Her Barbarian Master:Forbidden Love (Alpha Male Master Series Book 2)(11)

By: Maggie Carpenter

"You arrived at just the right time," Sampson declared. "I was going to send Layla's brother to your house to fetch you."

"And why is that?" her father asked.

"We have visitors. Please, come in."

Serenity followed her father inside, and raising her eyes to see who else was there, she could not believe she was looking at Killian's tall muscled body. Her mouth fell dry, her heart leapt in her chest, and she could feel a searing heat burn across her face. Would the spanking and erotic punishment she'd suffered be announced to the room? Was she about to be completely humiliated?

"The other culprit," a husky voice boomed.

She'd been so shocked by Killian's presence she hadn't seen Bastian standing a few feet away, and she darted her gaze across to the barbarian leader.

"Bastian, I'm surprised to see you," her father said, "and I apologize most sincerely for my daughter's bad behavior."

"We were discussing an appropriate punishment for Layla."

"Serenity deserves to be disciplined as well. What is it you have in mind, Bastian?"

"Our cook's helper has hurt her wrist. The floor needs scrubbing, the counters cleaned, and many vegetables peeled and chopped."

"I was planning on returning the apples," Sampson interjected, pointing to the fruit sitting on the table, "but Bastian has very kindly agreed that Layla can pay for them by working, along with some added duties for penance."

While listening to the men talk, Serenity had been staring at Killian, her blue eyes filled with panic, silently begging him not to speak of what had happened between them.

"A good dose of hard work might teach them both a well-deserved lesson," her father continued. "If you agree, I think Serenity should join her."

Though the thought of being on her hands and knees scrubbing a floor while Killian loomed over her was mortifying, to her great relief he hadn't spoken. At one point she thought she'd seen a slight nod of his head, as though he'd heard her mute plea and had kept quiet for her benefit, but being in his presence was making her pulse race, and she could feel a warm flood between her legs. She was deeply drawn to him, and she hated it. Why, of all the people in the world, was she attracted to him? She should despise him for what he'd done to her, and a part of her did, but another part of her ached to call him Master again, and she found herself wondering how it would feel to have his hands roam across her body.

"Then we will expect to see you both tomorrow morning," Bastian said sternly, moving his eyes from Layla to Serenity, then back again. "You'll be staying through the day, and will clean up after our evening meal. Don't worry, you'll be fed and watered, then one of my men will see you home."

"Bastian, before you go," Sampson said quietly, "thank you again for the provisions. I'll have the spears made and deliver them to the compound in the next few days. "

"We cannot let the misbehavior of two willful young women undermine the harmony we have developed. If I'd know you were in such trouble I would have asked for the blades before now. Should any of the other villagers find themselves suffering, you have permission to approach the gate of the compound. Someone will fetch me."

"That is kind of you, Bastian," Sampson said humbly, wondering why, after so many years, the leader of the fearsome tribe seemed to be softening.

"I'm not quite ready to leave," Killian suddenly announced. "These young women have not yet apologized."

They were the first words he'd spoken since Serenity had arrived. Delivered abruptly, they'd startled her, and though she wanted to appear demure and remorseful, she could feel the stirring of the strange defiant force that lived inside her.

"I am sorry, honestly, I am," Layla murmured, her eyes on the floor. "I shouldn't haven't entered the compound at all, and I should never have tried to steal from you."

"And you, Serenity," Killian demanded, stepping forward.

"I accept the punishment, but I'll never be sorry for trying to help my friend."

"Serenity!" her father exclaimed, grabbing her arm, "are you not sorry for breaking the rules?"

"Bastian," she began, shifting her earnest gaze from Killian to the tribe's leader, "you are a warrior. Have you not broken rules to protect your men? Would you not put yourself in harm's way to rescue one of them if he was in trouble?"