Which Witch is Which?
by Brandy Golden
“Just as I thought! I’ve got you now!”
The angry and gritty tones of a male who had lost patience boomed above Darcy DeAngelo’s head as her arm was taken in a firm grasp. She was quickly marched towards the alley, too shocked to utter a peep.
“I told you what would happen, young lady, if you snuck out tonight. You didn’t believe me, did you? You didn’t really think I would do it. Did you?”
He emphasized the last ‘did you’ with a shake of her arm as he stopped and scowled down at her, his well-shaped brows drawn together in disapproval.
Darcy gaped up at him, astonishment written all over her heavily made-up face. This was the absolute, most gorgeous knockout of a man she had ever seen and the shock was rendering her speechless.
“What’s the matter?” he bit out. “Cat got your tongue?”
She tried to form a coherent word, but he dragged her over to the steps just inside the alley. Then she suddenly found herself falling over a pair of muscled, jean-clad thighs.
“W…what are you d…doing,” she managed to squeak in a high-pitched voice as she tried to push herself upright.
“I warned you, Holly,” he continued in a deep timbre that sent tingles up and down her spine. Her witch’s skirt was suddenly flowing down about her ears, her legs in the purple and white striped hosiery kicking wildly.
“I told you I’d spank you on the spot if you disobeyed me and left the house. When I discovered you were gone, I came looking for you.”
He lifted his hand and brought it crashing down on her wiggling striped rump, causing her to squeal in pain and surprise.
“NO!” she yelped as he did it again—and then again! “Stop it…. I’m not…”
He cut her off as he laid spanks down hard and heavy, taking her breath away. “You are determined to have your own way all the time, but not with me, young lady. I tanned your hide once before…did you really think I wouldn’t again, even though you now consider yourself grown up? That’s part of your problem, brat, too big for your britches these days.”
The swats kept raining down as she screeched in protest.
“You don’t under…st-stand!”
Darcy had never been spanked before. She didn’t know who Holly was, but this man was making a terrible mistake, and her butt was paying the price.
“Don’t bother with excuses, your father left me in charge. I told you no, young lady. He said you were grounded and that I needed to enforce that, so I am! You’re going to get a good hiding, little girl.”
“I’m…NOT…. Holly!” Darcy finally managed to grit out between painful swats. Temper was overcoming shock, and she fought furiously, almost throwing herself off his lap.
“Good try, but no cigar,” returned the rich voice, although he did pause for a moment. “You don’t really think I’m buying that do you?”
“LET ME UP!” Darcy demanded hotly, finally catching her breath and looking back at him. Her bottom was aching and throbbing from the pounding he had already given it. He frowned at her again, and she was heartened to note his sudden confusion.
“If you touch me again, I will have you arrested,” she promised furiously.
He yanked her upright, his probing dark eyes searching her face as he held her on his knee by her upper arms.
Darcy stared warily back, her chest heaving and her butt stinging. Not to mention it felt like a fist had slammed into her stomach. How could one man be so darned attractive? Her arms tingled where his hands held her and her gasp for breath wasn’t all from yelling.
A sudden giggle from the sidewalk drew their attention and Darcy’s head whipped around to see who had witnessed her humiliation.
Of the three girls dressed in Halloween costumes, the one in the middle locked her gaze. She was dressed just like Darcy, only the make-up was slightly different.
“Wow, Holly. You never told us your uncle was…. like…so totally hot!” This comment came from the bunny rabbit in the not-so-bunny-like costume. More like a playboy bunny thought Darcy irritably.
“Yeah, Holly. Maybe he wouldn’t mind being my babysitter,” mocked the cat, her painted-on whiskers wiggling salaciously.
“What are you doing, Uncle Mark?” Holly asked. At least she assumed this must be Holly. The girl stared at her uncle disdainfully, her small nose in the air.
“It appears I’ve made a mistake,” he replied, keenly scanning Darcy’s face.
He certainly had, and Darcy was in no mood to forgive at the moment. “What is your name? I’d like to know who I’m pressing charges against.” She tried to shrug his hands off her arms, but he held onto her as he stood up.
“I beg your pardon,” he said apologetically. “I’m very sorry.”
Darcy’s bottom burned, and in spite of his apparent contrition, she was still not ready to be magnanimous! “You should be! Going around spanking women is a chauvinistic thing to do in any case. How does your wife stand you?”
“I’m not married,” he replied, smiling lazily at her.
When the megawatt smile came out, Darcy was prepared to be magnanimous after all. Something funny was happening to her knees. They were beginning to tremble as she stared dazedly at him.
Perfect white teeth in a tanned face, a square jaw with just a hair of a five o’clock shadow, and a burnished black curl hanging down his forehead. Deep gray smoky eyes finished a look that screamed ‘sexy male on hand’ and she hated her reaction. Just the same, she couldn’t help it either, her entire body was zinging all over like every nerve ending was standing at attention.
Just for him.
Looking around for her bag, she spied it lying on the sidewalk where she’d dropped it. Getting her legs to carry her that far was the next trick.
“No surprise there,” she snapped, desperately trying to cover her loss of composure.
“Let me help you,” he returned apologetically. Deftly he scooped up the bag and returned it to her. “Can I give you a lift somewhere? Do you live around here?”
“No…and no.” She took the bag and their fingers touched. She jumped like she’d been shocked by a static charge, although nothing crackled.
“What’s your name?” He asked gently, looking a little uncomfortable himself as he stuck his hand into his pocket.
“That’s none of your business. Just be thankful I’m not pressing charges.” She moved stiffly away, trying not to let on how sore she was. That hand of his had done a number on her tender bottom, and she just wanted to get away, go home and soak away her shame and embarrassment.
Once again, her arm was taken in that firm grasp, and she was turned gently to face him. “I insist on seeing you home.”
“It’s no bother,” he replied firmly. He took Holly’s arm in his other hand. “Say goodnight to miss bunny and miss cat, Holly. You’re coming with me.”
“But, Uncle Mark,” Holly protested, trying to pull away. “You’re treating me like a baby, let go of me.”
“Good night, Holly,” chorused her friends as he led her and Holly both down the block towards a silver Camaro. They could all hear the other two girls snickering.
“You can’t do this to me, Uncle Mark,” Holly yelped furiously. “I’ll be the laughingstock of my friends now.”
“My car is just around the corner,” Darcy said, trying to pull out of his grasp. “I’ll be fine, just let go of me.”
“Get in,” he ordered, ignoring both of their protests.
Fuming, she obeyed, sitting gingerly on the leather of the front seat while Holly, still complaining, climbed into the back.
She sneaked a surreptitious look at the brown hands on the steering wheel as he pulled the car into the flow of traffic.
“What’s your name?” He glanced sideways at her as he flicked on the turn signal. “And this time I want an answer.”
His tone brooked no argument and Darcy grudgingly gave in. “Darcy.”
He lifted his eyebrow and shot her a warning glance.
“Darcy DeAngelo.” She fumed, instinctively knowing what that eyebrow meant and hating herself for responding to his take-charge attitude. “What’s yours?” She asked defiantly. “In case I really do press charges.”
He looked amused then, irritating her even further. “It’s Mark Transom, I’m Holly’s uncle. You don’t really plan on reporting this do you?”
“Maybe.” She refused to say no, even though she knew she wouldn’t. It would be far too humiliating for anyone to know what happened. No, it was better swept under the proverbial rug. Not that she would give him the satisfaction of knowing that.
“Isn’t Holly a little old to be spanked?” Her best fiery glance shot his way.
“No woman is ever too old to be spanked.”
“I’ll be sure and tell Grams that,” Darcy replied sarcastically. “She’s going on ninety-three, and I can just see her turned over some man’s lap.”
A delightful grin lit up his features, causing an engaging dimple to appear in the corner of his mouth. “Stranger things have happened.”
Darcy again felt the tug of his charisma, and she fought it. Good-looking men weren’t to be trusted. Their best friends were themselves and a good mirror.
With a huff, she turned away to look for her car. It should be around the next corner. She’d parked it a few blocks away and walked to her destination, the little apartment building under the shady oak trees. Waiting to see if the cheating husband would come back out with his overblown mistress was boring, but it was a job. Then she’d been accosted by this throwback to another century. Her bottom was still stinging and very uncomfortable.
“Is that your car?”
His low gravelly voice scratched her delicate senses and sent a shiver of awareness up her spine. The horror raced through her as she saw what was left of her 98 Taurus.
“Stop!” She yelled as she scrabbled for the car door. When he did so, she jumped out of his car and ran to the decimated remains. The tires were gone, the stereo had been lifted, the engine stripped and God knows what else. The worst of all…her purse was gone. She had left it locked in the car and under the seat, and she didn’t see it at all.
Frantically, she kneeled down and reached under the seat, swiping her hand back and forth in an effort to see if was magically back there somewhere. If maybe they had missed it.
No such luck.
Groaning, Darcy stood up and laid her arm on the hood of the car, banging her forehead against it in a monotonous rhythm. This could only happen to her.
“Something else wrong?”
She spun around to see Mr. Wonderful watching her solicitously.
Her best form of defense, her mouth, took over. “Of course not, I just enjoy banging my head on cars, it’s good for the brain, didn’t you know?” Her words were sarcastic, and she watched his eyes narrow in response to her scathing retort.
“I’ll let that pass since you’ve obviously had another shock…that is if this is your car?”
“Of course, it’s my car!” She snapped the words snidely, unfazed by his warning. “I only like to headbang on my own car you know. Other people might not understand if I were to do it on their automobile!”
There was steel in his voice when he replied, “That’s enough. There is no need to be unpleasant and rude. If you keep it up, I may just turn you over my knee for another spanking.”
There was something in the glint of his eyes and the tone of his voice that made Darcy pause, her self-preservation instincts kicking in. The hair on the back of her neck stood up like it always did when danger was afoot. Her eyes locked defiantly with his, she finally shrugged her slender shoulders and turned around. She set off walking down the sidewalk, intending to leave him in her dust. Tears of frustration and temper were bubbling beneath the surface of her emotions and she didn’t trust herself to be civil. This evening could not have gone more wrong if Hades himself from the underworld had planned it. It was not to be, however, because she no sooner started walking than she found her arm grasped again, and she was spun around to face him once more.
“Wait, you can’t go running around alone.”
“Let go of me,” she hissed. “Haven’t you done enough for one evening? Just leave me alone!” She tried to jerk her arm out of his grasp, but he didn’t let go. Instead, he took the bag off her other arm and let it fall open.
“Seeing as how you only have a camera in this bag,” he drawled, “I’m guessing you left your wallet, phone, and your money in the car. And it’s gone.”
“My, my, what a lucky guess,” she drawled acidly. “After your earlier mistake, I would never have pegged you to be so astute.”
Her arm was tingling where he held it, and her knees began to shake again. The scent of some heady male aftershave drifted lightly across her nostrils. Tangy and tantalizing, it made her want to cuddle up to his chest and let him take care of her. Damn! Why did he have such a profound effect on her? Worse yet, why did she have to run into someone so perfect, only to find out he was a total beast?
His eye’s flashed a definite warning once again and he hustled her towards his car. “Come on, you’re coming home with me and Holly.”
Darcy dug her heels in. “I most certainly am not! I don’t even know you.”
He questioned her as he dragged her along anyway, regardless of her attempts to pull away. “And just what are you planning to do then? You have no money, no id, no wallet, which means no bank card or checks, and it’s 11:00pm at night.” He stopped trying to push her inside his car while he waited for her to answer.
“None of your dammed business,” she snapped. “What does it matter to you, anyway? I’ll find a phone and call a friend.”
“I’m not leaving you out here by yourself. I feel responsible for you since I mistook you for my niece. And now that I know you’re stranded, I can’t just leave you on your own. Please, at least come with us to Holly’s house. You can use my cell to call a friend for help and wait there for them to arrive. None of us need to be out hanging around this time of night.”
If he had ordered her about one more time, Darcy would have slapped him with her bag, but since he put it so reasonably, she decided to give in. Besides, she really wasn’t sure what else she would do.
Reluctantly, she got back in the car and allowed him to close the door. “Is he always this bossy?” she asked the girl in the back seat.
“No,” Holly replied truthfully, “usually he’s worse. He must be feeling guilty because he got you instead of me. Of course, I have to say I’m glad he did.” She grinned suddenly, her smile lighting up her impish features.
“Thanks a lot,” Darcy replied dryly. “Remind me to collect on that favor sometime.”
It wasn’t long before the two girls were being escorted inside the house. Once inside, Holly made a beeline for the stairs. She stopped when her uncle’s firm voice followed her. “I’m not finished with you, young lady.”
Holly turned to face him. “Aw…come on, Uncle Mark. You can’t really be serious about…uh…you know.”
“About spanking you? Yes, I can…very serious. Get a shower and get your pajamas on. I’ll be up to deal with you in a few minutes.”
Holly huffed and turned to run up the stairs, indignation sticking out all over her.
Darcy was mortified. “You’re not really going to spank her, are you?”
“I said I would and I never go back on my word.” He walked her towards the kitchen. “Would you like a cup of tea?”
“Yeah, I guess so,” Darcy replied, feeling like she was being herded again. “Where’s your phone?”
“Right here,” he said, taking his cell out of his pocket and handing it to her with a grin.
Darcy watched him furtively as he moved about the kitchen with quick efficient movements. Briefly, she wondered how it would feel to have him caring for her. She brushed the thoughts aside and dialed Doug’s number. No point in dialing her apartment, her roommate would be spending the night with her boyfriend, whichever one she had decided on for tonight. Darcy couldn’t keep up with Pamela’s exploits and didn’t bother to try.
“Hello?” came the male voice in her ear.
“Doug…hi…it’s me, Darcy.”
“Where the devil are you, Darcy? I’m falling asleep here waiting for you to get home. Do you realize it’s after 11:00pm?” His voice was querulous and complaining.
“I know,” she replied soothingly. “I got tied up over here in Birmingdale on a case, and my car’s been stripped. Can you come and get me?”
“It’s almost midnight, and Birmingdale is two hours away! You know I hate driving at night, and I’m extra tired tonight. Can’t you get a hotel room or something?”
Darcy could hear the exasperation in his voice, and her own anger kindled. No solicitous response as to her safety, no sympathetic exclamations about her car, nothing. It seemed like every time she asked him for anything, it was always inconvenient. However, she was supposed to drop everything when he needed something and come running. The disenchantment with him that had begun months ago finally came to head at this last straw.
“I know I’m two hours away, Doug,” she replied tersely, then exploded. “You know what? Just never mind. Just forget it, Doug, don’t bother yourself. I’ll find my own way home, now and every night!” She viciously jabbed the off button to hang up the phone. She was so done with Doug. Still, she stared at the phone to see if he would call back, but nothing rang. Guess he didn’t care if she was done.
She rubbed her forehead with tired fingers. Maybe Pamela might accidentally be home. She dialed her own home number. After the tenth ring, she hung up and sighed, wondering if her mother would consider coming from three hours away to get her.
Darcy could count on one hand the number of close friends she had, and still be able to hold a cup of coffee. She just didn’t get close to people very easily, and she really didn’t have anyone else to call.
She started when she felt two warm hands on her shoulders, their gentleness surprising her, and she allowed herself to be turned around.
“Why don’t you stay here tonight, Darcy. I can run you to wherever home is in the morning after you get some rest. It’s getting really late to be calling anyone anyway.”
The kindness in his tone brought a prickle of tears to Darcy’s eyelids, and she gulped, forcing them back. She would not embarrass herself with this man.
“No…I…I can’t do that. It…it wouldn’t be right…or proper,” she stammered, her shoulders tingling where his hands touched her. She looked up into his warm brown eyes full of concern for her, Darcy, and she wanted to stay there in his grasp. To let his caring and gentleness wash over her and keep her safe.
What was happening to her? She didn’t even know this man, and yet she knew instinctively that if it were him, she’d called, he would have been there to get her as fast as he could come. Disconcerted, she tried to get out from under those hands and away from the spell he seemed to cast on her.
“There’s nothing improper about you staying here,” he replied. “Holly is here, and there’s a spare bedroom, fully furnished. You can borrow some of Holly’s clothes and make fresh plans in the morning.” He smiled down at her, and Darcy melted.
That smile should be registered as a weapon!
“In fact, I insist. After all, it’s the least I can do to make up for spanking the wrong witch,” he declared.
Darcy tried to drag her gaze away from his, but she couldn’t seem to handle it. “Alright,” she whispered, her mouth a trifle dry. She was mesmerized as his head seemed to dip lower. Her lips parted in anticipation as if inviting his sweet caress.
She was surprised when his lips brushed across her forehead in a chaste kiss and he cleared his throat. “Your tea is ready.
Was it her imagination, or were his hands trembling slightly as he handed her the cup of hot sweet brew, his fingers seeming to linger on hers.
“Bring your tea with you, and I’ll get you some clothes for a shower before I deal with Holly.” He turned and headed for the stairway, and Darcy obediently followed him, feeling like a puppy dog at its master’s heel. Why that absurd analogy should enter her head, she didn’t know. She only knew that he made her feel safe.
“Get a grip, girl,” she muttered to herself.
After gathering a few things from Holly, Mark showed her to the bedroom and ushered her in.
“There’s a shared bath with Holly’s room. You’re welcome to use the shower, and there are towels in the closet inside the bathroom.”
“Thank you,” she murmured as she stood sipping her tea in the middle of the room. “I really do appreciate this.”
“The pleasure is all mine.” He flashed her that blue ribbon smile and left, closing the door quietly behind him.
She was standing naked in front of the tub, warming the water for a hot shower when she heard the mumble of voices coming from Holly’s room. She started when she heard the muffled sounds of slapping and realized that he must be spanking the girl.
Quickly, Darcy turned the shower on and stepped into the tub, closing the curtain to try and block out Holly’s cries, but it was no use. Her heart beating fast, she stood there with her eyes closed under the running water, listening against her will.
The spanking went on for a lot longer than Darcy’s had, and she couldn’t help but feel sorry for the young girl. Darcy herself was only twenty-three, and she judged Mark to be in his middle to late twenties, especially if he wasn’t married. Must be a younger brother to Holly’s father…. or mother, as the case might be.
Finally, the cries stopped, and Darcy relaxed, hoping it was all over with. It was all terribly odd, this spanking business. She didn’t realize that men did that these days.
Turning off the shower, she got out and dried herself off, brushing back her wet dark hair and damp tendrils curling around her neck and temples. Her deep blue orbs were dark in the mirror, she looked tired and pale with a bit of puffiness beneath her eyes. Suddenly, she wished she had someone to just…snuggle with…someone to hold her for a while. Someplace to feel safe, protected, and cared for.
Feeling down suddenly, she slipped into the chaste red cotton pajamas with the black flowers all over them and padded to the kitchen with the empty teacup. She thought about Doug and his reluctance to come and get her.
No knight in shining armor there.
A wry grimace twisted her soft mouth as she placed the cup in the sink and turned around. She froze when she saw Mark coming through the doorway, his eyes raking her figure from head to foot.
A flicker of something undistinguishable flashed in his eyes as he slowly approached her. “Well, well…how different you look without all that cake make-up,”’ he murmured, his hand reaching out to run a finger down her soft cheek. “Quite beautiful in its normal appearance instead of green.”
Darcy knew she was anything but beautiful, and she flushed. “Ha, little do you know. Beauty is not one of my finer points.”
“I disagree,” he replied firmly. “I see a lovely young woman–one who shouldn’t be running herself down.”
When uncomfortable, Darcy had a bad habit of hiding behind sarcasm; a trait that many people found obnoxious. It was easy to chase people away doing this though, few wanted to get to know the person behind a prickly exterior.
“Men have never been known to be picky when it comes to a good lay,” she said tartly. “You know the old song… ‘The women all get prettier at closing time?”
She didn’t miss the tightening of his lips and the scowl deepening on his face. However, she chose to ignore those warning signals, wanting only to keep him at bay. She wasn’t ready to face the growing interest she was feeling in this stranger she had met tonight. Plus, she was just plain scared.
“Stop it,” he ordered brusquely.
“Why? Does the truth hurt?” She mocked cheekily. making a great show of looking at her watch. “Oh my, it’s getting later and later. I must be looking better and better.”
If she had known him a little better, she might have been more cautious. But, given the circumstances, she plowed nervously on, attempting to make him keep his distance. To put out the flame that was licking along her abdomen. After all, a man that looked like this would never be interested in her. Better to put him off her right now, before he had the chance to break her heart later.
Stay tuned for chapter 2, coming this month!
So, my friends, there you have the first chapter of an older short story. I’m going to add to it this month, and any input you’d like to give me, just let me know. Something fun for Halloween and the first month of Autumn!
“What do we do now?” Brigid asked uneasily, realizing the possible consequences of destiny dust in the Fountain of Eternal Waters. Destiny dust was meant for humans, not gods.
“We just pray that this was meant to be,” Shai replied with a worried frown.
“And if it wasn’t?”
Her words trailed off as they stared at each other. Upsetting the rulers of the universe was not an enviable position to be in…..
This amazing new series has multiple authors writing individual stories, some of them are probably your favorites! Humor, passion, heartbreak, and all the feel-goods you’re used to in one fabulous new collection. Check out who’s who and get a peek at some of their stories at the following link.
Happy Autumn, my friends 🙂