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Leo Colston is stunned when Emmaline is thrust back into his life. He had resigned himself to the fact that he would never marry the woman he loved. Now they are taking hasty wedding vows and being urged to move to American, where they can leave the talk of scandal behind them.
Emma and Leo realize settling into marriage is not going to be as smooth sailing as they thought. As they try to work out their differences and get used to living in close quarters, Emmaline finds herself in trouble with her new husband on more than one occasion. Leo's favorite way to end an argument is to take his lady over his knee and spank her bare bottom until she submits. Emma thinks he should just give in to her womanly charms. Who will win this battle of wills?
Emmaline's Groom is a stand-alone book, but is also the first book in The Ravenswood Manor series.
This book includes spankings, graphic sex, anal play and more. If any of this subject matter offends you, please do not purchase this book.
Prologue- England, 1890
Emma took in a deep breath. The scent of leather and pine permeated her senses. She glanced about, wondering where it came from. The smell of leather would forever be connected to Leo. Her Leo. She knew if she let her mind drift too much she would talk herself out of it. But it felt right, everything about this felt right, and she remembered her mother always told her to follow her heart. Emma's heart was positively bursting with glee at the rightness of the situation. She sat on Leo's bed, perching herself on the edge of it. She had been wearing a hole in the floor pacing the length of the room.
She had briefly seen Leo this morning and he had told her to wait for him in his room. Now, she second-guessed the conversation. Had he said his room or her room? Emma cursed herself for not even being able to follow the simplest instructions. Leo was already cross with her and she did not want to upset him further, not when she had such good news to share with him. She had finally made a decision and she wanted him to know right away.
She heard a floorboard creak in the hallway and she held her breath. She said a silent prayer that it was Leo, keeping thoughts of spirits and ghosts at bay. Ravenswood Manor was empty at the moment, something that never happened. In all her years growing up, Emma could not remember a time where she had been alone in the big house. Her brother, Samuel, and his wife, Clara, had gone to visit her father in London. They were staying with him until her brother Wesley got back from America. Emma was supposed to be staying with her sister Vivian and her husband while they were away, but she had fallen ill and was not up to making the trip. This was the source of Leo's ire with her. He told her she did not think things through, and she was always putting herself in situations where she could get hurt. She knew he was right, but she did not like being scolded. The weather had not been in the forefront of her mind when she set out on her walk. She certainly did not think a walk would cause her to be sick in bed for days.
Her mind had been swirling, her thoughts a tangled mess, and she had needed some fresh air. She felt she did her best thinking outside. She obviously had not been thinking when she set out on her walk because she did not realize how cold the air was, how grey the sky was, and did not start to feel cold until the snow started to fall. By the time she turned around and got back to the house she was soaked to the bone and freezing. Leo had been the only one around to witness her mistake. He was supposed to be depositing her at Vivian's the next morning, but instead he had drawn her a bath, tucked her into bed, and told her to stay put.
Since the house was supposed to be empty, all the servants had a few weeks off, Leo had been the only one around to nurse her back to health. He made her stay in bed, brought her meals to her, and doted on her. She felt like a princess. It was scandalous being all alone with Leo for a whole week, but no one had been around to find them out, and in her state of illness he would not lay a hand on her. Not that Emma had not tried to entice him.
During the week they had talked a lot to pass the time. Emma always found it easy to talk to Leo. She had fancied him since they were both children and she admired the man he had become. She shared with him her fears- that she would end up like her sister, forced into a marriage of titles and status and end up becoming part of the d�cor. She had never gotten along with Vivian, but she had even less of an opinion of her sister now that she had married a Duke and let herself become eclipsed by his status and title.
Leo gave her a glimmer of hope. He had told her that she did not have to end up this way. Leo himself was not just sitting back and taking what life gave him. He insisted to Emma that she could make decisions about her own life. She was ready now, ready to make her own decisions, but she needed Leo to know about them first.
The door finally began to open. She held her breath, of course it was Leo, no one else was here. She did not exhale until she finally saw his familiar form fill the doorway. She had to stop herself from running to him and crushing herself into his embrace.
“You are here,” Leo said. It came out more as a question than an observation and Emma was not really sure what he meant by it. Had she misunderstood where he wanted to meet?
“Yes,” Emma smiled at him, “you asked me this morning.”
Leo entered the room and quickly shut the door behind him.
“This is where you said to meet, correct?” She started to feel less certain, she could not wait to share her news, but she wanted to be sure Leo would hear her out.
Leo's face lit up with a smile, “Were you listening at all when I was talking, Emmaline?”
“I always listen to you,” she giggled at her half truth.
“I believe that you always hear me,” Leo crossed the room so he stood just a half step away, “but I do not know how often you are actually listening.”
Emma shrugged her shoulders and could not help but smile up at Leo. He made her heart beat more quickly when he was around, and her knees started to feel like they would not hold her up any longer. He reached his hand out and cupped her cheek in his warm palm.
“You are well?” Leo asked, “Feeling all better?”
Emma leaned her face into his hand. It felt rough against her skin, but its presence steadied and reassured her. “Mmm,” she breathed out, closing her eyes, “I have an excellent nurse.”
He caressed her cheek with the pad of his thumb, then placed his hand under her chin and tilted her face up. She opened her eyes, meeting his gaze.
“No more walks in the snow,” Leo said in a serious tone.
“Yes, I know,” she replied, with a little bit of a giggle.
“Emmaline,” he raised his eyebrows at her.
“Yes?” She was not giggling anymore, she could feel the heat of his gaze running through her.
“Promise me,” he dropped his hands and took hers in his grasp. “Tell me you understand.”
“I promise, Leo,” Emma parroted back, feeling silly to be repeating him, “I understand.”
She studied his face, he seemed satisfied with her promise. He looked so concerned, he had been worried about her all week, alternating between making sure she was comfortable and scolding her for her carelessness. She was suddenly overwhelmed by the feelings she carried for him and she needed to act on them. She raised up on her tip toes and softly placed her lips to his.
Emma thought he might pull away. But then his hand came up and tangled in her hair, drawing her closer and deepening their kiss. She put her hands on his forearms to brace herself, not wanting this moment to end. Leo parted his lips and she felt his tongue teasing along her bottom lip. This was not like the stolen kisses she had shared with him when they were still children. Hidden away behind the barn, they had been quick and chaste. This, this was something entirely different. Leo had obviously improved with age and she let a thought flit across her mind that he must have been practicing with someone.
He let out a groan and released her, pulling himself back from the kiss. Emma's lips tingled and she could feel where the new growth of his beard had scratched around her mouth and chin. Her senses were on fire, it felt like something had been ignited within her.
Leo scrubbed his hands over his eyes, “I just wanted to talk, Emma.”
His tone was apologetic, as if she had not been the one who kissed him.
“I do too,” she needed him to know now, “I have made a decision.”
“You have?” Leo gave her a questioning look.
“Yes,” she could barely contain the excitement bubbling up within her, “I have decided to come with you.”
Emma looked at Leo expectantly as his questioning gaze turned pensive. Her heart felt like it stopped as she realized she had acted impulsively again.
“On your journey,” she prompted when the silence kept stretching between them, “to America.” Her voice trailed off to a whisper at the end of her sentence. She wished the floor would open and swallow her up
“Emmaline,” just hearing him speak her name could send shivers down her spine. Tears were welling in her eyes as she braced herself for his rejection, surely she would die. “Come, sit with me,” Leo sat on the edge of the bed and patted the space beside him.
Her feet felt like lead as she crossed the room to him. Her earlier excitement was replaced with embarrassment that Leo did not want the same thing as her. Her face flamed as she thought about the week they shared and her obvious misunderstanding of the situation. Everything Leo had said to her about the future and her making a decision for her own life. She thought he had asked her in a roundabout way, she thought they wanted the same things, to start a new life together.
Emma perched herself on the edge of the bed, leaving a space between them. She was startled when she felt Leo's arm around her waist, he slid her toward him with the greatest ease. Once she was up against him, the length of her thigh resting against his, he did not release her, but seemed to tighten his arm around her.
“That is a quite a decision, Emmaline.” He had leaned his head down and spoke in a hushed tone into her ear.
She did not respond, just kept her gaze trained on the floor in front of her. If he was going to reject her she hoped he would do it quickly. She would still have a full week to cry and mope before the house was full of people again.
“Are you sure you thought it through?” The tone of Leo's voice made her tremble involuntarily. She felt him nuzzle his nose into her hair, just above her ear, his warm breath heating her lobe. A sigh escaped her lips and Leo chuckled.
“Was that a yes?” he teased. Emma felt further embarrassed, first she thought he was rejecting her, but she realized now he was having fun at her expense.
Emma shrugged and twisted out of his hold. She turned herself sideways on the bed, bringing her knees up to her chin. “You will never change will you?” She almost laughed at his shocked expression. “Always teasing, I do not think I will ever get used to you.”
An alarmed cry escaped from her mouth as Leo lunged at her, flattening her body onto the bed beneath his weight. He held both her wrists over her head in one of his large hands, grasping her chin with the other.
“I fear it is you who will never change, my sweet Emmaline,” he had brought his face so close to hers she could count his eyelashes. “Were you wondering what I wanted to talk about before?”
He leaned back, shifting his weight off of her and releasing her wrists, but she stayed lying on the bed under his gaze.
“I have been thinking about it all day!” She wondered how much longer he would make her wait.
Leo gave her a devilish smile, “I think you are making me act more impulsively,” he paused as she giggled, “I was going to ask you to come with me. To be my wife. I do not want to live anywhere without you.”
Emma propped herself up on her forearms and elbows, bringing herself closer to him. She wanted to be sure he was not teasing this time. Her heart beat rapidly, her hands became clammy, it was like all of her wildest dreams coming true. She could not believe her luck!
“Leo,” she started, and she linked her arms around his neck.
“There is still a lot we would have to work out,” he interrupted her, “I should probably go first, and then you could follow. We would also need to have a wedding, and-” he trailed off.
“What?” Emma asked.
“What do you think your father will say? I should have spoken to him first,” Leo said.
Emma shrugged, “I do not care, I do not care what anyone says. We can decide the details later.”
She would tell him that she had no intention of being left behind, now that she had him, she would never let Leo leave her side again.
“Do you think we could marry tomorrow?” She buried her face in his shoulder as she waited for his answer.
“Tomorrow?” he asked. She nodded into his shoulder. “I do not think so. But why?”
“I do not want to wait any longer,” Emma spoke into his chest, keeping her eyes averted, she could feel the red creeping into her cheeks.
“You do not want to wait?” he questioned her. When she did not reply he added, “Wait for what?”
She dropped her arms from around him and let out an exasperated sigh. Clearly, she was going to have to spell the whole thing out to him.
“For you, Leo,” Emma said, with a bit more boldness than she felt.
He gathered her up and placed her in his lap, “For me?”
“Yes,” she told him, forcefully.
“Are you saying-” he started.
“Yes!” she cut him off. He was starting to annoy her with all his questions.
“Emmaline,” his voice took on a warning tone.
“Leo,” she countered back at him.
“We need to discuss some things before you become my wife.” He gave her a pointed look. Her stomach fluttered when he said the word wife. She waited for him to continue.
“I need to know that you will obey me.” He looked at her thoughtfully.
“Obey you?” She raised her eyebrows, staring back at him in disbelief.
“Yes,” Leo replied evenly, “especially if we are moving to someplace new, far away from everything we have known. I need to know you will listen when I ask something of you. I need to know that you will be safe.”
“Yes, but obey you?” Emma needed to be sure she heard him correctly, just what was he getting at?
“If you are my wife I will take care of you and keep you safe,” he brushed a strand of hair behind her ear, “and there will be consequences for putting yourself in harm’s way.”
Emma could not help but notice how serious Leo was being. She had always known him to be easy going, this was a whole new side of him. She felt like every nerve in her body was at attention. He ran his hand down the length of her arm, the simple touch coursing through her and making her nipples stand at attention. Every part of her wanted to be caressed by him. She tried so very hard to follow what he was saying, but her mind kept wandering to other things.
“An example?” She placed her hand on his chest and she could feel his heart beating under his shirt.
“You want me to give you an example?” He looked surprised by her request, but she nodded. “Well, for instance, if you went out walking in the snow. Causing yourself to get sick and having to stay in bed for the better part of a week. That would be an example of being reckless with your own health and safety.”
She focused her eyes on her hand that rubbed his chest. She already knew he was upset with her for that, he did not need to keep bringing it up. He caught her hand, bringing it to his lips, and he kissed each finger as he continued speaking.
“If you were my wife,” he pause and left a lingering kiss, “I would spank you so you would remember to take better care of yourself.”
Her eyes flew to his, “Spank me?”
“Yes,” his answer was matter of fact, and he slipped her index finger into his mouth, nibbling the tip between his teeth. Had he just said he would spank her? Emma had not been spanked since she was a child, she did not remember it being very pleasant. Although, it had not happened very often. She was the baby of the family and it was amazing the kind of trouble a well placed pout could get her out of.
Leo moved on to her middle finger, and she felt like his manipulation on her hand was directly connected to her center. She could feel a wetness building between her legs. Emma let out a sound that was part sigh and part moan. This is what she meant when she had told him she did not want to wait, marriage be damned, she had an aching need that she needed Leo to fill.
“Leo,” his name came out as a whisper from her mouth, “please.” She shifted herself in his lap and felt a hardness against her thigh.
He placed her on her feet, standing between his legs, so she looked down at him.
“Tell me, Emmaline,” she loved her name on his lips.
“Tell you what?” She could hear the need in her own voice.
“That you will be my wife.” His hands were caressing her thighs, and even through her dress she could feel the heat coming off of them.
“Yes, I will be your wife.” She meant it with her whole heart, the words felt right coming from her lips.
Leo rose from the bed and came to stand behind her. She felt his hands undoing the back of her dress. Finally! She thought, with a mixture of nervousness and excitement. She trusted Leo, and she loved him, she needed him now.
She was only wearing a simple dress with a chemise and her drawers beneath. With no maid around to help her, dressing in all the layers would have been a challenge. She had not even put on stockings or shoes, she was in such a rush to meet up with Leo. Plus, she was not leaving the manor. She was thankful now that there was not much clothing to get in the way.
Leo finished unfastening her, and the dress pooled around her feet. He took her hand and helped her step out of it without tripping. He stood back and let his gaze rake over her body.
“You are a beautiful creature, Emmaline,” Leo observed.
Emma felt her cheeks flush, and she shivered as the air in the room kissed her bare legs and arms.
He sat on the edge of the bed and yanked at his boots, never taking his eyes from her. Tossing his boots aside he held a hand out toward her and Emma took a tentative step forward. Leo grabbed her hand and pulled her closer, perching her atop his knee.
“I love you,” he held her face in his hands and brought his lips to hers before she had a chance to respond. When he finally pulled back she took a moment to steady her breathing.
“I love you, Leo,” she could hardly believe this was happening.
He guided her onto her knees beside him on the bed, he remained sitting. Emma was confused at first, but she was nervous, having never done this before and she let him lead her. He shifted further back on the bed and then pulled her across his lap. She laid long ways across the bed, her hips resting across his thighs, her torso and legs on either side of him. Emma tried to process what was going on, this was nothing like Vivian had described. Then she felt Leo sliding her drawers down. It finally dawned on her what he intended to do. She cried out and began to struggle. Leo easily kept her pinned down, but he made soothing noises, and he started rubbing her back and her legs.
“This is not what I meant when I said I did not want to wait,” Emma’s body eased under his touch, but her heart beat in a panicked rhythm.
“I know perfectly well what you meant,” he sounded amused with her.
“Please, Leo,” she was not above begging. This was not what she wanted and she was used to getting her own way. If only he could see the pout on her face, she was sure she could sway him.
“You just agreed to this,” he said, sounding annoyed, and she was sure it was because she was whining.
“Did I?” She did not recall having said she agreed to him spanking her. Emma felt a whoosh of air and then the sound of Leo's hand smacking her bottom. She cried out from the sound because the feeling of it did not register yet.
“I told you what was expected if we were to marry,” Leo let another swat fall and Emma whimpered, “and you said you wanted to be my wife.”
Emma could not find the words to continue the conversation. He brought his hand down again and again until her bottom felt like it was on fire. Once he hit the same spot three times in a row and she writhed, begging him to stop.
“Are you already not listening to me when I speak to you?” He spanked as he spoke and Emma tried hard to concentrate as the heat increased in her backside.
“I was listening,” she squeaked out, she managed to wiggle onto her side, causing him to pause in the chastisement he was doling out.
His arm supported her body from falling to the floor, “Emmaline,” Leo's voice sounded more stern than she had ever remembered, “do not make this harder than it needs to be.”
She twisted back and laid flat over his lap. He readjusted her, shifting her hips up so she was at a better angle.
“I am not even spanking that hard,” he said as he finished positioning her. She knew he was right, her bottom stung, but she was not even crying. She was sure it could be much worse. It was more panic from being held down, than the actual spanking that had made her squirm away.
“Now be a good girl and hold still,” Leo rubbed his hand over her warm cheeks and Emma sighed into the mattress.
He brought his hand down with a firm crack and she jumped from the intensity. He was spanking her harder now since her failed attempt to get away. She concentrated very hard on laying still as Leo's hand connected with her fiery bottom. She hoped his hand hurt after this. Just before she started to complain again, he stopped and his spanks turned into caresses. His hand traveled up her naked back, underneath the chemise she still wore, rubbing up and back down over her heated orbs.
Emma felt her body respond, the wetness between her legs increased. She let her head sink further into the mattress, her eyes fluttering shut as Leo's hands roamed her body.
He gently turned her so she lay on her back, she heard the rustle of his clothes, and felt the bed sink beside her as he climbed in next to her. She opened her eyes and looked up into his smiling face. It seemed her earlier transgressions were forgiven, her heart pounded as her body craved his touch.
Leo grasped the bottom of her chemise and dragged it up and over her head. They lay beside one another, skin to skin, the sound of their breathing filling the room.
He caressed her breast and flicked his thumb over her pointed nipple, “Beautiful,” he breathed out and then lowered his mouth to replace his hand.
Emma's breathing increased as he suckled her breast, his hand coming up to roam the other. She parted her legs. Leo released her breast from his mouth and nestled himself between her thighs, easing her legs even further apart. He brought his mouth to her other breast as his hand traveled down between her legs.
His fingers found her wetness and Emma gasped at the foreign feeling. Leo brought his lips to her mouth, quieting her gasps and moans, his hand continuing to explore her center, urging her legs apart further still. She willed herself to relax. Bringing her hands up to his naked chest, she let them glide over his warm skin, the hairs tickling her fingertips.
Leo guided her hand down to his hardness, she tried to pull back when she first touched him. She was frozen by her inexperience, unsure of what she was supposed to do. He kept his hand over hers, placing it around his thick shaft. He squeezed her fingers shut over him and began pumping her hand up and down his length. Emma searched his face for reassurance. He took his hand off of hers and she continued the pace he had started. Her momentum faltered when his hand was back at her hot core. A whimper escaped her lips. Leo murmured to her in a soothing tone and took her into a deep kiss. Her hands fell to her sides and Leo propped himself up on his arms over her, his body hovering inches above hers.
“I love you, sweet Emmaline,” he whispered to her. She looked up into his face, but she could not make her tongue work.
“I want this, I need you,” he continued to whisper.
“Yes,” was all she could manage to get out. And then she felt him, his hardness entering her slick center. She tensed up, the experience overwhelming her.
“Breathe,” Leo directed, as he took in his own deep inhale, causing his chest to rise and fall above her.
She took in a deep breath, mimicking his motions, blowing it out through her mouth, her tension leaving with the air.
He sank into her as he took her mouth with his, swallowing her surprised moan. She felt a pinch as he sank deeper, but then he stilled, allowing her body to adjust around him. He disconnected the kiss and she took in another deep breath, never breaking eye contact with the loving look Leo gave her.
He pulled back and starting gliding back and forth inside of her in a steady rhythm, when she started raising her hips up to meet him, he quickened his pace. Emma grabbed onto his shoulders, her breathing was becoming more rapid. She could see Leo's skin glistening in the afternoon sun coming through the single window.
The rest of the world melted away, it was only her and Leo, in this moment. She felt her body begin to quiver, and then Leo's face twisted, she was afraid she hurt him. But then she felt him draw out of her core, and a sticky warmth hit the inside of her thigh. Leo let out a series of grunts and collapsed on top of her. Emma was still trying to wrap her mind around what just happened, but she was certain things would never be the same again.