Kidnapping His Duchess

It was the usual fare of a BDSM romance: a rakehell duke and an innocent bride, mutually trapped in a reluctant but necessary marriage. In the early days they managed some dubcon kinky sex, but it took them a long time to find an emotional center of mutual goodwill and admiration. But now, at last, they’ve managed the trick:

When they were packed and ready to leave on their Welsh adventure, he presented the rope to Ophelia, and told her to hold out her hands.

“Is this when the kidnapping starts?” she asked.

He took her offered hands and held them together. “Perhaps.” He met her gaze. “Or perhaps it started that night I first swept you up onto my horse. I’m glad you’re being so trusting now.”

“It’s because I know you won’t really hurt me.”

He tied the rope securely about her wrists, then swept her into his arms.

“Let the kidnapping commence,” he declared.

“May I struggle a little?” his wife asked.

“Of course. I think you’d better.”

To his alarm — and amusement — she set up an impressive fuss, squirming and beating his chest with her bound hands. Rochelle stood by the door, trying, and failing, to hide a smile.

“Help me,” said Ophelia. “The marquess is stealing me off to Wales.”

“Yes, my lady,” said the servant, dropping a curtsey. “I believe it is so.”

Wescott told her to stop struggling on the staircase, so they didn’t both tumble to their deaths, but once they were at the bottom, she put up another token fight. “My parents?” he asked a footman.

“At luncheon in the dining room, my lord.”

It was a testament to the Abbey’s servants, or his own imperfect reputation, that none of them expressed the slightest unease at their master kidnapping his trussed-up wife. He carried Ophelia into the dining room to find his parents chatting over a light lunch.

“Good morning to you both,” he said in greeting.

His father looked up and blinked at Ophelia’s bound hands, tilting his head. “Goodness,” he muttered to his wife. “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

Wescott ignored that comment, and his mother’s pink blush. “I’m just letting you both know that I’m kidnapping Ophelia and spiriting her off to Wales.”

His mother clapped her hands in delight. “Oh, Jack, what a capital idea.”

He frowned at her. “Mama, this is supposed to be exciting and dangerous, so please pretend my wife is in mortal danger.”

“Of course she is,” she agreed at once, pulling a sad face for Ophelia’s benefit. “You poor girl.”

“I don’t suppose there’s any point in resisting anymore,” his wife replied. “Wescott won’t relent.”

“How awful of him.” His mother eyed the looped ropes about her wrists. “I pray he is merciful even though he’s kidnapping you. Fortunately for you, Wales is lovely at this time of year.”

“Mama,” Wescott said in exasperation.

His father nodded. “If you asked me for kidnapping advice, son, I’d tell you to take your helpless victim to the cottage. That would be an adventure.”

“I was already going to do that.”

“Well, then, it seems you have it all in hand. Why don’t you stop for some lunch with us before you go?”

“We’ve asked Mrs. Samuelson to pack us a basket so we can get underway,” said Ophelia, who was not very good at playing a kidnapping victim.

“Go on, then,” said his father. “Before your arms get too tired, and you let your wife get away.”

“Thank you, Ophelia,” his mother added, “for being such a gracious hostess to us during our stay. If only we had the capability to rescue you. Unfortunately, those knots about your wrists look too complex to untie.”

“They are,” his wife replied. “Ah well, I suppose we’ll see you all again when we get back.”

Wescott ignored his father’s grin and his mother’s titter as he carried Ophelia from the room.

From the book Rival Desires, by Annabel Joseph.

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