Authors: Maggie Ryan
His Passionate Pioneer
©2015 by Blushing Books® and Maggie Ryan
All rights reserved.
No part of the book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Published by Blushing Books®,
a subsidiary of
ABCD Graphics and Design
977 Seminole Trail #233
Charlottesville, VA 22901
The trademark Blushing Books®
is registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office.
His Passionate Pioneer
Cover Design by ABCD Graphics & Design
This book is intended for
. Spanking and other sexual activities represented in this book are fantasies only, intended for adults. Nothing in this book should be interpreted as Blushing Books' or the Author's advocating any non-consensual spanking activity or the spanking of minors.
Table of Contents:
Anna stood braced against the trunk of the tree. She'd had to get away from the expressions of either pity or judgment she'd seen in the women's eyes, as well as the looks that were being directed her way by a great number of the men. Evidently, she hadn't found the proper refuge. Her hands clenched in the folds of her skirt as she listened. She would not let them see that what she was hearing was ripping her apart. How had something so innocent gone so wrong? Were people truly that quick to judge someone based on nothing more than an ugly tale spreading like the wildfires she'd seen burning across the plains?
It was taking every ounce of her self-control not to pop out from behind the tree to defend herself, and only the fact that she'd caused her Ma and Pa enough embarrassment kept her as still and quiet as a statue. That, and the fact that she was pretty positive her hind end could not take another whipping which she'd certainly get if caught in a physical fight.
"I'm sure you must be mistaken, Cassidy. I can't believe Anna would do something like that."
Cassidy's derisive laughter made Anna's skin crawl.
"Mary Beth, I'm telling you what Jacob told me and he was right there!"
"But… naked? Are you sure?"
"As the day she was born. Lord, can you imagine? I can't even believe she dared to show her face today. I'd rather die before having to face everybody. Think of it, every person here knows that Miss Perfect Annabelle Martin was prancing around without a stitch of clothing on." Cassidy's voice lowered but was still painfully audible to Anna. "Jacob said that her hair was red."
"Cassidy, everyone can see that. What has that got to do with anything?" Mary Beth asked.
"Are you truly that naïve, Mary Beth? Not on her head, you prude, on her pussy."
At that, Anna saw red, and it had nothing to do with her hair—no matter where it happened to be located. She almost bit through her bottom lip when the evil little witch continued. "My Pa said there were names for women like Annabelle, and believe me, perfect or angel weren't the ones he was talking about."
Nancy Watkins's voice was the one that Anna heard next. "My Pa told me if I ever did something like that, I'd not sit for a month! Ma said I'm not to go near Annabelle ever again."
"I still say that your brother is… um, mistaken," Mary Beth said.
"Are you calling my brother a liar?"
"No, I just meant that there has to be a reason or some sort of misunderstanding. Anna is not the sort of girl to do something like that."
Anna was grateful that she evidently had at least one true friend left.
"If you don't believe me, just go ask Jacob. He's right over there by the baskets. Just don't expect him to bid on your basket! No man wants to court a girl who questions his word," Cassidy warned, and then squealed. "Oh, look, there's Mr. Andrews!"
"Which one, Luke, Roy or…" Nancy's question went unfinished as Cassidy interrupted.
"None of them, silly. That's their brother, Richard. Oh, he's looking over here. Lord, he is so handsome. No, don't look, Mary Beth! It wouldn't do for him to think I'm interested." She gave another giggle and, though it grated on Anna's nerves, at least she was no longer the center of attention.
"I wonder if his brother told him about Anna?" Cassidy's question moved the conversation back to where it had started. "Mr. Andrews—Luke, I mean—does work with Mr. Martin, after all."
"I'm not sure Anna's Pa would be eager to spread the story," Elizabeth Cochran suggested.
"Well, someone should," Cassidy retorted. "After all, it is our duty as God-fearing Christians to keep the godly men away from women like Anna. We are good girls, suitable for marriage—not wanton, or hussies like that red-haired witch." A bell began to ring loudly. "Come on, it's about to start, and I want to make sure Mr. Andrews knows which basket is mine."
"That's cheating, Cassidy. We're not supposed to say."
"Lawd, Mary Beth, you are such an infant. No one's going to know unless you tell, and remember, if you do, I'll make sure Jacob knows you're a tattletale."
"I don't care!" Mary Beth stated. "You're just being mean and hateful, Cassidy. Anna is a good girl and you know it! I don't believe a word you're saying, and I wouldn't want your stupid brother if he were the last man on earth!"
A moment's silence had Anna relieved that the group was moving towards the tables—until another voice destroyed that hope.
"Good afternoon, ladies. Is something wrong with Miss Grant?"
"Oh, no," Cassidy said, "Nothing to fret about. Mary Beth is just a bit under the weather," she assured him. "Speaking of weather, isn't it a perfect day for a picnic, Mr. Andrews? I'm so glad you decided to grace us with your presence. It's been far too long since we've seen you in town. Tell us, where have you been hiding yourself?"
Anna could just picture Cassidy tossing her golden ringlets, that simpering smile plastered on her face, blue eyes wide, black lashes batting furiously on pale, unfreckled cheeks.
"I wouldn't think you'd notice, Miss Johnson. After all, you've grown up quite a bit since the last time I saw you. I'm sure there are plenty of other men who have caught your eye," Richard said, and another giggle rang out.
embarrassing me, Mr. Andrews."
Anna was positive that the hateful, spiteful girl was not the least bit embarrassed.
"That certainly wasn't my intention, Miss Johnson. Actually, I was wondering whether any of you lovely ladies can tell me where Miss Martin might be. Her Ma and Pa are looking for her."
Anna had relaxed a little, but instantly tensed at the question.
"I imagine she's hiding—after all, haven't you heard what happened?" Cassidy's voice had lowered, as if she were sorry she had to deliver such shocking news. "She was, well, shall we say, caught in a very compromising situation with a large group of men! We were just saying how we're surprised she even came today. I know that I'd just perish if everybody knew that I… oh, I can't even say!"
"I can understand your reluctance," Richard said. "After all, a person's reputation is very important. It's easy to tarnish, and almost impossible to repair even if the story doesn't turn out to be exactly as has been expounded."
"Oh, I agree. The poor thing, I just hope she knows how sorry we feel for her." The sound of the bell pealing had her speaking a bit louder. "I just can't bear to talk about it anymore. It must be lonely out there on that ranch all alone. Goodness, when was the last time you had a good home-cooked meal, Mr. Andrews?"
Anna heard Richard answer that it had been a while and rolled her eyes. After all, he wasn't living in some rickety shack in the middle of nowhere, as far as she knew. He'd returned to the same homestead in which he'd grown up with his four brothers; two of whom were married. If he hadn't eaten a 'home cooked' meal that very morning, she'd eat her bonnet.
Cassidy's giggle preceded her next statement. "I'm not one to brag, but I've been told I'm quite an excellent cook. If you'd like to taste my wares, my basket is the third one from the left, but don't tell anyone I told you." Another irritating giggle had Anna wondering whether the girl was eight or eighteen.
"Cassidy, we have to go," Elizabeth said, as the bell rang for the final time.
"Remember, the third from the left," Cassidy reminded Richard needlessly. "I promise you won't be disappointed."
Anna knew she had to pull herself together. If she had her way, she'd be ducking into the shadows of the buildings and running towards home. But it wasn't her way that mattered. Her folks had informed her that she would be attending today's event whether she liked it or not. After all, the residents of Crooked Creek were the ones who kept her Pa in business. Taking several deep breaths, she relaxed her hands, smoothed down her skirts and closed her eyes.
"Dear God, please just let me get through today. You know it wasn't my fault." She paused and shook her head. "It was that horrid Jacob and his friends, but did they get punished? No, it was
backside that took an undeserved thrashing. If you are a fair God, you'll make sure they get theirs as well!"
"Do you think requesting retribution is a proper prayer?"
Anna's eyes snapped open. Had she been praying out loud? Looking around, she saw that she was still alone. Her arms broke out in goose flesh as she looked towards the heavens, as if prepared to see that God himself was looking down at her; a frown on his face, his white head shaking in disapproval.
"I'd think a bit more humility might be good idea, but if that is not possible, remember that God helps those who help themselves."
This time it was her head that snapped around, certain the voice was definitely human. Still, she was startled when a large figure suddenly appeared in front of her having assumed he'd followed the group of girls. Tilting her head back, she stared up at the man towering over her. She hadn't seen him in a few years but knew instantly who he was. He was definitely not some ethereal being. Not only was he flesh and blood, but Cassidy had spoken the truth about one thing—he was incredibly handsome. His white shirt strained across the slab that was his chest. His face was rugged, his hair the color of coal, and when eyes, the color of a cloudless summer sky, captured hers, Anna's breath caught in her throat. His slow smile had her straightening to her full height of two inches over five feet. "I'm not feeling very humble right now, Mr. Andrews," she said. "Now, if you'll pardon me." She turned to leave with as much dignity as possible when his next words stopped her in her tracks.
"The little girl I remember was quite feisty. What happened to her?"
A memory bloomed as an image of his last visit replayed in her head. All she really remembered was that she'd been lifted off her feet, her Pa's hand descending on her backside—right in front of this man and his brother. Glancing at the crowd moving towards the tables, she once again caught sight of the girls she had considered to be friends. Watching Elizabeth as she laughed at something said by Jacob Johnson, and seeing Cassidy tossing her blonde ringlets about as if she were some flower drawing bees to honey, Anna's hands clenched again.
"Little girls are just that; children. It seems that grown women are held to a much higher standard—one that is difficult enough to meet, and downright impossible when boys such as Jacob, Darrell and Robert are involved." She turned back to face him. "Cassidy would love to tell you all about it, Mr. Andrews. She has made damn sure everybody else in town knows what happened."
Richard's eyes met hers. "I think that you'd be wise to remember the fact that cussing is considered naughty, Miss Martin." His grin belied his stern words. "In fact, I seem to recall that that was one of the reasons why you got your arse spanked that day, so long ago."
Though she felt her face heat, she didn't apologize. "I should think you'd be wise enough to remember that girls like me obviously don't give a
about being ladylike. Didn't you hear, I'm not a lady, I'm a… a fallen woman."
"So you will just let Miss Johnson win without fighting back?" he asked, taking a step towards her, his eyes never leaving hers. "Come now, Miss Martin, I would have thought your Pa taught you better than that."
Anna's laugh was brittle as she remembered exactly what lesson her Pa had taught her the day before. She had to once more clutch her skirts—this time not to keep herself from pulling Cassidy's hair right out of her head, but to keep her hands off her own backside. Just remembering the time she'd spent in the barn had her bottom throbbing again.
"You are not a fallen woman. You are Miss Anna Martin today, just as you were yesterday. And, sweetheart, you are made of much tougher stock than you realize." Richard took a few more steps until he was right beside her. Only then did his eyes move towards the crowd. "Do you want to spend the rest of your life apologizing for something that wasn't entirely your fault, or would you prefer to show everyone that you are above such tales?"
Anna stood silent for a few minutes. Would she ever be able to hold her head up again? "I can't," she began. "My Pa—"
"Loves you," Richard said. When she huffed and looked away, he reached out, cupped her chin, and turned her face back to him. "You know he does. Just because he might have given you a thrashing, it doesn't mean he doesn't care. In fact, little one, if he didn't love you, he wouldn't bother."
She felt her face flush at his mention of a thrashing but remembered that he'd heard her prayer. Even if he hadn't, she didn't suppose what a father would consider justice for his wayward daughter was a mystery. "He's ashamed of me, and didn't believe me when I told him what happened," she protested but, for some reason she couldn't explain, didn't pull away.
"I think that if you give that a great deal more thought, you'll discover a different version of what you think is the truth. Somewhat like the stories floating around today." He released her chin only to reach out and pull the bonnet that had fallen to lie against her back up over her head. "Just like you are still refusing to wear your bonnet, I know you're made of tougher stuff." Tying the ribbons of her bonnet beneath her chin, he tucked strands of hair that had escaped from their pins up into it before tracing the freckles that spanned her cheeks and the bridge of her nose with his fingertip. "I bet that feisty little one is still inside you, and though you might not believe you can do this alone, together
believe we can. Do you trust me, Miss Martin?"