Betrothed Ch. 03bycellophanesmile©
Allison sat next to Nick in stony silence, eating her supper. He made sure she got the best of what cook had to offer, but she clearly didn't appreciate it as she shoveled food down her throat.
"I'm done," she said after a few minutes.
"Can I get a thank you?" Nick asked, for some reason wanting her to acknowledge his effort.
"Why should I thank you when you are the one who kidnapped me?" Allison had been like that for the three days she had been on his ship, unduly contrary, Nick felt, for the amount of consideration he had shown her. He had even given up his bed and slept on the floor, due to the fit she had thrown when he tried to climb in next to her.
"I have put up with your attitude for long enough, Allison. You have done nothing but complain and sulk since you got here and frankly I'm sick of it," Nick said, demanding she get over her anger so they could get on with their lives together.
"Oh, I'm sorry that I've not been in such a pleasurable mood. I hope that you can forgive me, seeing as how I have just been forcibly dragged out of my bed in the middle of the night and onto a ship, and then told that I was to marry a complete stranger," Allison's voice dripped with sarcasm. Nick longed to shove it in her face that she was only being made to fulfill a promise that she herself made, but still wanted to keep his anonymity.
"Well whether you like being here or not, you are at least going to act civil. Now I want you to thank me for your supper," Nick said in a voice that brooked no refusal. Allison however, ignored the warning in his voice.
"I shall not, you miscreant" Allison said, crossing her arms and sitting back in her chair, ready to sit there all night before allowing a "thank you" to escape her lips.
"You will say thank you, or I will take you over my knee and blister your backside so bad you won't be able to sit for a week." Nick was also ready for a fight, but was not willing to have it take all night.
"If you even dare, my fiancé will track you down and kill you for touching me," Allison once again used her fiancé to hopefully scare him from carrying out his threat. Little did she know, she had said the one thing that would actually make Nick put her over his knee.
"That's it," Nick said, bodily picking her up and sitting down on the chair. Allison struggled as much as she could, but was no match for his strength, and in a few minutes he had her laying face down over his lap, with an arm on her back, anchoring her to the spot. She hit his leg with her fists and yelled at him to stop, but stubbornly refused to say she was sorry or beg.
She was utterly humiliated at the indignity of her position when he lifted up her dress and pulled down her pantalets, exposing her bare bottom. She cried out more from surprise than pain when the first smack came. It was immediately followed by a second smack, and a third, and a fourth.
"Are you going to say thank you?" he then asked, but Allison stubbornly kept her mouth shut.
"I guess you haven't learned your lesson then," he said as he continued to spank her. What hadn't hurt so much the first time, now was horribly painful, as he continued to smack her already stinging bottom. Allison felt tears roll start to roll down her cheeks and let out small cries with each smack.
Nick's anger had faded by now, and he longed to end the punishment, but was too stubborn to be the one to give in. He tried not to look at her rosy backside, for fear that he wouldn't be able to continue beating the sore flesh, and he hardened his heart against her pitiful whimpering.
"Say thank you," Nick said again, letting his hand slow, and allowing longer pauses between each smack.
"No." Nick wanting to end this, allowed his hand to fall much harder than the couple previous times, and his heart nearly broke at the painful cry that escaped her.
"Say it," he practically begged.
By this time she was crying her little eyes out, "Thank...you," the words were wrenched out of her between sobs. Now that she had finally said it, Nick felt no happiness at having won; he didn't feel like he had really won at all. He allowed his grip on her to loosen, and he pulled her undergarments up, and her dress down. Allison scrambled off his lap as soon as he let her go, and huddled in the corner of the room. She put her face in her knees, and cried and cried, and when she was finally out of tears, she stayed there, refusing to look up or move.
Nick didn't know what to do now, he didn't want to leave her, but she probably would rather be alone. He walked over to her huddled form and picked her up, she stayed wrapped in a tight little ball, and he carried her like that over to the bed, gently laying her down before quietly leaving the room.
After the day Nick spanked her, Allison started acting exactly as he had told her to act. She hid her displeasures, and acted polite. Though only now, Nick would have preferred her the way she was, rather than the cold and distant way she acted now.
She said a polite "thank you" for pretty much anything he gave her. Answered his questions with cool impersonal responses, while asking none of her own, and instead of the varied insulting names she was wont to call him before, now restrained to calling him captain, like the rest of the crew.
Nick, in an effort to win her favor, gave her a pair of breaches and a shirt so that she could go up on deck. He knew her, and knew that she would be longing to get out of the cabin and into the fresh air. She had eagerly gone on deck that day, and everyday since.
Most of the men were upset at first by her presence on board, deeming it was unlucky to have a female on a ship, but soon however, all the men were thoroughly charmed by her, and had no trouble taking time out of their work to show her around or talk to her. Allison enjoyed their rough company, and Nick was jealous that she would open up to his men and not to him, but didn't say anything about it. At least she seemed to be happy, even though it was when he wasn't around.
One day Nick came back out on deck after a short time in his cabin to find his men in a tizzy.
"Come on lass, ye can do it," he heard one of his men shout. This couldn't be good he thought, and went over to find out what was going on. To his horror, he saw Allison climbing the rigging, and was almost at the top.
"What is going on here?" he bellowed, consumed by nothing but fear for her. All the men turned to look at him, but none said anything. They knew it was obvious what was going on, and they knew he was mad about it.
"Allison get down from there," he yelled up to her. Allison, upon hearing him, turned around and looked down. She immediately knew that was the wrong thing to do, because she saw just how high up she was. She held on to the rigging tighter, and tried to get her foot to move downward, but it wouldn't obey. She couldn't move, fearing that if she did, she would plummet to her death.
"Allison, get down here right now," she heard the captain yell again, and for the life of her she tried to obey, but was just too scared. She dreaded the punishment she would receive for this, but just held on tighter.
Nick saw that she wasn't moving, and started up the rigging after her. Upon reaching her, he said, "What are you doing up here, madam?"
"I'm sorry, I thought you wouldn't mind if I climbed it, and I tried to obey you and come down, but I couldn't," Allison's voice shook slightly while she was explaining.
"Why couldn't you come down?" Nick asked gently.
"I was too afraid. Please, you don't have to punish me for this, I really tried to obey you, and I'll never do it again," she said humbly, looking at him pleadingly.
"Oh no, sweetheart, no," Nick said horrified, realizing she had been so obedient because she had feared what he would do to her. She was afraid of him. "I won't punish you. No, nothing like that will ever happen again."
Allison nodded, but he could tell she didn't quite believe him. "Allison, listen to me, I'm sorry for what I did. I let my anger take control, and it was wrong of me. I promise I won't ever let it happen again. Do you forgive me?"
Allison was surprised at the emotion and sincerity in his voice. She could tell he was truly sorry.
"I forgive you," she said, really meaning it.
"Okay, are you ready to get down from here?" he asked. She nodded, and he continued, "Alright, just don't look down, and take your time. I won't let anything happen to you."
Allison believed him, and was somehow less scared knowing that he was there beside her. They started to climb down side by side, him going slow to match her pace, and everything was going good, until she slipped. It happened so fast, she didn't even realize what had happened, but she just knew that she was no longer hanging onto any rope. For a brief moment, she saw herself falling to her death, but then a strong hand grabbed her wrist.
"Hang on, Ally, I've got," Nick said. Holding her wrist in a death grip. He pulled her up with one arm as if she weighed no more than a doll, and held her until she found her footing.
"Don't scare my like that," he scolded gently when she was secure again. Allison felt her heart racing and she held onto the ropes as tight as she possibly could. After a long time, her heart beat finally slowed, but she couldn't relax.
"Are you ready to try again?" Nick asked her, but Allison firmly shook her head no.
"That's perfectly okay by me, we can just stay up here for the rest of our live," he said teasing her. Allison smiled, but still didn't want to go again.
Nick scooted a little closer to her, and put his arm around her back, so he was gripping the ropes on the other side of her body.
"I've got you, I promise. I won't let you fall," he whispered in her ear. Allison for some reason felt that he would fall himself before letting her fall, and was comforted.
"Okay, we can go," she said, albeit hesitantly. And they once again slowly made their way down the ropes. Upon reaching the deck, a cheer went up from all of Nick's men, and they all congratulated Allison and told her how brave she was. She thanked them, but was glad that the captain ushered her back to his cabin.
It wasn't until they reached it that she realized he had called her Ally. And there was only one person who had ever called her that, Nick.