The Demure Bride

By: Joannie Kay

Amanda simply could not agree to do that. She just couldn't! That man had no right to thrash her with her own whip! Matt took her silence for stubbornness, and he started spanking again, in earnest. "Nooooo! Please stop, Papa! I am in pain!" she screeched.

"I'll stop when you agree to tell the man you're sorry for striking him with your whip, girl, and not one second before." He was a strong man, and even though his hand was on fire, he would keep this up as long as necessary to make his point. Mandy was always stubborn, even as a small child. She'd needed her Papa's guidance, and now he was going to have to be very firm.

"Okay! I will do it!" Amanda hated herself for giving in, but she was simply in too much pain to continue her resistance.

"You will do what?" Matt continued spanking, even harder. He wasn't letting her off so easy.

"I will apologize to Robert Thorne!" Amanda practically yelled. "Papa, please stop! I hurt so much!" To her relief, he pulled down her skirts and then helped her to her feet. Her hair had come down, and her face was streaked with tears of pain. She turned to run from the room, but once again Matt stopped her. He pulled her close and put his arms around her to hug her. Amanda was embarrassed when she burst into tears and hid her face in his shirt.

"It's okay, sweetie. Papa is here and will take care of you. It's okay to cry." He continued to hold her until she finally quieted. "I didn't enjoy makin' you cry like that, Mandy, but I am your Papa, and I'm not gonna let you act all snooty with folks and get away with it. Rob is a nice man and a good neighbor. You think about what you want to say to him, and I'll drive you over to his place tomorrow mornin' in the buggy and stand with you." He leaned down and kissed her forehead. "Are you mad at me, honey?"

Amanda looked up into his troubled green eyes; eyes that looked like her own. "I still feel I am too old to be spanked, Papa, but I know you did it because you love me. I will try to do better, and I promise I will call you Papa since it means so much to you."

"Now that is what I wanted to hear." He kissed her again and then said, "There is another matter we need to discuss, Mandy. You're to see to it that Glimmer is cared for every day; I want you to prove to me that you are responsible enough to own your own horse. You won't be riding her again until I give you permission. You could have injured her today, daughter, but even worse than that, you could have been hurt or killed. You need a reminder not to be that foolish again. Before I let you ride Glimmer again you are going to give me a promise that you won't try to jump her. In the meantime, you won't be sitting a saddle and the only exercise you'll get is from the use of your own two legs."

"Papa, nooo! I love to go riding! I love Glimmer, too! I will not try to jump her again, I promise! Please do not take her away from me," she begged, tears filling her eyes once again.

"You won't be riding her, or any of the horses, for at least one week, Amanda." Matt was serious and his facial expression told her there was no point in arguing. She was being punished for today.

"Why are you doing this, Papa?" Her wounded expression told him she was nearly heartbroken. "You already spanked me, and I have promised you I will not jump Glimmer again. I will keep my word; please do not take Glimmer from me. I will prove to you that I can be responsible, and if I mess up again, you can always take her away then... But, I promise I have learned my lesson. Please give me another chance to prove myself."

Matt gave her a hard, assessing look. It was clear that he wanted to believe her, and finally he asked, "Will you take care of Glimmer yourself?"

"Yes, Papa. I will."

"Okay, honey. I'll give you another chance, but if you jump that mare or I find out that Whitey is the one carin' for Glimmer, you'll get another tanning and I'll use a strap... and you won't be riding another horse on this ranch for a year. I mean that, girl. Do you understand me?" Matt was as serious as he could be and it wasn't an idle promise.

"I understand, Papa. I am truly sorry I tried that jump today, and I won't do that again."

"You are more important to me than the horse, honey. That is why I am being so hard on you." He gave her one more hug, and then said, "I have work to do. You take some time this afternoon to think about what you need to say to Rob. I'll see you at supper." He picked up his hat and then left the room.

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