The Pleasure of his Punishment

By: J.S. Scott

     It all started over a cat.

Holly West cursed as she jumped and threw her leg over the ornate, black, metal fence. She wasn't tall, but she could jump high enough to grip the top and pull herself over. She landed with a graceful leap to the ground on the opposite side and frowned as she looked back at the offending barrier. It had sharp metal posts along the top that could have ruptured several vital organs.

Her brow continued to wrinkle as she gazed at her camera and equipment on the other side of the fence. She hated to leave it, but wasn't about to scale this fence trying to carry her equipment. It would just have to wait until she returned. It was a beautiful summer day and it wasn't likely to get stolen. Her small log home and this opulent. extravagant residence were the only ones in the general area.

She lived in the perfect place for her work as a photographer. This thriving mountain community was home to some of the most breathtaking vistas and harbored some fantastic wildlife. Her small studio in town and various other types of contracted photography paid the bills...but photographing outdoor shots, especially wildlife, was her real passion.

She turned from the fence and started striding toward what sounded like a cat yowling. Holly had a weakness for cats. With two of her own that helped keep her loneliness at bay, she just couldn’t ignore the pleading, desperate cry. It sounded like a feline in distress.

She had been out shooting pictures of the mountains when she had heard the ear piercing, plaintive sound that had prompted her to make her way in this direction. It lead her to the boundaries of the residence of Logan Chandler.

She shivered even though the early summer day was warm. She knew him. Who didn’t know Logan Chandler, the young, billionaire owner of Chandler Corporation? This was his vacation home. As the towering, massive, two story brick home came into view she had to wonder what his main residence looked like when he had a vacation home that looked more like a resort than a residence.

Logan was her nearest neighbor and she had run into him during his visits to his vacation house. He was an avid skier that visited often in the winter and she noticed that he seemed to be spending more and more time here in the summer. She met up with him fairly often during his visits...but always by accident. They frequented some of the same hiking trails and it wasn’t unusual to run into him during his time here in the summer. Even after changing her route several times, Holly still seemed to encounter Logan Chandler far more often than she would have desired.

It wasn’t that she was exactly avoiding him. Well…okay…maybe she was going slightly out of her way to decrease the chances of meeting up with him.

Logan wasn’t unpleasant. He was, in fact, quite the opposite. The man was immensely charming, intelligent and so incredibly handsome that he was the main event – actually the only event – in every one of her hottest erotic fantasies, but she couldn’t accept any of his frequent invitations to go out with him. The last thing she needed was to date a playboy billionaire. She definitely wasn't a socialite and she wasn't into one night stands. Some day...when she was ready...she wanted a committed relationship with a man she didn't have to try…and fail…to fix.

Not that Logan Chandler needed fixing. He was just too compelling...too handsome...too successful. Oh hell...he was just too much of everything.

Maybe that’s why you refuse him. He’s a guy who actually has his shit together. That’s pretty frightening for a woman like you.

Ridiculous. She wasn’t afraid of Logan…she just didn’t want to get involved, she tried to convince herself as she approached the tree containing the livid cat.

The crying feline was stuck in a tree. It was a cottonwood that ran right next to the brick structure.

Holly sat back and evaluated the situation. She would have to jump for the lowest branch and pull herself up. The cat wasn't that high...but high enough. She had on sturdy hiking boots, but her cut off jeans and tank top were hardly great protection against the branches.

She took her dark blonde ponytail and stuck it under her top in the back so that it wouldn't get snarled while she tried to wade through the dangerous route that she was mapping in her mind.

The black cat was young. Not really a kitten, but not a mature cat either. It looked down at her with a pathetic, helpless look as it continued to whine.

"All right, all right. I'm on my way." She sighed aloud as she jumped for the lower branch.

She was such a dupe.

Holly navigated the branches carefully, trying not to get herself scratched up during her rescue attempt. She had to move carefully to find footholds strong enough to support her.

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