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When a freak snow storm threatens to cut off the already remote community of Corbin's Bend from the rest of the world, the residents scramble to get enough emergency supplies from neighboring towns before the mountain roads are closed. It's sheer luck of the draw that force Ettie and Vance into the same car together. The only problem is, they can't stand one another. She's a submissive who hasn't been spanked in four very long years (four years, seven months, thirteen days...not that she was counting). He's the resident paddle and strap maker, a man known to answer the call of needy submissives everywhere. In his workshop at home, Vance has every implement he'd ever need to win a war like this. In a car in the middle of nowhere with the storm of the century bearing down upon them...who will win this particular battle was anybody's guess.
About Corbin's Bend:
Welcome to Corbin's Bend, the first equity-cooperative housing development just for spankofiles. Thirty thousand acres in the mountains above Denver sits your dream come true. With 1000 home sites, several restaurants, a club house, theater, pool, and many other amenities, you will find yourself at home.
Corbin's Bend is the setting for a group of spanking romance novellas set in, where else? Corbin's Bend, Colorado. A fictitious housing cooperative, Corbin's Bend is unique in that everyone living there is into spanking, whether that be erotically or through domestic discipline. Just imagine, a place where nobody has to hide their particular spanking lifestyle.
While reading any series in order is nice, Corbin's Bend books can be read as stand-alones as well.
It’s another beautiful day in Corbin’s Bend, Ettie wrote, if, by ‘beautiful’, one considers 20-degrees balmy, shorts-wearing weather. I do not. It’s flipping cold.
Leaning back from her computer, Ettie stretched her arms and then her back, all the while re-reading what she’d done so far. How long had she been at it today? Five hours, maybe six? It wasn’t even noon yet, and already she was hard at work on her third cup of coffee and her fifth article of the morning. Two beagle-mix pups squabbled ferociously over who was going to kill the purple pom-pom on the hat at her feet. Another was pulling at her shoelaces. In less than two days, her paper (All the News � That is News in Corbin’s Bend!) was scheduled to hit the printer and distribution. Well, okay�the printer was actually her printer, and she had a grand total of fifty-seven subscribers, but every paper started somewhere. If Corbin’s Bend was ever to hold its collective head high among the other small towns that dotted the highways between Boulder and Denver, then by golly, it had to have some form of media coverage. Ettie was determined to be it.
Culture. Practically from the moment she had moved in, that was what Ettie had brought to this small community. For some of them, it was on a ‘whether they liked it or not’ basis, but she brought them culture anyway.
Or gossip, as Brent Carmichael, the community leader, liked to call it. Well, he could be forgiven for that. He wasn’t a steady subscriber after all, so he probably hadn’t read all those articles that showed the true range of Ettie’s journalistic talents.
Rag mag, Marcus Devon liked to call her paper. He could probably be forgiven too. Busy as he was�what with a new wife, three boys and a new baby on the way, not to mention a thriving practice as the only doctor in town�she’d be seriously surprised if he had enough time in any one day to read his own prescriptions, much less her humble paper. Still, ‘rag mag’ hurt, so who could blame her really if, upon the very rare occasion, she retaliated with an article or two about him?
Menace to polite society, Vance Foster, her neighbor across the street was often reported as having said, referring not just to her paper, but to her as well!
As if he could talk.
Against her will, Ettie’s gaze drifted toward the window. From her desk, she could see him working. Vance Foster, all six-feet-four chiseled inches of him. His garage door was wide open (as usual) and his music blaring so loud that she could practically hear what was being sung word for flippin’ word. He had his shirt off (20 degrees!), showing off his powerful physique as if anyone in their right mind cared to watch; she glared. He was welding today. She hoped he fried his nipples off.
Stealing another sip of coffee, Ettie opened up a new file and typed in her next headliner:
Tragic Accident Disfigures Local Resident.
While creating new chains with which to decorate his draconian home dungeon, local craftsman and owner/operator of W&C Leather and Chainmail�better known to some of the more desperate of Corbin’s Bend’s female residents as Have Paddle, Will Travel�Vance Foster fumbled his blowtorch and suffered a hideous disfigurement.
“Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy,” one neighbor is reported to have said.
His nipples are scheduled to be buried in Blodgett Cemetery at noon this coming Saturday. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Corbin’s Bend Nipple Rehabilitation Center.
That might be a little over the top, but Ettie could hardly be blamed. Vance Foster was a total man-slut. A horn dog. The absolute scourge on what was otherwise a very nice little spanking community.
Pushing her glasses up higher on her nose, her gaze drifted across the street again, pulled as if against her will toward the ripple of all those military trim muscles. Dark hair, gorgeous brown eyes. The man barely bothered to shave, as if he knew just how disgustingly well he rocked that scruffy facial-hair look. And if he did know, then that was just one more strike against him, because that right there was arrogance!
“Oh, here we go,” she muttered, completely unimpressed. Trying to get a closer look, she got up from her computer, tripping over puppies and dragging all three by their teeth and her shoelaces as far as the window. He couldn’t possibly see her from this far away even if he should happen to glance her way, but Ettie still hid herself behind the floor-length curtains.
No longer working, Vance held his cellphone pressed to his ear while making notes in that little black book he carried in his front shirt pocket.
“Booty call,” she said, disgusted. Who was it this time? Not that it mattered to her which misguided woman in this community felt she had no other choice but to illicit that gigolo’s services. Have Paddle, Will Travel�ha! For all that everyone called him that behind his back, he ought to have a plaque advertising that service in his front yard.
She folded her arms across her chest, heartily offended on behalf of all his ‘clients’. Brent should have tossed the man out on his ear the very first time Vance handed out one of his ‘special’ visits. The leatherworking�okay, she could see a need for that. He made very nice�and by all accounts lethal�paddles and straps. The chainmail, she could even see that usefulness. More than one community member delved further into the kinkier realms of BDSM than she did, some preferring master and submissive relationships over that of domestic discipline. But that was okay, too. Different strokes (no pun intended) and all that. But still, a person would have to be blind not to see how offensive that was.
Spank-happy Cassanova. Blight of the neighborhood. One rung up from amoeba on the man-slut scale.
Not that she knew him well enough to make any moral judgments. He’d lived across the street from her for years now, and from the moment she’d found out what his hobbies entailed, she’d not said more than a handful of words to him in all that time. Most days, he worked in his garage. Most nights, he took his phone calls, right out in the open where anybody could spy on�er, watch him. And then he’d shoot his tight little ass out the door, hop in his spank mobile and head out to whatever booty craved his undivided attention. What kind of person did that?
Ettie folded her arms across her chest, frowning and trying hard to pretend as if her own bottom wasn’t tingling with the deeply ingrained need to suffer a little of that kind of attention. As if she’d ever let a man like Vance and one of his grungy garage-made paddles anywhere near her butt. What self-respecting woman would?
A desperate one, that’s what. If forced to be honest, Ettie did understand that kind of desperation. How long had it been (four years, seven months, thirteen days�not that she was counting) since her last spanking? Oh yes, Ettie understood desperation. But she wasn’t that desperate. She’d never be that desperate.
There he went, hanging up his phone and shutting up his garage before heading inside, all long legs, lean hips and lazy sauntering steps. Six-pack abs leading the way, and that gorgeous butt of his rocking those worn denim jeans�oops!
When Vance glanced her way, Ettie flattened herself to the wall. She held her breath, trying not to move (apart from a few involuntary jerks) while the puppies at her feet did their rambunctious best to eat her right out of her shoes. It was a long minute or two before she dared look back out the window. By then, Vance had vanished into his house.
No, she’d never be as so desperate as to call a man like that. Somebody had to stand up in defense of those who were.
A corner of her mouth curled into a smug little smile and she went back to her computer. Flipping over to the For Sale or Trade section, she whipped up a new ad: Fully furnished Spank Mobile! New whips! New Chains! Blood completely scrubbed out of the back! Take your fun on the road. Multiple compartments hold all necessary tools of the trade, including one extra-long drawer in the back. Perfect for housing all the shovels you’ll ever need to bury the bodies when fun-time is done! Only 70k highway miles and priced to sell!
She snickered. It had been a while since she last sold the Spank Mobile, as she liked to term his work vehicle. Truck, really�a massive extended cab pickup with a shell topper on the back. She’d never seen the inside, but the exterior was lined with doors and drawers and had cubbyholes all over it. Except for the deep blue paint job, it reminded her a lot of the Schwann’s truck that came through the neighborhood twice a month, every month. Only instead of ‘Schwann’s’ in big bold letters, Vance’s vehicle read: ‘W&C. Custom Fit! Special Orders! For All Your Leather and Chainmail Needs.’
Ettie would willingly bet three months’ pay there were chains hanging from the walls inside the back of that truck. It might look like a work truck on the outside, but she was not at all fooled by his mild-mannered Clark Kent like every day display. Oh no. The entire interior of that truck just had to be decked out in full-blown serial killer d�cor. She just knew it. And still that man scored phone call after phone call from women all over Corbin’s Bend.
Maybe she should call him, whispered a traitorous voice inside her head.
As if! She had principles, damn it! And pride! And no matter how hard up she was or how long it had been since her last spanking, she would never�ever�stoop to calling someone like Vance for help.
Stepping out of the shower, Vance hooked a towel off the rack and quickly patted down. He scrubbed his hair until it was mostly dry, then ran a brush through his short dark locks. He needed a haircut. Right now he was in that awkward in-between stage where most of it was too heavy to do anything but just lie there and yet he could probably go another month or so before it became completely unmanageable. It wasn’t military regulation that was for sure. But then, neither was the beard.
He paused to rub his face, examining the three-day old scruff that covered his lip and chin. This wasn’t a beard. It was his ‘winter is coming and that makes a great excuse not to shave every day’ growth. His commanding officer would have had him chopping onions in the mess hall at first sight, but here, not just in Corbin’s Bend, but out in the real world in general, the ladies honestly seemed to like the stubbly look. Irene Harris said it gave him a ‘bad boy’ vibe. Melody Parker said when he wore his leathers, he looked dark and dangerous�like a master out of one of those silly romance novels she liked to read. Or a biker. In her mind there, apparently, wasn’t a lot of difference between the two. And Bernie�ha! Bernie didn’t care how he showed up, just so long as he did show up. She was without a doubt the feistiest sixty-year-old widow he’d ever had the pleasure of putting across his knee. Take twenty years from her or add that to him, and Vance could easily see himself going for Bernie. He loved her spirited playfulness.
Donning a splash of cologne and deodorant, Vance left his towel in the bathroom and walked naked into his bedroom to dress. Jeans, long-sleeved blue and black checkered flannel shirt (maybe he’d look like a scruffy, dangerous biker/lumberjack today) and his work boots. Just before he tucked his dog tags into his shirt, he kissed the back of the one with the bullet hole and then patted it down against his skin. He’d been out of the army now for almost three years, but he still hadn’t taken them off. He probably never would. It was his reminder that life was fleeting and every moment should be made the most of.
Which was what he was doing now. It was one of his reasons for moving to Corbin’s Bend in the first place. Life was too precious to spend hiding in plain sight. It was also too short to waste among people who didn’t feel like he did, think like he did, or believe what he did. He was a dominant man. He wanted a submissive woman, and after years of searching, he knew his best chance of finding that special someone was right here in this community.
He slipped his wallet into his back pocket, his keys in his front right and his little black book full of names and addresses into his left breast pocket. Last of all, he picked up his play bag. Technically, it was an old gym duffel bag, but its days of carrying extra shoes and sweaty clothing was over. These days, everything he needed for his very special�he didn’t get paid for it, but dare he call them ‘customers’?�was neatly packed inside. Two paddles, one large and one small, a wide leather strop, two floggers, a set of restraints, even a collar for those select few ladies who liked the surrender of wearing one. Every last item had been made in his workshop with his own hands. He was good with his hands.
Slinging the strap over his shoulder, Vance headed for his car. With every step, he heard the clink of the restraints, and felt the clatter of the wooden paddles shifting against his hip. Both sound and sensation went straight to his libido. Jenny, their local vet technician, was going to go straight to his libido too. A natural red-head, sassy, smart and completely in love with anything that got her bottom-up over a strong man’s lap, Jenny was the first of Corbin’s Bend’s many single ladies who had leapt at the chance to help him ‘test’ his products. Once a week, steady as clockwork, she still called him to come over and help her count carpet fibers.
A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth despite the piercing cold as he stepped outside to lock his front door and jogged down the three porch steps. Counting carpet fibers. He loved that she called it that. As far as he knew though, when he got her down into position across his knee, with her pants and panties tugged to her ankles and his rose-engraved leather paddle working a fiery cadence from cheek to bare nether cheek, Jenny was usually too busy gasping, squirming, (or kicking and shouting) to bother counting much of anything beyond how many more times that paddle was going to come cracking down again.
Tossing his play bag in on the passenger side of his work truck, Vance shut the door and started around to the driver’s side. As he was rounding the front bumper, a flash of movement from a window in the house across the street caught his eye.
Pausing where he was, Vance’s mouth flattened. That was Ettie Thomas’s house. He couldn’t see her, but he was willing to bet fifty smacks from his old frat paddle that she was hiding behind that curtain, spying on him. He shook his head. Busybody gossip. If there was another submissive in all of Corbin’s Bend who needed her (or his, he didn’t judge) bottom smacked longer or harder than Ettie Thomas, he couldn’t for the life of him think who it was. That woman was a nuisance and that ‘newspaper’ of hers�nothing but a rag mag. It was a wonder Brent allowed her to stay, considering all the articles she’d written about him in her paper. Hell, there wasn’t anyone in their private community who hadn’t starred in at least one article. The local doctor�poor man�had featured in at least half as many of Ettie’s columns as Vance himself, although no one in Corbin’s Bend was featured with anywhere near as much viperous sarcasm and biting wit as he was.
‘Local Man Paints Himself in Honey, Gets Eaten Alive by Bears’ was a good example of that. So was, ‘Corbin’s Bend Tragedy! Nibbled to Death by Squirrels.’ Or, ‘Soviet Toilet Falls From Space, Man Decapitated: His head was found in the bowl. “It was a shitty way to go,” one neighbor was quoted as saying.’ That was a good one too. And how could anyone forget last year’s homage to Halloween: ‘Tired of Chaining Himself in Back of Van, Suicidal Werewolf Stabs Himself With Pitchfork.’
Every time she ran a new article on him in the paper, Larry Reynolds, their resident real estate broker, brought him a copy. Vance actually had a whole stack of them on a shelf in his office. Annoyed as he was each time his name appeared in All the News, those silly things were like Pringles potato chips; he just couldn’t stop reading after one. The woman could write. He’d give her that. He’d even go so far as to say she was doing the community a service by including that Help Wanted section and For Sale or Trade, not to mention some factual articles on local events, celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, and such. Some of the more elderly folk couldn’t get out and about as easily as he could. Some people worked long hours off community grounds. It was nice to have something to help fill one in on what was going on in the neighborhood.
And, of course, there was also the on-going story in the very back of Ettie’s Paper. It was a romance. To be more specific, it was a spanking romance, and although he never would have imagined that at his most bored he’d find one of those things interesting, Ettie’s stories usually were. With herself listed as the author under the title heading and chapter section, it wasn’t hard to imagine Ettie as the heroine, especially when misbehaviors were being addressed. He’d never confess it aloud, but her stories were the section he always flipped to first. He liked to put himself in the hero’s place, although his willingness to follow the ‘script’ was in direct proportion with how many times he was featured in the rest of the issue’s articles and how many times he’d died.
Vance shook his head. He couldn’t begin to count the number of ways in which she delighted in killing him off. Like her serial stories, some of them were actually quite funny. Most were annoying. One or two had actually pissed him off to the point where he could barely keep from charging across the street, throwing Ettie Thomas across his knee and blistering her backside until she couldn’t do anything but write her paper standing up!
Maybe that was what she wanted. With one hand on the driver’s door handle, Vance frowned at her window, but like a little blonde Whack-A-Mole hyped up on mischief pills, she never did pop her head back out so he could get a good bead on her. From what he’d seen though, no one had gotten a good ‘bead’ on her in years. Pretty as she was with that long blonde hair and naughty librarian glasses, he couldn’t remember ever seeing anyone pick her up for a date. No one stayed for late dinners or spent the night, either. Nobody moved to a community like this unless they were interested in living the lifestyle, but from what he’d seen, like so many other single submissives in Corbin’s Bend, Ettie Thomas wasn’t because she had no one to live it with. Unlike many other single submissives, however, Ettie hadn’t called him.
Not that he’d have gone over there if she had. Vance didn’t have a single masochistic bone in his body. He wasn’t about to offer himself up as more fodder for her paper.
She could use a good spanking, though. Boy, could she ever.
Jenny was waiting for him.
His palm itching, Vance yanked open the driver’s door and hopped up into his truck. He gave her window one last glare as he slipped the key into the ignition and brought the engine rumbling to life. Yeah, his palm was itching all right, but not for Ettie. For years she had made no effort to hide the fact that she disliked him, and she hadn’t done one thing to evoke in him the slightest feeling of fondness for her. Which was probably best for the both of them. If she was his and behaving this badly, she’d be across his knee every single night with her bare bottom blazing so hot it damn near glowed�and knowing her, every single night he’d probably be in jail.
It was a good thing for her that he had such a healthy aversion to prison. She might not know it, but some days that was the only thing that kept her sitting down.