The Greatest Gift
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from the book series The Oswain Tales and I'm not making any money from this fic
Summary: After Oswain becomes King of Alamore, Dorinda is brought back to life. Unsure of what else to do, she goes to see Oswain – the man she once loved and was betrothed to. But instead of the execution she'd expected, something unexpected happens... Contains spanking
Warning(s): Spanking; spoilers for the series the Oswain Tales by John Houghton
Author's Note: Just a short ficlet that I decided to write after thinking about a book series I adored as a child
It had been easier than Dorinda had thought to sneak into the castle. She still wasn't quite sure how she was alive again. She'd been dead. More than that... she'd been completely destroyed. And no part of her could say that wasn't deserved. Hagbane... the darkest part of her; the part of her that she'd never thought could exist. The witch was gone now, but her presence still lingered.
If she was completely honest with herself, Dorinda hadn't known what to do. After giving it a lot of thought, she'd finally decided to find Oswain. He was still alive – she knew it – and what she'd heard had only served to confirm that idea.
But now that Dorinda was inside the hallway of the palace, she wasn't quite sure what to do next. There were servants moving around as well as a few guards. It was very different to the darkness of Hagbane's palace, where Grogs and Grims moved around everywhere, hulking and threatening. It was better here. There was light everywhere.
Dorinda adjusted the hood over her head and then paused when she was stopped by a tall woman with grey hair and a lined, worn face. The woman thrust a pile of bedsheets at her. "Here. Take these to the King's room." Dorinda must have looked confused, because the woman's face softened a little. "Are you new here?"
Dorinda slowly nodded. She didn't quite know what to do or say. She simply listened as the woman told her how to get to the King's chambers and then started in that direction, clutching the blankets tightly to her chest. When she got to the door, she raised her hand and knocked softly.
"Come in," a voice called, deeply familiar.
Taking a deep breath, Dorinda opened the door and stepped through into the large, spacious room. Keeping her head lowered, she started to go to the bed – but a hand on her shoulder stopped her. "There is no need to hide yourself," Oswain's voice said.
Dorinda carefully placed the blankets on the bed and then turned. She kept her head lowered, so the first thing she saw were Oswain's riding boots. Perhaps she would have left it at that, but something in Oswain's voice made her realise that he knew... or at least suspected. Slowly, she let her gaze travel up his body, taking in his trousers and tunic, offset with a cloak clasped at the front with a broach.
When Oswain's hands reached towards her, Dorinda flinched, but held her ground. Slowly, almost reverently, Oswain pushed the hood back from her head. "It is you..." he said quietly, one hand tangling in her long hair. He used that grip to pull her close to him, lowering his head to press his lips to hers.
This wasn't one of the sweet, tentative kisses Oswain had given her while they'd been betrothed. This kiss was hard, almost punishingly so. Dorinda couldn't help the gasp as he nipped at her lower lip. The hand that wasn't in her hair slid down her back. Dorinda shivered as his fingertips ghosted down her spine, flinching as his hand came to rest on her behind.
Oswain slowly pulled back from the kiss, but he didn't move either of his hands. He looked into Dorinda's eyes, moving his hand from her hair to tenderly stroke her cheek. "I'm glad you're here..." he said softly.
Dorinda closed her eyes, leaning into his touch. "But... everything I did..."
"What happened was not your fault. Not entirely, anyway. You shouldn't have been so careless." Oswain's thumb gently stroked her cheek and slid over her lips, stroking the sensitive skin. He led her slowly over to the bed, sitting down and pulling her to stand in front of him.
Dorinda felt her heart sink as Oswain let go of her to carefully pull off her cloak and place it on the bed beside him. She wanted to protest what she knew was going to happen, but the words stuck in her throat. She couldn't say or do anything to resist as Oswain took hold of her wrist and pulled her across his lap.
It had been a long time since Dorinda had worn the skirts and dresses a princess required. She wasn't sure if that was a good or bad thing as Oswain's hand gently rested on the seat of her trousers. Would she have come back if she'd known this was the fate that awaited her at his hands? She suspected it wouldn't have made a difference at all.
"This punishment is not for those crimes committed by you as Hagbane," Oswain said, hand gently rubbing Dorinda's back. "You were under the influence of dark forces. You were, however, foolishly naïve and trusting. You should have known better than to listen to the stranger who entered the kingdom – particularly after I warned you about allowing her to influence you."
Dorinda swallowed, struggling to speak around the sudden lump that had appeared in her throat. "I'm sorry..."
"I know." There was a note of sadness in Oswain's voice as he stopped rubbing her back and seemed to lift his hand – at least, it left Dorinda's body. "This is not what I would normally choose to do as soon as I found you again – but I refuse to allow what happened to fester between us. I believe this is needed to allow us to be able to resume our relationship."
Dorinda nodded, shifting a little across Oswain's back. The next moment, she felt his hands on her hips, tugging her gently backwards. Her stomach rested on his hard thighs and she was aware of how easy it was going to be for Oswain to punish her, but she felt far safer than she had in a long while.
It took a few moments for Oswain to begin and Dorinda wondered what was going through his mind. It had been a long time since they'd been close like this and she was glad they were – even though she was about to be spanked.
When the first smack landed firmly on her behind, Dorinda jumped. She'd forgotten that Oswain's hands were hard and callused from long years of training with his sword. She'd also forgotten just how much being spanked had hurt – although this was far from the first time Oswain had had her across his knees.
It didn't take long for Dorinda's backside to be heated up to a an uncomfortable temperature. As Oswain's hand continued to smack down hard onto her tender cheeks, it didn't take long for the first hot tears to spring to Dorinda's eyes, slipping down her cheeks.
Oswain paused, taking hold of Dorinda's hips once more to ease her trousers down. He then tipped her forward over his lap slightly to expose the tender creases of her sit spots. Knowing what was coming, Dorinda clenched her fists tightly.
Oswain landed some very sharp swats to Dorinda's sit spots and more tears began falling. Her bottom felt like it was burning and it didn't take long for the first sobs to begin catching in her throat. This wasn't anything close to the pain she'd caused as Hagbane, but it was still painful.
If possible, Oswain's swats seemed to get much harder. "I told you that this spanking is not for what you did as Hagbane," he said sternly.
A small part of Dorinda wondered how Oswain knew what was going through her mind, but the rest of her was far more concerned with the pain from the spanking. She whimpered softly at the steadily growing pain, closing her eyes as the tears began falling hard and fast.
When Oswain finally stopped, Dorinda couldn't stop crying. As he brought her into his arms, all she could do was cling to him, her tears soaking into his tunic.
Oswain rocked her gently, one hand smoothing her hair. He murmured soft words of love and forgiveness until Dorinda's sobs quietened down to sniffles and she could hear the tenderness in his voice.
"I'm glad you're back, my precious love," Oswain whispered. "Defeating Hagbane wasn't worth the loss of you."
"But... she was still a part of me..." Dorinda whispered when she could finally speak through her tears.
"The worst part of you." Oswain shifted back onto the bed, Dorinda cradled in his arms. "But not as you are now." He pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead. "I can't tell you to stop blaming yourself – but I can tell you that there are ways you can make up for what happened. Stay with me and help me rule."
"Do you want me?"
"More than anything." Oswain touched Dorinda's chin, lifting it so that he could kiss her lips – this time softer and gentler. "I never stopped loving you. Be my wife – without the mistakes of the past darkening our time together now."
Dorinda wound her arms around Oswain's neck, leaning in to kiss him deeply. "I want that. Yes," she said simply. "I will be your wife. You're what I want most in the world." Despite her best efforts, she yawned, lifting a hand to cover her mouth.
Oswain smiled, his arms tightening around her. "You need to sleep," he said softly. "A lot has happened during the past few days. We can talk about the wedding when you wake up."
"Will you stay with me?" Dorinda asked sleepily.