering on her bottom cheeks.
"You deserved it," he replied, his lips moving over her face and dipping to her throat as his arms pulled her into a tighter embrace.
"I'm moving out," she announced when he cupped her bottom to feel the lingering heat he had caused.
"First, you'll marry me; then you can move out," he mumbled.
Then she twisted her body until she was straddling his chest, her bare breasts hovering close to his mouth... teasing, her hands pressed into his shoulders.
"Oh baby," he groaned. "I want you so bad."
"It'll cost you," Sophie smiled and moved so one breast brushed his lips... then the other grazed his cheek.
"Anything," he agreed. "Anything you want."
"My word," he swore.
"No more spanking," she decreed.
"Anything but that," he muttered and flipped her onto her back, lifted her legs and slipped into the one place he wanted to be.
"I'll never forgive you," she told him as she raised her hips to meet him. "I'll never forgive you for spanking me."
"Will you marry me?" he asked, his breath heavy with want and need.
"Not unless you stop spanking me," her own breath catching as he pulsed inside her.
"You love me," he told her. "Maybe not as much as I love you but you *do* love me and you'll marry me."
"If I do marry you, I'll keep my own name. Don't need a man's name to be someone."
"You'll take my name," he told her, his hips still thrusting.
"I'll keep my own," Sophie insisted, her hands curling into fists and punching him in the neck even as she met him in their passion.
"Going to blister your butt. Going to love you for the rest of our lives and keep your butt hot."
"I'll sue you," she told him. "I'll have you arrested, take you for all you're worth, and when you're out of jail, I'll shoot you, cut you up in pieces and feed you to the dogs."
"We don't have any dogs."
"I'll buy some."
"I'm going to spank you," he told her again when they peaked... repeated the words when he lay back with her in his arms... He whispered the same words while they remained entangled, limbs weak, hearts in mutual harmony, their breaths beginning to ease.
"You'll never tame me," she told him while one of his palms cupped her bottom and the other palmed her breast.
"Don't want to tame you," he murmured, kissing her throat... between her breasts... moving south again. "Want to keep you feisty and high spirited and full of sass. Want to have good reasons to keep spanking you, want to keep this sweet bottom hot. Got to keep spanking you and loving you. I love you, Sophie."
"I love you, too, Jess Lawrence but if I marry you, I'm going to keep you on your toes for the rest of your life. Your balls are gonna ache like crazy for me."
"Oh yeah, gonna spank you," he chuckled, delivering a swat, the promise of more to come lingering with the sting. "Gonna tame you, Sophie. Gonna tame you good and gonna enjoy every second of our lives."