Monday, March 28, 2011

From the Top Shelf - Outlander II

 The second selection from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. In part one, Claire disobeyed Jamie's order, even though she knew the consequences. She got into a lot of trouble as a result, and was rescued in the nick of time. Now it's time to pay the piper.
I sank on the bed with a sigh... "I'm done in. It's been a long day."

"Aye, it has that." Jamie unfastened his collar and cuffs and unbuckled his sword belt, but made no move to undress further. He pulled the strap from the scabbard and doubled it, flexing the leather meditatively.

"Come to bed, Jamie. What are you waiting for?"

He came to stand by the bed, swinging the belt gently back and forth.

"Well, lass, I'm afraid we've a matter still to settle between us before we sleep tonight." I felt a sudden stab of apprehension.

"What is it?"

He didn't answer at once. Deliberately not sitting down on the bed by me, he pulled up a stool and sat facing me instead.

"Do ye realize, Claire," he said quietly, "that all of us came close to being killed this afternoon?"

I looked down at the quilt, shamefaced. "Yes, I know. I'm sorry."

...After a long moment of silence, he sighed and stood up, slapping the belt lightly against his thigh.

"Well, then," he said. "Best get on wi' it. You've done considerable damage by crossing my orders, and I'm going to punish you for it, Claire. Ye'll recall what I told ye when I left ye this morning?"  I recalled all right, and I hastily flung myself across the bed so my back was pressed to the wall.

"What do you mean?"

"Ye know quite well what I mean," he said firmly. "Kneel down by the bed and lift your skirts, lass."

..."I will not allow you to beat me," I said firmly, keeping a tight hold of the bedpost."

"Oh, ye won't?" He raised a sandy brow. "Well, I'll tell ye, lass, I doubt you've much to say about it..."

"I'll scream!"

"Likely. If not before, certainly during. I expect they'll hear ye at the next farm; you've got a good set of lungs." He grinned odiously and came across the bed after me.

He pried my fingers loose with some difficulty, and pulled firmly, hauling me to the side of the bed. He managed to turn me facedown on the bed, twisting my arm to hold me there.

"I mean to do it, Claire! Now, if you'll cooperate with me, we'll call the account square with a dozen strokes."

"And if not?" I quavered. He picked up the strap and slapped it against his leg with a nasty thwapping sound.

"Then I shall put a knee in your back and beat you 'til my arm tires, and I warn ye, you'll tire of it long before I do."

"You barbarian! sadist!" I hissed furiously. "You're doing this for your own pleasure! I'll never forgive you for this!" Jamie paused, twisting the belt.

He replied levelly, "I dinna know what's a sadist. And if I forgive you for this afternoon, I reckon you'll forgive me, too, as soon as ye can sit down again."

"As for my pleasure..." His lip twitched. "I said I would have to punish you. I did not say I wasn't going to enjoy it." He crooked a finger at me.

"Come here."

I was reluctant to leave the sanctuary of the room next morning. I had not spoken to Jamie since the night before, but he noticed my hesitation and urged me to come out with him to breakfast.

"You dinna need to fear meetin' the others, Claire. They'll chaff ye a bit, but it won't be bad. Chin up."

He might well be in a good mood, I thought bitterly. If it was revenge he'd wanted the night before,

It had been a most unpleasant night. My reluctant acquiescence had lasted precisely as far as the first searing crack of leather on flesh. This was followed by a short, violent struggle, which left Jamie with a bloody nose, three lovely gouges down one cheek, and a deeply bitten wrist. Not surprisingly, it left me half-smothered into the greasy quilts with a knee in my back, being beaten within an inch of my life.

Jamie turned out to be right. The men were restrained in their greetings, but friendly enough. The hostility of the night before had vanished.

As I was dishing eggs at the sideboard, Dougal came up and slipped a fatherly arm around my shoulders.

"I hope Jamie wasna too harsh wi' ye last night, lass. It sounded as though ye were being murdered, at least."

Dougall turned to call to Jamie, seated at the table eating bread and cheese. "Hey, now, Jamie, it wasna necessary to half-kill the lass. A gentle reminder would ha' sufficed." He patted me firmly on the posterior in illustration, making me wince. I glowered at him.

"A blistered bum never did anyone no permanent harm," said Murtagh, through a mouthful of bread.

"No, indeed," said Ned, grinning. "Come have a seat, lassie."

"I'll stand, thank you," I said with dignity, making them all roar with laughter.
The group leaves the inn the next day and travels on horseback, and the journey is very uncomfortable for Claire's backside. She gets down and walks, and Jamie walks with her. Out of earshot of the others, they have a long talk and she comes to understand him better.

I began to forgive him for what he had done to me.

As though reading my mind, he said, not looking at me, "Do you know... I mean, can ye understand, maybe, why I thought it needful to beat you?"

I waited a moment before answering. I understood, all right, but that was not quite all there was to it.

"I understand," I said. "And so far as that goes, I forgive you. What I can't forgive," I said, my voice rising slightly in spite of myself, "is that you enjoyed it!"

He bent forward and laughed for a long time. He reveled in the release of tension before finally tossing his head back and turning to me. I could see his face, lined with exhaustion, strain, and mirth. The scratches down his cheek were black in the dim light.

"Enjoyed it!" he said, gasping, "you don't know just how much I enjoyed it. You were so... God, you looked lovely. I was so angry, and you fought me so fierce. I hated to hurt you, but I wanted to do it at the same time..." he said, breaking off and wiping his nose, "yes. Yes, I did enjoy it."

And so he should.

From Hermione's Heart


Anonymous said...


Sara said...

I think that's my favorite spanking scene of all time!

ronnie said...

I think I'd have to agree with Sara. That was one of the best spanking scenes I've read.

Thanks for sharing it with us Hermione.


Anonymous said...

Very energetic scene. Some girls just need more convincing than others as to what's good for them. Some guys too, apparently. ;-) Thanks, Hermione!

Hermione said...

Joeyred51 - I agree.

Sara - Really? There's a lot left to the imagination, but that's a good thing.

Ronnie - You might want to read the book again, with this scene in context.

Devlin - Oatmeal and Scotch are responsible for that energy, I suppose. Yes, she did need a lot of convincing this time. I wonder if there will be a next time...


Dave Wolfe said...

Those excerpts were splendid, Hermione, thank you very much! I'll go find "Outlander" at the library; the whole book must be as engaging!

You write very well because your talent has been helped by reading other good writers. More folks with a creative desire should hone it with such well done books!

grace said...

Have a mentioned this is my favorite book????


Hermione said...

Dave - I hadn't thought of it that way. I've learned a lot, however, about what NOT to do from some of the bad fiction I have uncovered.

Grace - Er, once or twice, I think.


Kaye said...

This is my favorite book series. If you read "Breath of Snow and Ashes" there is a discussion of Domestic Discipline in it that is great too!