Annie has a hard time saying no. She is a worrier and always tries her best to please everyone. When she allows a smarmy, big guy on campus to talk her into letting him into the research lab she works in, knowing it is against the rules, it really lands her in big trouble.
Mortified after her employer, young, sexy professor, Jackson Davis, catches her in what appears to be an incriminating position, Annie fears losing her job, and maybe even expulsion and an arrest. When Dr. Davis proposes an alternate solution to her, how can she refuse? After all, hasn’t it always been a secret desire of hers to experience discipline at the hands of a handsome man?
Only problem is, the more time she spends with the hot professor, the more she finds herself falling for him – and that’s just asking for heartbreak, isn’t it?
Publisher’s Note: Sweet romance with a mild sexual scene and domestic discipline. If this offends you, please refrain from buying this book.
The hurt in his voice made Annie feel even worse. When he had been scolding her, she could at least try to defend herself. But when he reproached her quietly, she knew she had no good excuse for her behavior. She couldn’t believe she had done such a thing – she knew it was wrong, and she had allowed Paulie to talk her into it. She felt so guilty that she was afraid her knees would buckle, and her stomach was in knots.
“Why did you do it?” Jack repeated sternly.
Annie wished the floor would open and she would fall right through. She had never been so ashamed in her life. She knew she had to answer his question, even though she had no excuse for her miserable behavior. He would just keep repeating it until she answered. “I…h-he came and sat with me at dinner. He seemed so nice.” It was all she was able to choke out.
“So you invited him to my lab to have sex?” Jack asked incredulously.
“No, no!” Annie responded desperately. “I…he wanted to go some place where we could be warm. H-he…kissed me. And he wanted to come here so we’d be out of the cold.”
“So you said sure and brought him here.”
Annie was flustered again, and the shame burned through her whole body. She couldn’t seem to explain herself, probably because there really was no excuse for what she had done. “No, I told him we couldn’t come here. I explained about the laws and the rules and…well…”
“Well, what? How did you end up here, then?”
“I don’t know!” Annie almost wailed. “I tried and tried to tell him no, but he just kept begging me and demanding, and somehow, I gave in and we came here.”
“So all you had to do was tell him no. It’s not like he grabbed the key card from you and broke in or anything like that. He just asked enough times until you said yes? Annie, that doesn’t make any sense.”
“I know,” Annie whispered.
“Why didn’t you just keep saying no? Is that so hard?” Jack demanded.
“I don’t know. I mean, yes. I mean, I don’t know why I gave in. It is hard to say no.”
* * *
Jack was starting to get himself under control now, but he knew he still had every right to feel very angry with Annie. He grabbed a chair from the desk, turned it around to face her, and sat in it. He took Annie by the arms and stood her directly in front of him. With him sitting, they were on the same level and he could look directly into her eyes.
“Annie, what you have done tonight is very serious. There are strict laws protecting lab animals, and you broke those laws by bringing food and drink into the lab, not to mention the alcohol and illegal drugs.”
“But I…” Annie interrupted.
Jack shook his head. “No, Annie, it doesn’t matter whether you knew what your little friend was bringing in or not. You unlocked the door and let him in, and that makes you legally responsible.”
Annie hung her head again. Jack continued, “Not only did you break federal animal protection laws, you broke very strict university rules, allowing no unauthorized persons to enter animal labs. The university could lose its standing with granting agencies if your behavior were to be known and go unpunished. So, in addition to being arrested for violating federal laws, you could be expelled from the university for your behavior.”
* * *
Annie stood in front of Jack, feeling as if she wanted to die. She was absolutely horrified by what she had done. She couldn’t believe she had allowed some stupid frat boy to cause all of her dreams to go up in smoke. She was the first one in her family to go to college; she had been valedictorian of her high school; she was the one all her family had pinned their hopes on. Now, she had ruined everything – all for some stupid boy and his kisses. She had gotten a full scholarship to a prestigious Ivy League university and had a chance to make something of herself, and she had blown it. Not just blown it but really exploded it. Now, she was not only going to be kicked out of school, she was going to jail! Jail! She had never felt worse in her life.
“Not only can you be arrested and expelled, but, Annie, I placed my trust in you. You knew the rules, and you knew how important my lab is to me. I could lose my research grant because of what you’ve done! I have to have these studies published to get tenure, and you risked all that, just to let that scumbag in here tonight because you liked the way he kissed you? I placed my trust in you, and this is how you repay me? What do you have to say for yourself?”
If Annie thought she had felt bad after he told her about being arrested and kicked out of school, it was nothing to what she felt now. How could she have done that to him? She didn’t know it was possible to feel so bad. She wished she had never been born. She wished she could just die right now, so she wouldn’t have to see Professor Davis looking at her like that. She willed her heart to stop so she could end her pain. She also realized that she didn’t deserve the easy way out. She deserved to suffer. She deserved to be thrown out of school, publicly shamed, and sent to jail.
“Annie, do you have anything to say for yourself?” Jack repeated.
“No, sir.” Annie tried to stifle her sob.
There was a pause while Jack just looked at her. “Well, Annie, what are we going to do with you, hmm?” Jack asked rhetorically.
He was surprised when Annie answered.
“Call the police and have me expelled and sent to jail.” Annie sobbed quietly, with her head hanging as low as it could go.
* * *
Her utter dejection and obvious remorse almost made Jack smile, despite his anger. Almost. He was still annoyed with her, and if he could have, he would still have liked to spank her for her behavior, but he really had no intention of reporting her and having her either expelled or arrested. And even if she had been arrested, she wouldn’t have ended up jailed for a charge like this; she would have ended up with a fine. She must have jumped to conclusions when he had told her that she could be arrested. This kind of thing did happen all the time, and although he wanted to put enough fear into her so she never did it again, she had not actually had the food or drink in the room with the rats, only in the outer office, which was not nearly as bad. Besides, it was a paperwork nightmare for him to report her. He took a deep breath and used his sternest tone.
“Annie, I am furious with you. What you did was inexcusable! I should spank you until you can’t sit down for a week.”
Uh oh! How did that slip out? Jack couldn’t believe he had said that out loud! He tried to think of something to say immediately and hoped she wouldn’t notice, but she looked up quickly at him with wide, shocked eyes. “I don’t want you to be expelled or arrested either, Annie, but your behavior cannot be tolerated,” Jack said the first thing he could think of to try to distract her.
* * *
Annie couldn’t believe her ears. Did he just say that he should spank her? Was he really going to spank her before sending her to jail? She certainly deserved it, she thought, and she had plenty of fantasies about being spanked by a handsome man for her misdeeds. But reality seemed quite different from her fantasies. In her fantasies, it was always a boyfriend or husband who spanked her, and it was always because he loved her and wanted her to become a better person. And even in her fantasies, a spanking had never been as justified as it was now, in reality. She couldn’t believe she had done something so awful. She was lost in her reflections when she suddenly realized he had asked her another question.
“I’m sorry, sir, what did you say?” Annie whispered tentatively.
“For Christ’s sake, Annie, aren’t you even listening to me?” Annie flinched at the expletive and Jack realized that she probably wasn’t listening because she was processing his threat to spank her. Shit, she was probably planning to sue him for harassment. After what she had done to him, now she was going to come out looking like the victim! Damn! How could he have let that slip? He had just been so mad! And she did deserve it!
On top of everything else, he was going to have to fire her, and that pissed him off as well. Damn it, she had been a great research assistant, but he couldn’t just keep her after a stunt like this. She had to be punished, and although he wasn’t going to have her expelled or charged, he couldn’t just keep her on as if nothing had happened. It was too bad he couldn’t spank her. That could have solved everything. He could punish her to make sure she never did anything like that again, but he wouldn’t have to lose his best research assistant. Ah well, no use hoping for the impossible. Even just having brought it up might cost him his job, if she reported him for it. Damn, damn, damn! He was so mad at her for everything.
“I’m really sorry. I know what I did was wrong. I don’t know how I could have done it. I don’t want to go to jail! I am so, sorry.” Annie was sobbing so hard that her legs gave out and she fell to her knees. Jack sighed and reached over and pulled her back to a standing position, so that she was positioned directly in front of him again.
“Annie.” Jack sighed again. “You are not going to go to jail. I am not going to report you. However, your behavior…” Jack started to explain that he would have to fire her, but Annie interrupted him by falling to her knees again and grabbing both of his shins in an awkward hug.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you, for not sending me to jail. How can I ever thank you? I’m so scared to go to jail! Thank you, thank you for just expelling me. Thank you so much, sir.” It was not easy for Jack to understand her through her sobs. He took her arm and pulled her back to her feet again. He ran his hand through his hair in frustration, then took another deep breath.
“Annie, you’re not going to be expelled, either. I’m not going to report you. But this kind of behavior cannot go unpunished. Annie, do you understand me?” Jack wasn’t sure that Annie could even hear him through her sobs.
Annie couldn’t believe it! Did he just say that he was not going to have her expelled or arrested? She knew she deserved both and worse, but was he really going to let her go without the public shame of arrest and expulsion?
“Annie, I said this behavior cannot go unpunished. I am going to have to fire you.” Jack took Annie by the shoulders to try to get her to look at him, so he could see if she had heard him over her sobs. He made his voice stern again. “Annie, stop that crying this instant! Do you hear what I’m saying?”
To Jack’s surprise, Annie managed to choke back her sobs immediately and turned her face up to look at him. “Yes, sir,” she choked softly. “I have to be punished so you’re going to fire me.” After a pause, she added, “Is that all you’re going to do to me?”
“Why, isn’t that enough?” Jack said wryly, hoping she wasn’t going to start accusing him of harassment now.
“Well, what about that other thing you said?” Annie asked, her face starting to flush.
“What other thing?” Jack pretended not to know what she was talking about.
Annie’s face went even redder. “The spanking,” she said softly.
Jack didn’t know what to say and wanted desperately not to incriminate himself. “Why, do you want a spanking?” he asked brusquely.
“No, but I don’t want to be fired, either.”
Jack’s whole body tingled suddenly. Was she asking him for a spanking? “Then, what are you saying? That you want to trade being fired for a spanking?” Jack couldn’t believe they were even having this conversation.
Annie took a moment to answer. “W-well, i-if you’ll let me, I guess. I thought you were going to do both to me. I feel so bad about what I did. I deserve to be kicked out of school and sent to jail, I know, and to be spanked and fired. And I’m so grateful to you for letting me stay in school me and not sending me to jail…” Her sobs started again softly.
Jack broke in, “Annie, I’m not your father. I can’t just spank you…” His voice trailed off. What the hell was he saying? He wanted to spank her so badly! Why was he saying this! On the other hand, it wasn’t worth his job, if she reported him. Annie still just stood in front of him with her head down. “Even if you deserve it,” he finished.
“There has to be something I can do. I want to make it up to you, somehow.” Annie still looked at the ground as she spoke quietly. “Maybe I can just work for you for free, and you don’t have to pay me. I can get another work study job, and I can try to repay you by working for free.” She paused. “Oh, you probably don’t even want me around now that you can’t trust me anymore.” She paused again and a few tears trickled down her cheek. “But I just feel so bad. I feel so bad! I am so, sorry and there is nothing I can do.” She put her hands up and covered her face.
Coleen Singer loves snowstorms, fresh hot coffee and her cat, Stud Muffin. She loves to write romantic stories with good, old-fashioned men. She also loves to hear from her fans. You can write her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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USA Today and International bestselling author, Isabella Kole, lives in southern Indiana, where she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Always an avid romance reader, she began writing several years ago, and although she has had several sweet romances published under a different pen name, Accepting His Terms is the first erotic romance in her collection.
You can find Isabella on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Isabella-Kole-Author/580591041984962?ref=hl and on Twitter as @blushingizzy