The Job

Chapter 1

 
“Local bar looking for a janitor. Must be reliable, have references. No free booze, don’t apply if that’s your goal. Looking for self-motivated person that takes pride in their work. WE do, you should too. Respond to this ad by texting to 555-111-5555.”
 

Mandy picked up her phone and sent the text.

Looking for work. Never missed a day at my old job, just got laid off when new owner cleaned house. Ha ha. (not) Have experience, transportation, and references. And I don’t drink.

The ping of her phone less than two minutes after sending the text shocked her. There had been too many dead ends to hope…yet the text was a response to hers.

134 So. Main Street. Be there at 3 and the job could be yours. Why don’t you drink? AA?

She supposed that was a reasonable question.

I hate the taste of alcohol. And I get drunk super easy, and…I guess I’m too much of a self-control freak to let go like that.

She frowned. Three o’clock was in 90 minutes. She should likely put on somewhat decent jeans, janitor or not. And a bra. Definitely a bra. And run a comb through the rat’s nest that she hadn’t bothered to brush when she got up this morning.

*ping* her phone chimed.

You just haven’t had the right sort of alcohol then. See you at 3.

Pompous, was her first thought.

whatever. you said no drinking. that won’t be a problem, so you don’t need to ‘solve’ it.

He or she should know up front that she was a no bullshit kind of woman.

excellent response

Whomever it was, male or female, there was a hint of condescension that irked a bit. Still, she was desperate for a job. Her unemployment bennies would end soon, and there were not that many offerings there, at least not for permanent jobs. One-offs had helped, to be sure, but she needed steady income. She trudged off to prepare to impress.

***   ***   ***

Finding the parking space right out front had to be a good omen, right? She slid out of her car, locking it, then looked across the street. The bar, Nettles, looked pretty nondescript, though it was the only business housed in the large brick building. She slid her purse over her shoulder, took a deep breath, and crossed. There was a door that looked like it might have once graced the front door of a medieval manor, thick and imposing. Though there was a gargoyle-faced knocker, she chose the modern route and depressed the doorbell under the brass numerals ‘134’.

The door swung open, soundless on the thick brass hinges.

She was uncertain for a moment, then taking a deep breath, stepped up, and in.

***   ***   ***

“You’re here for the job, right?”

The girl who closed the door behind Mandy looked to be about 12, but was maybe early 20’s. Her hair was center-parted and drawn up into two high ponytails on each side of her head. Her  outfit was schoolgirlish, in that slutty way. Super short, her blouse tight, unbuttoned, and tied below a set of impressive breasts. Mandy might have felt out of place–if she gave a shit.

Which she didn’t.

She was here for a job, and not to be a dressed up slutty barmaid. She nodded briefly, yes, and tried not to stare at where the hemline landed as the girl turned. Sashaying, for surely that was the epitome of that odd word, the girl abjured her to “walk this way.” Mandy had never walked that way in her life. If she was a super-feminist type she might have gotten all protest-y about the girls attire, but really it was none of her concern how the kid dressed.

They walked through the open bar area, and then behind to a full kitchen. Through the kitchen, into a hallway, and Mandy figured they must be at the back of the huge building now.  Behind the kitchen was another hallway with three doors. The girl knocked on the door with a brass plate on it that read “NO!” and opened the door when a man’s voice spoke.

“Your three O’clock appointment is here, Sir.”

The barmaid’s attitude was shy, almost.

“Show him in.”

“Actually, Sir, he is a she.”

There was a muttered curse, then a curt “show her in.”

The girl stepped away from the door, and ushered Mandy inside. She had a quick glance around at what was very obviously a man’s domain; leather tall-backed chairs on each side of the huge desk, dark curtains at the tall window, and a large man with tattooed ‘sleeves’ up both bare arms. He stared at Mandy for a long moment. She spoke, as much to fill the awkward silence as to speak her mind.

“So I’m not a guy. I work hard. I’m honest. If you think you can’t hire me because I don’t have the same plumbing as you do, then that’s your loss.”

She had NO idea where that spurt of rage had come from. Maybe months of job hunting and never quite being enough. This time the lack of “enough” was a penis? No, she wasn’t going to deal with this shit any more. She turned on her heel and started for the door. Her hand was on the knob when the voice from behind her spoke.

“So, you’re a quitter then?”

“You’re the one who freaked when you discovered I’m not a guy.”

“Just to clarify, saying “oh fuck” is not freaking. You’re not what I expected, but I can live with it. As long as you show up, and do your job, that’s what I need.”

“I’m not planning on dressing up like her.”

Mandy turned, her back against the door, and thumbed her finger behind her. He laughed, deep and genuine.

“I should hope not! I sincerely doubt you are a little…and it isn’t the right attire for an industrial engineer anyway.”

She cracked a smile. People always wanted to fancy up the title.

“I’m fine with being a janitor, doesn’t bother me a bit. I like the work most days. Mostly right now?  I need the work. I want a chance. Okay, I don’t have a penis. But I work steady, quickly, hard.”

“How about I show you around and see if this is something you feel….comfortable… with.”

Something in the way he looked when he said that made her wonder. What exactly was this bar expecting her to do? Scrub the floor with a toothbrush? He rose, and she had to stare a moment. The guy was a fucking giant! She was, as she often described herself, vertically challenged. This guy was going to make her feel like a damned midget!

“Something wrong?”

“No…just…you’re really tall.”

“Funny. I was just thinking you’re really short.”

She didn’t intend to giggle, but it just spurted out from her mouth. With a smile, He took her arm , drew her out into the hallway, and began showing her around.

Chapter 2

It turned out that Nettles, the bar where she’d hoped to land a job as a janitor, was way more than a bar. The entire building was the bar. And the bar was a dungeon.

She kept trying to wrap her brain around it, as her boss–for certain she was not going to call him Sir–Jakob led her around through the various rooms.

“I’m sure you’ve heard of kink. BDSM, right?”

“You mean like all that fifty shades stuff? Well, yeah. It’s been on tv and that book and now–well. Yeah, I’ve heard of it. I just didn’t imagine all this…”

Her voice trailed off as she spun a slow circle on her heel, taking in the largest play space. Whips and chains didn’t begin to cover it, she mused eyeing a variety of implements hung meticulously on the wall closest to where they stood. Paddles with large holes in them, fer gosh sakes. Enormous contraptions including a cross, a ginormous wheel, a pommel horse..

“I don’t suppose you use that for gymnastics,” she murmured, making the giant man laugh with delight.

“No! No we don’t. Would you like a demonstration?”

Her hands flashed a warning ‘no no no’ as she shook her head vehemently.

“I’m not into all that sex crap.”

“Sex. Crap.”

He pondered that, pondered her, looking at her in a way that made her feel uneasy.

“Look–I don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend or significant pet or anything. I’m…I’m just not into all that.”

His head canted to the side, his curiosity piqued.  “Sex is normal and healthy and fun. In here it can be painful, erotic–or not present at all. Not all painsluts want sex. Not all sadists do either. A plethora of sensual, erotic and/or sexual proclivities are explored within these walls. This is a safe place for those types of activities. Why are you not interested in sex?”

“I don’t think that matters much for my job.”

“Only inasmuch as you may be around during some of my client’s activities. It wouldn’t do to have one of my employees sneering at them for their choice of play.”

“I wouldn’t–it’s not that I don’t appreciate people having sex. It just isn’t for me.”

“Maybe your prior sexual experiences just weren’t the right ones. Perhaps your partners were lousy in bed.”

She blushed, staring at her toes.

“Not them. Me. I’m…broken, if you must know.”

A large finger lifted her chin until she was looking up into his dark eyes.

“In here is a place where sex, bodies, and temperaments are all explored. We push boundaries, we push limits, we fully enjoy the experience of being living, sentient beings. Some enjoy controlling others, some enjoy submitting to that control. Some come for events, some come for a safe place to try new things, to find friends who understand the lifestyle, people they can be “out” to, in a setting that is not judgmental nor  “abusive”. I don’t believe that someone who calls themselves “broken” finds their way here by accident. In here, we can often fix the “broken” bits…”

She interjected, a bit alarmed at the direction this conversation was headed to.

“I don’t need to be fixed…any more than I need to learn the right liquor to drink. I’m here for a job, Mr. Jakob. A regular paycheck, a place to show that I do have skills. I *like* cleaning. It’s a peaceful, yet useful skill. I enjoy the quiet of dusting, the hum of a vacuum under my hand, the feel of a place as I transform it from scruffy to shining. That’s what I do, and it makes me happy. And I’m damned good at it.”

He knew when to leave a seed planted in the soil, to let it germinate. While she wasn’t defensive, there was definitely some kind of story there. And she was correct; he didn’t have to fix her. But he liked her, liked her somewhat abrasive, honest style.

“Well, consider yourself hired. There is usually some activity each night here except for Monday when we’re closed. That’s when I do inventory, shuffle stock, check equipment for failures, and when you’d do your deepest weekly work. Players are expected to wipe down the equipment, it’s not for you to attend to that. I have a girl who takes care of the play room floor as it gets very…moist…and she enjoys that task.  Different strokes for different folks,” he spoke with a smile in his voice.

He clarified the pay, which was generous, and her hours.

“You are allowed to explore the place to your leisure. If you play, you do so on your free time, not on the clock. Mostly that won’t happen as I’ll want you here in the mornings. The club is open until 3 a.m. most days, excepting for special events which go longer. But the optimum time for clean up is in the pre-noon until 3 p.m. time slot and I’m flexible as to when you choose to come in. If I feel you’re abusing my privilege, I’ll put a stop to it, but I suspect you’ll be diligent.  You’re also invited to watch any evening–no attendance fee for my staff. Maybe you’ll begin to understand a bit more what the Lifestyle is once you’ve met some people, seen some scenes played out. What you choose to experience–or not experience–is up to you, little one.”

She snorted at that.

“I’m hardly a little one.”

“I thought you’d prefer that to ‘midget’…”

Infinitely. Though you could just…you know…use my name?”

“Mandy, you’re a fine girl. What a good ….cleaner….you will be.”

She grinned. Wouldn’t be the first time someone had misquoted that song on purpose. Only he was funnier about it. This might be the strangest place she’d ever been, but in an odd way, it suited her kind of strange, too.

Funny, though, a girl who had never, could never, have an orgasm, working for a sex club. The gods worked in mysterious ways. And likely laughed about it, too.

Chapter 3

He watched. She felt it, sometimes. But it felt–and how stupid did this sound–protective. He was definitely checking her work, but with an openhandedness that was relaxing. She set her own pace, coming in early most mornings. She began to get a feel for the building; each place had its own resonance. She eventually found all the light switches, knew which doors would swing back fast and try to slap the vacuum out of her hands, and which step creaked the loudest in the back hallway on the 2nd floor.

So too she began to feel the rhythms of the place. By the end of the third week, she had met many of the ‘dominants’. She knew a little bit about female ones from tv shows, which wasn’t the best forum for facts, but at least gave her some knowledge. Of male dominants she’d been mostly unaware, except for that whole ‘gray’ book which had come out a few summers ago. According to both media forms, they were all mysterious and dark. With that lack of information, she’d had no idea what one would be like in person.  So far she’d met a few of each gender, and it had been an experience. For one thing, they almost unilaterally had a wicked sense of humor. All of them -male or female- often had a terseness in their manner of speaking. Or maybe “terse” wasn’t the right word, more, that they were very intense, very direct. They were often very kind, and their busy eyes missed nothing. Her contact with them was, by virtue of her early schedule, limited.

A few times she’d shrugged off offers to “play”–as if play could be defined by paddles and whips. Shaking her head as she vacuumed, she thought about Roderick, the latest dominant to proposition her. He certainly had a magnetic personality; intense, focused. She’d actually seen him do a scene one afternoon as she was finishing up for the day. A leggy blonde with a really big ass had been spread over that pommel horse, her wrists tied together and secured to a large bolt in the floor. Mandy had stopped, transfixed. She thought about all those “women in jeopardy” movies that she’d enjoyed as a teen. It was playing out in real-time right in front of her. And then the man had stepped forward, the many-tailed whip swinging like the tail of a horse. The blonde jolted as the leather lines had landed on her skin, and Mandy gasped at the sound it made. The woman was moaning, as red stripes appeared on her pale bottom.

“She is enjoying this, not being tortured.”

She’d about jumped out of her skin then, having her boss appear magically, silently, beside her.

“She’s … crying…”

“Well, sure. She’s being hit with a very painful instrument. But it’s part of her ‘thing’. People come here, Mandy, to explore. Some kinks may look ‘horrible’ to someone not used to them, but I assure you, we are all about getting consent first.”

“She wanted someone to beat her with that…that thing?”

“The flogger is an interesting toy. And she wanted Sir Roderick to do it as he is a master at that particular toy.”

“A doll is a toy. A truck is a toy. That–that’s a weapon.”

“In this setting it is a toy. If you went over there right now and put your fingers against her cunt, you would find her dripping wet. She gets off on this. It’s her thing. It helps her de-stress from her day-to-day life.”

Mandy blushed at the crude word. She watched for a moment more, then excused herself to finish the work on the main floor. It was while she was cleaning the men’s room on the second floor that she met Sir Roderick face-to-face. She backed out of the stall she’d just cleaned, and there he was, coming through the door.

“Well, if it isn’t my little voyeur.”

“No, I’m not. I was walking through and there you were.”

She’d adopted a no-nonsense, brisk tone when brushing off club members. It didn’t always work, but it usually deflected some attention.

“It’s my job to be here in the mornings, and your session wasn’t on the calendar; sorry if you feel that I interrupted.”

“On the contrary, I was intrigued by your interest. And then you scurried away…”

“On the contrary. I was going back to my job, which I need to continue doing. I don’t have free time to fritter away, sorry.”

He stood for a moment, just looking at her, with that amused smile on his face. It made her nervous, which made her mad.

“Excuse me. I need to go. And obviously, so do you or you wouldn’t be in the men’s room.”

Sliding past him, she heard him laugh as the door closed between them.

********

And now here it was, a full week after that first embarrassing meeting and he was here again, solo this time. She didn’t see any sub kneeling at his feet, hadn’t seen anyone in the main room. Jakob was talking to him in the corner, the two men sitting and drinking coffee at 930 in the morning, for crissakes. Not that she could begrudge her boss time to sit and have morning coffee, it was just…awkward.

And the awkward stuff needed to be faced. With a deep sigh she took up her tool bucket and walked through the room.

“Morning Boss, morning Roderick.”

And she was through the room and in the back hallway. Breathing a sigh of relief, she pelted up the steps to the third floor. It was easiest to start at the top and work her way down. Already the work had settled into a comfortable routine. Slipping her headphone buds into her ears, she put on her music and began to clean. Thirty minutes later she jogged downstairs,  slipped her cleaning bucket into the first room, then dashed upstairs to sweep them. Backing her way down, a step at at time, she was humming under her breath until she fetched up hard against a solid object. A solid, warm, man-type of object. With a small shriek of surprise, she whipped around, taking in the amused smile on Roderick’s face.

“That was really stupid,” she fumed, tugging out one earpiece. “I could have hit you with my broom.”

“Oh my, that’s a terrifying scenario,” he replied, his lips twitching.

She rolled her eyes.

“I’m ever so glad you’re amused.”

“Good, then perhaps you’ll consent to play with me sometime.”

“Sure! Perhaps when Hell freezes over!” 

Shoving past him, she muttered imprecations under her breath, then drew up short as she saw Jakob standing near the door.

“What?” she growled.

“Nothing, calm down little one. I did tell you that she would not be responsive, friend.” This to Roderick.

“So you did. Perhaps another time, then,” he spoke to her, giving her a look that she was sure wet the panties of all those little subbie girls who swooned over him night after night.

“Or perhaps not. You’re not my type. I’m not interested. Like–at all. Sorry. Now, I have to go scrub some toilets.”

Turning on her heel she left the dirt pile where it was. She’d get back to it once the other pile of…men…left.

*******************************

“You have to expect that the members here will be intrigued by you. You’re a pure vanilla girl and some will find that–a challenge.”

Jakob handed half of  his sandwich to her.

“It’s stupid. I’m not a challenge. I’m a fucking janitor. Not a side of beef. Not a…submissive. NOT interested in that shit.”

Waving her hand to encompass the playroom on the other side of the building, she bit into her half of the sandwich. If he thought that she protested overmuch, he kept that strictly to himself. Talking her through the experience would begin to normalize it for her. And that would be the first step to acceptance, which he much preferred over tolerance.

Chapter 4

She saw a lot of weird shit in her job at Nettles. She’d cleaned her share of bathrooms, but the standing order to leave the last, large stall  dirty still ooked her out. She’d peer in there, see and smell the urine on the floor, the seat, and shudder when she saw the D-ring embedded in the wall, a long length of chain snaking from it. Seriously, the thought of all that pee… yet the third floor as well as the second, were where the most intense scenes occurred. She’d never been allowed up there anytime that she came in to observe in the evenings. Jakob was concerned that she could be construed as a participant, and thus, forbade her from any but the first floor areas on her time off.

It puzzled her immensely that gross stuff like pissy toilets, and being chained to the men’s room wall could make anyone horny. She thought about it as she scrubbed and swept, but it remained beyond her understanding.  Jakob often said, different strokes for different folks, and she would have to be content with that.

It was quiet, early morning, and she smelled of pine cleaner. The sun shone through the tall loft windows, the floor gleamed, the place sparkled. It much belied the thought of “dungeon” she mused. The boss had requested for her to come in early, as they had a big event here in the early afternoon, hours earlier than normal opening time. Since no one else was around, she had cleaned at warp speed, and had just finished her last bathroom. She doubted she’d ever completed the full deal in under 4 hours before. Hot and sweaty as she was, her only thought now was of a long shower and some sweet-scented soap that smelled of woman and not toilet bowl cleaner.

Pausing in the main room, she caught the gleam of metal on the far wall. It didn’t smell of sex in here now, just clean. Running her hand over the surface of the pommel horse, she remembered her first shock at seeing that sub getting her ass whooped while being tied over it. Moving past it, she gingerly slipped her fingers down one long fall of the heavy whip. There was a huge variety in the assorted falls that hung down. Some were leather, some thick, perhaps vinyl or rubber? Some were soft ropes. She wondered briefly about what they might feel like.

And her mind shied away from that thought. Best to not ever entertain that notion. She was the cleaning lady, not a submissive.

“It’s interesting, isn’t it?”

She spun quickly at her bosses deep voice behind her.

“So many textures, so many different feelings from something as simple as the material the fall is made from. This one…”

He leaned past her and took up the one with long strands of loose rope, and let it slip up her forearm.

“…is a tickler. You might not think of tickling as a sensory exploration, but it is. Yet if the wrist is flexible, and the hand wielding it knowledgeable, even this toy can cause some discomfort. Not even close to that of the single-tail bullwhip, of course, or the cat, with its nine falls. But again, it’s all in the user’s skill where the experience lies.”

“It’s…”

“It’s still weird to you. Here, let’s try something…no no, not naked!”

He let out a laugh at her expression.

“Lean your arms on the horse as if you were taking a nap on your tummy, cradle your head and stick out your butt. No, don’t play shy — I’ve seen your ass walking all over the place, believe me. This is one place where your body is going to be oogled, as I told you when you took the job.”

She could have protested. He would have let her. Maybe it was the euphoria of finishing early, or the inhalation of too many chemicals, but she just did it. She did swallow hard when he gently kicked her ankles apart, but she did as he bid.

There was the faintest swoosh and a gentle rattling tap against the denim which covered her legs. It landed on her outer thigh.

“No pain, right?”

“No…”

“Okay, so I’m going to ratchet it up a bit. Remember to breathe…holding your breath makes it sting more.”

It happened faster this time, a bit louder. There was a definite sting on her thigh this time, and he didn’t stop with just one blow, either. Three steady, firm swats on thigh and bum and when he stopped, she felt something. It stung, but it quickly moved from that stingy pain to a flash of heat.

“Oh…”

“Tell me what you’re feeling, Mandy.”

“I…well…it was stinging…like…being hit with a toothbrush…a kind of prickling on my skin. But now…it’s hot. It doesn’t burn, but it feels warm there.”

“So–a moment of pain, and a moment of heat.”

“Yes.”

“That’s the fundamental, then. As we progress in speed, in strength of the slaps on your body, in the type of toy we use, so too do we change the feelings you experience. And they begin to blend…to harmonize like singers in a choir..all different voices, but bringing an incredibly wonderful feeling. Let’s try this…”

She heard him step away. Again, she could have made him stop, just by pushing away from the horse. Her head stayed cradled in her arms, her nose inhaling the aroma of the leather clad device. She wasn’t sure exactly why she stayed put, why she let her boss of all people do this. But frankly, she had begun to dream of this place, the sounds, the smells, the people. And she trusted him; over this last month or so, he’d begun to be a friend. And she had, at last, begun to be curious about the sensory side of the  things she saw happening here every day.

Without a word he slapped her bottom hard. The sting took her breath away for a minute, before she released a  moaning “heyyyyy”

“Hurts, doesn’t it? Really rough, and I only gave you one smackaroo!”

His hand caressed the exact spot he’d hit.

“I can feel the heat, even through your jeans. Now imagine this on bare skin, or barely covered even. The heat would be wicked, don’t you think? Your breathing has changed. You’re relaxed, deeply into what your body is experiencing.”

He helped her rise, ran a finger down her cheek.

“The private party should be arriving soon. Your bonus check is in your locker, thanks for coming in early for me today.”

She blinked, a bit shocked that the little ‘scene’…if this could be called that…was over so abruptly. Bemused, she walked across the big room, wondering if he was looking at her ass. A quick glance over her shoulder revealed that he was hanging the toys he’d used on her back on the rack. He’d likely put her right out of his mind. Well. She would have felt a bit huffy if she gave a fuck. Which she didn’t.

“Mandy?”

She paused at the door, but didn’t turn to look at him.

“If you’re honest with yourself, you might just discover that you don’t only have a warmed bottom–but a wet pussy, too.”

She took a quick breath, then opened the door and went to get her check and get the fuck out of this nuthouse. The sticky feel of her panties as she jogged downstairs left her frowning as she grabbed her stuff and left.

Chapter 5

Some of the things she’d seen at Nettles had shocked her, others had made her curious. Cruising the internet she began searching. Knowledge was power, after all, and it couldn’t hurt to be informed about the goings on at her job site. Delving into the world of BDSM she’d found things that intrigued, though she was loath to admit to that, and some things that were so totally gross that she couldn’t believe people voluntarily did them. Or submitted to them. Or what the fuck ever you called it. She had taken a hot shower after she’d come home from work that fateful afternoon, yet still felt the weight, the heat of the whip on her thigh and butt. Lowering the water temperature to freezing didn’t seem to stop the feel of the warm spot, either. She had even checked, looking over her shoulder into the mirror, examining her ass carefully, but there was no mark to be found.  Even now, a week and more later, she swore that she could feel the faintest tingle. The heat only burned in her memory, she mused. But the whipping –not that it was a “real” whipping– had done something to her. Something that she was having a real problem undoing. Something in her head had clicked, and for the first time in eons she felt–something. She wasn’t ready to admit that this sort of shit would be what she needed to feel sensual awakening–but according to her reading she wouldn’t be the only person who’d had that sort of transformation, either. But her pussy was broken. She was broken. Things –sexual things anyway– didn’t excite her.  Some people just didn’t need, or want, or desire, sex. People like her.

**************            ************         ***************

Saturday was always a big night at Nettles. She had come on other days, just getting a feel for the place when there were people about, people that Jakob affectionately called “the Perv’s”. Though there was always some activity going on, Saturday was the day most people turned out. She got a vibe from them, a feeling of ‘community’, though they were often quite disparate in their play, not to mention their attire. It felt to her sometimes like Halloween, everyone dressed up and playing a role. Yet the people seemed happy, and not with the same giddiness that All Hallow’s Eve offered, as they strutted in corsets and ropes and sometimes, nothing. Guys in cock cages, girls in tight vinyl, Doms and Dommes, people seeking, people in arranged scenes, drinkers, dancers–the place thrummed with the varieties of submission and domination.

The bouncers knew her, greeting her by her ‘off duty’ name, Kitten. Which was stupid, really. There wasn’t a kitten-like thing about her– but she hadn’t been able to make them stop it, either. Wolffe was even taller than Jakob; both men teased her regularly about her lack of height. Somehow that teasing made her comfortable around them both. The other bouncer, Keegan, was more reserved. She’d call him brooding, but mostly she guessed he was just the strong, silent type. Some people were hard to open up, after all. She greeted them both, then slipped into the club, wearing worn jeans, and tee shirt, covered by her favorite denim over-shirt. She was as out of place in her outfit as any of the pervs would be out on the street. Yet as the months had rolled along, she had grown accustomed to them, and they to her.  Seeking out  her boss had become a habit. She wasn’t seeking a replay of that swat on her bottom a few weeks ago. Oh no, she was just letting him know that she was there. He smiled, welcoming her, but then would be off  on one of his circles about the place. He ran a tight club, she knew, never letting things get too crazy. He didn’t want the hassle of lawyers, he said.

She wasn’t sure how the days had fetched up into months so quickly. It felt weird  calling it ‘working’ since the job was so in her comfort zone that coming here, not to mention getting paid for it, filled her. A quick grin flashed across her face at the thought that working in a BDSM club gave her peace of mind. Or spirit. Or whatever. Yet it did.

“I don’t see that very often.”

She turned her head and saw Keegan looking at her steadily. She hadn’t noticed that he’d come inside. He moved to sit across from her, the leather seat dwarfed by his long lanky limbs.

“See …what?”

“You, smiling.”

“I smile,” she protested, then bared her teeth in a fearsome grin. He laughed, a first for her.

“Ha! And I don’t see that, either,” she said, pointing to him.

“See..what?” he spoke in perfect mimicry of her tone of voice.

“You…laughing. Why is that?”

Certainly the drink she held hadn’t loosened her tongue, as her cola and lemon twist was virginal. What had prompted her need to dig, she wondered.

“It’s against the Dom code to smile,” he said, his face falling into sterner lines.

“It is?”

She sat up a bit straighter, looking perplexed. Obviously she had a lot to learn. His laughter broke the fall into her own thoughts.

“Aren’t you the gullible girl!”

Leaning forward, she poked his arm.

“Funny. Don’t think I noticed that you deflected there. So, are you always so….”

“…So…what?”

“Well, I was going to say ‘grim’ but you’re not, really.” She cocked her head to the side, studying his face.

“Maybe….stern? Or maybe…shy? Can it be, that you’re a shy Dominant?!”

A smile bloomed across his face that made her belly clench. It was the smile of a predator, one who had his prey cornered and was ready to pounce.  

“Rest assured, Kitten, that shy is the very last way any submissive I’ve worked with would ever label me.”

“From where I’m sitting, I’d call it shy, rather than…you know. Whatever label you’re working with. Because ….I’m for certain not a submissive. So .”

She caught herself waving her arms, then quickly crossed them across her chest.  For emphasis. Certainly not to assuage the sudden rash of nerves that danced down her neck, making her nipples rise.

“Perhaps not in a classic sense, no. But like anything in life, it’s really unfair to define any group in absolutes, you know. Submissives, like Dom’s, come in all flavors, sizes, types. Some are high-powered in their day-to-day lives and their submission comes as a need to let go. You don’t fit that category at all, now do you?”

Her head shook slowly side to side.

“Some subs want and need pain in order to feel…a variety of things. See? Not even absolutes there. Some feel turned on. Some feel cleansed, and some just put up with it for their Dom’s. Some subs aren’t into pain at all, but are into other things…”

“I know–I’ve seen some things on the internet.”

She shuddered, and his eyebrow shot up.

“Remember, Kitten, that this is a no-judgement zone. None of us hold with a beating that puts a sub into a hospital…no broken bones, no total non-consent. That said–if a sub says yes, then anything can and will happen. From piss play to suspension to group fucks–there really isn’t a limit if everyone in the scene agrees.”

“It’s still –you know– kind of weird to me.”

“Maybe you just need to experience more, and think less. There’s a world of difference from watching someone eat an ice cream cone, and you actually licking it yourself.”

She didn’t need a 2×4 to the head to explain that metaphor. The blush lit up her cheeks, and he laughed–for the second time. She heard a faint click and his head went up as, she presumed, someone called him on his headset.

“Whoops, got to go. I’ll catch up with you later, Kitten.”

He strode off, heading towards the back staircase, the quickest way to get to the upper floors.

“Phew, I didn’t think he’d ever leave!”

A young woman in a brilliant scarlet bustier flung herself down in the seat Keegan had just vacated. Twirling the end of one fat blonde curl between her fingers, she stared at Mandy for a long moment. Her large breasts were barely held in by the top of her outfit, the ruched lace accenting the pale cleft that split the two orbs. She wore no collar, no ring, none of the more noticeable symbols of being owned. Mandy thought she’d seen her here before, but she didn’t always see patrons faces. And it was rather awkward to recognize someone by their boobs, she thought. The girl kept looking at her, a faint smile on her scarlet lips as she toyed with her hair.

“You’re the toilet girl, right?”

Mandy had to fight to keep a wicked rebuke from singeing the eyebrows off the impertinent child. Her jaws clenched as she bit out as polite a reply as she could manage.

“I work here, yes. As the cleaning woman, yes.”

“Well, I hope I don’t mess up your break time.  I just need a break myself, you know?”

Vapid didn’t begin to cover this chicka, Mandy thought.

“You do look…wrung out,” she said, mentally adding ‘and drunk.’

The girl pouted prettily, obviously unused to criticism.

“The potty on the second floor is yucky. Someone did some pee pee on the toilet seat and the floor. You should go up there and clean it. It’s gross.”

Mandy took a deep breath. Seriously. If Jakob wasn’t calling her to take care of it, it likely wasn’t an issue. He knew she was here, though she wasn’t here for work. Still, best to handle it now, rather than letting it sit until the morning. Nothing worse than dried pee, really. She rose and stalked away, missing the smirk on the girls face, and the quick peck of her text being sent on her pink-jeweled phone.

did wat U askd. grl on her way. want my treat soon!!!”

Chapter 6

She went to her closet and grabbed her ‘go’ bucket, a mini version of her full cleaning kit for small ’emergencies’ that cropped up from time to time. Grabbing her hair, she clubbed it back into a rough ponytail, then slipped on a pair of rubber gloves. She took advantage of the thrall of a group watching a man-slut getting his nipples pierced. It was obvious that he hadn’t been expecting it either, as his yelps were genuine. The crowd was mesmerized as his mistress slapped his hairy thigh and told him to stop crying like a baby. Mandy didn’t even shake her head at these sorts of scenes anymore. They weren’t commonplace–but they weren’t out-of-place, either. Gliding around the back of the transfixed group of onlookers, she eased into the back hallway and dashed up the steps to the second floor.

She peered out before opening the door–it wouldn’t do to smack a patron in the face after all. Seeing that the coast was clear, she entered the long hallway and made her way to the end where the bathroom was. And there it was, a small river of urine snaking out of the second stall. She did shake her head over that. People. Geezuz. Propping open the door, she put her”closed” sign in the entry. Taking a wad of paper towels, she got to work. First she sopped up the puddle, getting the majority of the wet mess up. She threw that lot away. She was still pretty surprised that a person could miss an entire toilet bowl…but around here, people did weird shit all the damn time.

Pulling her kit close, she sprayed a heavy dose of sanitizer on the floor as well as on the toilet itself. A quick wipe cleaned the seat; lifting that, she also wiped the bottom rim and the base. Dropping the toweling, she used her foot to swab the urine trail remaining on the floor. There was still a bit of it on the side of the toilet, she noted. Dropping to her knees, she bent forward and reached down around the side of the pot.

A heavy foot pressed against the back of her neck, mashing her to the floor. A hand stroked over her bottom.

“Well, and isn’t this a lovely sight to see?”

She didn’t recognize the voice. Anger suffused her.

“Hey! Let me up. I’m not a contestant. Not a sub. Not a playmate. Let me the fuck up.”

“You’re in submissive posture number 5. Ass up, waiting to be spanked and fucked.”

“I’m not…” she hissed in a sharp breath as the foot pressed harder.

“Shhhhh, it’s better for you to just submit, slut.”

The foot pressed harder. Her neck throbbed. She was totally vulnerable in this position, unable to move away with his weight on her neck like that.

A frisson of fear trembled through her. Yet she could still think clearly. You didn’t work for a place like this and not get hit on occasionally. Not ever like this but still. She was wearing jeans. He wasn’t going to be able to fuck her without shedding them and when he turned her loose, she’d make a hell of a ruckus.

“Submit.”

“Fine.” She hoped he’d release her, just enough…

“Good girl.”

A hard swat hit her ass, and she yelped.

“You need a good beating for your shitty attitude, whore.”

“OW!”

She yelped again.

“You FUCKING asshole, NO!”

A hand grabbed her ponytail, jerking her head back.

“A rape scene in the bathroom? How quaint. Yet, I feel obliging tonight, pet.”

He tugged her to her feet by her hair and by his grip on the back of her jeans. The pain in her head made her eyes water. She hadn’t realized how much that could hurt. He pulled her out of the stall, slamming her hard against the wall before leaning his body against hers.

“Like it rough, eh?”

“NOooooo!” she yelped again, her cry ending as a whimpering moan as stars danced through her vision.

The bathroom door slammed open. Somehow she hadn’t known that he’d closed it behind him, the fucking asshole.

“What. The. Fuck?”

“Just my girl and I sceneing, J.”

“Who is it? You came in alone tonight, Mal.”

“Jakob! Oh! Ow! You prick! ” She responded to the sudden hard twist Malcolm gave to her ponytail when she called to her boss. Her eyes teared up at the slap of pain. With a quick elbow into the belly of the man holding her, Mandy found her voice. Her head was still held tightly, but she didn’t give a fuck now. She wanted to be free, to be out of here. And to find the little fucking bitch who had set her up.

“Kitten!…Did you give consent for this scene?”

Adrenaline surging, she stomped on the man’s left foot, hard enough to make him yell. His hand left her hair, snagging a few strands. That fired her up even more. As he turned away, she went after him. She may have been short but enraged as she was, it didn’t matter. She punched him in the eye, in the ear, attempted to knee his groin, which he barely managed to avoid. His quick move bent him slightly, enough to connect with her fist rising. There was a sharp crack under her knuckles, and she knew she’d broken that perfect nose.

“You fucking ASSHAT,” she yelled, “I said NO!”

She would have hit him again, but Jakob intervened then, pulling her away.

“Enough, Kitten, enough.”

The door opened again, revealing Keegan.

“You rang?”

“Escort Malcolm out of the premises. We don’t want Kitten to hurt him any more.”

He paused a moment.

“Mal?”

There was a moment of tense silence as Malcolm ignored everyone, holding a hand to his bleeding nose. He did glare at Mandy several times. Eventually the silence got to him and he glanced at Jakob.

“Very good. Glad you could spare me your attention.”

Jakob was excellent at delivering a reprimand in spare words, Mandy thought. Her heart was still racing, but she was under control. Things were fine. She broke the tableau by moving further away from the bleeding man, gathering her ‘go’ kit. She was unhappy to see that her hands were shaking as she stabbed her cleansers firmly into the bucket.

“Excuse me,” she moved past the men, not wanting to be a part of this scene any more.  Keegan’s hand on her shoulder stopped her momentarily. He said nothing, but looked at her, giving her a brief squeeze before releasing her. She took a breath, and moved away from the bathroom. Running down the stairs to her closet, she slipped inside, and sat, knees finally shaking hard enough to not support her any longer.

***************************************************

He found her there, some time later. Sitting on an old stool, arms wrapped around herself. She wasn’t crying, but her eyes were red.

“Come.”

“I’m fine.”

“Boss wants you to come, I’m here to make sure you do it.”

“Fine.”

She rolled her eyes, and passed under his arm. He slung it over her shoulders, giving her a brief hug. A man-style hug.

“I’m fine, I said. No hugs needed.”

“Perhaps *I* needed one. Or perhaps it was more of a congratulations thing–you do give good bloody nose, you know.”

One corner of her lip quirked up, despite her gloomy mood.

“I did, didn’t I?”

There was a slight thaw in her demeanor now, he was glad to see, a dash of color in her cheeks. Best to confront the shock, he knew, face it, talk it through. And he wanted the back story on just how she’d come to be there, on the floor intended for intense sceneing.

Chapter 7

She wished she didn’t care about what was going to happen next. It would be so much easier, getting fired, if she didn’t like this job so much. Despite what had just happened a bit ago, this was a place that she enjoyed waking up in the morning to come to. And okay, she wasn’t into this whole role-playing thing, but she wasn’t adverse to it anymore, either.  Keegan’s hand rested on the small of her back. He wasn’t exactly pushing her, but he wasn’t going to let her wriggle away either. She could have bristled him off, but she didn’t mind the warm touch either. Which was weird, but whatever.

They stopped in front of Jakob’s office. Keegan stepped in front of her, tipping her chin up to make eye contact.

“That…up there?” His free hand pointed to the ceiling, indicating the 2nd floor. “Was not your fault. But tell me, here and now, why were you up there to begin with.”

She really wanted to handle that young woman herself, but in all likelihood, she was lost in the crowd by now. The fucking bitch.

“Someone came and told me that there had been a pee accident in the 2nd floor bathroom.”

“Which someone?”

“I’d like the answer to that question as well.”

Jakob’s voice came from behind the pair. “But in my office, please, and not where someone can overhear this. Rumors fly around here like fucking sparrows. Mandy…” he shifted his hand, indicating that she should enter. Though she would have preferred to sit in the chair, she was steered to the couch. When the two men sat down, flanking her, she felt dwarfed.

She was not going to fucking cry. A shiver ran through her nonetheless. Keegan rose, and moved to the cabinet on the far side of the office. He pulled out three ornately carved glasses and a tall square bottle. He poured a generous dollop of liquor in each, then brought them back.

She took the proffered glass, but turned it round and round in her palm. Keegan tugged the heavy leather-clad chair closer to the couch and sat in it, recognizing the lingering effects of shock on her face. She had gone pale again.

“Mandy.”

Jakob’s voice broke into the silence. His expression was kind, though serious.

“I don’t know. I just …. don’t. She came to sit after Keegan left, and told me about the pee and she was kinda demeaning and it made me mad, so I just jumped up and left. Figured it would only take me a minute to clean up, which it would have. I was almost done when…”

“You know that you’re not on the clock in the evening, that you’re here as a guest. You also are aware that the 2nd floor is reserved for heavy sceneing on Saturday nights, and that I have expressly forbidden you from going up there. You should not have been up there.”

“I know. You can fire me but–”

“Fire you? Why the fuck would I do that?”

“Well, isn’t this place built on obeying…submissive/Dom…all that shit?”

Keegan leaned forward, lifting her glass.

“Drink. Just a sip.”

“I don’t drink. Alcohol is gross.”

“A sip, kitten. Please?”

To see the giant man cajoling her almost made her giggle. With only a little eye-roll, she took a sip. The amber liquid slid like fire over her tongue, burning a trail from lips to her belly. A pleasant glow began to thaw her, warming her from within. It felt good. She took another sip.

“Happy?” She quirked her head at him.

“Giddy.”

Her lips curved a tiny smile at his droll tone.

“Why are you such an asshole?”

And where the fuck had that come from?  She lifted the glass, studied the contents. From inside that tumbler, she supposed. Liquor always hit her hard and fast.

“I was born breech, so the asshole came out first. Stayed, too.”

This was obviously an old joke between the two men, because they grinned, but she exploded in giggles. She took another quick sip of the drink, embarrassed to be giggling, and a single drop slid down the wrong way. Coughing brought tears to her eyes, and Jakob began pounding on her back.

Eventually the coughing wound down, but not before the mortification suffused her. Geeze. Way to go, choking on your bosses finest booze.

“Sorry…” she wheezed…”told you I didn’t drink…”

Somehow their positions had reversed, and now Keegan sat beside her rubbing her back in gentle circles, while her boss sat in front of her.

“Okay, let’s cut to the chase here, Mandy. One. I am not firing you. I AM fired up that one of my guests saw fit to ambush one of my employees. That is unacceptable to me, and to any of my crew. It is especially heinous to me since you are not a practitioner of the lifestyle…” There was a pregnant pause, an unspoken ‘yet’.

“Secondly, what happened to you up there was assault. You are more than welcome to go to the police and file charges.” He held up his hand as she began to shake her head no.

“Fine…we’ll handle it in-house then. Just know that in my opinion–and mine is the only one that matters here–what happened to you was a violation and I fully support your taking legal action if that is your decision.”

He paused. His face fell into stern lines, and Mandy knew that the Asshat Dom was in deep shit with Jakob…maybe even worse than if she had gone to the police.

“However, for the moment our guest, who was more than a bit drunk, will have an immediate suspension of his membership until some key issues have been resolved. He has had other incidents in the past. I won’t tolerate someone repeatedly crossing the line here. What happened tonight goes way beyond any prior grievances I’ve gotten about some over-zealous beatings. Sometimes when people are involved in a scene, things can and do go awry. But this? This crosses a line for me. If he’d try raping–real non-consensual sex, not a scene that had been previously agreed to–and to do so to  one of my people, what says he’d not try to ambush some unsuspecting newbie? I can’t tolerate that sort of thing, not when I know how much courage it can take to come in for the first time. It takes a lot of balls to walk in that door,  to get the flavor of a BDSM club, to try to find a niche, or a place that feels comfortable, a place where one can accept their own deviance as ‘normal’.”

He took a sip of his drink, pausing a moment before continuing. She didn’t think she’d ever heard Jakob speak so ardently about anything before now.

“To the outside world there isn’t a line between abuse and sexual deviancy –yet it does exist–and I’m not going to let some half-assed Dom wannabe put people at risk for permanent harm–physical or mental. No, best he take a break and get a reminder about my the rules.”

“Third, I want a description, to the best of your ability, of the woman who sent you on that dangerous errand. That was not mischief, it was malicious, and she too will be dealt with. You can talk to Keenan about the specifics–I’m certain he’ll recognize your assailant–for she is equally to blame.”

He paused, looking at her, looking into her, it seemed.

“Last–to reiterate–you are not going to be fired–I value your contributions here far too much and it would be more than unfair of me to blame YOU for being assaulted–but I would abjure you to avoid the upper floors on  weekends in the future. This does not say that what happened was your fault…but it is best to limit the areas where those sort of …scenarios…could develop, however unintentionally.”

He turned to Keegan.

“I want increased signage…something to give someone pause before they goes upstairs, and I think we’ll have to develop some sort of ticketing or pass system so that a newbie doesn’t get make a mistake and get in over their head in a scene. The community comes under fire enough without having someone else be harmed who isn’t seeking that.”

“Sure, I’ll work out the details tomorrow…for now I have Harry keeping an eye on who goes up there.”

“Good.”

“As for you, Mandy, I am going to have Keegan escort you home. Sleep. The whiskey will help with that. Unless you choose to bunk here for the night. There’s a small room back here where you can rest undisturbed if you like?”

“I–I guess I’ll … I don’t know. I…I’m okay. Really.”

She wasn’t, not exactly. But she wasn’t bad either.

“I guess I’ll just go home.” She needed time to process, and a good cry. “I can drive.”

“Not with that head for whiskey,” Keegan helped steady her as she swayed when she rose.  She opted to not protest, just let herself be bundled into his car and driven home. He helped her unlock her door, helped guide her into her bedroom. She was asleep in seconds, and never felt him slip off her sneakers, nor even stirred when he tugged off her jeans and shifted her under the blankets.

Snapping off the bedroom light, he made his way to the kitchen to find a snack, and turned on the small television in her living room, and settled in to watch the nature channel. He could ignore the hard bulge in his jeans, but not the festering anger that one of his girls had come so close to harm. Sitting vigil in her apartment, knowing she was in a nice warm bed and half-naked, was a small price to pay in penance.

Chapter 8

She sat in the chair in front of Jakob’s desk. He hoped she felt small in the chair which dwarfed her. Without saying a word, he watched as she shifted uneasily under his steady look.

“You look nervous, Fae.”

“Nah, just wonderin’ why I’m here. Maybe you’re lookin’ for a new girl?”

The last was spoken with a hint of coyness, accompanied, by a slow eyed wink.

“Actually, you’re here because I watched your little show on my security camera’s footage last night. I sat here and scrolled through quite a scene. And not one that Nettle’s is proud about playing a part in.”

“What? Scene? Show?”

She looked genuinely puzzled for a moment, until he began to clarify.

“The show where you teased one of my employee’s about her position here. The scene where you demanded that she take care of pee in the upstairs bathroom? Pee, incidentally, that you left for her, as you were the last person in there.”

There was a sharp in-drawn breath and she leaned forward in her seat, but his raised hand forestalled her words. She was too well trained to ignore a direction order by a Dom.

“You did piss on the floor. I can easily do a DNA swab, you know. But there isn’t a need for that. Do you know why?”

He paused a moment, holding her now-fearful gaze with his steely eyed stare. More than one slut’s eyes had fallen before that look. He could see that she was holding her breath.

“Will you confess then?”

He paused, giving her one more moment to ‘fess up. One moment of leniency. Her gaze fell to her lap, but her mouth remained stubbornly silent.

“Very well then. I know it was you because there is a cam in the bathroom. Look, slut. Look for yourself.”

He turned the computer monitor so that she could see it. The cam showed the inside of the bathroom. In moments, it also very clearly showed her entering the room, peering around a moment, before entering the middle stall. For a moment, there was nothing, then her toes came into view, splayed wide apart, until the stall door swung open. She stood there–or rather, half-squatted there for a moment, her short skirt pulled up. A thin stream ran from between her legs to land on the floor. She gasped as she watched herself, her face turning an ugly shade of deep red.

“You know, I thought it was a waste of money, putting those cams around the club. But, my lawyer suggested it, actually, to avoid lawsuits. This way I can be sure what’s going on upstairs.  Surprised the fuck out of me that I’d actually need it after all this time. And I sat here last night reviewing my tapes, trying to find out who set up Kitten.  And there you were, pissing your way out of the stall.”

She fell back in her seat, her face blotched. Tears were starting to run the thick liner around her eyes.

“And then you sought out my staff. Specifically, Kitten. Why? And how much did he pay you?”

She shook her head.

“No no no no…he didn’t pay me. Just asked for a favor. I thought he w-was just gonna make her suck him off, or feel her up or something.”

“Geezuz you’re not that stupid. You know what the 2nd floor is about, slut.”

“I swear…Sir Malcolm just asked me for a favor. I didn’t know…” her voice slid into a whine, which grated on his nerves. He held up his hand to silence her again.

“Consider yourself lucky that Kitten did not choose to get the police involved. She was encouraged by me to do just that, but she preferred that I handle this internally. If I hadn’t then you could  be charged with accessory to rape. Instead, you’re out of here. For two full months.”

“But…but…” she sputtered, her mouth opening and closing almost comically. His stern face never wavered.

“Two months. Not a day sooner or it will be permanent banishment. Find another dom, another club, I don’t care. But I won’t hold with that sort of maliciousness in my own fucking club.”

She rose quickly. For a moment he thought she’d try offering him a blowjob, a free fuck, or some other equally annoying thing. Instead, she stormed across the room and whipped open the door.

She threw one last fulminating glare over her shoulder, and slammed the door behind her.  He watched on the cam to make sure that she left the club, was pleasantly surprised when she did. Just enough of a submissive to do as she was told. Unfortunately, that meant by any one in authority where ever she was at that moment.

He rose from his desk and went to check inventory. He needed to clear his fucking head, and counting bottles–with a glass of scotch in hand–was the best solution.

**********************************************************

They argued in the kitchen. It continued through breakfast, and into the dish washing part of her morning. Lifting one soapy finger, she whirled to face him,  stabbing it into his chest.

“Fine. So you slept on my couch. Fine. So you got me into bed and didn’t do anything. Fine. So you drove me home.”

“I think your timing is a bit ass-backwards there..” he interjected, deeply amused at the finger that was creating a big wet spot between his pec’s.

“Fuck that!” She turned her back on him, intent on finishing their dishes. Always best to clean oatmeal pans and dishes promptly–removing it was next to impossible later. She scrubbed and then whirled again. It was like the thoughts circling in her head were in a whirlpool that occasionally disgorged from her lips. She spun around again to confront him.

“And okay, so FINE, you “rescued” me.” She mimed air quotes, her brows furrowed, her face dangerous in her outraged pique. Soap dripped from her fingers, to splat unnoticed between their feet. They were nearly toe to toe, though he towered over her. He was glad that she wasn’t cowed by yesterday’s experience. And a bit exasperated by that, too.

She slapped both hands on his chest and pushed back. Ten wet marks soaked through his cotton shirt, the heat and wetness sending an arrow of lust right to his cock. Damned if the woman didn’t get to him, big time.

“I’m not some helpless female”, she uttered between clenched teeth. “I can rescue myself. And I’m going to work today. Just like I did yesterday. And like I will tomorrow.”

He had no recourse, he decided. There was just one way to stop this woman from raging at him. The wet spots on his shirt were cool at the edges where the moisture had spread, and hot where her fingers pressed him back, back.

He took a step forward, cupping her head with his hands, and kissed her hard. Her mouth opened, to yell at him more, he was sure. His tongue slid inside, caressing the hot velvet space. She didn’t resist, but her fingers tightened against his chest. He bent further, arching her back as his mouth began to explore hers. What had been started in annoyance ended in heat. She got to him. Lips mated, teeth nipped, tongues swirled. He wasn’t sure which of them moaned first, but his cock rose at the sound, pressing painfully against the restricting zipper of his jeans.

His hands itched to reach for her tits, to caress and weigh them, but he held onto his sanity, though his screaming penis begged him to forget it, and just take her. He was a dom, she was willing…

But she wasn’t a slut, not like one of the girls from his world, anxious for his company and his physical attributes. He didn’t ‘take’, and she wasn’t offering.

He broke the kiss, stepping away. Her eyes were deeply blue, her lips pinkened by his.

“Well…”

She began, then licked her bottom lip which felt dry as dust now.

“I…”

She shook her head, feeling remarkably like she had last night, drunk on a few sips of very nice whiskey. But people didn’t get drunk on kisses except in romance novels. Which was stupid, when you thought of it. She chose to ignore the fact that she had a  stash of just those sort of novels  under her bed  in a long storage box. Sure she read that shit–but  that didn’t mean she believed in that stuff–not in real life.

“Go. I have dishes to finish before work and YOU have to drive me.”

“Nice duck and cover, kitten.”

He flicked a finger down her cheek, chuckling as she turned her head, trying to nip it. She gave a little growl as she shooed him out of her kitchen.  What was he doing to her? She who liked to be alone? Who didn’t care about a companion, about sex, about any of that stupid shit. She was enjoying his company, his teasing. And his kiss, which surprised the fuck out of her. Kissing was NOT on her to-do list. A quick replay of the pressure of his mouth made her smile. She stood, frozen in place after he’d left the room. Oh my, he sure as hell gave good kiss. Wicked kiss, really. She turned back to the dishes with a perplexed smile. And a racing heart.

Chapter 9

She was back in her groove. Despite a few worries that she’d be weirded out about being kissed by Keegan, he didn’t change his routine around her. Like at all. Oh, maybe a wink or a light touch on the arm as she passed, but that was the extent of it. She’d also gotten through the shivers after cleaning that bathroom. There had been no lingering worries; the bothersome presence of the woman she had discovered was named Fae, and the man who was, in her own mind at least, titled ‘Sir Asshat’ had both been banished from the club for the foreseeable future. Back to loving her job once more, she moved through another week.

She wasn’t miffed about his lack of attention. So what if Keegan didn’t seem to be thinking about The Kiss. She didn’t either. Nope. She didn’t have time to think about that mind-bending kiss. Well, maybe sometimes, but only in random moments like when she was scrubbing toilets, that was all. Did he mention that kiss? Nope. Not once. Did he try again? Nope. Obviously it was a pity kiss, and that was fine. Just dandy.

Lying to herself about that dratted kiss was starting to rankle. She scrubbed the floor with her mop with a sudden burst of ferocity. Fuck him. Fuck them all. Men.

“What’d that floor ever do to you, kitten?”

Great. Just fucking great. Of all the people to sneak up on her now. She refused to acknowledge him by turning.

“It’s called cleaning. It’s what I do, remember?” Dickhead, she finished silently.

“O-kaay. What’s got you in such a pissy snit this morning?”

She whirled, the strings of the mop swirling about and nearly hitting his shins. She dropped it and stalked up to him, poking that finger into his chest again.

“You. You give me pissy snit. So just….go. Go wherever you flit off to, you…man you.”

She stomped back to where her mop lay on the floor and snatched it up.

“You mean my kissing you last week? Or your response to it?”

“Just go.”  She growled.

When she looked back over her shoulder, he was gone.

“Fuck.” she muttered, and returned to scrubbing the floor with a vengeance.

************************************************

“Damnest fuck of a thing. Seriously, she’s fucking deranged.”

Keegan paced around Jakob’s office.

“I go up to just check in with her, make sure she’s not getting the willies over cleaning that bathroom–”

“interesting word choice there–”

“you’re a fucking riot, J. So I go in and she’s scrubbing the floor–”

“Which I do pay her to do, Keege…”

“Will you shut the hell up and let me finish?” Keegan ran a hand through his hair, impatience sluicing off his every movement. “She’s scrubbing it like she’s pissed as hell, so I think maybe she’s having some sort of reaction to the whole thing, and when I ask her about it, she about throws her fucking mop at me and blames ME. Like…what the fuck did I do?”

“You kissed her, if I remember correctly.”

“Well, if I kissed you would that piss you off?”

“If you kissed me, after you picked your ass up off the floor, yeah, I’d be pissed. Unless, you know, you told me you liked me first. You know. Courted me a bit.”

Keegan stared at his friend for a long moment.

“You’re a sick fuck, you know that, right?”

Jakob laughed so hard that he almost fell out of his chair. Pointing his finger at the man who was both employee and friend, he was gasping, on the verge of tears. Keegan continued to stare at him, but his lips were twitching.

“Shut up, you idiot!”

But a moment later the sheer ridiculousness struck him, and he too was laughing. The two howled like loons, until Keegan collapsed into a chair, begging for it to stop.

“Oh man…you have it so bad for her. Do you even realize how sunk you are? OH man.” Jakob wiped his eyes, then made a shooing motion with his hands. “Go…go work it out with her. Just…I can’t laugh anymore, I have a business to run.

He watched, still grinning, as Keegan shut the door, oh so quietly, behind him. Man, he thought again, you are fucking sunk.

***************************************************************

He caught up to her outside her “office”. It was a large space, with a soak sink, built-in shelving for proper chemical storage, and a cabinet for all of her tools. There was even a small desk in the corner where she could maintain her inventory, keep cleaning logs, and stash her stuff. She’d settled down to ‘fuming’ from her flaming mad a while ago. No. She wasn’t going to let him make her crazy. She was an adult and responsible for her own reactions to people around her. And he wasn’t going to make her mad. A few deep breaths as she stowed away the last of her gear helped push away the ang…no. She wasn’t angry. She was just…well, there wasn’t one defining word really. There was just him. And her. And her total lack of reaction to him.

Slipping her arms into the sleeves of her jacket, she tugged her hair out of the collar, and slid a scarf around her throat. It was getting chilly out there, and the wind was biting. Slinging her small purse over her shoulder,  and stuffing her keys into her coat pocket, she opened her door to find Keegan there, fist raised as if to knock.

“Well Jezuz H!” She exclaimed, taking a quick step backwards in surprise. “What the fuck?”

He took a half-step back as well; her fist had come up in her surprise. The woman had good reflexes, he gave her credit for that.

“You don’t want to hit me with that.”

“To be sure, I do.”

“No, no you don’t because if you do, you’ll break your thumb with that grip. The thumb, tucked inside the fingers, becomes vulnerable. Lay it outside, like this.”

He stepped forward, taking her hand in his; her small hand was swallowed in his,  just as she was dwarfed by his height. Patiently he uncurled her fingers, and plucked out her thumb. Gently he re-curled her fingers, then placed her thumb along her fingernails.

“The thumb will hold your fingers together better, giving you more strength behind the blow, and won’t get broken this way. Plus, when you throw the punch, you kind of want to pivot your foot and hip a bit, use your pelvis as a fulcrum for the arm. That way your whole body will be behind the blow.”

“So if I hold my hand like this,” she tugged her fist from his, and flicked it in front of his nose, “and do this” …she pivoted on her foot and swung her arm and hip towards him, “then I can break your nose?”

“Well, you can try, kitten, but rest assured, you won’t.”

“Oh yeah?”

Where the sudden urge to play with  him had come from, she had no idea.

“Like this, big boy? Huh? Like this?”

She jabbed at him playfully, tapping his chin, his pec, his belly.

“Actually, I like this much better.”

The tone should have warned her, but she was riding high on the humor from tapping him a few times. In seconds he’d caught her wrist, twisted her arm around behind her and pressed her hard against his chest.

“Oh yeah, I do like this. Those nice tits of yours pressed against me like this? Mmmm.”

“You…perv.”

“Well, duh.” He rolled his eyes at her, and she giggled.

“You’re also a bastard. Now, what did you come banging on my door for?”

“Banging. Another thing I like…” Now he waggled his brows at her, making her laugh outright.

“Look perv-boy, I’m still mad at you. It’s not all about banging here, you know.”

His free hand snaked behind her, pulling her even closer. The hand then slid lower, grabbing her ass and giving it a very firm squeeze.

“True, vanilla girl, very true. Sometimes it’s all about that ass…”

“Perv. You need to let me go. I was about to leave.”

“Ahhh, but you see, you have to pay a toll now, a penalty for getting caught.”

“I think my ass just paid it.”

“Naah…that was just a little goody bag. Or maybe I should call it a booty bag. Anyway, the price for your freedom is a kiss. Just one. But a good one. Not one of those granny-style pecks on the lips. This has to be real.”

“It’s not “real” if you have to make me do it.”

Oh, he knew it would be real.

“Don’t you wanna kiss me?”

He turned his face into a sad little boy pout, and she giggled again.

“You know, I hate when you make me laugh when I’m mad at you.”

“You’re not really mad at me. You’re mad at you. Because you liked my incredible kissing skills–and frankly, what’s not to like, right?”

She rolled her eyes.

“Your conceit knows no bounds.”

“I prefer to call it “confidence” rather than conceit. Conceit sounds so….conceited.”

“I’ll get you a thesaurus for Christmas,” she said, trying to not smile again.

“Is that a cousin to a Brontosaurus? I always wanted one as a kid. Where do you get the DNA for that?”

She stood up on her tiptoes and pressed her lips against his to stop the silly flow of words. His hands released hers, and she wound her arms around his neck, pulling him down into her. She liked the taste of him, and traced her tongue over and around the lovely outline of his lips, before sliding it inside of his mouth. She experimented, played, tasted and explored his mouth. His moan did funny things to her, and she knew she was getting to him when she felt the rise of his cock against her belly, even through his jeans.

“I want you.”

He pulled his mouth away for a moment, to whisper in her ear.

“Not here, not now. But I want to feel you under me. I want to be inside of you. I want to eat you from your toes to your ears and all the bits in between. I want to squeeze your ass and your tits and suck your nipples and spend a day and a night and a day exploring you.

Say yes.”

Her eyes were huge, the intense blue of them something he could almost feel. Then he did something he’d never done with a woman before. He was a taker, sought out in the circles that he enjoyed frequenting. He liked to hit, liked to raise bruises on pale skin, enjoyed the cacophony of yelps and moans, the gasps of air.  He enjoyed women, used them, walked away. This time, things were different. This time he was not a taker, but taken. He kissed her nose, a tiny, gentle kiss, and spoke a single word.

“Please?”

Chapter 10

It wasn’t an epic fail, but it was a fail nonetheless.

Well, she had told him, she comforted herself as she stood under the hot spray of her shower. But he’d have none of that “I can’t” talk, she reminded herself. Just kept putting his finger over her lips when she’d start saying it. So the fail was his as well. She nodded to herself.  She couldn’t have an orgasm. And despite the beginnings of a connection with him, whatever this relationship was, it was already over. Because, hello, she was fucking broken! 

She’d rolled off the bed,  told him to go. They’d had a good time in her bed, time that had been enjoyable. She tried, tried to relax. Tried to feel the building bud of excitement. But she hadn’t cum, hadn’t helped him get off, just hadn’t.

Resting her forehead on the shower wall, hot water sluicing down her back, she remembered the feel of his hands sliding over her, the way his fingers cupped and kneaded her breasts, the arousal she began to feel.

Her head came up as tears threatened. She let them drown in the spray of water. It had died, that feeling, almost as soon as it began. She liked him touching her. She loved his mouth, the kisses that were as potent as a drug, the way his mouth had moved over her nipples, had buried itself between her thighs. It just …didn’t happen.

Maybe it was an epic fail.

She snapped off the shower, wrapped her hair in a towel, and her body in another. She’d get her sweats on and go order Chinese or something. She stopped in her bedroom. What was that smell? Hurrying to the kitchen, she wondered if she’d knocked a burner into the “on” position on her way through with Keegan. They’d been kiss-tangled at the time, bouncing off cabinets and her small kitchen set.

She stopped dead in the doorway.

“Hi. Have a nice shower?”

“Wha—what are you doing?”

“I don’t know about you, but I call it cooking.”

“B…but…”

“Surely you didn’t think I was just going to walk out and not talk about what didn’t happen in there?” He pointed in the direction of the bedroom. “That’s not how this works, kitten.”

Her mouth opened and closed, but she had no words.

He pulled out a chair and pointed to it. She sat, looking pole-axed.

******************************************************************************

“So, we talked it through, but there weren’t any concrete resolutions. If she keeps on thinking she’s broken, and god help the asshole who put that thought into her head if I ever find him, she’s going to believe it so deeply that I’ll never be rid of it.”

“It seems she’s already bought into it–”

“Well, she has, but it is always said somewhat tentatively.”

“Don’t interrupt me son.”

Keegan snorted into his coffee cup. There was no one who knew more about sex in general, and D/s as a lifestyle than Jakob. He’d been in the scene almost his entire life; his mother had been a professional Dominitrix –and likely still was though she was going on 75. He’d only met her once but she’d made him very nervous, which no one else had ever done. But when his friend put that Old Geezer voice on? It never failed to make him laugh. Or listen. Damn him anyway!

“As I wuz sayin’…”

“Okay, geezer, I get it. I’m all ears.”

“That’s not what I heard…according to Miz Traylor.” Jakob paused to laugh.  He really enjoyed getting under Keegan’s skin at times. Nothing would jostle him out of a mood faster.  Miz Traylor loved to watch Keegan in a scene, and would tease him relentlessly afterward. She had no interest in bedding him, but she very much enjoyed making him squirm. A die-hard lesbian, nothing made Keegan blush as the things Miz T would say to him. A blushing Dom was nothing short of hysterical, Jakob thought.

“Geezuz, J….” and the tips of his ears pinkened.

“So, back to your little problem. Here’s what I think. I think you need to stop being such a baby with her. She is curious. I swatted her butt way back when she started here, and I know it got her going. Some submissives don’t always understand what’s happening to them. You’re going to be the one to help guide her. So I would suggest doing so carefully.”

“I think you should help. Since you are so sure of her ‘hidden needs’ and all. Besides–It will be fun.”

“Fun, huh? Fun getting my janitor all hot and bothered, so that you can walk in and fuck her, while I get to walk out with hard wood?”

He laughed at the look on Keegan’s face, then continued.

“But lucky for you,  I don’t mind priming her. I like her–and you, though I’m not sure why since you’re so fucking ugly. But she’s wounded and I don’t mind having the chance to help heal that. And she has a really fine ass, too.”

He smiled as Keegan bristled.

“Well, she does, right? Let me know when and I’ll make sure that we have nothing else scheduled at that time. Monday’s are best you know. She’s here, you’re free, club is closed.”

They talked a bit more, until they’d decided on a course of action. Keegan left J’s office feeling much better than he had when he walked in.

**********************************************************

He took her to dinner. Took the menu from her, and said “Let me.” To his amazement, she did. If she was bemused that they hadn’t spoken further of the sexual breakdown she’d had, he let her wallow in it for the nonce. He caught more than a few inquiring, curious glances from her, at dinner, and the following day. He’d only kissed her firmly at her apartment door, then with a smile, turned and walked away. She was thinking hard while she cleaned, her brows furrowed more than once when he would walk through the room where she was working.

She wondered what the fuck was going on.He was still interested. Still taking her out on dates. Dinner last night had been a bit strange, but she had kind of liked it too, the guy ordering for the little lady and all. But she was still feeling shy? Maybe not shy. Weird? Yeah. She was definitely feeling weird. Guys she knew from before would have been long gone by now. But Keegan kept taking her out.  At work, he’d seek her out, fondling her tits when he could get her alone, or even sneaking up behind her while she was working and swat her on the ass. When she’d whirl with a squeal,  he’d grab her up,  tug her into another of those torrid kisses. She was puzzled. She was intrigued. She was very curious. Well, there was one person here who knew Keegan better than anyone. Taking a deep breath, she knocked on Jakob’s office door. Her eyes glanced at the “NO” plate. Wondering what, exactly “no” meant, she opened it at his very poorly timed “come”. If only.

“Ah, Mandy. How are things going?”

“I’m good, boss. Fine. Uhm… I was wondering what “no” meant on the door?”

He looked at her a moment, a faint half-smile on his face.

“Really?”

“Well, ah, that wasn’t why I came in here–I just kind of wondered is all. Never thought to ask before.”

“Ah. Well. It depends on why anyone is coming in here. If someone is looking to fuck in my private space, then NO. If a slut is here asking for permission to cum, then NO. If someone wants a special order? Maybe. But I thought NO was still a good answer and went with it. It stops a lot of bothersome nonsense, you see.”

Steepling his fingers, he gazed at her impassively.

“I’m supposing you aren’t here with bothersome nonsense, are you kitten?”

His voice had turned silky. Damned if that didn’t make her knees wobbly. He could be very “dangerous” in this mood. He teased her quite a bit, in a big brother sort of way. But sometimes he just let the Dominant side of him ride loose and free–and she didn’t quite know how to deal with that side of him yet.

“It makes me nervous when you do that,” she blurted.

“Do? Do what, kitten?”

“That!” she waved her hand at him. “That…dom stuff. You’re not my dom and I am not a submissive and … you still …I dunno….”

His smile grew sharper, and she supposed that this was the sort of things that got other girls going, that look on his face. It spoke of predators, and things that went bump in the night. And in here? It spoke of whips and chains and bondage and sex fantasies brought to life.

She cleared her throat.

“I…uh…wanted to ask about…Keegan. He…I…there was an issue….and…uh…”

She rolled her eyes, and blushed furiously.

“You are SO not making this easy.”

“Good things are rarely easy, girl.”

Taking a deep breath, she moved closer, daring to sit in one of those huge leather chairs.

“I can’t make him stop, you see. I can’t please him, I can’t…you know. I told you already. I’m broke–”

“Stop.”

It was pure Dom that interrupted before she could finish the word.

“I have tolerated you saying that for months. Mandy, you are not broken. Someone, somewhere, fucked you up. They were fucking awful in bed, and blamed you at a time when you were vulnerable. Your problem? Is buying into it. If someone told you that you were stupid, would you believe them?”

She shook her head vehemently no.

“No, of course not,” he continued. “Because you know that you’re a fucking smart woman. You have successfully taken care of yourself–paid your bills, maintained an apartment and a vehicle, and a job where your skills are definitely needed. So–not stupid. That said? You took his fuck up…whomever “he” was…because he couldn’t satisfy you…and turned it into a mantra that you’ve repeated often enough that your body believes it. You need to get through that, past that. I don’t think Keegan is able to do that.”

“But…”

“Hear me out, Mandy. He can’t, because he really cares about you. About fucking this up. So. He’s dumped you into my lap.”

She blinked, sitting up straight in the chair.

“I beg your pardon?”

“Yup. You’re my problem now.”

She stared at him, horror written clearly on her face.

“I–I…no. No. Not possible. I can’t let my boss be the “cure” for my …my …orgasm issues. Oh my gawd.”

Her hands covered her flaming face. Soft ‘no, no, no, this isn’t happening’ came from between her fingers, to his vast amusement.

Keegan was right. This was going to be a lot of fun.

Chapter 11

“I am not wearing that.”

“Sure you are.”

“There’s no bottom. And the top is…is…”

“…is a corset? Yes, and what is wrong with a corset?”

“It’s…not my style.”

“Let us be honest here, little girl. You have NO idea about what your “style” is. You’re taking a walk in my world now. Which means I’m the boss…..”

He paused. She wanted to speak up. She wanted to keep that air of bravado that had landed her this job in the first place.  She wanted to remind him that of course he was the boss. He WAS the boss. But also…

Not the boss of me, she longed to say. His eyes drilled into hers. And…damn him! He was the victor in that little contest, she fumed silently as her eyes fell to the black corset he held out to her. She watched as her hand reached out and took the blasted thing.

“Good girl. Because you, my dear, are not the boss, but the listener. And, to remain a good girl, an obey-er as well. Go put that on now.”

His tone told her that he would brook no further argument from her. And since he had plans for her that she was totally unsure of, she decided that retreat was the better form of valor here. She ducked into the bathroom in Jakob’s office. Immediately she opened the door again.

“You’re sure I need to…”

His voice sliced through any lingering doubt.

“Get. Dressed.”

He’d never been quite that stern with her before. Her belly quaked a bit, actually. Not with fear, per se. But some small part of her still quaked at such authority. He didn’t yell, ever. He just used that…that voice.

Dom voice.

The one that let her know that all her attempts to wheedle him out of this would be for naught, and she’d wind up wearing the fucking corset in the end, so give up now. Damn him.

And why did it give her heart a curious, giddy thrill? She slid into the contraption, figuring out how to hook the back hooks. There was no way she was taking off her panties. She just wasn’t. The hem of the thing didn’t even come close to covering her ass or her triangle. She looked in the mirror and sighed.  Her bra looked strange underneath. Thinking about the people who came to the club dressed in these outfits, she realized the bra had to go. But boy didn’t it leave a lot of her tits exposed? She swallowed hard as she looked in the big mirror.

“That’s very  nice.”

She hadn’t heard the door open, but he was right there behind her. He towered over her of course. His hands rose to her bare shoulders, trailed down her arms as he bent forward over her.

“Very, very nice. How did I not ever know you had all this under your clothing?”

His hands slipped up her arms, raising gooseflesh in their passage, then, with fingertips only, touched light as a feather over the round mounds of her breasts.  His breath teased along her ear as she watched him touching her. Her eyes were huge, her cheeks pink with embarrassment, for surely that was the only thing affecting her. She looked sexy. Sensual.

He stood up, and his hands moved to her hair.

“Although I do enjoy my girls with ponytails–they do make rather excellent handles–today I want your hair down.”

He tugged out her scrunchie and watched as her hair tumbled over her shoulders and cascaded down her back.

“You have that ‘just ripe’ look that I find most appealing, kitten.”

She refused to meet his eyes, refused to bite her lip like that stupid girl from that summer reading sensation. Her belly quivered. Nerves. It was all just nerves. She was bro—. She stopped that thought quickly, certain he would read it on her face.

“Come along, little one, we have much to get to.”

She wondered what that meant.

************************************************

They walked up to the third floor. She turned to him on the landing.

“But…here?”

“Today this space is private. No one else will come into the club. That’s why we’re doing this now. He’ll be here, watching, of course. I’m teaching him as much as you.”

“It won’t work.”

“Best to get that right out there, huh? That you’re setting out to fail from the start?”

She blinked. “Well…no…that’s not what I meant…”

“Yet it is what you said, what the implications of your words mean.”

“I don’t want you to …”

Now she did bite her lip, looking nervous.

“Don’t want me to what? Fuck you? No. That’s between you and your man.”

“Oh gawd…I…no…I mean..Jesus…how can I…”

She covered her face with her hands.

“Take off those silly panties.”

Her hands fell as her mouth opened in a round O of shock.

“Go on now, girl. Get them off and leave them on the doorknob there.”

“Leave. My panties. On the doorknob??”

He laughed, delighted at her reaction. She smiled back at him, relieved. Aah, so he was just joking then. She moved to open the door, but his hand snaked around her waist.

“Uh huh. Panties first, kitten.”

She couldn’t look at him, couldn’t think. She slid down the panties, crumpling them in her fist and trying to ignore that her bare bottom was inches from his legs.

“On the knob, kitten.”

“Oh gawd…” she moaned softly.

“Indeed.”

Her hand shook visibly as she draped the white cotton panties on the knob. If this part was hard, what the hell else was going to transpire?

***********************************************************************

He watched her come into the room, Jakob right behind her. Gods but she was stunning. J had said she had the makings of a real sexy slut, but for once, he just hadn’t seen it. Perhaps he’d been blinded by all the more obvious women who came to the club. Or maybe he just always pictured her with her jeans and white tee-shirt, hair cobbled up on her head. She wasn’t into artifice, didn’t seek to attract. Yet she did, she had. He was drawn to her like he’d never experienced before. She didn’t see him at first, her walk halting as they crossed the room. When she did look up, look at him, the smile illuminated her face. And then the blush glowed richly.

“He made me put on this get-up…”

“He was right to do so. He’s the boss, after all.”

“Not the boss of me.”

A hand fisted in her hair, dragging her to an abrupt stop. His voice  was that firm Dom voice again.

“Tonight I am the boss of you. Best you don’t forget that, little one. For now I am your dom, and you are my submissive. You will follow my directives, and you will cum.”

She didn’t speak, not a word slipped past her lips, but he knew the words locked inside. He shook her head, hard enough to jar.

“You will cum.”

Chapter 12

“This will help.”

She wasn’t sure about that as he slid the blindfold over her eyes.

“Trust me?”

She nodded, though the urge to bite her lip and fidget nervously was omnipresent. She didn’t even have the thin protection of her panties, for gosh sake. She was all but naked in front of her boss, and the guy that she was feeling very attached to. Though in all likelihood she was going to have to break up with him, since she was such a bad…

“Follow me.”

His voice cut through her burgeoning self-doubt. His tone was firmer somehow. Jakob was always direct, but now there was more than a hint of steel behind his words. She took a tentative step. She knew she was in the middle of the very large room, knew where his voice had come from, but there was a blindfold covering her eyes. She felt more than a little foolish, and a bit embarrassed. Because, hello, naked. Or practically.

“Where are you?”

“Where are you….Sir.”

The voice came from directly in front of her. Her teeth worried her bottom lip before she could contain herself. His words reminded her vividly of what she had agreed to back in his office. If she wanted to fix herself…if she wanted a chance with Keegan…she had to allow herself to become submerged in their world. There was that prefix again, the one that kept tripping her up. “Sub.” She wasn’t “under” anyone–she’d fought too hard to get to where she was in life to be comfortable being a “sub”-anything. And yet. This was how things worked at Nettles, how things worked in the D/s life that was integral to both men. They were dominant…and she was not. He continue after a brief pause, once more interrupting her mental struggles.

“In here, when we are having a scene, I am “Sir” to you–to any submissive. Not Jakob. Right now I control all that happens to you. Understood?”

She nodded, her voice hidden behind the large nervous lump in her throat. A hard swat fell on her ass.

“OW!”

She jumped, rubbing at her bottom.

“That hurt!”

“That’s kind of the point, kitten. I expect you to answer when spoken to. I don’t hold with too much fussiness regarding protocols, but I do expect manners–and obedience.”

“Yes, SIR,” she responded promptly, as she had seen people in the armed services do.

“Don’t be a smartass, kitten.”

“Yes, Sir,” she muttered. His laugh reassured her.

“Follow me.”

She found, by listening very carefully, she could just hear his footfalls on the wooden floor. When they stopped, she stopped.

“I didn’t ask you to stop moving.”

His voice came from behind her, confusing her.

“Well, hell, where are you?”

There was the sound of two male voices laughing.

“I told you she’d be feisty.”

“That you did.”

Hands took her by the wrists, lifting them up. She was puzzled. Wasn’t she in the middle of the room? Something snapped around them, something chilly and metallic. And … OMG…

“Are you…handcuffing me?!”

She was astonished, and a bit worried now. She’d seen this all before, she reminded herself. Had been working here for months, and seen scenes that unfolded this way–handcuffs or rope, or any manner of strange ways of containment. But it was very different now. Now it was happening to her.

“Hold onto this.”

Keegan. He was handing her something. It was long and thick.

“You want me to hold onto a stick?”

Another hard swat on her bare bum reminded her.

“Sir… You want me to hold a stick Sir?

“Yes, sub. I want you to hold this.”

He pushed her hands closer together. She felt the rope in the middle of the stick. He moved her hands until  her fingers rubbed up against it. A moment later she felt rope wrapping over her wrists, across her fingers, between her hands. There was no way she could let go of the stick now–it was bound to her.  She was bound to it.

“All set.”

Keegan’s voice was directly in front of her, but aimed behind her. She felt a tug against the stick and her arms rose up, steadily upward until they were overhead. And still they rose, forcing her to her toes. Keegan whispered in her ear, as his hands did a quick study of her exposed tits.

“We won’t do this for too long. Enough to make you uncomfortable though.”

Jakob…that would be Sir Jakob now…was behind her. His hand glided over her shoulder, down her back, over and around her ass. It made her feel… uncomfortable. And maybe a bit–just a little bit– erotic.

“Usually I like to gag a submissive for this scene, but I’m interested to hear your reactions. You’re not here to play up a scene…your first time will be a treat for all of us.”

She didn’t know what he hit her with…it didn’t make a sound in the air, and he wasn’t hitting her hard. It stung, but it was bearable. A quick tremble ran through her, a shudder that she couldn’t conceal.  She had no idea why all those subs getting hit did all that moaning and groaning. Perhaps it was all an act after all.

It took a moment for the sound, and the shockwave of pain to hit. It rolled into her consciousness, a tsunami of sensation. The sound had been faint, but the blow, square in the center of her left butt cheek made her dance in place. Her toes ached, her ass ached, and she could not reach down and rub at the pain.

“FUCK! OW! That fucking hurt!”

Another blow fell, and rather than hitting the other cheek, landed just to the side of the prior strike. He made a quick circle of slaps around that first one, each a hard shock to her body. She yelped, she danced, she swore. Her breath came in thick gulps, trying to anticipate the next blow, and always failing. The pain radiated in a hot circle on her left cheek. A warm hand stroked over the abused skin, soothing for a moment before another strike completed the circle. She held onto the stick for dear life, her toes throbbing, her shoulders aching and her ass, dear gods, her ass was on fire. Their voices came from behind her, shaking her from the pain-induced lethargy.

“Looks like a flower.”

“A hairbrush daisy?”

“Needs a stem.”

“No! No it doesn’t need a …oH FUUUCK!”

Three taps with something different moved over the bottom of her ass, including that heretofore unknown sensitive area where her bottom ended and her leg began.  She danced in place, trying to avoid him, trying to avoid the slaps.

“Didn’t know you could dance so well, kitten.”

His voice was thick with amusement as he hammered more blows down her thigh.

“Why are you only hitting THAT side….?” Her wailing yelp ended as another “oh fuck” took precedence over further speaking. He was fucking laughing and her ass hurt like it was on fire, her thigh was burning, her toes were cramping…

Her arms were falling. Hands steadied her at the waist, as she came down to her full feet again, as she wobbled with the sudden release from pain.

“I’d check her if I were you.”

“I’m fine,” she began, but stopped when his hand cupped her.

“Oh…but I’m not..I mean really no….”

His finger slid into the fleshy slit.

“Indeed?” He paused a moment, his fingers sliding deeper between her legs.

His chuckle was warm on her cheek.

“Oh, but you are…”

******************************************************************

She thought she would die of mortification. Thanking the powers that be for the blindfold, she could almost tune out that the two men–her boss and her lover–were discussing the state of her arousal. And then the talk shifted to other things, things she could not fathom at all.

“No, that’s too much. The pink one.”

“Yes. And the smaller…yes that one.”

“Come along kitten.”

A finger hooked into her bodice and tugged her across the room. She was fumble-footed, her bottom throbbing. They had not uncuffed her hands, so she couldn’t rub the ache away.

“We’re going to try something  a bit different now. ”

That was all the warning she got before she was directed to step up. And bend over. The smell of leather was familiar, and she knew instantly that she was being bent over the ‘horse’.

“Oh…oh…but wait…I…”

“Yes kitten?”

His voice was in her face, as he fiddled with her hands. There was a tug, and a click.

“I’m not sure…”

“I am.”

His hand cupped her chin. Despite the odd angle, he kissed her soundly, and she melted into the moment. She felt something wet along her buttcrack, and gasped. His lips pressed against hers.

“Ssssh…it only hurts for a moment…”

A finger…not Keegan’s, but her bosses, which added to the embarrassment, probed between…and pressed against her butt.

“OH…oh noooo….”

“Just lubing you up, little one.”

She could hear the smile in his voice. She tugged her wrists, trying to slid back to her feet, but she was firmly attached. She moaned as his finger entered her ass, as it slid in and out. It hurt and it was embarrassing. And then it was gone.

“Keegan, I believe you should attend to this part,” Jakob said.

With a quick kiss on the tip of her nose, she felt the movement of air as he moved away from her.  To her credit, she only shrieked a little when something very firm was pressed quite insistently against her asshole, and a second time when it entered…and stayed.

 

Chapter 13

She whimpered, she moaned, she struggled but she could not expel the thing in her ass. A hand came to pet her head, long gentle strokes that soothed.

“I know kitten, it’s uncomfortable. Does it help to know that it will get worse before it gets better?”

Worse? she thought, slightly panicked.

“Worse? How…I…”

She felt the shift of air, heard his voice much closer, and guessed he was now sitting beside where she lay, head over the horse.

“Whomever put that block in your head, gods save him if I ever discover who he was, caused you to believe that the failure was yours. In truth, little one, many women can’t cum from just penetration…they may need clitoral stimulation, or anal play or something else. So…we’re going to go with “something else” and do something that Doms really, really enjoy.”

He paused, his fingers stroking along the tops of her breasts as they spilled out from the top of her corset, hanging like ripe fruit in this upside-down position. She gasped as his fingers tugged at her nipples, the sensation traveling like a jolt of lighting to her clit.

“See? Already your senses are on high alert, girl. We’re going to push you hard, through pain to pleasure.”

She felt that small swirl of air on her face, and knew he’d risen and moved away.

“You’ll feel a little pinch,” Keegan’s voice came from her side, moving towards her. Dear gods now what where they going to do to her? She shivered, feeling very vulnerable. She reared up when her right nipple was pinched, hard.

“A LITTLE pinch?” she yelped, knowing her other nipple would be grabbed next.

“Hey, at least we’re not using the big chain,” Keegan laughed.

“It really hurts…”

“It really is supposed to…”

“You’re totally unsympathetic, you bastard!”

“I know.” His voice was amused, not in the least bothered by her heated response. She was more aroused now than she had been when they’d spent the night together, and he’d used every vanilla trick in the book to try to eke out a response.

All was quiet for a moment, as she absorbed the ache in her nipples. She realized the throb in her anus had lessened–or perhaps the pain in her tits ruled just now. A faint click was followed by a humm that she recognized as a vibrator. It touched along her pussy lips, slowly moving down, up, around, even pressing against the plug in her bum. Her moan was involuntary.

With a slowness that was maddening, the shaking press of the vibe moved up her slit, until it found her clitoris, and pressed firmly. A hand came down sharply on her right cheek, the first time that side had been touched. She yelped, she yowled, she shuddered and twitched as one of them–she was sure it was Jakob, as his hand fell repeatedly on her ass. Fingers slid inside of her, pressing in and out firmly, the vibe still shaking her clit. He hit a spot..the infamous g-spot?, her over-active mind wondered, and she arched, yowling.

“Yessss,” came the hiss of satisfaction from behind her. “Again..”

The slaps on her throbbing butt came harder, faster. The vibe slipped around her clit, short circles that tormented. Fingers thrust and stroked.

Something built deep inside of her body, a quiver, a tremor, and suddenly, a shockwave of sensation snapped through her like a broken bow. She screamed, her body drawn taut, before it exploded. She shook, her heart raced, her pussy was destroyed. Paroxysms tingled through–fingers, toes curled, her eyes squeezed shut, her breath caught and held. She was alive, she was dead, she dripped sweat, she was slicked in cum. Tension drained, her body softened, and she collapsed, spent. Dimly she heard the men talking, their voices seeming to come from miles away. She didn’t feel, didn’t notice, when her hands were freed, that she was pulled from the horse, cradled against Keegan’s chest.

*****************************************************

When she roused, she shivered.

“Cold?”

“yes…I’m…so wet…”

He chuckled.

“That would be an understatement. I’m glad you’re awake–you have quite a mess to attend to…”

She blinked.

“Wait…what? I finally have an orgasm and you’re making me clean it up?”

“Well, unless you want to take a smear of it and hang it in your office as a trophy, of course you’re going to clean it up!”

“You made me cum.”

She paused, staring up at Keegan, glancing over at Jakob.

“And really? We’ve only just begun.”

They exchanged amused glances as she was tugged to her feet. oooOh my, was her last rational thought for quite some time.

 

Chapter 14

He slept like the dead.

It took a few none-too-gentle shoves to tug her hair out from under his shoulder, to get her lega s free of the sheet that he was all but mummified in–and her with him. He slept on, oblivious. True, they had fucked like minks yesterday when they came home from the club. She noticed the very deep soreness in her pussy as she rose and padded down the hall to her kitchen. She turned on her teakettle, prepared her cup with a teabag, then set about making coffee for him. Holding the opened bag in her hand, she paused, tilting her head in wonderment.

When had she started buying his coffee?

The smile bloomed as she made her tea. It seemed they had just kind of flowed into each other, despite the lack of orgasms on her part. Well, lack thereof until yesterday. Despite the hard use of her body, the beatings had been fairly gentle. She felt a twinge in her shoulder as she reached up for his mug, and another in her side as she turned to grab a pencil from the box she kept on her microwave. Yup, there were some sore spots. She wondered if it would hurt to sit, not that she sat that much in the morning anyway.

But she felt–yeh gods, she felt like she could break out of her skin and fly. It was so fucking weird.  It was almost a religious experience, she mused, filling a filter, setting the pot up so he only had to push one button when he rose. She’d had some kind of epiphany. Still not certain when Jakob had slipped away, the time and effort that he and Keegan had put into helping her through that frigging barrier in her head had been nothing short of amazing.

Who did that? Who spent time on helping someone with such a strange issue? It seemed that those who were “dominant” by nature were perceived as creatures to be wary of. They were dark and moody and prone to random acts of violence. Or so spoke mainstream media. She knew better now–the depths of care that a good Dom put into what they did–knowing their submissive’s needs–even if she didn’t want to admit them to herself. The media people didn’t get it. No, they didn’t get it at all.

Finishing in the kitchen, she scribbled a quick note, propping it on top of his mug.

coffee ready-just press start

muffin in the micro–just press start

heading to the club to clean. kiss ya later.

and maybe more.

*wink*

She was flirting. On a post it note. Shaking her head at her silliness, she dashed into the bathroom and dressed in her work garb, then back out to the kitchen to grab her gear. Taking her keys, she slipped quietly out the back door and headed out to work.

***************************************************************************

She rolled her trash barrel out the doors, and down the back ramp. Enjoying the opportunity to be outside on a lovely morning, she looked up at the deeply blue sky. The air was clean, if chilly. The barrel rolled down the ramp with minimal effort. It was noisy, the only sound she could hear. A short push brought her to the dumpster. As the barrel came to a stop, she heard the faint hum of traffic on the distant highway, and something else. Egads, she hoped another freaking squirrel hadn’t gotten into the dumpster. The last time that had happened, she about had a heart attack when she opened the door and the grey beast had leapt out, chittering madly.

Cautiously, she opened the slider door on the side. It was silent inside, but she wasn’t taking any chances. She threw the bags in and closed the slider quickly. Pivoting, she began to tug the barrel back up the ramp when she heard the sound again. It sounded almost like a moan. Frowning, she moved around the dumpster.

The car, one of those mini-styled ones, was so tiny that she hadn’t seen it from the other side of the dumpster. She could see that there was someone inside. She approached cautiously, reaching into her pocket for her phone. There! There was the sound again. It was definitely coming from the person in the car. She rapped on the window.

“Hello? Hey, are you okay?”

The window slid down silently. She gasped as Fae turned her head to look at her. Without hesitation, she pressed  the emergency dialer on her cellphone.

**********************************************************

They were gathered in the main bar area. Mandy looked around and saw the entire staff for the first time. This was a bigger business than she had imagined. She’d never really counted all the people she knew worked there. But there they were, all waiting for Jakob.

He came in at last, his face serious. Not standing on formality, he jumped up to sit on the bar and began talking.

“Some of you may know our guest, Fae?” He looked around, saw some nods, some questioning looks. “She was attacked sometime last night, beaten severely, raped.”

There were several gasps in the room, including one from Mandy. For all that she thought that she had wanted to beat the woman into a pulp herself, she didn’t really mean it.

“She either has no memory of the event, or is refusing to say. I want everyone to be on high alert, though it doesn’t seem as if it happened here, only that she drove her car here afterwards. Keep an eye on guests, and make sure you watch out for one another. That’s all folks. Thanks for coming in. Security meeting in my office in five.”

He slid down off of the bar, moving through the crowd. He stopped and talked to the gathered knot of barmaids, patting reassuringly. Halfway across the room Keegan joined him. The two men made their way to where Mandy sat, still stunned.

“How is she?” Mandy reached out a hand to Jakob. “Will she be okay?”

He took the hand, rubbing it gently. He felt the tremble there, though she had been calm and level-headed when he’d come from the club at a run. She’d called him, and called the ambulance that showed up a few minutes after he’d come out. They didn’t dare move Fae from the car. Her face was a mess, purpled and swollen, her lip cracked and leaking blood. But Mandy had taken her hand, cradled it and crooned softly to her, whispering words that calmed the broken younger woman.

She’d been calm as she’d given her statement to the police, calm as they waited for the full staff assembly. It took a lot to impress him. He was very impressed.

“She will be okay. They can’t tell if she’ll need surgery just yet, that will depend on how the swelling goes down, how she heals. There is an orbital fracture; her eye is very swollen and they can’t say for sure if the blurry vision there will be permanent or not.”

He didn’t go into more details than that, not about the broken ribs, the cracked forearm, the broken toes that bespoke of a violent, raging attack.

“I want you to be careful, Mandy.”

“Me?”

“You’re the one who is in and out of here the most. Out to the dumpster, out to clean the front door, down in the basement–it’s a risk. And you and Fae have a brief, but nasty history. Though I think that the two things are likely not even connected.”

He paused at the look of shock on her face. He had certainly given the cops the name of the man who had threatened him, and one of his employees. It didn’t hurt to be overcautious.  A private word with Keegan would do well here.  He didn’t want her to be paranoid, either. Squeezing her hand, he continued.

“Fae could well have gone to one of the other gatherings in town where things aren’t always as well regulated…or hooked up with someone who just has a big old case of “don’t give a fuck” for a sub. We won’t get any answers for a while. I just want you–and the other women on my staff–to take an extra moment to check before you head out, okay? And if you’re here in the evening, to get an escort to take you to your car.”

She opened her mouth to protest, but his finger covered her lips.

“No arguing. I’m the boss. This goes for all of you women. And–I’m sure I’ll get this same shit from all you girls; nonetheless, it’s my club, and my rules.”

She licked his finger. His brow rose. Behind him slightly, Keegan saw what she had done and tried to stifle his own grin. Sassy assed wench, he thought. He knew who would win this bout. Still, it was entertaining to watch. He caught her attention.

“Are you done here, Mandy? I can escort you to your car and feel you up.” He winked and leered suggestively.

She blushed. “Must you be so…so…brazen?

He laughed.

“You’re reading too many romance novels. Brazen? Who says that at a sex club?”

He laughed again. Her scowl fierce, she settled for poking him hard in the chest, before turning back to Jakob. In her best little-girl sing-song voice she offered him her most saccharine, insincere smile.

“Yes Sir. I pwomise to not go outside at night without a big, bad, fierce escort, and to look twice before I go outside.”

He tugged her ponytail, and shook his head with a sigh.

“You are all going to give me a ration of shit about this aren’t you?”

Not waiting for an answer, he turned to hail Marcy, one of his barmaids.

****************************

“He means it, and I mean it too. Make sure you get an escort to your car, got it?” Keegan’s face was serious.

“Yes, Sir two. I got it. . . get it. I’ll be fine, but …poor Fae. She was a stupid girl to set me up like that, but she didn’t deserve what happened to her.”

He hugged her tight, and kissed the top of her head.

“I need to finish up. I’ve dumped the trash,  cleaned the bathrooms, mopped the floors. I just need to restock the washrooms and then I’m done.”

“I’ll help you–”

“No. You’re the bouncer. I’m the cleaning woman. I don’t do your job–” she made a face at his quick, amused grin “–and you don’t do mine, Mr. Tough-guy.”

She felt his eyes following her as she headed into the store room. It felt good to be fussed over, to be worried about. Funny that she felt the same way about him.

Chapter 15

Mandy knocked on the thick door with the “NO” sign on it. While she waited for Jakob, she reflected on what a difference there was from the first time she’d stood here and waited for this door to open. Gone was the nervous woman who knew she would have to fight for a job. In her stead was a confident woman, a bit rattled by today’s events, but still sure about herself in a way she hadn’t believed possible. And to think that the change had come because of a job as a janitor in a BDSM club.

She opened the door, stepped inside and closed it softly behind her. Instinctively she scanned the room.

“He’s not here,” Jakob smiled from his chair, hands clasped behind his head. With a quick shrugging stretch, he rose, inviting her to sit as he took the other leather seat beside her.

“How is ..Fae..” she asked hesitantly.  A shadow passed over his face.

“She’s doing as well as can be expected. But I didn’t ask you here to talk about her now. I want to know how you are. How you are feeling after our session?”

It seemed impossible that so much had changed in her head in a day. She rubbed her thumb against the palm of her hand. There was a smile in his eyes…or maybe the gleam of the predator. It was hard to tell.

“I…I don’t know how to….” She paused. She wasn’t sure how one thanked a man for helping her orgasm. And by using pain to get her there.

“On the contrary. I think we’ve proven, pretty unequivocally, that you do know ‘how to’…” His words trailed off and she felt the blush explode on her cheeks and slide down her neck.

“Oh..I …geeze.”

Giving up, she buried her face in her hands.

“I don’t know how you all talk about this stuff so easily…it’s…it’s…”

“Embarrassing? I don’t mind watching you being embarrassed. It’s actually quite a turn-on.”

One blue eye peeked out from her fingers, gazing at his grinning face before hiding again.

“GAWwwwwwD….” she muttered. “I hate that you can …fluster me…so easily. So thank you for making me..” she faltered again. “You know.”

“Making you…?”

“You’re really going to make me say it?”

“There really is only one thing I “made” you do…so sure, you can say it.”

She whimpered again.

“You’re a jerk.”

“I know. I’m okay with that.”

She definitely didn’t have to look to see the laughter. It came through his voice, the cheery way he teased. This was a different Jakob, not just the somewhat stern boss, nor the dark dominant, but the man behind all of those masks. She was amusing him, and she guessed that had to count for something.  She dropped her hands, taking a deep breath. She’d just fucking say it, then.

“Thank you for making me cum.”

“Helping you cum. It was in you all along.”

She groaned at the very bad double-entendre. He laughed, a deep, rolling laugh of pleasure.

“Mandy, I don’t know when–if–I’ve ever had so much fun with a newbie. You’re a good girl. You’ll be good for Keegan–and he for you. And if you ever get ‘stuck’ again–you know where I am. I can see that you’ve had no ill effects from all those orgasms…”

“Blisters.” She interrupted him.

He paused, staring at her.

“I’m sorry? What? Blisters?” He’d never heard of the Hitachi giving someone blisters before.

She giggled.

“On my hands–from mopping the floor after…”

He reached out, snagging her bottom lip. He gave it a pinch, a small tug.

“You’ve got a smart mouth on you, little girl. I like it. Now–go home. You’re done, right?” At her nod he continued, “–and it’s been a rough morning. Make sure Keegan or one of the other bouncers walks you to your car, remember. Don’t think you’ll have any trouble during the day, but I want you all– ALL –” he stressed, looking at her fiercely, “to be careful.”

“Yes daddy.” She spoke sassily.

“I’m not your daddy…but I won’t hesitate to spank your saucy ass if you are careless with yourself, capiche?”

She rolled her eyes.

“I’ve been taking care of me for a long time, Sir.”

She didn’t even notice that she’d added the honorific, but he did. With a smile, he ran a finger down her arm.

“You’re part of my family now, Mandy. You don’t have to take care of you all by yourself. So be a good girl, please.”

It was hard to resist the sincerity. She would sound like a cold bitch if she protested any further, and she did feel like part of the Nettles family. Somehow she’d been assimilated, and without being a part of the scene. Well, until yesterday.

“Sir?”

“Yes Mandy?”

“My butt hurts.”

He laughed, rising and tugging her to her feet by way of dismissal.

“And so it should.”

He gave her a quick swat on that sore butt as she turned to leave the room, to which she giggled. Giggled. Giggling submissives. What would the world come to next, he wondered, with an inward smile. He was going to get a rep as a soft touch if he wasn’t careful. Still, the thought of his best friend and this woman together made him very happy for them.

*******************************

Keegan kissed her as she leaned against the car.

“I’ll be meeting with the rough ‘n ready crew for a while. Not sure what J has for us to do, but there will be some additional security cams added, some checklists updated, and some follow-up of our own to do. You go home and chill. Don’t make dinner–we’ll go out for burgers or something before I have to head back here for work.”

“I want to come with you. I–want to watch some scenes.”

“Aaah, the newbie has been bitten by the curiosity bug, eh?”

She swatted at him, then slid into the car when he opened the door.

“Home.”

She refrained from rolling her eyes at him, gave him a smart-assed “yes SIR” before heading off down the street. She turned to the side street, before heading back to Broadhurst. She didn’t notice the small dark car pulling out of the garage behind her. It followed her until she turned into the parking lot of her apartment building, paused a moment, then sped away.

Chapter 16

She rushed into Nettles, tugging her corset up while looking around for Keegan. To her disappointment, he hadn’t been the door guy tonight. She’d hoped to wow him with her breasts rising enticingly from the tightly drawn outfit. The short skirt showed more leg than she had ever bared in public. She, who had never taken all that much fussing with her appearance, had worked for over an hour on her hair and makeup, including a light sprinkling of sparkling powder across her boobs. Mandy wondered what the hell had gotten into her, going all goey-girly. But when he stepped into view from the back hallway, all tall, dark, and magnetically handsome–and when those gorgeous chocolate eyes found her from across the room and widened in surprise–it was all worth it. He crossed to her quickly, drawing a smile from her. She gazed up at him as he came close.

“You’re late. I looked for you an hour ago.”

The tone of mild censure felt like a slap. Her smile slipped a bit, then fell away as he frowned down at her. Her gaze slid to the floor.

“What?” He looked at her, concerned.

“Nothing. I’m here now.”

Her voice was low, her gaze still lowered. He  took her by her upper arms, his face serious.

“Mandy–you need to be honest with me. Did something happen?”

She looked up at him, resisted the urge to smack him.

“What happened was that You didn’t even notice me…I worked forever to look like this. I got this corset a few days ago to surprise you, did up my hair, bought some make up….I got locked in the bathroom when the knob came off, and it took using my mascara wand to shoot the bolt open…and after all that work? Damn you –you didn’t even notice. I don’t know why I even bothered…”

The wild spill of words faltered as emotion clogged her throat. Never before had she worried about what someone thought of her. And to have it all ignored–her gaze returned to her feet so that he couldn’t see the tears that threatened. But she needed to finish saying her piece. She swallowed down the hurt and started again.

“You –”

His finger rested on her lips.

“Trust me, Mandy, I noticed. But… you were supposed to be here an hour ago. Naturally I was concerned.”

The mad came hard and fast. Her words, at first stopped by her emotion, suddenly flung themselves at him, bullets of embarrassment and anger.

“Well –next time you can stuff your concern where the sun doesn’t shine and fucking see me.” 

Her hand flapped up and down her body.

“This—this get up? This isn’t me…I just..I wanted you to see….” She ran out of words, ran out of courage, ran out of mad.

She shoved her palm against his chest. The humiliating urge to cry suffused her. She would not cry for a man, over a man, or because of a man.  With a quick twist, she pulled away, and ignored his call. In a moment she was out of the main room and heading somewhere, anywhere else. Fucking man!

Her flight came to an abrupt end when she slammed into someone. One damned tear broke free.

“Whoa…easy there little one.”

“I’m sorry…just…sorry.” She tried to move away, but his hands held her closer.

“Calm down Mandy and tell me what’s wrong?”

She didn’t want to see who it was, but a finger under her chin forced her head up, until she was looking into the concerned gaze of Sir Roderick.

“Are you okay? Did someone hurt you?”

To be asked that question again, right after Keegan had mouthed it made her tremble with anger. Then again, she wasn’t totally sure who knew about what had happened to Fae, but she guessed, with Roderick being one of Jakob’s friends that he would have been informed.  She shook her head. Everyone was on guard here, and she had to make allowance. Besides, she wasn’t mad at Roderick. Taking a deep breath, she tried to smile. Her face felt a bit wobbly…she didn’t like emotional scenes. She just wasn’t good at them.

“No…I’m fine. Really. I..”

“You seem upset. Come, let’s get out of this hallway.”

He steered her out of the corridor, a busy route traveled by those who came out to play, on their way upstairs, or those who were done playing and heading to the bar area. She let him steer her out of the hall and into the larger playing room. Though there were several scenes in play, there were also quiet nooks. He sat  pulling her down beside him.

“Now, little one…tell me what got you into such a state?”

“I–” she paused taking a breath. How fucking  humiliating that Keegan and his sudden stupidity had brought her here.

“Keegan…and I…”

She didn’t know where to go with it. She shook her head, closed her eyes and hoped that a giant sink-hole would open up under her feet and just swallow her whole. A finger stroked down her cheek.

“You look lovely.”

Her eyes flew open; her gaze shot to him, surprise blooming on her face.

“Well, you do. You’re our sweet janitor most of the time–and a more attractive cleaning lady I’ve never seen–but today? You look…”

He paused, his eyes taking a slow track from her head to her lap.

“…amazing. I’m especially fond of this view…”

His finger flicked, barely, across the top of her left breast. Her breath caught a moment, and she remembered every time that he’d invited her to play. She’d seen him, of course, involved with others. And she still very much felt that if she said yes, it would totally end any further interest he had in her. A player, her momma would have called him. But a kind one.

“It appears that you and your young man have had a bit of a misunderstanding. Let me hasten to add that I don’t need the details–you should know, however, that this lifestyle forces a brutal sort of honesty upon us all. If I’m playing with a girl, and she says she is fine, then I need to believe that she can, indeed, take more of my play. You may not be used to that sort of truth yet, but understand, no matter how painful it can be? It saves a lot of misunderstanding. And if you two have decided to take a break from each other, please know that I would be more than happy to take you under my wing.”

His words were kind, and true, and made her feel stupid. Not that that had been his motive, she knew. But they kind of made her feel small. For not hearing what Keegan was saying, for being rather self-absorbed.  But dammit! She’d never dressed up for a man before, and certainly not as ….slutty was the only word that fit here…as she was now.

“Thank you, Sir…”

He interrupted with a smile.

“There’s an important first. I see that we’ve begun to have an impact, if you’ll pardon the pun, on you.”

Now she smiled. Indeed, there had been some major impacts over these last few months. She’d been knocked out of a very comfortable vanilla existence, and dropped headfirst into this world. It wasn’t a bad place. She had found, despite all odds, the answers to some tough issues, ones that she had long thought dead and buried. Orgasms didn’t matter. A person to spend time with didn’t matter. A job didn’t …well, okay it mattered but it was more about the paycheck…until Nettles.

This place had changed her mind, changed her attitude, changed her. Sir Roderick’s hand landed on her knee, caressing her upper thigh with his pinky finger.

“You make me hungry for that innocence.”

His frank words made her blink. Attention fully focused on him, she failed to see Keegan enter the room, look towards where she sat intimately with Roderick. He frowned, took a step forward as if to go to her, then abruptly turned on his heel and strode away. Roderick smiled down at her.

“Yes, my dear, you’re all heat and questions just now, a truly lovely time to explore a new slut’s body and mind. I find both equally fascinating. Do let me know if you decide to play, will you?”

With a soft pat on her thigh, he rose and walked across the room and began talking to a few people watching the scene happening there. She tried to process the multitude of things running through her mind–surprise, at the kindness and the compliments, shame at how she’d freaked out on Keegan, and surprisingly, the sudden strong urge to have Keegan’s hands smacking her bum–even here, even in public.

And wasn’t that the biggest change of all?

Chapter 17

She couldn’t find Keegan anywhere. Not that it was a surprise. He and his crew circled constantly through the club, checking on scenes, overseeing the private play rooms, checking the people at the door, walking the staff women to their cars–he could be anywhere.

Down in the bar area she ran into Macey, the “little” who had first ushered her into Jakob’s office. She hadn’t understood what a little was back then, and it wasn’t anything she related to personally. But she liked Macey.

“Have you seen Keegan?”

“Thought he was headed back towards Sir J’s office, but that was a while ago. Sorry. Hey, want to go up to three and watch? There’s a suspension going on up there by this rope expert that I really want to see. And you never know when He’ll take volunteers from the floor. Puts on a hella-good show, at least what I’ve seen from his videos.”

Shrugging inwardly about not seeing Keegan, she and Macey headed upstairs.

**************************************************

She hadn’t a clue how it happened. One minute she and Macey were standing there admiring Spider’s work, and then the next? She was involved in it. And by involved, she meant tied, tightly yet erotically, a foot up behind her calf, arms wrapped around her waist and back, knots over her crotch so that wiggling was both painful and a turn-on. Her tits looked like they were going to break free of her corset top any second, and she was afraid to breathe.

“Ready, slut?”

“Uhhhmmm…”

“I’ll take that as a yes…”

His words spoke of a grand florish, and the crowd responded with titters and laughter. He sure knew his audience, she thought. It was her last clear thought before her  foot left the ground, and she began to tip.

“O.M.GEEEE….” she yelped, causing the crowd to laugh even louder. She felt his hand on her foot, felt the hard push setting her spinning. She watched the floor spin round, round as she lay prone above it. Her body was a blur, the crowd was a blur. Shutting her eyes didn’t help. Just when she thought she was going to throw up in front of everyone, his hand snagged her ankle, and she stopped moving. Her head kept spinning, but her body had come to a full stop. She noted that her clit was throbbing and her nipples were hard and that her breasts had indeed fallen out of her corset, and hung there like big white eggplants.

Why was she thinking her tits were like eggplants, she wondered, her brain muddled. And why was she turned on and floaty?

Oh, yeah. She was floating. In the air.

She didn’t really remember coming down, his hands gently but quickly releasing her, the joke he made about shaking fruit out of the melon tree as the crowd stood, mesmerized. She came back to herself to see Jakob. It was amusing because he was at eye level and she was slumped in a chair.

“I see you’ve decided to rejoin us,” he murmured. “Spider got a bit nervous as you were very woozy there. Here, drink,” and he tipped a water bottle to her lips. Cool liquid slid down the dry length of her throat and she swallowed it gratefully.

“Keegan,” she croaked. “I can’t find him…”

His eyebrows shot up.

“So you decided to come up here to three to look for him? Have you learned nothing, considering what happened to you here last week? You’re not ready for third floor stuff, Mandy. Normally I’d let a sub find that out for him or herself, within reason. But…I care about what happens to you. You’re family.”

She shook her head, the wrong move as it turned out.  A wave of dizziness nearly sent her sliding off the chair.

“Let’s get you downstairs, hmmm?”

Scooping her up he carried her to the door. She looked down in horror to see her tits were just still hanging out there.

“Ohmygawd,” she moaned. “Sir J…I need to fix…”

Her left hand rose, trying to stuff her breast back into the corset.

“Trust me, I don’t mind a bit.”

“You’re a perv…”

“Never claimed otherwise…and you have a fine set of tits, Mandy-girl.”

“If you sing that Mandy, you’re a fine girl about my tits..” her voice trailed away as she blushed.

“I hadn’t thought of that. But if you don’t stay off the third floor, sub, I’ll be a utube sensation with that song.”

“Geeze,” she flushed. She felt the skin heating, down her throat, across the tops of her breasts.

He let her feet down, let her slide down the long length of him.

“Get your head on straight, and lets head back downstairs now. Go find Keegan, who is on the Floor, and go fix whatever got him in a tizzy.”

She blinked up at him as she continued to shift her corset to cover herself.

“I…well, we  had a small tiff…”

“He came downstairs with a face like a stormcloud, after following you. Saw the whole thing. Don’t know what happened after you two went tearing out of here, but the club is not the place for those sorts of quarrels.” He sighed.

“You go to my office and stay there. I’ll go get Keegan myself and we’ll get to the bottom of this. Got it?” His tone brooked no argument, so she nodded. Together they headed downstairs, separating as she headed for his office as he headed to the back room Floor to find Keegan.

Chapter 18

Mandy sat in Jakob’s office. The smell of leather, the overlaying scent of man–hard to describe but unmistakable– soothed her. She was too nervous to sit for long. She didn’t believe in pacing. She rose and calmly moved around the office.  Her hand rested on the back of the chair for a moment before sliding the tip of her pointer finger along the cool smoothness. She moved from the chair to the fireplace, looking at the photo’s there. A younger Jakob, and was that Keegan? They were in the water, a big wave behind them. It made her smile, knowing that the photographer knew that the water was bearing down on them, as they stood smiling into the camera.

“That was taken in Maui. Fucking Denny. Remember that?”

She turned to see Jakob’s wide grin slanted at Keegan. Keegan’s face was an unreadable mask.

“I do. Bastard had us stand there. ‘Oh that one didn’t come out. Oh you blinked. Fucking take the picture man…”

Jakob took up the tale.

“And then BLAMM! That fucking wave knocked us over, rolled us up in the surf…I had sand and snot and water in every orifice…”

Keegan’s face cracked a bit, a thin smile rising.

“We threw his ass in the water after we wrestled the camera away from him.”

“He screamed like a girl when he stepped on that crab…”

The two smiled at one another. She could see that their fondness went way past their relationship here at Nettles.

“I didn’t realize you two knew each other from before.”

“College,” replied Keegan, his voice cool.

“Come, sit.”

Fuck….definitely trouble in paradise, he thought to himself as he ushered the two into the chairs. While he could have sat with them, he chose the position of authority behind the desk. The better to remind them who was boss here. 

“So…” he paused, making eye contact with each of them. Keegan, his face neutral, but wearing, he knew from their long friendship, a mixture of hurt and pissed. Mandy, blushing still in her lovely, revealing outfit, gently mussed, confused and longing for Keegan to look her way.

“So,” he began again. “What the fuck is going on here?”

For a moment, neither spoke, and both avoided looking at him, and at each other. Both started to speak at once, then fell silent at the confused babble.

“Mandy. Your version please?” Jakob’s voice cut through the silence; the tone demanded an answer.

“I–I spent…” she stopped, looking at her fingernails. They were painted a killer scarlet. She flashed them up, waving them at Jakob.

“This. This. I never do this. Paint my nails? Paint my face? Dress like a…well, dressed this way. I don’t do that sort of thing. Until Him.” She jerked a thumb in his direction. “And then he doesn’t even notice. Instead he lectures me. Lectures  me as if I was a teenager missing curfew. Which I didn’t. I told him. I got stuck in the fucking bathroom when the knob came off in my hand, and my phone was in the bedroom. I got myself out — I didn’t need a white knight…or a dark  night–what-the-fuck-ever-you color yourself as.”

She shot a glare towards Keegan, then looked back at Jakob.

“I rescued myself and still came here looking good. And he didn’t even say a fucking thing. Asshole!”

She settled back in the chair with a huffed-out breath, arms crossed.

He tried not to look at her disconcerting cleavage. He was a Dom, had been topping sassy-assed girls for a long, long time. He wasn’t sure why this one was getting under his skin–and refused to speculate. And he had noticed, dammit. From across the room downstairs he had seen her–and not just the tits rising high over the top of the tight corset. He’d never seen Mandy like that before. But overriding the sharp stab of pure lust to his cock, his first concern had been why she was late. He’d called her, no answer. He’d thought about going over to her apartment, but that seemed a bit extreme. So of course that had been his one concern when he’d  seen her finally strolling across the room.

“You were late. Really late. You didn’t return my calls.”

“Well, I was on my way to the club–why would I call? I was in a hurry and didn’t even look at my phone, just stuffed it in my purse and headed here.”

“That’s inconsiderate. The next time you’re late you need to call me promptly and let me know.”

Jakob bit the inside of his cheek to stop from laughing. Oh, wasn’t it going to be a fun ride watching these two tussle out some rules? Oh, sure Mandy wasn’t a submissive. Just like he wasn’t getting an erection from watching her tits bobble as the two continued to wrangle out their ‘he did-she did’s”.

Still, it was time to put a halt to this before the drama-meter broke.  His hand slapped hard on the top of his desk, startling the two to immediate silence.

“You.” He pointed at Mandy. “Need to stop explaining, and apologize for scaring your man.”

“You.” He pointed next at Keegan. “Need to stop haranguing, and sit down and come up with some manageable rules that you both can live with. If you’re going to be her Dom, then be her Dom. If you’re going to be his girl, then you need to work on following those rules–and learning to swallow down the anger, and appropriately speak your piece. He may not be interested in reasons…though I’ve found him to be a reasonable dominant. He isn’t a tyrant, he isn’t an unkind man. But. You both need to find some middle ground. This is done. Over. Ended. Now, move forward.”

He sent another steely glance between them.

“I’ll happily take you over my knee myself if you don’t call Keegan or me if you’re later than you expected to be. Got it?”

At her terse nod, he turned to look at Keegan.

“I’m going back to run my club, if you don’t mind?” His smile was sardonic,  one eyebrow raised. “Work this out. Stay here until you do. I’ll want to see your contract–in writing–when I get back here. You’ll have about an hour.”

He rose and left the room.

************************************************************

“That’s stupid.”

“You’re very insolent, you know.”

“I don’t need a rule to go to bed.”

“You wander around the apartment at all hours. You need rest. It’s a reasonable rule to take care of my property.”

“You’re a Neanderthal.”

His hand flashed out and grabbed a large chunk of her hair. Tugging her head back, he wasn’t gentle when his mouth landed on hers. He swallowed her ‘owww’ of pain, her grunting ‘bastard’ and took his time tasting the inside of her mouth. Lips, tongue, teeth, cheeks, his tongue slipped around, until her grunts became moans.

He jerked her corset down, freeing her tits, and filled his free hand with one. Fingers squeezed hard until she rose on her toes, melding their lips together harder, his mouth taking her cries. He pulled his lips from hers, grinned wickedly down into her shocked face before pulling her across the room by her nipple and his hand in her hair.

“Neanderthal? Oh yeah…I’m your cave man, and I’m going to give you a club…”

Twisting her around, he pushed her back against the wall. Her head banged hard enough to make her whimper, as his hands began to maul her tits. His head dipped down, biting along the column of her throat, across her shoulder, down to her tit, then captured one nipple. He bit the tender tip of her breast, growling “neanderthal takes” as he savaged her nipple.

His hand slid between her thighs, forcing them apart as she attempted to thwart him.

“You like neanderthal man…” he growled against her tit, “fucking dripping wet cunt…”

A finger slid inside her. He wasn’t gentle as he drove another inside, and another,  until she was full of his wriggling digits.

She was overwhelmed by sensations. He’d never been this aggressive with her. Damned if she didn’t like it. Her tit was aching from the sucking and biting, her pussy was stretched, yet clenched tight on his fingers. Her knees buckled as he tugged an orgasm from her, her head thrown back, his body pinning her against the wall as a second wave shuddered through her.

He let her go, leaving her slumped against the wall. It took her a moment to recover.

Now you look fucking awesome.”

He turned on his heel and left the room. She saw herself in the mirror across the room, hair jumbled, lips swollen, tits bruised. She looked used. He was right. It looked good on her.

****************************************************

He crossed the room quickly, seeing Sir Roderick waiting for his drink. Leaning into his space, he spoke four words, firmly.

“She’s mine. Hands off.”

He didn’t stay to see the startled expression on Roderick’s face.

Chapter 19

Mandy read the paper that Keegan had tossed at her when he had strode back into Jakob’s office. It wasn’t actually paper  since he’d scrawled his words on a cocktail napkin. He stood in front of her, arms crossed, legs apart, looking for all the world like a pirate on his ship. His eyes glittered as he stared down at her. She wanted to be mad, but his crotch was right in her line of sight and frankly, that earlier scene in here had only stirred a deeper want inside of her. She hungered for him.

“Well?”

His tone challenged her.

“It’s rather non-specific.”

“What’s non-specific about ‘obey me always’?”

“Well sheesh, Keegan—Sir–” she amended hastily as his brows knit together. “Obey you always–when we’re here? At home? When I’m working?”

“Yes.”

Her mouth opened and closed a few times, but she didn’t know what words wanted to come out. Outrage? No…not really. Shock? Oh, yes, definitely. How did three little words make such an impact on her thoughts?

“You…want me to be your…”

“Submissive,” he supplied helpfully.

“Submissive, fine, always? All the time? Like — even in the grocery store?”

She’d been reading porn on the internet and there’d been this story that had really turned her on, about a girl not knowing her dominant ‘stalker‘ * and him approaching her  in a store. She’d been so turned on by it that she’d all but attacked Keegan, who’d been asleep on her couch while watching some game on the tv. That had ended with a flurry of clothing tossed hither and yon, and the two of them fucking like animals on the living room floor, in the bed when they’d dragged themselves that far, and later, again in the shower. It had been a hell of an evening. But did that mean that she wanted that kind of submission in her ordinary day-to-day living?

“Are you worried that this means I’d make you walk naked through the veggie aisle?”

She sucked in her lower lip, biting it as nerves danced through her before nodding.

“I might well do things to embarrass you, in public or in private, but nothing that would get you arrested. I can’t promise to not harm you–that would be stupid, considering the lifestyle we are in–”

He paused, waited until she nodded again.

“But I would not do something that would inflict serious, life-threatening harm to you. I might want to tattoo my creed on your ass. It’s only twenty-five words long.”

Her eyes widened and he laughed.

“I might be joking about that, but I might want you to get your nipples pierced.”

Her hands came up to cover her breasts, but the idea caused a certain sharp throb between her thighs. To let go, so completely of choices like this?

“Would you control where we lived? How I earn a living?”

He ran a finger down her nose.

“You’re not my slave, but my submissive. You’d not lose your voice, and I doubt you’d just let me make all those decisions without your input. I don’t want a doormat, Mandy. Part of your attraction is your sass.”

She’d been told that she had a smart mouth, that she was arrogant, that she was a know it all, that she was —

“I don’t know what you’re thinking but you look pissed.”

“I’m not…I’m…really kind of blown away, Keega—Sir. I mean–I’ve been — I dunno– castigated, I guess, for having this mouth, and here….you LIKE it. I– don’t get it I guess.”

“Whomever you were with before was an idiot. I like you just as you are. If there are things I want to change? I’ll let you know. Maybe.”

He smiled down at her, then cupped her chin, lifting her face. His free hand slowly released his belt, then his zipper.

“I am not planning on making any changes now though—I really, really  like that mouth.”

She’d blown him before, but never when conditions were so…dominant. When He was holding her just so, and was not asking, but just taking. There was no demand, there was just his assumption that she would acquiesce, right here in Jakob’s office where anyone could walk in at any time and see. Once more that curious thrill ran through her.

His thumb pressed hard against her jawbone;  her mouth opened slightly. Her lips were barely parted when he pressed the tip of his cock against them, tracing the line of them. She tasted the slick saltiness that  gilded his head, that whisper of moisture that meant he was ready. His eyes held hers as he paused, his cock pressed against her mouth. The pressure was steady and not uncomfortable. No words came, just that steadily-held look. A quick slap to her cheek made her blink, and in that moment, he pressed hard into her mouth. She understood, as her heart raced, as the crown of his cock hit the back of her throat, as she worked to control her gagging, that this wasn’t a blow-job….this was a taking. 

******************************************************************

Her jaws ached. Her face was smeared with his cum, which he’d wiped carefully around her cheeks. He’d spent a long time fucking her face, and her throat was raw with it. There was a tremble in her belly, a need that had grown, to just give. Give him all. It alarmed her how quickly she wanted what he was doing. Showing her by his actions that he was in charge, that she was his submissive, that his wants, needs, requests or orders would come before hers.

Could she agree to that?

Could she go out into Nettles with his cum drying on her face? She shuddered at the humiliation of that. The sound of the door opening behind her made her close her eyes. No. Jakob was coming back. How had she forgotten that?

“I see you two are finished now?”

He’d come in before? Seen? She felt the flush of embarrassment suffuse her face, felt the tightening of her cheeks as the heat dried the cum there.

He came around to his desk, saw the napkin there, then spent his time looking at the pair. Keegan, relaxed in his chair, his expression somewhat satisfied, unsurprising considering what he’d observed when he’d first come into the room. Mandy, face shiny with semen and embarrassment, eyes averted, but looking calmer than she had in a while.

“Mandy.”

“Yes Sir Jakob?”

He paused, waited until she made eye contact. He smiled, which deepened her blush.

“Do you agree to these terms?”

Her glance slid to Keegan, and she licked her lips. Her fingers knit together in her lap, then relaxed when she realized what she was doing. She looked back at Jakob.

“I do, yes.”

“Very well. Then I shall consider you two reconciled. You will work hard to comply? I don’t believe Keegan expects perfection…you’re much to fun as you are to be “broken” as some Dom’s would like. You’re sexy and spicy and open and honest–which is refreshing to both of us.”

A tear escaped.

“Thank you Sir Jakob..”

Her voice was husky with emotion.

“No one’s ever said that to me before. Well, my parents, but…not since I was out on my own, you know?”

“The world is full of idiots, Mandy-girl.”

She smiled. Her world, precariously tilted an hour ago, had somehow righted itself.

*with deepest appreciation to David. A writer isn’t really ‘gone’ if his words survive to inspire, excite, and touch us emotionally…yet his presence is deeply missed. 

Chapter 20

He’d wanted some public play. She had argued. Said no. Cajoled. And regrettably, had even whined a bit. Instead, he’d taken her by her hair and propelled her out of Jakob’s office. He steered her expertly out of the private hallways meant for staff, and out to the main floor.

“Stop…sir.. SIR…! OUCH!”

He paused before pushing her through the swinging doors leading to the first floor play space. The room was full of people, of course. He continued to push her through the throng, ignoring people hailing him, until he moved to the far wall. A set of cuffs were dangling there. They were secured to the wall over her head.

“B-b-b…”

“Kitten, put your hands up by the cuffs.”

His tone was firm, and she knew he expected immediate compliance.

“but…I have to pee! And..” Her voice dropped to a whisper. “My cheeks itch!”

“Sucks to be you.”

For a moment, his finger almost-but-not-quite touched the dry mask of semen on her cheek before he snagged one wrist, making quick work of securing the leather bracelet tightly. There’d be no slipping through this cuff.

“You’re a bastard!”

He laughed.

“If I had a nickel for every time a sub said that to me…”

She growled under her breath, quietly. Obviously he heard, though, since he smacked her bottom as he moved around to grab her other hand. She tried to poke at him, but he caught her wrist and used her own hand to slap her face. He laughed at her look of outrage. It took him about two seconds to get her right hand  bound up beside the left. She could have fought harder, but it was challenging enough to resist the urge to pee, exacerbated by the deep throb in her clit. She didn’t think she’d ever been more turned on. Nor had she ever needed to void her bladder quite so much.

“You’re a fucking Neanderthal,” she hissed at him.

His lips moved along her neck, nibbling his way up her ear.

“Neanderthal likes kittens…taste yummmm” and he smacked his lips wetly along the lobe of her ear, and back down her throat before moving away. She had to bite the inside of her cheek to stop the giggles from erupting. It tickled, and it was gross. She felt the line of drool trickling around to her throat. He was so fucking maddening–and funny.

“Ewww,” she said instead, “gross. You’re spit is on me.”

He licked her from the back of her neck to her earlobe until she squealed for mercy.

Damn the man.

“If you’re looking for help, I’m happy to offer,” said a voice to her right.

“No. This is a private deal.”

Keegan’s voice was cool and terse. She risked a glance through her hair, and saw Sir Roderick shrug and move away. Good, she didn’t need anyone else ‘helping’ Keegan as he began his campaign of  ‘kitten ass destruction’ as he’d had termed it as he’d led her from J’s office.

He leaned close, whispering against her hair.

“You stay away from him….a dom who poaches another’s sub is a jerk.”

“Yes Sir,” she replied meekly. Sir Roderick had seemed to be merely consoling her earlier, but perhaps he’d been putting some moves on her…what did she know? She hated being so naive, but that was something only time would help her sort out.

“He was being kind to me earlier–”

“I saw.”

Oh. Ohhh… perhaps that explained his earlier mad.

“He wasn’t…you know…sexing me or anything. He was just…”

“He had his hand on your leg, and his eyeballs were stuck on your tits. Not that I blame him. But poaching that happens in this world? Happens by those more unethical type Tops. It’s more than flirting, Kitten. It’s–”

“It’s wrong. Fishing for someone else’s sub is just not the done thing–especially when she’s very new to the lifestyle. If a Dom wants to add other players to a scene, he’ll do it. For someone to just slide in and  put the moves on a sub? Not ethical.  Just listen to your Dom, Kitten. We want you to be safe, we want to beat you. It’s a dichotomy, I know.”

Jakob’s voice was at her elbow. His hands reached up, checking her restraints. She hadn’t expected him to be here, but what the hell ever, right? It was his club after all. There was movement behind her, and hands on her hips.

“Step back a bit. I know–it stretches your arms.”

Something moved in front of her, and she felt a board or something pressing against her belly.

“Now you can’t move back up and hide against the wall, and your ass sticks out– a perfectly accessible target.”

The happiness in his tone was disconcerting. Still, she understood the sadistic Dom enjoyed creating his scene to get the most from the pain-giving experience. She sometimes thought they got as much fun from crafting the situation as they did through the actual giving of pain.

The first swat stole her breath. Whatever had hit her was hard, unyielding.

“That was a wooden paddle. Makes a lovely sound when it connects, don’t you think?”

Keegan’s voice came from far away. She caught her breath and released a moan.

“Oooh fuck…that hurt!”

“Good!”

Another swat came from the other side, presaged by a faint whistle of sound. Again her breath caught in her throat and the sharp sting of tears rose in her eyes.

“Wooden paddle–with holes in it. Makes a very interesting pattern of dots on your bottom, kitten.”

“I see what you did there, Boss. Bottom. Kitten.”

There was a sound of laughter and she could tell people had begun to gather. She tried to wriggle to the left or right, but she was arched out too far from the wall, her arms stretched out, her butt jutted out behind her by whatever pressed her bottom half away from the wall.

“We make a good team. Shall we go again?”

Twin swats landed nearly simultaneously, one on each ass cheek. She rose to her toes, yelping, tears falling readily now. There were murmurs from those watching, the smoothing of a hand down her ass, then the blur of pain as she was hit repeatedly. The toys seemed to change, the paddles sometimes long and thin, sometimes thick and round. It seemed it would never end–yet they seemed to sense her breaking point, stopping and murmuring to her, rubbing her throbbing bottom, playing with her tits, once more jiggled free from her corset.

“Time for a lube check.”

Keegan’s voice was so cheerful, completely at odds with the pain he was inflicting. All she could feel was the hot ache of her bottom. Yet his fingers found her, slipped inside her. Torn between pissing and cumming, she held her breath and clenched hard to hold both back. He wouldn’t allow that, however, his fingers diddling deeply inside of her, teasing a ripple of sensation that became a tsunami. Long shudders ripped through her as he finger fucked her. The shock of another hard swat on her right ass cheek made her rise again, Keegan’s fingers never stopping as her boss and her Dom drove her straight into an orgasm overload.

********************************************

Her body quivered as an aftershock shivered through her cunt. Her arms had been freed, the prop-shelf lowered against the wall. Keegan, hands in her hair again–which seemed to be his favored means of moving her around–pushed her towards the bathroom. He stood outside the stall after pressing her inside, watching her.

“I can’t pee if you’re watching me like that,” she said, embarrassed.

“Sure you can. Spread your legs wide.”

She didn’t hesitate to obey, despite the pain in her ass as she shifted on the seat. Catching a flicker of movement from him, she stared as he freed his cock.

“You wouldn’t…”

His smile was a challenge.

Hell, he would…it was such a lewd, depraved act…yet she felt the heat build as he pissed between her legs, bathing her pussy in his urine. Her flow joined his, the release blessed, but the embarrassment was running right there along with the turn-on.

“You liked that you little slut.”

She shook her head, but his fingers dipped into her pee-soaked slit, finding her juicy hole.

“Right.”

His hand slammed up into her pussy, his fingers ravaging her. He was finger fucking her, hitting that spot inside, and she was going to cum. On the toilet. How fucking depraved was that?

She pressed her palms to the walls of the stall, head thrown back as it built inside of her. When she came, it was a geyser, soaking his hand, the leg of his jeans, but it didn’t matter. The pain blended with the pleasure and sent her flying.

Later, she barely remembered his helping her from the stall, washing her hands with his, her flushed face in the mirror, his smiling, knowing glances making her blush. Later,in the morning,  she would be back here, cleaning her mess from the bathroom, and blushing while she did so. She didn’t think anyone would begrudge of her day-dreaming of this type of scene happening again. Soon.

Chapter 21

When he took her home, he took her hard. The sex was wild, fierce. He pinned her to the bed with his elbow on her hair, his hand holding her two wrists. Kissing her tenderly had led to kissing her ferociously, his tongue thrusting between her lips in mimicry of what his cock would be doing soon. Gawd! She hoped it would be soon. She was so hot, so needy, so wanton. His lips moved away, trailing down her throat, until they encircled her nipple, sucking and biting. Her back arched, her breath lodged in her belly. Heat flared out, a mixture of pain and desire. It hurt, yet the tingle between her legs felt as though he was stroking her clit. From inside her, the quiver grew, her breath coming in hard gasps, her head trying to move side to side, yet his elbow never released her hair.

“Can’t. Move.”

She spoke in gasps, her body alight with a welter of sensations. He laughed against her breast, then bit her hard.

“I know,” his mouth murmured into the flesh he held in his teeth. He sounded amused, but she didn’t care. Something strange was happening to her, a tingle growing inside. It couldn’t–she wasn’t…

She convulsed, though he had yet to even enter her. She came, feeling the wetness slipping from her cunt and sliding along the channel between her butt cheeks. She would have been embarrassed, but he nudged her legs apart, driving his cock into the heated wet tunnel. Another orgasm made her brain scramble. She never felt him release her hands, barely registered his large palm slapping her thigh. His arms tugged her legs up, open wide as he drove relentlessly into her as her pussy wept with the bliss. His hard, long length filled her, made her gush repeatedly, as his hands battered her exposed ass. She felt the explosion building, building. When it came, when she came apart, she flew to the stars.

*****************************

She sat gingerly for several days. Each time she forgot and plopped into a seat, a rush of memories rose along with the dull thud of pain. Her bottom resembled a virtual earth map, Keegan had joked, with hues for earth, and sky, and all in between. All she knew was that the marks were very evident–and she was fascinated by them.

Eventually all bruises must fade, and it was with sadness that she looked in the mirror after her shower and realized that every last little mark was gone. If Keegan had still been home, she would have pointed it out to him. She knew he was going slowly with her, but she really was ready for more. After closely checking her butt in the full-length closet mirror one last time, and finding nothing, again, she got dressed. With a frown she pondered about the best way to entice her man into beating her–and sooner rather than later. Which sounded weird when she thought of it that way.

Preoccupied with the thought, she headed out to attend to her errands. Across the street, binoculars dropped into a lap and a note was written in a little notebook, before the car  slid into traffic a few vehicles behind Mandy’s.

*********************************************

Fae’s return to Nettles was heralded by gentle hugs but not much fanfare. Mandy could not make herself fawn over the girl, despite how badly she had been hurt. It was churlish of her, but it would take a while longer for her to forgive the younger woman for setting her up to be raped.

Later in the week she did a double take to see the man who had engineered that confrontation sitting at the bar talking with Jakob. She did an about face and sought out Keegan, who was fiddling with a cam button on the second floor.

“Did you know he was coming back here?” She poked him in his belly. “Well…did you?”

“I have no fucking idea what you’re talking about but if you poke me again I’m going to stick this screwdriver handle up your ass to try to find the stick lodged up there.”

She blinked. It was true, she had come up here blazing–and it wasn’t Keegan’s fault. She took a deep breath.

“Sorry. NO!” she cried, stepping back a step as he waggled the screwdriver at her. “I’m sorry, okay? But did you know that Sir Rat’s Ass is downstairs AT THE BAR talking with Jakob??? Did you?”

He lifted the screwdriver again, and she took another breath. His look was still blank.

“That…guy…that … dom who tried to rape me. Sir Whatshisface?”

“Ahh.”

Comprehension at last. She wanted to poke him, but he rarely threatened without the promise of follow through and so far he’d not forced anything but a finger or two up her butt. She preferred to keep it that way.

“Listen, sub, this is going to come as a shock to you. But this kind of thing–it happens in these sorts of clubs. People have a bit too much to drink, or get carried away and forget. Passion and want and need all wrapped up and then set free in here. This a place where the more carnal the act, the more fun. Malcolm? Well, he’s a jerk, really. But he hasn’t been arrested since the cops interviewed him–and found him not culpable in the beating and rape of Fae. So I have to believe that though he was a jerk to you, and didn’t get your consent–that he’s learned his lesson. After all, he was banned here for three months…and that can be hard when you’re used to a certain scene, a certain crowd. I’m sure he’s been other places, but you have to admit, this is the best of the best.”

She thought he was taking this all very calmly, while her own heart was still racing. That had not been a rape “scene”–it had been real enough from her point of view. She frowned up at Keegan.

“First, I haven’t ever been to a … a place like this…ever. Until I came here for the job. Second…well…I –He makes me nervous.”

“Then I’ll be sure to talk with him. Meet me in the boss’s office in ten minutes. I’m almost done here. Just–kitten?”

“Yes, Sir?”

“I’ll be bringing my screwdriver.”

He annoyed her, and yet, amused her too. She giggled, kissed his poked belly in apology. His hand tangled in her hair, tipping her head back and kissed her resoundingly. He shoved her away with a fake frown.

“Scat. I have work to do.”

She saw his grin as she turned away. Good thing, since she was smiling too.

*************************************************************

She tapped on the “NO” sign out of habit. It ever-amused her that Jakob’s first answer would be so, considering that he was such a good guy.

“Enter if you dare..”

Giggling, she pushed into the room. Jakob and Keegan were standing together by the fireplace. Automatically her eyes moved to the photo of the two of them about to be slammed by the big wave. It never failed to make her grin.

“So…” she said, her hands in the back pockets of her jeans. “You wanted me down here in ten. And here I am.”

“Here you are.”

“Come closer, Mandy. We won’t hurt you….much.”

Jakob waggled his brows at her, making her smile. But her heart was beating a bit quicker, too. The last time these two had ganged up on her her butt had hurt for a week. But of course, those bruises are gone now, she reminded herself.

“Are you happy, girl?”

She stood a bit taller, staring at Jakob quizzically. She didn’t think twice about her reply.

“Well…sure. I love this place. I have a great job. I have a wonderful boss, who is also kind of a freak. But I’m a freak too, now. I guess.”

She smiled a bit shyly.

“And then there’s him.”

She took one hand out of her pocket, jerked her thumb towards Keegan.

“He’s kind of cute, and very mean, and sometimes dangerous. But—I like all those things about him. Even the mean part. I think I’ll keep him.”

“Would you consider that you two are a couple? Beyond just being a play partner out there?”

“Well, considering that he’s almost living at my apartment, yeah.”

She wondered where this was going.

“Do you understand the symbolism of collaring? What it means in our community?”

“uhm…”

She looked steadily at the two men, though her hands had begun to sweat a bit, and a slight tremor had set up in her belly.

“uhm…it means you want to ‘own’ someone. Kinda. Like a wedding ring but not legal by the courts, but by community.”

“She gets it,” Jakob spoke to Keegan, who took a step forward.

“Mandy–kitten–my submissive. I would like you to wear my collar. I want you to be mine. I may choose to share you –or not– but I want to keep you– for always– as my submissive.”

She swallowed, choking back emotion. She who had never believed she would ever be anyones special ‘someone’ was going to wear the collar of the man she most desired in the world? When she’d never expected, never let the thought run through her mind? Just being with him had been enough. This was…

“Uhm…WOW. I…I sound like I’m a brainfuddled idiot. This is unexpected. I…why me? Like…how is it that you and I…do you really….”

She stopped herself as the two men looked at her, smiling.  Clearing her throat, she started again.

“Yes.”

Before she could say more, Keegan stepped forward and covered her lips with his hand.

“That’s all you ever needed to say.”

Bending, he fastened the silver chain around her throat, securing it with a small padlock. Tugging down the neck of his shirt, he showed her a chain around his throat, with a small key on it. She understood the silent metaphor.

They were joined, locked together. And he had the power. well, kind of, she thought to herself with a smile.

Chapter 22

She touched her collar. Smiling, she slipped on her gloves, stocked up her cleaning cart and headed out to work. This was how she had started every day at Nettles since Keegan had put the metal around her neck. It wasn’t jewelry, but a thicker, more industrial-type of chain. And if it occasionally tugged at her hair, it served to remind her of his hand there. And if the weight of it made her neck feel tight, or thick, it reminded her of his right to take–her mouth, her throat, her every-part-of her… because he was her Dom. She wasn’t sure when she’d fallen in love with him, but it seemed that it had just grown slowly the way a carrot seed took forever to root and grow. It just had been there, growing through the days, and weeks, and months.

She worked through the morning, enjoying the chores. Scrubbing things back to cleanliness soothed her. Calmed her running brain, yet left her able to think about things. And realize how incredibly happy she was in her life.

After putting her tools away, she jogged down to Jakob’s office, but found him in the kitchen.

“Hi Boss!”

“Mandy…you look happy.”

“I am. You look–annoyed.”

“I am. My liquor supplier screwed up and –well, don’t worry about it. Just the headache of getting things all fixed.”

His phone rang and he held up a finger to forestall her.

“Yeah. No. NO. I didn’t call to reduce the order. For crissake, Don, why the fuck would I? What? No. Send the guy back here. Well fuck. That’s cutting it pretty close to opening time. Fine. Fine.”

He disconnected with a scowl.

“You okay, boss?”

He shook his head, his attention elsewhere.

“No worries. I’m glad that things are working out for you, you know. Keegan is a lucky guy.”

She smiled, then going with impulse, she hugged him hard. Pushing her away, he looked at her. Into her, it seemed. The look was intense, but in a moment, He drew her back, a genuine smile on his face. His head rested on the top of hers for a moment.

“You’ve never ever done that before, Mandy.”

“Well–you looked like you needed it. And — I owe you.”

“You owe me nothing–but your undying allegiance.”

He laughed at the look on her face.

“Kidding. What you have here? You’ve earned. You were right, that first day. I almost didn’t hire you. Because I didn’t think a woman would be tough enough to handle the club, not just the workload. But you have, and done it beyond my expectations.”

He kissed the tip of her nose, just as Keegan came into the kitchen, drinking from a travel mug.

“Hey..I know you’re the boss and all…but that IS my sub, there.”

“If I wanted to challenge you on that, I’da had my tongue halfway down her throat.”

She covered her ears.

“YOU TWO!! Just…geeze!”

Jakob brushed a finger down the length of her cheek.

“Mandy, you’re a fine girl. But not for me. Go hug your man and head on out of here. I’m going to have to keep him later than usual, I’m afraid.”

As she moved to hug Keegan, he shot an inquiring look at his friend.

“S’up?” he asked as Mandy wound herself around him. He really liked when she did that.

She tugged at his nose, insinuating herself between his coffee and his mouth. His lips slipped along hers, the barest whisper of touch. She moaned in frustration, but even on tippy toes could not quite reach high enough to put pressure on his lips. He smiled as she tried, as she used the arm around his neck to attempt to lever herself up enough to kiss him.

“Keegan!” she whispered. “Please kiss me.”

“Please kiss me, Sir.” His eyes were amused, but his mouth was firm.

“Please kiss me, Sir.”

She wasn’t overfond of this game. A note of impatience danced through her tone.

“That wasn’t very sincere.”

“It was…I am….You are such a bastard.”

His smile flashed across his mouth.

“I am, aren’t I? That was nice of you to say. Okay, you may kiss me.”

He didn’t move an inch, and her stretching full-on barely allowed her top lip to brush his bottom one. Growling with frustration, she tugged on his neck, but he remained upright.

“Well, don’t be all day about it, sub-girl. Where’s my kiss?”

She rolled her eyes at him, which made him laugh.

“Seriously, Sir, will you bend down so that I can kiss you properly?”

“I’m thinking I’m not in the mood for a ‘proper’ kiss…”

Again, she growled. He threw back his head and laughed, joined by Jakob, who was enjoying the by-play. Keegan certainly had his hands full. As did Mandy. They were a well matched pair.

Still holding his coffee mug in one hand, he grabbed a fistful of her hair, wrapping the length of her ponytail around his hand. It bowed her backwards, arching her. His mouth didn’t kiss, but devoured hers. Pain and pleasure exploded in her head as his tongue filled her mouth, tasting her. Her hair pulled horribly, but only added to the singing lust that filled her. That he could devastate her so thoroughly with one kiss…such a change for her. Her body quivered with need for him, but just as she thought she’d expire for lack of air, he lifted her back to her feet, his mouth leaving hers, and his hand releasing her hair.

“That’s even better than coffee…” he said, a moment before taking a long drink from his mug.

“Here, take this home with you, sub.”

“If you two are finished?”

In truth, she’d totally forgotten that Jakob was waiting there for Keegan. In a bit of a haze, she took Keegan’s travel mug and headed out of the kitchen.

“Good thing that door swings both ways,” observed Jakob as he watched her walk through the door without using her hands to open it.

“Not the only thing in this club that does!”

Keegan’s quick quip made Jakob smile, for a moment, anyway.

“I just came back here to check the alcohol delivery. It’s way off, and we’ll run out of beer, vodka and gin tonight. But Don says that someone here called and cut the order in half. If I find out who did that I’ll not only fire their asses, but I’ll beat them.”

“I can’t think of who here would do that. Everyone was on last night, but I don’t remember who was on kitchen detail last night. Maybe he was short and just shorted you?”

“Nope. He’s sending his driver back, but he’s already offloading at his third delivery. He’ll have to run back to the warehouse, restock the truck and put us on his end-of-day delivery. Which has us stocking while the front is open. I don’t like having a booze truck on premises when customers are on site. It clogs up our parking lot, and there’s always one fucktard who tries to enter through the kitchen to avoid the cover charge.”

With a slap on the back of his friend, Jakob turned and led the way back into the storeroom.

***********************************************************************

It was, Mandy reflected as she headed home, both thrilling and puzzling that she enjoyed the challenge of Keegan. On the one hand, she’d often dreamed of happy-ever-after with some amorphous someone. As she’d gotten older, and, she admitted ruefully, more damaged by certain someones, she’d let go of that dream. She’d felt a failure as a woman, as a partner, as a sexual being.

But the failure had not been her. Keegan and Jakob had both helped her to understand that. Perhaps she struggled from time to time with that, but really, Keegan kept her mind, her body, her heart, occupied.  She spent precious little time worrying that she wasn’t making Keegan as happy as he was making her.

The lifestyle–her being a submissive–had helped. The scales of the relationship were tipped in his favor. Yet he saw it as his job to make certain that she was cared for as well. He didn’t have a problem hurting her, but he didn’t have a problem helping as well. Such a strange thing, this dominant and submissive life.

She pulled into her garage, parked, and grabbed the small sack of groceries that she’d picked up on her way home. She dropped her keys twice — distracted much? she asked herself silently. Keegan had a way about him, from strong, strong hands, to that little teasing smile he often wore. He could turn her on with just that look. Add that steaming, knee-melting kiss? She was a goner. She wished she had time to masturbate, her need was that great. The key slid into the lock and she opened the door.

Hanging her keys on the hook by the door, she locked the door, and headed for the kitchen. The hood came over her head from behind, along with an arm of steel around her throat.

Chapter 23

For a moment, shock stifled all movement. She couldn’t see, could barely breathe. For a heartbeat she wondered if Keegan had gotten home ahead of her–but she knew that he would never frighten her this way. Her hands flew up to try to release the pressure on her throat, to gain a quick breath. She tried to kick behind her, but the arm tightened and her focus was solely on breathing.

She was wrestled over to a chair, shoved into it. Rope fell around her securing her tightly. She heard the rasp of velcro, felt the scratch of it on her right wrist. He used it to bind her arm to the chair quickly.

There was another rasp, different from the first. Her left hand was slapped down onto the table, palm up. Something sticky landed across her fingers, keeping her hand flat.

Duct tape.

What the fuck was happening here?

“Please…whoever you are…please…just…my purse is on the table in the hall–take what you want…”

A hard slap against the back of her head was followed by another rasping sound. Her forearm was also taped to the table. My gawd, was he going to drug her? Her heart raced, and she tugged futilely against her bonds.

“Please,” she pleaded, hating the desperate fear in her voice. “Please– just let me go…”

There was a clicking sound that she recognized as the stove burner kicking on, the sharp pungent smell of gas carrying through the cloth bag covering her face. Something metal landed on the stove. He was cooking? What the fuck?

******************************************************

The bar was stocked, the back room ruthlessly organized.

“Not much else to do until the truck gets back here,” Keegan said, taking a drink from the coffee that was kept fresh in the kitchen.

“It totally pisses me off that someone fucked up the order.”

“Maybe it’s time to look for a new distributor?”

“Maybe.”

Jakob frowned into his cup. He glanced over at his friend who was swirling the dregs of his coffee.

“So…when are you going to ask her?”

Keegan looked up in surprise.

“Ask…her? What?”

Despite himself, he felt the embarrassed flush in his cheeks. For crissake, he was better at controlling himself than this! Still, J was his oldest friend. At the steady knowing look, he sighed.

“Soon.”

“Picking out rings? or diamond nipple clamps?”

Keegan snorted.

“Oh yeah, that’d go over well. Mandy will you marry me and wear my diamond nipple clamps as a sign of your love and devotion to me…” he broke off, laughing at the mental image that presented.

“You’re right about that. She won’t take any shit from you. Are you sure?”

“Hell, sure, I’m sure. Dammit, J, she’s got me. Got into me. Not certain when or how it happened…but–”

“But it happened. I’m happy for you. For her and you. You’re kind of an asshole, so I guess I’m happier for her.”

He socked his friend on the shoulder.

“So, when are you going to ask her? Mr. Romance and all that shit?”

Keegan laughed.

“No one–ever–has called me Mr. Romance. Wait. Are you jealous?”

“No!” Jakob was quick to disclaim. “I like Mandy just fine, and I’m sure she’d be a terrific submissive. But I’m not currently in the market for the old ball and chain. Not even for the collar and ball gag.”

“No, no, no,” Keegan interrupted. His face was serious but his eyes were alight with mischief. “Did you think–”

He paused.

Keegan stared at him blankly.

“Did you think that I should be asking you to marry me?”

Jakob looked at his friend and erupted into crying. His hands covered his face as he bent over sobbing. In seconds, he stood back up, and poked Keegan hard in the belly.

“You ass.”

Then he doubled over again in hysterical laughter.

Keegan shook his head.

“You’re a sick fuck. You know that.”

“You’re a sick fuck too. That’s why we’re ….friends. Special friends.” Jakob grabbed at his belly, laughing loudly.

“I’m going to go….someplace else. I don’t know where else. But someplace. Where you aren’t.”

With great dignity, Keegan left the room, closing the door, ever so slowly and quietly behind him, which sent Jakob off into gales of hysteria once more.

******************************************************************

“Your 3:00 is here, Sir.”

Mish held the door open a bit wider, but waited for Jakob to dismiss her. A tall redhead stood in the entryway to his office. He couldn’t quite peg her. She wore jeans, a scuffed leather jacket, and her hair was contained in a neat ponytail. Her makeup was light, tasteful.

“And you are?” He asked. He had his schedule on his computer in front of him and there had not been an 3:00 appointment scheduled.

“I’m Savannah, Savannah Thompson. Your –” she turned to wave a hand at Mish, who was in her traditional black outfit; tight corset, fishnets, black killer stiletto’s with metal spiked heels, and heavy Goth make-up. “–girl said it would be okay to meet with you since you were on premises.”

“You may go, Mish. Thank you.”

He turned back to the redhead. She was a looker, that was for certain.

“Please, sit. How can I help you?”

“Your bartender sucks. Specifically the scruffy headed guy who works on Saturday’s? He’s rude, his drinks are inconsistent, and poorly made at best. I’m a hell of a lot better than him–and I happen to have an opening in my schedule to squeeze you in.”

He sat back in his chair, admiring her nerve as well as her looks. She met him eye for eye, calm and serene,  as if she really was doing him a favor.

***************************************************************************

Keegan pressed the redial button on his phone. Again. Three times, and no answer. Maybe Mandy was still in the store. Sometimes the reception in the deli area wasn’t good, and he’d asked her pick up some meats for dinner. He was in the mood for a thick roast beef sandwich, piled high with tomatoes, and melted Havarti-with-dill cheese slices. He hung up when her voice mail came on. He’d try again later.

****************************************************************************

“This is going to hurt. A lot.”

The voice was raspy and just behind her. Again, panic had her tugging at her hands, trying to gain her release. The smell of something hot came to her, a moment before that screaming heat was laid on her wrist. An animal cry of pain erupted from her– but his hand covered her mouth, effectively muffling her cries. It wouldn’t matter anyway, her neighbors all worked. She tried to move away from the searing pain, but could not even wriggle her fingers.

Whatever he had put on her moved away, and she heard the stove snick to “off”.  The faucet went on, a sharp hiss when the hot object hit the cold water. Drawers opened and closed as he searched for something. A moment later, a cold, wet cloth was laid over the burning pain of her wrist.

“There now, that’s not so bad.”

He stroked over the top of her head.

“You fucking Bastard.”

“Good to know that a little bit of heat didn’t dampen your spirits. It makes it much more fun to break the spirited girls.”

She tried to place the voice, but with the bag distorting sound, and the strange whispery tone he was using she couldn’t quite place it. It sounded a bit like the asshole who’d attacked her in the bathroom. Could it be Malcolm? Would he be so bold? Had he, in fact, been the one to attack Fae? Her mental ramblings were interrupted by his hands loosening her bindings. He tugged her to her feet, subduing her feeble attempt to strike at him. The movement of her left wrist reignited the burning pain.

He dragged her into the bedroom and threw her onto the bed. Again she fought through the pain, fought as hard as she could. He sat on her and wrapped his hand over her burned wrist, squeezing until she cried. Quickly he wrapped a rope around the painfully hurting area, securing it to the headboard. Any tug caused instant pain.

His hands slipped up under her sweatshirt, squeezing her breasts painfully.

“Where are your toys?”

She remained silent, but his fingers plucked at her nipple, squeezing it roughly.

“Where. Are. Your. Toys.”

Each word was punctuated by a brutal pinch. She whimpered, writhing despite her secured wrist.

“I…OH…OW…PLEASE…please…Idon’thaveanybuthitachi”

“Where is it?”

“BathROOOM!” She shrieked as his fingers dug into her breast, the moons of his nails cutting painfully into the skin.

He rose from the bed, and she heard him crossing the room. With her free hand she tugged the hood from her head, gasping in quick gulps of air. Finally! Deep breaths. She heard a drawer slam and then froze in shock as he stepped into view.

“YOU!”

“Where is it?”

He took a threatening step forward. Her mind raced, even as she trembled in fear. She could loosen the knot and get free–if she could get just a few moments to get at it. He moved across the room and reached into a bag she had not noticed. Pulling something from it, he turned and slapped it hard on her thighs. The long rubber strands sent a shockwave of pain through her. Her cries of pain became gasps as he hit her a second time. The idea bloomed even as she screamed when the whip landed again. She felt her jeans rip with the force of the impact.

“PLEASE!” she yelled. “I’ll tell you! I’ll tell you!”

He paused, breathing hard.

“It’s in the bathroom. You have to close the door all the way to get the drawer open. It’s right behind the door, the bottom drawer there. It’s under the facecloths.”

“You better not be telling me a lie, cunt,” he growled, shaking the whip at her. He strode to the bathroom and shut the door. She turned, fingers shaking, to work at the knot holding her throbbing wrist to the bed.

Chapter 24

The door shut with a firm snick. With a sense of desperation, Mandy worked the knot, trying to ignore the pain in her wrist as she twisted it, digging at the tangled rope. She heard the drawer slam, the echo shaking the air even out here.

“YOU CUNT!”

His voice was enraged.

“I’M GOING TO HURT YOU!”

Not any more than you already have, Roderick, you asshole, she thought to herself. Yet the fear that he was coming through the door at any moment was a good motivator. She refused to think of the consequences of failing. Her diligence was rewarded as the knot began to loosen. She listened for him, the grunts and yelling as he opened and shut the other drawers, his cry of rage as he slammed the last cabinet shut. She heard the crash as he tore through her possessions seeking the Hitachi that she did not, in reality, own.

“You FUCKING CUNT!” His enraged cry made her dig frantically at the knot. Her fingers were sweaty from fear, when she heard the rattle of the doorknob. It was followed immediately by the thunk of it falling off to the floor.

Thank gawd! She crowed silently. Thank gawd that she’d not gotten around to fixing that stupid, fucking, awesome broken knob. The pounding of his fist against the door, and his yelling spurred her to tug away the last of the knot. Jerking her hand free, she sprang from the bed.

***************************************************************

“Something’s not right.”

Keegan found Jakob at the back door, looking for the liquor truck. It was nearly opening time for Nettles and he had been pacing the floor for the last 15 minutes.

“You’re not kidding–that truck had best be here soon–”

“No–Mandy. She’s not answered her phone. At all. I’ve left voice messages. I’ve called a dozen or more times…”

“That’s not like her.”

“No. I’m sorry boss…I need to go.”

A shiver of nerves danced down his back. His radar was up and active, and was rarely wrong.  Jakob knew that look. He glanced out the door again, then at Keegan.

“Wait.”

He strode from the room. A moment later he was back with the tall redhead and Bill, another bouncer. His voice was terse.

“You-” he pointed at Bill, “will carry the cases into the cooler, while you, Red” he pointed at the woman, “will take the inventory. Consider this your test run.”

“I get paid for this?”

“For helping, yes.”

“No I mean for being treated like I’m a clueless dolt.”

She rolled her eyes at him.

“You said this was an emergency, and you got your bully-boy here to watch over me to make sure I don’t swill down your inventory….so go.”

“I’ll deal with your shitty attitude later.”

“Like–later after you deal with yours?”

Her smile was falsely bright, keen enough to slice skin. Jakob’s mouth thinned into a firm line, and he stared at her hard for a moment before turning back to Keegan.

“Let’s go.”

*************************************************************

The door rattled as he kicked at it. Mandy had the option of running, but who knew where Roderick would disappear to if she left and he got out of her bathroom. She didn’t have time to grab her cell which was ringing madly. Instead she dashed into the kitchen and grabbed the heavy iron fry skillet that had been her Dad’s. She only used it to fry bacon, and it had a good season to it…and terrific heft to boot.

She took up position to the side of the door. She heard Roderick cursing at her, about her, swinging wildly from quiet hateful murmurs to stomping rages. The door shook and trembled, yet held firm. She knew, having been shut in there several times herself, that you could shake it all you wanted and the door would not yield. You had to use a tool to wiggle the tongue free. It grew quiet, and she heard something rattling around inside the knob. It wouldn’t take long for him to figure out how to wriggle and twist the stem and free himself. She would be ready when he did.

*****************************************************************

“She should have answered.”

“Yes.”

“If somethings happened–if it’s that bastard who attacked Fae–I’ll kill him with my bare hands.”

“O no. You don’t want to start your life with your lady with a life sentence. I’ll do it.”

The two exchanged grim smiles. Jakob nudged the car a bit faster, already over the speed limit, and fairly flew the last mile to the apartment.  Neither noticed the dark car following them, too preoccupied with what might lay ahead. The vehicle hadn’t come to a full stop before Keegan leapt out. Jakob was right behind him as they pelted into the building.

“Not waiting for the elevator!” He called over his shoulder, slamming through the door for the stairs.

“What floor?”

“Fourth.”

“Fuck.”

The two ran up the stairs, Keegan fishing in his pocket for his keys, even while leaping up the last flight two steps at a time. He paused a moment for Jakob, then whipped open the hallway door. He spent precious moments getting the key into the lock before it slid firmly into place, and turned. The door gave way, the room beyond, silent.  The two men entered slowly, all senses on high alert.

****************

The bathroom doorknob began to turn, slipped, turned again. She heard the faint click as the knob finally released the tongue and the door slid open a scant quarter-inch.

“Daddy’s going to hurt you bad, you fucking whore.”

She drew back her arms, her form similar to a baseball player preparing to whack a home run. Adrenaline surged through her, but she took a deep slow breath. She would have one chance. She had no intention of blowing it.

The door flung back into the bathroom, and he stormed through.

Mandy, arms cocked, released as his toe crossed the threshold.

********************************

The men looked around the living room. The curtains had been drawn but there was enough light to see things were out of place.

“Someone’s here,” Keegan spoke softly, pointing to a leather jacket tossed on the couch.

Jakob put his finger to his lips then pointed to the closed bedroom door. The two moved forward, but froze for a moment when a man’s voice yelled.

“Daddy’s going to hurt you bad, you fucking whore!”

Borne of long years of working together, they moved stealthily but quickly towards the bedroom.

**************************************

Things seemed to move in slow motion. There was his foot, then his body, even as the heavy pan seemed to float towards him. Her body twisted as she swung the pan, the arc perfect. He sensed it at the last second, attempted to stop, but his forward momentum carried him directly into the blow.

There was a sickening crunch as the pan bashed into his face, and the sudden splatter of blood. Simultaneously, the bedroom door flew open, and Keegan, followed by Jakob spilled into the room. She stood, pan hanging from her hand, staring at them, then at the man laying still at her feet.

“I…I think I killed him.”

Her voice was a whisper, shock written on her face.

Keegan and Jakob moved towards her.

“I certainly hope you didn’t kill him.”

Everyone paused to look towards this new voice. Mandy saw a woman, tall, with flaming red hair and–dear god– a handgun held in her hand.

“What the fuck…” Jakob turned towards the woman.

“It will make it very hard for me to arrest the bastard if he’s dead.”

Savannah holstered her weapon, then turned back to the hallway.

“Get a bus, will you, Drew?”

Keegan ignored her, and moved over to Mandy. His fingers loosened hers on the handle of the pan.

“Don’t drop it,” she said, her voice high. He could see she was holding it together, but barely. His hand touched her wrist and she yelped, drawing everyone’s attention. Savannah stepped through the room and checked on the man laying on the floor.

“He’s out, not dead. Looks like you broke his nose, maybe cracked his cheekbone. Roderick Masterson, I’m placing you under arrest for aggravated assault, aggravated rape, stalking, and whatever else I can throw at you. You have the right to remain silent.”

“I don’t think that counts as Mirandizing since, you know, he’s unconscious. You’re a cop.”

“Well, yes, I am. Detective Savannah Douglas. Thanks for the job, by the way.”

“You could have told me you were a cop.”

“That kind of defies the term ‘under cover’, boss. You had to buy it, so that he’d buy it, if he came back into Nettles. It seemed to be his one regular hangout.”

The wail of sirens came closer. Savannah rose and went to Mandy.

“You did good, honey. May I see your wrist?”

Mandy  held up her arm. Across her wrist were three parallel lines, swollen and angry red.

“He marks his victims, what he calls ‘his girls’ this way. You might notice it on one of the women from your club. She goes by the name of Fae there.”

Keegan hugged her tightly to him, his arms encircling her. She felt the tremors growing in her belly, though she tried to hold them back.

“You didn’t need me at all. I have to admit, that kind of hurts my feelings.”

Startled, she looked up at him. His face was serious.

“I–you–don’t have to rescue me. I’m good at taking care of myself.”

“I can see that. Still. I’m the guy. I should be the one taking care of you.”

“I think you both take care of one another.”

Keegan and Mandy turned towards Jakob, as the three were ushered across the room. Detectives moved through the space, taking notes and photographs, as a stretcher was rushed in. EMT’s did what was needed for Roderick, before lifting the semi-conscious man onto the unit, and securing him to it.

“Wait.”

Savannah turned to Mandy.

“I think you should go get checked out.”

Mandy shook her head.

“I have some burn cream here, and mostly I just have a few bruises. Really, he didn’t rape me.” She turned and looked up at Keegan. “He didn’t, I swear. He was going to, but I tricked him into going into the bathroom and you know how that knob keeps coming off.”

He smiled. He’d been stuck in there a few times too, until she had shown him the trick to opening the door. The knob didn’t always come off. She’d been incredibly lucky that it had with Roderick.

“Smart girl.”

“He was so angry…I just knew he’d jerk the knob, slam the door.”

He hugged her tightly. He was so glad she was okay.

“I’m looking forward to hearing the whole story.”

Savanna turned towards the EMT’s. Walking over to the stretcher, she fastened a handcuff to the railing, the other side to his right wrist.

“We don’t want him going anyplace but the hospital.”

“Doctor’s don’t like it when patients are cuffed,” said the smaller of the two.

“Drew? See if you can get one of the guys to ride along.”

She tossed her cuff keys to him, before turning back to the trio. Pulling her notebook from her back pocket, she invited them to sit, and settled in to listen.

She ignored the pointed looks her ‘boss’ threw her way. She’d make amends with him later. Once this job was done.

***********************************************

He had bundled her, despite her protests, out the door and over to his small apartment. He’d helped her pack her necessities, had treated her wrist – she had one of the most complete first aid kits he’d ever seen, including silvadine cream for serious burns – and wrapped it carefully in gauze. His mind was busily working towards a solution for healing that nasty mark.

She slept like the dead for nearly 18 hours, before waking with a hunger that nearly outstripped his meagerly stocked kitchen. The woman could eat! Later they made their way to the police station to complete their official statements. Detective Douglas had been kind, but had not given them much information about what was happening with Roderick, beyond the fact that Mandy had given him a first class concussion, along with the nose and cheek fractures, and he had complained bitterly about the pain.

“Some people are clueless about pain,” she said.

“They can dish it out but they can’t take it, you mean,” said Mandy with a look at Keegan. Just this morning he’d whined about a stubbed toe. Of course, she wasn’t sure that he wasn’t just putting one over on her. He was wickedly good at it.

Later he about pitched a fit when she said she was going to work at the club.

“It’s my job,” she said, trying to be patient. “I’m not broken, I’m not made of glass, and that bastard is not going to make me shy away from having a life. Which includes doing my job at Nettles. Jakob needs me. And I need to be there. You can dom me and manage me all you want…but I need this to feel –” she paused, searching for the right words. She wanted him to understand that this wasn’t just her being unsubmissive. This was her, living.

“I need this to feel–me. I need to live my life. I need to be your submissive, but I have to be free to do my thing, you know?”

She lay a hand on his chest, over his heart.

“Nettles gave me a life. And Jakob and  you? Made it worth living. I’m not going to let that asshole take that away from me. If I do that, if I hide here at home, even with you? He wins. I won’t let him win Keegan.”

He hugged her hard.

“You’re damned smart. For a submissive.”

She poked him in the ribs, making him laugh. His arms tightened harder around her, making her squeal as he squished the breath from her. He stole more of it when his mouth took hers, kissing her long and deeply.  It was a good predicament to be in.

Chapter 25

Blindfolds made her nervous, but Keegan was insistent. He’d gotten her into the car, then slid the black satin sleep mask over her eyes.

“I don’t know why…”

“This is your Dom talking. You don’t need to know just now. Trust. You do trust me, right?”

OH, how she hated when he pulled that card out of his pocket. Of course she trusted him. He’d worked with her for weeks after the attack, using a mixture of dom tactics and vanilla love and cuddles to help her through those first rough days. It helped too that the trial was behind them, that Roderick was in jail for a long, long while, thanks mostly to Fae. When Mandy added her testimony, it sealed his fate. But that was done, over, and she was a different woman these days than she was a year ago.

She’d been surprised by the cupcake sitting on the table in her cleaning office, a gift from Jakob to celebrate her first anniversary at Nettles. How had a year rolled past so quickly? And hadn’t things changed dramatically for her in that time?

The car slowed, pulled to a stop. Before she could lower the blindfold, his hands covered hers.

“Wait.”

She remembered that they were on “Dom Time” and sighed quietly.

“Yes, Sir.”

His door opened, closed. She counted silently, getting to 11, when her door opened.

“Let me guide you.”

His hands unfastened her seat belt, then guided her out of the car. She felt him standing behind her, his hands on her shoulders. Resting her head on his chest, she could hear his heart thumping steadily. His hands lifted and tugged the blindfold. For a moment, sun dazzle blinded her.

“Well, what do you think?”

What did she think? What the hell was he talking about? She twisted her head, looking back and up at him.

“It’s a house.”

“It could be our house.”

“What are you talking about?”

“You know, if you’d marry me. It has a nice big finished basement which would make a lovely private dungeon…”

He paused, enjoying the total confuddled expressions crossing her face.

“It has a nice kitchen, a decent sized living room, lots of windows…perhaps you’d like to go inside and see it?”

She spun fully around, slapping her hand on his chest.

“Wait just a second. Just…wait. Say that first part again.”

“It could be our house?”

“No, no, no! You know the part, the next part. After that.”

“It has a basement that could become a dungeon?”

He put on his best stupid face, which made her crazy. Her brows drew together and her lips pursed as if she was ready to yell at him. He was crazy….about her. He bent, and kissed her firmly.

“What were you saying?”

She shook her head. When he kissed her that way, his fingers in her hair, it made her feel small and hot and floaty.

“You are…”

“….a wise and wonderful Dom?”

She bit the inside of her lip to hold in the laughter. He was slick bastard, no doubt.

“Keegan.”

“Mandy.”

“Are you asking me to marry you?”

“That was in there someplace too, yes.”

“Yes.”

“As simple as that, kitten?”

His smile made her heart do a slow tumble. She’d never thought she’d get into the “scene” at Nettles, never thought she’d be interested in a “Dominant”. And she had given up the dream of being in love. She thought she was broken, but it seemed that walking into the job at Nettles had led her down a less-traveled road.

“Yes. As simple as that. I love you. I haven’t said that to many people…but I’ll say it to you now, and show you later how much I mean it. I’m not sure what you’ve got in your bag of tricks…but I’m excited to see what’s coming.”

“Be a good girl…and you’ll be the one coming.”

The giggle–and the blush–came at the same time. It never failed to embarrass her how frank these people were. She guessed they were her people now. But she doubted she’d ever get used to talking about coming and body parts. He took her hand and led her up the sidewalk to the house.

***************************************************************

Back in the car, blindfold back in place, they drove away from the charming  house. The best part, from her point of view, had been the lovely back yard. She could have a dog, and a garden. ‘I like naked gardening,’ he’d replied when she mentioned it, laughing at her as she sputtered and dissembled. She wasn’t sure if he was joking about that part or not. She supposed she’d find out. And that brought her a tingle of excitement, and a deep glow of ‘happy’.

When the car pulled over again, she waited for him to take her out of the vehicle. This time he kept the blindfold on as they walked across a bumpy sidewalk. He steered her through a door. A bell chimed above them; from a distance came the sounds of pulsing rock. There were some strange smells. Not food. She wasn’t sure what it was. It wasn’t unpleasant, just something she couldn’t quite place.

“This the one?” A gruff voice asked.

“Ye-up,” replied Keegan.

“Back here.”

She was propelled forward again, the sound of guitar riffs and ripping drum beats growing louder. The floor creaked under her feet, and she felt the soft press of a curtain as she passed through it.

“Uhm…Keegan?”

He tugged her hair.

“Dom time,” he reminded her.

Sir” she whispered. She was embarrassed to say it aloud, outside of the club, outside of the bedroom.

“Speak up, girl, and address your Sir properly.”

The gruff voice addressed her.

“UHM…Sir….where are we?”

There was the sound of male laugher. She had no idea where she was, who the guy was, or what Keegan’s next move was.  She was pushed into a chair. The blindfold was tugged away. She still had no idea where they were.

“Based on the picture you sent me, I worked this up.”

The man, who was definitely the stereotypical  ‘biker guy,’ passed a paper to Keegan. He looked at it, then smiled.

“This is exactly what I was looking for–without knowing exactly what it would look like. Brilliant, Jimmy.”

Keegan sat on a stool beside Mandy.

“Kitten, this is the plan. This,” he pointed to the paper in his hand, but not showing it to her, “is the diagram of a tattoo I’ve had Jimmy design for us. You could call it our joining mark. It won’t erase the past.”

He laid the paper on her lap. In it, she could clearly see the three parallel lines branded on her wrist. Yet, the tattoo artist had crafted a “K” and an “M”, interwining them over the mark. Surrounding the entire design was the faintest outline of a leaf. She could see that end result would change the lines into something new, just as she felt Keegan had changed her.

“That’s a nettle leaf,” Keegan added, pointing to the outline. She swore she could feel her heart smile.

“I like it.I like it so much!”

“I do as well. And I’ll be wearing that same mark on my wrist.”

She didn’t want to cry, but no gesture could have touched her more. She squeezed Keegan’s hand hard, then looked back at Jimmy, wiping away the one happy tear that had escaped.

“Will it hurt?”

“Not as much as that did,” he replied, pointing at her branded wrist.

“Well–okay, then.”

She took a deep breath, and laid her unmarked hand in Keegan’s.

“Sir?”

She took a deep breath.

“I’m ready.”

He lifted her hand to his lips, biting into the pad of her thumb. She smiled at that small pain. She’d gone from lonely to being included in a wildly eclectic group of weird freaks. Not only was she was genuinely fond of them, but she’d become one of them. She was with a man who was exciting, who thrilled her, and who loved her as much as she loved him. She’d gone from being ‘broken’ to being whole. And she owed it all to her job. Later she’d thank Jakob for taking the chance in hiring her. But for now she was going to focus on the present. Her free hand encased in Keegan’s, she watched as the tattoo artist took up his tools and began to transform her from ‘victim’ to ‘owned submissive.’

 The End

~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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