At Her Husband's Command

By: Lily Harlem

Chapter One

Ivor pounded his knuckles into the dough, his bones creating small indentations in the mixture as though it were flesh. On and on he kneaded, slapping, swirling, folding, and bashing.

Melody watched, fascinated. Adoring how the tendons beneath his skin contracted and flexed, and the way a snowstorm of flour dusted the dark hairs on his forearms.

Her master had beautiful arms. She could and often did spend hours studying them. Whether he was baking in their cottage kitchen, stringing beans in the garden, or grooming Nell, the mare he’d rescued from Snowdonia several years ago. The way he moved with grace and precision never failed to take her breath away.

She shifted on the leather stool she was sitting on but continued to polish their antique silverware; it had to be ready to lay the table with soon. She found herself wishing she were the slab of dough Ivor was lavishing such attention on. She longed for his hands on her flesh, making her pliant, manipulating her into the shape that suited him best. She wanted to surrender to his masculinity, allow him to determine how she should receive her pleasure today.

He looked up and caught her staring.

Melody pressed her lips together and averted her eyes. She knew she shouldn’t be daydreaming about sex, not when they had so much to do to prepare for their guests who would be arriving in a few short hours.

“I think you’re being a bad girl,” he said, his voice low and husky. He didn’t pause in his bread making.

“I’m doing exactly as you instructed me, Sir.”

“With your body, yes, but not with your mind.”

There was no answer to that. Melody had indeed been disobedient with her mind. Denying it would be futile and garner only a sterner punishment.

Ivor picked up the bread and dropped it into a loaf tin. After wiping his hands on a blue striped cloth, he then tucked the dough into a warm corner of their large farmhouse kitchen to proof.

Melody’s attention drifted to his arse. Today he wore old jeans. They were faded in all the right places and hung low on his hips. The back left pocket was missing, just the scars of the stitching remained. He had much nicer jeans, designer ones, but this pair was a favourite for weekends. Not that she was complaining. Ivor had the kind of arse all women, and many men, admired. High and pert with indents on the sides and the colour of pale coffee. His skin tone never changed, for unlike her he’d never been spanked, never had rouged hand marks claiming him or a cane slicing over his skin.

“Melody,” he said, turning and placing his hands on his hips.

“Yes, Sir.” She swallowed and a zing of pleasure flooded her body. She was in trouble again, this time for staring at him with desire in her eyes when they had no time for shenanigans.

“We have lots to do; the crab cakes are yet to be made and you have the table to set.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“So why are you giving me suggestive looks?” He raised his left eyebrow.

“I’m sorry… I just…”

“You just what?”

“I just was thinking how cleverly you made the bread, how you massaged and pressed and rubbed until it did exactly what you wanted it to.”

“And had a ridiculous thought, right?”

She nodded.

“Tell me.”

She hesitated. It was foolish to want to be a supple collection of ingredients, she knew that. And she wasn’t sure if she could articulate it.

He smiled. It was the kind of smile that sent a shiver up her spine and made every hair root on her scalp tingle.

“You want to be that bread,” he said. “Don’t you?”

“It’s silly.” She glanced away.

“Yes, it is.” He reached into the cupboard where they kept the serving trays and bowls. “Go and set the table.”

“Yes, Sir.” Melody scooted down from the stool and rushed into their dining room.

She loved Ivor so much. He was her everything. The man who made her life complete.

The dining room was a beautiful, long rectangular shape. Painted scarlet, it had a large inglenook fireplace that was primed with kindling and logs. The elegant bay window looked across their large front garden then down into the valley. Their home was private and secluded and their nearest neighbours were over a mile away.

It was their dream house. No nosy busybodies wanting to know what they were up to, why she was crying out, and wondering how she tolerated such treatment from her husband.

Treatment she adored because it was a symbol of their deep respect and understanding of each other. Okay, it wasn’t for everyone, but living this lifestyle put the icing on the cake of their marriage as far as Melody was concerned.

She smoothed a crease from the black satin tablecloth she’d carefully ironed earlier, and straightened the antique candelabra she’d set in the middle.