Summary: Kennedy propositions Tara. Will she be able to handle the results?

Disclaimers: I don't own 'em. Joss does (and he can keep Kennedy).

Spoilers: Um…absolutely nothing from canon. It does mention a few tidbits of plot and possible plot pieces from my fic "Finding Her Way Home."

Rating: NC-17 and beyond *eg*

A/N: A very special thanks to Tim for this particular challenge.

A/N2: Pay attention to the warning, folks. If you don't like a little leather with your sex, go read something else.

A/N3: Dedicated to all the members of the We Hate Kennedy Fan Club

***Warning: Contains mild, but consensual, BDSM ***


Tara trotted into the Training Barn, arms full of towels. The large structure was empty for once. Humming to herself, she restocked the wire shelving unit. She tugged the last towel into alignment, and suddenly found herself pinned to the shelves. "Kennedy," she groaned. "Go away."

"Make me," the husky voice whispered beguilingly.

"Sweetie, hasn't your ego been deflated enough this week?" Tara smirked, unseen, remembering the trouncing the young Potential had suffered at Buffy's hands. "I really don't want to have to hurt you."

Small, tanned hands ran along her arms, caressing, teasing. "Ta-ra," Kennedy sing-songed. "I've been doing my homework. You're the Good Witch to Willow's Bad. You'd never hurt me." Hot breath seeped through Tara's thin top where theKennedy's mouth rested. "But, I'm very sure I could make all your hurts go away. I'm very good with my hands."

"Kennedy." Tara was done playing. The girl had made everyone's life a living hell for the past month. "Let me go. Now."

"I don't want to." Sharp teeth raked along Tara's back.

In spite of herself, Tara shuddered.

Self satisfaction leaked Kennedy's husky voice. "Something tells me you don't want me to, either. Come on, Tara. You aren't seeing anyone. Since Willow spiked the Council's plan for me, I'm unattached."

"My body doesn't make decisions. My mind does." Clamping down on the desire flooding through her, Tara held firm.

"What the fuck is wrong? I mean, all of you act like I'm diseased." Even before she spun, Tara heard the petulant whine in Kennedy's words, so the outthrust lower lip was no surprise.

Chuckling, Tara let her blue eyes slowly check out the younger girl. "Sweetie, we don't think you're diseased. Use your head. Since you've been here, you've propositioned everyone – including Kirstan and Jennifer. No one wants to be just another conquest."

"I –" Kennedy straightened. "I'm not looking for a conquest."

"Really?" Tara moved around the short Potential, but didn't walk away. "Seems to me you aren't big on commitment. With Buffy and Willow posing as poster children of Slayer/Witch bonding, the girls are looking for something a lot more permanent than what you're offering."

That drew a snort. "You know, I was gonna do the whole marriage thing. I've even got a ring for Willow." A bitter smile twisted Kennedy's lips. "Willow was supposed to be my Witch."

"She's not a possession!" Tara flushed with anger at even the thought. "The Council had no right to make that promise to you. Willow is an individual; she makes her own decisions."

Kennedy smirked. "If I'd gotten there first, she'd have begged to be mine."

Tara couldn't help it. She laughed. "Goddess, you really believe your own press, don't you?"

"Maybe I should show you just how good I am," Kennedy gritted out at the almost-challenge. She moved in close, pressing into Tara, rough hands wrapping around Tara's wrists. "You need some training, I think." White teeth flashed in the dim light. "If you follow directions and are a good girl, I'll demonstrate just how very talented I am."

A cough interrupted the increasingly heated exchange. "Everything OK in here, Tara?" Willow winked at her ex-girlfriend.

"Fine, Willow. Kennedy was just flexing her muscles." Blue eyes met and held green. "Looks like we have a budding Domme on our hands."

Willow grinned. "Oookay." She addressed Kennedy directly. "Just a word of advice, Kenn. Tara is so not a Bottom. Be careful. If she decides to take you on, you will not win." Her eyes darkened, and her face slowly flushed. "But the lessons she teaches aren't always painful."

"What!" Kennedy looked between the two, bewildered. "Tara's a Domme? Please."

"Tara?" Willow inquired. "Should I put up the 'Do Not Disturb' sign or is she just too much trouble to take on?"

Smiling crookedly, Tara considered the question. "She definitely needs a firm hand. I don't know …"

"OK. Let me be very clear. I don't Bottom for anyone," Kennedy declared. "You might just be butch enough to take on someone like Willow, but I am out of your league."

Shaking her head, Willow backed out. "I'll ward the barn, Tara."

"Thanks, sweetie." Tara pivoted until she faced Kennedy directly. "This is your last chance, Kennedy. Walk out the door right now, or you'll be the one getting trained."

"Do your best, Witch." Kennedy delivered her dare with her arms crossed defiantly over her chest.

Tara sighed. "You were warned." She wandered over to the wrestling mats and sat down on a stack. "Let me explain how this works. From now on, any time we are alone, you will call me Mistress, Lady Tara, or my Lady."

"No fucking way!" Kennedy snorted and rolled her eyes.

"That's one," Tara said almost to herself. Expression growing aloof, she gazed at Kennedy. "Strip. Now."

Although the words were quiet, Kennedy could feel their impact. Grinding her teeth, she shook her head.

"Two and three." Tara stood and slowly approached Kennedy. Stopping just shy of touching the shorter girl, she cocked an eyebrow. "I know you think I'm some shy, pathetic, neo-Hippie, but I can and will make you regret the disobedience."

A grin snuck out before Kennedy laughed. "Whatever." She spun around and marched to the large sliding door leading outside. Blue sparks exploded when her hand touched the handle. "Fuck!" Kennedy staggered back, shaking her arm. "Let me out of here," she demanded, glaring over her shoulder.

"Four and five."

The calm, measured voice set the Kennedy off even more. A low growl emanated from her, and she charged Tara. Two steps. It was all Kennedy managed.

Tara flicked her hand, chanting.

Unseen forces latched onto the angry Potential, dragging her across the large barn and pinning her face-first to the wall. Muscles artfully displayed by a tight T-shirt strained and bulged as she fought to get free. "I am so going to make you pay for this, Tara."

"I don't think so, sweetie." Tara wandered over to her captive. "I think you are going to be the one paying. Now," she tapped a slim finger over her lips, "that's six."

"Stop with the fucking counting!"

Tara barely restrained a giggle. Kennedy's command had wavered between a whine and a plea. "Seven." She waited patiently until it was clear no comment was forthcoming. "Very good, Kenn." A warm hand stroked Kennedy's sweat-soaked hair. "I'm going to undo the spell. When that happens, what are you going to do?" The words were crooned into Kennedy's ear.

Kennedy shuddered, arousal spiking through her. Dragging in deep breaths, she tried to come up with an answer. "Ahhh, I…I don't know." A soft sigh played over her ear.

"Eight and nine."

Somewhere inside, Kennedy knew a higher count probably wasn't good. Searching through her scattered thoughts, she replayed the entire conversation and her eyes widened in realization. "When you release me, I'll strip." Proud of herself, she waited for the invisible cuffs to go away.

Instead, a honeyed voice whispered, "Ten."

"What? That's what you told me to do." Kennedy was starting to panic. What the hell did Tara want from her? Oh. Oh, fuck. Words running together, she mumbled, "I'll strip, Lady Tara."

"Better late than never, Kenn." Tara smiled slightly and waved her hand. The bonds fell away and Kennedy slowly turned. A blonde eyebrow rose as the well built body was revealed, clothing dropping piece by piece to the floor. "Hands on your head, Kenn, fingers laced." Her voice was husky, desire straining at her control.

A shuddering groan sounded, but Kennedy did as ordered, a quiet, "Yes, Lady Tara," following.

Tara made a leisurely circle around the blushing Potential. "I truly hope you can be trained, Kenn. Just the sight of you…" Tara leaned down and nipped hard at Kennedy's shoulder.

Kennedy gave a wordless shout, head dropping back, hands starting to slip from their position. "Please, Tara. I mean…" she panted and groaned. "Please, Lady Tara."

"Well, I guess this is progress, but where should your hands be?" Tara's voice snapped.

Eyes dilated and dark with need, Kennedy panted. "On my head, my Lady." She reluctantly replaced her wayward hands, knuckles white as her fingers laced together.

A lazy tongue ran across the Kennedy's shoulder and neck as Tara moved around in front of Kennedy. "See, sweetie? Good behavior means pleasure." She sucked gently at the pulse pounding in the tanned throat. "But when you disobey or resist…" Tara drew back, blue eyes showing disappointment and resolve. "Well, that's brings other sensations. Can you guess what the counting means, my Kenn?"

Kennedy's eyes dropped, unable to hold Tara's gaze. "N-not exactly, my Lady."

"How many times did you refuse my order or address me improperly?" Tara asked softly.

Kennedy sucked in a sharp breath. "Fuck! I…well." The proud head dropped toward her chest. "Ten times, my Lady."

Tara rewarded the proper use of her title by cupping Kennedy's breasts, thumbs massaging the nipples. The flesh hardened under her touch and she felt Kennedy tremble. "Yes, Kenn. Ten times." She withdrew her hands, ignoring the faint whine of protest. "Each number earns you five strokes of whatever toy I choose that day."

"But that's…" Kennedy bit back the words. Tears welled but didn't yet fall. "Yes, Lady Tara," she choked out.

Tara gently drew Kennedy across the barn to the roll of exercise mats. "Palms flat on the mats, Kenn." A smile appeared when Kennedy moved up against the equipment and flattened her hands on the blue mats. "No, sweetie. Like this." Hands gripping Kennedy's hips, she pulled the other girl's feet back a few steps. "Bend over."

For a second, Kennedy stiffened against the soft command. Lip caught between her teeth and a flush crawling up her chest and neck, though, she leaned forward, hands outstretched, resting on the mat.

"Better." Tara walked behind Kennedy. "Spread your legs as wide as you can, Kenn." The small feet slowly, very slowly, slid to the sides. Pressing a soft hand into the small of the Kennedy's back, Tara encouraged her to arch out and present her ass.

"Just like that, sweetie. During your punishment, you will count each stroke, thank me, and ask for the next. If you refuse to do that or you lose count, the punishment starts all over - with penalties." Tara stroked the firm cheeks, massaging them until some of the tension fell from the body stretched in front of her. "Hands and feet remain flat against the floor and the mats. Additional strokes will be added each time you lift one of them. Do you understand the rules?"

Kennedy's breath rasped in her throat. She'd never been this turned on before. "Yes, my Lady. I understand."

Tara rewarded Kennedy. Turning her hand palm up, she held Kennedy's dripping sex, two fingers slipping through the wet folds. She teased, touching and tickling Kennedy's clit and opening for several moments. As Kennedy's body tightened on the edge of release, Tara pulled away. She waited to see Kennedy's reaction and smiled in approval when, despite gasping and rolling her hips, Kennedy didn't protest or try pushing for relief from her need.

Stepping away for a moment, Tara searched the walls for something she could use. The weaponry hanging from hooks was useless, but…The tall cabinet at the back of the room held additional equipment. Sifting through a pile of leather remnants netted her a supple strip roughly eighteen inches long. Although frayed at one end, it would work. Wrapping the damaged end around her hand, Tara headed back over to a waiting Kennedy. "How many strokes have you earned today, Kennedy?"

"Fifty, Lady Tara." Kennedy's voice sounded young and afraid.

Responding to that fear, Tara ran a soft hand down her back. "Shhh, sweetie. We'll go slowly, and if you need to take a breather, you may ask." She kissed the outthrust cheeks, too, noting the tension had returned.

Bravado pushed to the fore. "I'm ready, Lady Tara. I won't need a break."

Glad Kennedy couldn't see her eyes roll, Tara stepped to Kennedy's left. "Ask for the first stripe, sweetie."

"Lady Tara, may I have the first stroke?" The words seemed forced out through clenched teeth.

"You may, Kenn, but I really suggest you try to relax. It will be so much worse as tense as you are." A slow breath and two quickly bent knees answered the kind words. When Kennedy had returned to her original pose, Tara swung her strap with a will. The leather left an inch-wide mark on at the crest of Kennedy's right cheek.

The tanned body jerked violently at the contact, but Kennedy's hands and feet remained planted. "One, Lady Tara, may I have another?" Already, tears choked the husky voice. Keeping her pace slow and deliberate, Tara placed the blows in overlapping groups of ten. Kennedy shuddered as the tenth stripe landed with a sharp report but managed to gasp out the required dialogue.

Tara moved to Kennedy's right side for the next set, swinging with a sharp backhand motion to ensure both cheeks received equal attention. By the time she landed the thirtieth blow of the strap, she was both amazed that Kennedy hadn't begged for a break and frustrated with her stubbornness. Sobs tore from Kennedy and the count was mostly incoherent sound. With sure movements, Tara stopped. A finger gently traced one of the welts marring the crimson ass. "Doing OK, sweetie?"

A barely audible answer floated back. "Yes, my Lady."

"I'm very proud of you, Kennedy." Tara bent and kissed and licked several of the marks left by the leather. "You are taking this extremely well, and I'd like to reward you." Cool breath wafted over the wet trails. "Sound good, sweetie?"

"Yes." It was more groan than agreement. "Yes, Lady Tara," Kennedy whispered.

"Keep counting, Kenn." Tara began to lightly pepper hand spanks over the well punished flesh, listening and smiling at the firmer vocal response. At the promised fifty, Tara rested her hand on the hot flesh, kneading it for a minute. "Stand up and turn around, sweetie."

After so long in one position, Kennedy stood stiffly, hissing as the movement stretched the tight skin of her punished ass. Pivoting carefully, she faced Tara, avoiding any contact with Tara. "My Lady?" she questioned hoarsely.

Tara didn't answer with words. Lacing a hand into the hair at the back of Kennedy's neck, she pressed her lips firmly to Kennedy's. Sliding her tongue around, she dueled with Kennedy's warm tongue, as she walked them backward. A moan vibrated against her lips when she hefted the smaller girl up to sit on the mats. Impatient fingers combed through Kennedy's damp pubic curls before sinking deep into her center. "Cum for me, Kenn." Three of Tara's fingers pistoned in and out, while her thumb rolled over Kennedy's clit.

Elbows planted on the mats and back arched, Kennedy gave in to the pleasure rippling through her.

Tara continued to push her fingers in deep but slowed the pace, gentling the thrusts and milking the last of the orgasm from Kennedy. When the inner muscles relaxed, she pulled her fingers out, sucking some of the moisture from them before offering the last to Kennedy.

After a brief hesitation, Kennedy opened her mouth and cleaned Tara's fingers completely.

Ignoring her own needs, Tara made a decision. "Kneel, Kennedy." She watched Kennedy sink to the floor, wincing as she settled back on her heels. Tara stroked her face gently with her fingers, happy at the new willingness to please. "I have to admit I am surprised at what happened today, Kenn, but I am also very, very impressed." The skin under her hands warmed with a fiery blush. "Look at me, Kenn."

Brown eyes shyly met her own. "Yes, my Lady."

"Kenn," the look sharpened a little at the serious tone, "would you consider making this a more formal arrangement?" She held up a hand to forestall a quick reply. "Patience, sweetie. Let me finish. I know you were conditioned to think of Willow as your mate, and I'm not really ready to declare you marriage material." Tara kissed the suddenly down turned lips. "You have potential, Kennedy, but you need a lot more training than I can provide in just one day."

Tara held out her hand and a silver-linked collar appeared. "This is my training collar. It is the first and, perhaps hardest, collar to wear. It is not something I will ever place around your neck without your clear understanding of its meaning and your request."

"My Lady, how do I earn that collar, and the ones that follow?" Kennedy sounded determined.

A giggle erupted from Tara. "Planning on seeing how quickly you can rise through the ranks, Kenn?"

Kennedy's lips twitched. "Well, I always have been tops at anything I set my mind to."

"No doubt." Tara's voice was dry, but amused. "Understand, Kenn, that the training lasts at least six months. It may be longer depending on how you respond to the lessons. After that, you would wear my service collar and, finally, my permanent collar."

Kennedy considered that information. "Lady Tara, did Willow wear your collar, too?"

"For a short time, sweetie." Tara's hand dropped from Kennedy's face and she turned slightly away. "She wasn't willing to give up control and accept the relationship. She asked to be released from the training collar after two months."

"So she knew what you were planning when she was here earlier." Kennedy dropped her head forward, troubled by that. Her stomach roiled just thinking about the others knowing of her change in status.

Her distress dragged Tara from her painful memories. "No plans, Kenn, until they happened. Willow would certainly recognize the signs, though." She gently raised the lowered chin. "The collar will clearly show our relationship, Kenn. Can you do that? Do you even want to? It's going to be hard enough learning to serve me. Can you also adjust your self image to be proud of the collar?"

Meeting Tara's caring blue eyes, Kenn relaxed. "Yes, my Lady. I can." She grinned faintly. "Um, OK. I'm willing to try. I can't promise you won't need to repeat - or even increase - today's lesson, Lady Tara."

"Then, if you are willing to display the outward sign of our relationship, put the collar on, Kennedy." When shocked brown eyes flashed to hers, Tara smiled gently. "Remember, this must be your choice. By placing the collar around your own neck, I know you have made the decision yourself."

Kennedy took the collar with shaking hands. The simple silver links looked much like a choke-chain collar for a dog, but there was no D-ring. "My Lady?" She held the links up in confusion.

"Hold it around your throat, Kenn."

Doing as instructed, Kennedy put the collar around her neck, holding the ends together. A flash of warmth flared from the metal, and the links tightened until the collar fit snugly. She moved her hands, caressing the now solid band around her neck.