Arrested By Love

By: Kathryn R. Blake

When he'd flashed his lights, Tiffany had pulled off to a relatively deserted park area near the school. He knew he could dispense her punishment without attracting the attention of anything more than a few nearby birds and squirrels--no matter how much she screamed, begged and cried. And he intended to deliver every swat he threatened.

This time he wouldn't be dissuaded by tearful pleas or cries of pain. His darling girl was going to learn there were consequences for her reckless behavior and breaking the law. Although, admittedly he had been intrigued by her proposition.

Crossing his arms over his chest he chuckled over the memory of just how surprised she'd been when he stuck his tongue into her mouth. She would have been at least ten times more surprised if he'd let her do exactly what she'd suggested.

Checking his watch again, Kyle walked back and opened the door. "Your five minutes are up, honey. Have you made your decision?"

Watching Tiffany take a deep breath, Kyle was not all that surprised when she said, "Look, Kyle, I want to be reasonable about this--"

"I'm very pleased to hear that," he concurred agreeably.

"However, sixty-six swats is not reasonable by any stretch of the imagination."

He shrugged. "I guess this is where you and I will have to agree to disagree."

"It's ludicrous, insane and totally out of the question."

He leaned in closer. "Tiffany Anne Morgan, school zone speed limits are established for a purpose, and there are penalties for violating them. Severe penalties. What's worse is the rest of this neighborhood has a speed limit of 35. So, even if I were to discount the school zone violation, you were still driving ten miles an hour over the limit. In the middle of January. With patches of black ice covering the road. And that, my sweet, is totally unforgiveable and deserving of every swat I give you." When she opened her mouth, he raised a finger to let her know he wasn't finished, yet.

"Furthermore, since your five minutes are up, I'm going to add one swat for every minute you delay in giving me your decision."

"You're insane!" she spat back at him.

He tapped his watch. "Thirty seconds, sweetheart, and we're up to sixty-seven now. Tick tock."

Chapter Two

Tears welled in Tiffany's eyes as she glared at him, but Kyle shook his head. "Though I find your tears distressing, they are not going to sway me this time. You are going to be seriously punished today, one way or the other."

"It's cold," she complained softly.

"Move over," he ordered, sliding in beside her and bringing the door to a near close. The backdoors on his cruiser did not have any handles, so he couldn't shut the door all the way, however, he could help make her more comfortable. Reaching down, he retrieved the blanket he kept in the car for victims and witnesses who would occasionally go into shock, and wrapped it around her shoulders. "Better?" he asked, using his thumb to wipe away a couple of new tears.

"How can you be so nice to me one minute, then threaten to beat me black and blue the next?" she asked with a sniffle.

"Trust me. You'll be sore, but there won't be a bruise on you."

Her head jerked up at that. "You plan to use that fire in a bottle stuff you have that's masked as a peppermint-scented lotion on me. Don't you?"

"It'll prevent any bruising," he told her, resolved to keep that from happening.

"I think I'd rather be black and blue."

He brushed another tear from her cheek. "You might, but I wouldn't. So, you're overruled on that one, too, I fear."

"You don't get two votes to my one," she declared, scowling at him.

He tapped her on the nose. "In matters that concern your safety and well-being, sweetheart, you don't get any votes at all."

Giving a wince and a tiny squirm, she asked, "Can't we negotiate on this?"

He shook his head. "Not this time, I'm afraid." He checked his watch again. "You're up to sixty-eight now, Tiffany. So, I suggest you make up your mind soon."

"I can't do it," she finally said on a whine. "I'd rather spend a night in jail."

He gently swiped his thumb along her chin. "I understand completely. I don't agree with your decision, even though I do understand it," he said, giving the door a small push to open it. "You will be allowed one phone call when we get to the station. I suggest you call your dad, first. He's going to be pretty upset by this, I'm afraid."

He started to step out and shut the door, when she cried, "Kyle!"

Turning back, he gazed down at her. "Yes?"

She crumpled upon seeing his resolved expression, then started to cry in earnest. "Okay. I'll do it," she finally managed to get out.

Arching a questioning eyebrow at her he asked, "You're sure?"

She nodded her head. "Could you at least unfasten the cuffs first."

He considered it for a moment. Having her cuffed would ensure she kept her hands out of the way, but she'd struggle against them to get free, which could hurt her wrists badly. He gave a little circling motion with his finger, and she obediently turned her back to him. When he unlocked and removed the cuffs from her, she promptly covered her face with her hands.