Kira’s palm came down hard across a bouncing red rear amidst incoherent yowls that could have been pleas for clemency, dire threats or anything in between. She was sitting on a fallen tree and she had Atrocious held firmly over her lap, one iron banded arm wrapped around the young thief’s waist as she belabored her bottom with impressive punitive enthusiasm.
Taking no part in the punishment, Ayla stood a short distance away, scanning the surrounding area for soldiers, bandits and other nasties that inhabited the region. Her expression was impassive, in spite of the blow she’d taken to the jaw earlier she seemed to be taking no joy in what was happening to Atrocious.
“You do not lie to me!” Kira emphasized every word with another slap to the bright red rear caught over her thigh. Whether the lesson was taking was debatable, but whether she was making an impression was not. Atrocious was wailing, a steady cry that had started several minutes earlier and showed no signs of stopping.
“You could have gotten us all killed, you know that?” The warrior’s muscular arm swept down in a punitive arc, catching the lower rise of Atrocious’ round rear with a loud cracking blow that echoed around the clearing. Atrocious’ shrieks rose to a new pitch as she kicked her legs frantically.
“Kira…” Ayla’s voice floated low on the twilight breeze. “She’s had enough.”
“She’s had enough when I say she’s had enough,” Kira replied, grimly applying another slap to Atrocious’ behind.
The witch and the warrior’s eyes met, Kira’s flashing with anger, Ayla’s cool and collected. A silent argument was conducted in their gazes, an argument Atrocious weighed in on with inconsolable sobs.
“Fine,” Kira growled, setting Atrocious on her feet. “Let her get away with it then.”
Suddenly freed, Atrocious stumbled away from the warrior clutching her bare bottom. Her britches were around her knees and she was entirely exposed to both Ayla and Kira, but she didn’t care about that, she only cared about rubbing the unholy sting out of her behind. Tears continued to rush down her cheeks, tears she hated but could not control. Kira hadn’t even given her a chance to explain. The moment they’d been sure the soldiers had not followed them, Kira had grabbed her and started whacking away.
What Kira probably hadn’t counted on was the fact that Atrocious wasn’t cowed by what had happened to her, on the contrary the assault on her bottom had done nothing but enrage her. When she regained a modicum of self-possession she yanked her pants up roughly, wincing as the rough material slid over her swollen behind. “How dare you?” She bit the words out when the tears abated enough to allow her to do so.
Kira smirked unpleasantly. “Easily. Open your mouth again and I’ll show you exactly how much I dare.”
Atrocious began to reply, but Ayla cut in. “Enough,” she said, taking Atrocious by the hand and drawing her away from the warrior. “Enough from both of you.”
“She still hasn’t told us why they wanted her,” Kira pointed out.
“I don’t have to tell you anything,” Atrocious said, her eyes glistening with tears and rage. “I told you to let me go. I told you. But no, you wanted to keep me like a pet and now there’s trouble you’re blaming me. Well it’s your own stupid fault.”
There was a heavy silence as Atrocious glared at Ayla and Kira. They made no reply. What reply could they make? She was right, they had treated her as less than human and they had paid the price for doing so.
“Does anyone have any objection to me leaving now?” Atrocious growled the sentence as she yanked her hand out of Ayla’s grasp. “No? I didn’t think so.” With as much dignity as she could muster, Atrocious pulled herself up to her full height and strode out of the clearing without a second look back at the two women who’d squabbled over her like two overgrown brats fighting for a prize doll only to turn tail and run at the first sign of danger. So much for Mistresses.