Her Game, His Rules by Saundra Brookes
Amanda Bair has a tough exterior and a well-honed habit of using people, traits that serve her well in her career and her shallow relationships with men. Until now. Just as she’s about to take off on vacation, she learns that she’s been passed over for promotion. At a party that evening she meets Kyle, a retired military officer who is in town to lead an outdoor training seminar for a local outfitting company. Depressed about the promotion, she decides that a week in the great outdoors with Kyle would make for a nice vacation and would surely help her mood. She manipulates an invitation from a reluctant Kyle, telling as many lies as necessary to convince him that she’s up to the physical demands.
However, upon arriving at the private wilderness site, Amanda learns that she’s misinterpreted a few details about the training seminar. The other participants are not due to arrive for two weeks, and now she’s alone in the woods with Kyle. After spending just a few hours with Kyle, it’s clear that this ‘city girl’ with her couture clothes and fancy make-up has severely overestimated her physical fitness. But this is what she asked for, and she’ll have to live with the consequences. She quickly reverts to her usual manipulative tactics, and abruptly earns a session over Kyle’s lap, where she’ll learn a few lessons about lies and disrespect with a first ass-blistering spanking. It certainly won’t be her last!
From then on, the no-nonsense Kyle gives her the training she really needs, and perhaps always craved: absolute submission to a man. However, as Amanda’s rebellious behavior increases, so do the painful consequences. While her rebellion allows her to hide a long-held sexual secret, it’s one that Kyle will discover on his own. But just as Amanda fully surrenders to Kyle, he abruptly declares that their time in the wilderness is over, and he has already made his decision about their future.
By three o’clock that afternoon, Amanda knew she was in way over her head. Both feet had blisters, her calves throbbed, her knees felt like rubber, her face and shoulders were sunburned, her scalp was sweaty and itchy, and every bit of elastic on her Hottie Couture outfit was either binding or chafing. Sweat was trickling between her breasts and her ass cheeks, distracting her to no end, and one time she was sure Kyle had seen her reach around to scratch her butt when the sweat tickled. Her Hottie Couture had caught on so many tree trunks and shrubs that she quit counting the snags. She began to curse her stupidity; she could have worn a ballet tutu and looked less ridiculous than she did now. She tried to keep a brave face, but knew she couldn’t walk much more without collapsing in pain and exhaustion.
“There’s the shack,” Kyle said. “Not a moment too soon for you. Right, Miss?”
“Oh, I’m fine, just fine,” she said, wheezing.
What she wouldn’t give to jump into an ice-cold swimming pool, have a two-hour massage, dine on steak and a huge salad, and sleep for two days straight.
“Well, we’ll just pick up your pack and get moving again then,” Kyle said as he shoved the front door open.
Amanda looked at the shack and thought she might cry. The beautiful, welcoming place she had envisioned was nothing more than a ramshackle lean-to constructed of rotting two-by-fours, a mere storage shed. Through the open door she could see boat paddles, fishing gear, a gasoline can, and other equipment she couldn’t identify.
“What do you mean, my pack?” she asked, wearily.
“Don’t tell me you don’t even know—,” he said.
He sighed, and continued more patiently.
“Fishing lures, a blanket, some cooking supplies, food, your canteen. You know, your pack. Surely you don’t expect me to carry everything.”
“But I already have a pack,” she said.
Kyle rolled his eyes and brought a backpack to her that looked to be as big as she was. She viewed it with disbelief.
“Miss, if you want some privacy to change your clothes before setting out, you can step inside the doorway here, or maybe go off in the woods a little. I won’t look,” he said, with a small smile.
“Kyle, I have to tell you, I just don’t understand any of this,” she said, trying not to sound whiny. “If we’re not staying at the shack, where in the world are we staying?”
“The map shows we have about two more hours to go before we reach the lake. Then, we’ll pitch our tents, have some dinner, and stop for the day. Fine with you, Miss?”
“Are the other people already at the lake?”
“What other people?”
“You said you were leading a group this week,” she said.
“I’m starting the prep work this week,” Kyle said. “And judging by the way things are going, it’s going to take me longer than I’d planned.”
“I just don’t understand one bit of this!” she said, shaking her head back and forth. “I thought we were meeting up with other people. I thought we were staying indoors somewhere. I thought you were running a training of some kind. I thought there would be facilities — showers and toilets. I thought there would be porters to carry all of our equipment and set up the campsites ahead of us. Wasn’t this supposed to be a group thing? Weren’t we going to be hiking and fishing and doing cook-outs?”
“And singing ‘Kumbayah’ around a campfire, and telling ghost stories?” Kyle said, smiling.
“Don’t you dare laugh at me! You misled me. Admit it!”
“I did nothing of the sort. Now if we don’t get a move-on and get to the campsite in time to pitch the tents and eat dinner, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll spend the night hungry and uncomfortable.”
“What kind of game are you playing here?” Amanda said.
Kyle smiled and shook his head.
“I gotta hand it to you. That’s about the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long time.”
His voice turned hard and his eyes darkened.
“Now step inside the shack, change your clothes, put on this pack, and start walking. Got it?”
“Why do you keep telling me to change my clothes?”
“That pack is heavy, and it’s going to be rubbing on your shoulders. Change into a shirt and some walking shorts, and you’ll do a lot better.”
Amanda wondered how long she could hide the fact that she’d brought no tees or hiking shorts.
“Give me the pack, please, and let’s just go.”
“Suit yourself,” Kyle said.
Kyle pulled the pack up by a shoulder loop, held it vertical, and waited. She grabbed the loop and tried to hoist the pack in the air. She cried out in pain and the pack dropped back to the ground. Amanda again attempted to pick up the pack, but her arms were so sore and her legs were so wobbly, she couldn’t muster the strength to even swing it around to her back. She stifled a groan as she strained a muscle in her bicep. She looked over at Kyle, who was closing up the last of the equipment into his pack. If he noticed her struggling, he didn’t let on.
Kyle closed the door to the shack, turned, picked up his pack and inserted his arms into it with seemingly no effort at all. He stepped off the porch and walked toward the path. Amanda dragged the pack over to the side of the shack, turned it around so that the straps were facing her, and crouched down to slip her arms through the loops on each side. She almost collapsed from the exertion of straightening her knees to stand. Kyle was already well on the path when he glanced back at her. She barely maintained her balance while walking toward him, and knew she wouldn’t be able to continue much farther. She struggled to even keep Kyle in her sight ahead of her.
Within minutes, her shoulders were chafing under the straps just as he had warned. She tried to slip her hands up under them to lighten some of the weight but cut off the circulation in her fingers. The constant rubbing was further inflaming her sunburn.
Kyle looked over his shoulder at her every few minutes but never slowed his pace. Amanda couldn’t believe he could walk six hours and not look the slightest bit tired; in fact, he appeared almost energized. She, on the other hand, was about to collapse into a sweaty heap on the ground. After a few more minutes of walking, she could no longer see Kyle through her tears.