Chapter One: Becoming a Lady by Adaline Raine

Chapter One: Becoming a Lady

Historical novella with non-consensual/eventually consensual spankings in a disciplinary relationship. The heroine is kidnapped and recalls her past when she was damaged by a group of men as a child. No graphic details. 

© Adaline Raine and Blushing Books, 2013

Anna leaned on the pitchfork, pausing in her task of cleaning the stables… one of many tasks that had become assigned to her over the years. She smiled at her younger sister Emma, who often helped her groom the horses.

“I’ve heard Father speaking to Mother about marriage,” Emma whispered. Her hand trembled as the brush moved slowly through the mare’s chestnut mane.

Anna didn’t respond. It certainly wouldn’t be her marriage they discussed. She was little more than a slave in her own home.

“What if I do not like the man Father chooses? How will I know?” Emma’s voice slid higher, sounding more like the little girl she had been and not the gentle young woman she had become.

“Do not worry yourself about such things,” Anna counseled. Worry would not help her sister at all. What would be would be, and no amount of worry could change the events that were destined to unfold.

“Has Father spoken to you?” Emma asked.

Anna winced. She knew her sister hadn’t meant to be hurtful, but her innocent question stung just the same. “Father has not spoken to me in years,” she said flatly.

Emma’s expression clouded over, and she might have succumbed to tears of sympathy, but for their mother’s interruption.

“Emma! Emma, come to the house now!” Moments later, the door opened, and their mother entered. The years had not been kind to the lady of the house. Her face was lined and pinched as though she were in a perpetual state of pain. She barely glanced at her oldest daughter, dressed in torn, dirty rags. Her nose was elevated; the stench of the barn too much for her delicate sensibilities. “You are to do all of Emma’s chores from now on.”

Anna let go of the brush in her hand and stood slowly. “That would mean I am to do all the chores, Mother?”

Her mother moved quickly and struck her across the shoulders with one of her father’s tools. She struck Anna once more. “Do not address me ever again!”

Anna curled up in the corner of the barn as her mother composed herself and walked out. She was treated worse than the animals she cared for and had been stupid to think that she would receive any sympathy. One of the mares walked slowly towards her and dipped her head down. She curled her fingers into the soft mane and nuzzled against her. It was not her fault that her virtue had been stolen when she was just a child. Damn her father for failing to protect the only thing she had to offer a man. Finally, she stood slowly and walked out towards the garden. More than a dozen chores had just been added to her day.


Anna pulled her dark brown hair back into a bun and away from her neck. The sun was beating down upon her, and she had four more rows of vegetables to tend. She huffed and reached through the plants for an overlooked treasure.

A strong, pungent odor filled her nostrils, as a strong arm seized her shoulders. Anna did not have time to scream, as a large hand held a cloth to her face. She bit down quickly on the hand, but it stayed pressed against her mouth and nose. Anna squirmed against the cloth but could not move away as her legs grew heavy and her arms dangled uselessly at her sides. She screamed in her head in absolute terror, as the world closed in on her and she was met with a wall of blackness.


Anna opened her eyes and found herself lying on a small cot in a windowless room. Though she was not bound, her legs were numb, and she could not even wiggle her toes. She tried to lift her right foot, and then her left, but was unable. Her fingers tingled as if they, too, had fallen asleep, but to her amazement, she could move them freely. Anna closed her eyes and opened them again, as she came to the realization she was not alone. “Where am I?”

A large man stood up from the shadows in the corner of the room. He was the tallest man Anna could recall ever having seen. She blinked and looked over at his clothing, which had no identifying armor or tabard visible. Anna blinked again and sat up slowly as she took in his features. He moved forward and in the flicker of the lantern she could see large gray eyes framed by dark auburn or perhaps brown hair that was pulled loosely into a club at the nape of his neck. Anna blinked and looked him over. She focused back on his eyes to see them intensely focused on hers.

“You are still in your village.” He adjusted the flame of the lantern and it illuminated the small space around them.

“Who do you think that I am?” Anna found it hard to remain in a sitting position, as her legs were still numb.

The man cocked his head to the side. “I beg your pardon?” His tone certainly did not sound threatening, though it was hard to tell if he was amused by her question, or confused.

“I ask you, who do you think that I am?” Anna had been told stories of men kidnapping women for coin, but they were always from a good family, or had a very wealthy husband. Sadly, Anna had neither. She took a breath as he began to move again.

“If you are seeking ransom, Sir, you have been misguided.” Anna could now clearly see his face in the flicker of the lantern. His chin was covered in dark hair, trimmed into a point. Some men it would make appear devious, or perhaps cunning, but it added to his masculine features, set off by his wide jaw. Anna took in the overall picture, and absurdly wondered why she was paying so much attention to this man’s form.

He reached down and pulled her up into his arms. “I know who you are and I seek no coin.”

Anna nearly screamed at the information, and tried to suppress the shudder of fear as he settled her against him. “For what purpose have you abducted me?” What sort of a man abducted a poor woman with no husband?

The man did not respond as he began to walk her through the inn. It was late - very late, she surmised, by the lack of personnel in the foyer. He brazenly used the front door, and she knew at once that they were in the inn closest to the edge of the village. It was a good walk from where he had knocked her out in the fields, but still familiar to her. If only her feet would obey!

The man turned sharply, and Anna found herself in the woods. She knew the men that patrolled this area at night, and tried to remember who worked this evening.

“If you even think about opening your mouth, I will not think twice of slaughtering anyone that crosses my path,” the man whispered under his breath, as if he knew what she was thinking.

Anna sucked in a breath. Though she held no importance in the town, her sister was very dear to her, and she hated to imagine never seeing her again. 

“Halt! Who goes there?” a strong male voice yelled over Anna’s head. 

To her dismay, she recognized the voice instantly. It was Sir John, the only other person in her entire village that she cared for. She’d venture a guess that he was the only man who held her heart.

“Please?” Anna begged in a whisper. “Drop me here, and show him empty arms. Please do not hurt him.”

The man seemed to ignore Anna as he turned towards the voice. “I should ask the same question, Sir.”

“I should think not, as this is my village. Who are you?” Sir John had already pulled his sword, and was eying Anna.

“I am no one of your concern.” The man flicked his wrist and John dropped to his knees in a heap.

Anna began to scream when suddenly the large man was smacking her cheek. It was not a full backhand, but it was enough to make her stop and tear up. She glanced out into a small clearing where he was heading, and could see his horse, presumably, which was tied up to an old tree. She was placed upon the saddle and before she could open her mouth, he had climbed up behind her and tapped the horse. They were now galloping across the field and away from her village.

Anna said nothing as the night turned into dawn. She was in a state of shock, wondering if poor John would be all right. She thought sadly of the last time she had seen her sister, before she had gone to pick vegetables. It made her heart hurt. She took a breath and tapped the hand that held the reins.

The man stopped the horse and dismounted. He seemed to understand her need, so that she did not have to voice it.

“Flex your feet before you attempt to stand.”

Anna did so, and allowed him to help her down. She could feel the ground beneath her feet, and she stomped up and down before walking. She moved to the nearest tree and quickly relieved herself. She thought only a moment about escaping before walking back to the man. She did not know where they were. On foot, she would simply be food for the first predator that caught her smell. Though she knew he could simply lift her, she chose to show him her strength; Anna used the man’s hand as a step to mount his horse. She noticed that he never let go of the reins as he steadied her and mounted. He did not trust her any more than she him.

“What purpose am I to you?” Anna asked, as the horse settled into a fast trot. 

“Perhaps you are none,” the man grunted in reply.

“I must be of some importance to you, or you would not have taken me,” Anna sighed. How could she persuade the man to let her go, if she knew not his purpose? Anna saw a sign that indicated a nearby village, but her eyes were quickly covered with a large hand. She sighed again, “Tell me then, Sir, what use am I to you?”

“For someone in such a position, you ask many questions.” He dismounted swiftly, and set Anna down on the ground.

“Perhaps I shall question you to death and then be free to go back to my village,” Anna sneered, as she glanced at the inn in front of them.

“You are hours outside of your village - a village, I might add, that will not miss you.” He grabbed Anna’s arm and led her into the inn.

“How dare you! You have no inkling of what I mean to my village!” Anna fumed, but her words held little flame. He was correct, save for her sister.

“Keep your voice down and do as I tell you.” He firmly guided Anna towards one of the tables, and sat her down on the bench. “If you draw any attention to yourself while I am attending to business, today will be your last.”

Anna rolled her eyes. “Today already appears to be my last, Sir. How would I know the difference?”

The man seized her chin and tilted it upward. “You have my word that I will not harm you. I repeat, do not draw attention. I will have a meal brought out to you.”

He turned and walked away, leaving Anna to stare on in bewilderment. What sort of man threatened his ward in one breath, and gave his word of no harm in the next? To her utter amazement, she was served a hearty meal in what seemed like only moments, and she ate and drank hungrily. Anna’s biggest concern was not getting away from him, but making it back to her village alive. Someone of her sex did not make it far without the protection of a man. She shuddered at the thought and looked up. There was a black-haired man with pointed, vulpine features standing idly in the corner. His eyes followed her every movement, and she found herself growing very uncomfortable. 

Her plate was removed and her mug refilled. Anna sipped it cautiously; she wanted her head to remain clear, though the weariness from the long ride was pulling on her. She glanced around the room and found that the man in the corner was now moving towards her.

“This is a dangerous place for someone like you to be alone.” His voice added a chill to each word, and Anna outwardly shivered.

“Have we business, Sir?”

Anna could feel a hand on her shoulder and she gave a cautious glance upwards. It was the tall man, and though she knew not his business, she did not want anything to do with the black-haired one.

“I am Evrain.” He gave a nod to the much-larger man. “I would like to know how much coin you wish for your pretty companion, Sir.”

Anna took a deep breath. Though she did not know either man’s purpose, she was certain that Evrain’s intent was far worse. She stood and smoothed her dress while the large man grabbed her arm and pulled her to him.

“She is not for sale; be on your way, Sir.” He gave a curt, polite nod, though Anna knew that it was more of an insult than a courtesy.

“Every woman has a price. Surely, Sir, she cannot be that good.” Evrain smiled and pulled on his beard.

“Today you have met one without. Good day to you, Sir.” The man guided Anna around Evrain and up the stairs.

“Please do not sell me to that man!” Anna begged, when they reached a room. “He had a look upon his face that makes me ill.”

The man raised an eyebrow. “Though you know not my intent, you beg me not to sell you?”

“You did not see the way he looked at me.” Anna sat down in the large chair near the window.

“I should guess the way many men look at you.” The man walked to the chair near the hearth and sat as well.

“I would not know, Sir,” Anna said softly, without looking at him. She had never had anyone look at her, man or woman, that she could recall.

“Have you never had a man look at you?” His voice sounded more curious than condescending and Anna looked over at him.

“You are the first man who has ever paid me mind,” she shrugged, then unsure of how to continue. He was quite handsome to look at; that was true, but it was maddening that he would not tell her what he was planning.

“I find that hard to believe with the mouth on you.” The man straightened and stretched his long legs out in front of him.

“I should explain, then, that I am usually left to my own devices. I do not intentionally speak with anyone.” Anna moved her hair off her shoulders and rolled them. She was growing tired, and she was truly not used to speaking to anyone at all.

“That would also explain your mouth,” he scoffed. “You should not speak to anyone else, is that clear?”

“That sounds like an order, and I do not take orders.” Anna crossed her arms in front of her chest.

The man showed a very small smile. “Oh, you will learn to, but tonight you go to sleep. We have a long journey still ahead of us.”

Anna said nothing, as she pulled her legs up underneath her. She certainly did not want to learn to take orders from this man, no matter what his purpose. She desperately wanted him to return her to her village, but a small stirring inside of her wondered if he had something else in mind. The tales of brutal men, much like the ones that had stolen her innocence, had been told to her by Sir John, but truly this man had yet to touch her in an unsavory way. If he were really planning to cause her harm, surely he would have done so by now! Anna looked over at him and then back to her lap. She sighed deeply, and let the effects of the ale and the ride put her to sleep.


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