Katrina Razetti sauntered into Le Petit Mort like she owned the place, even though she’d never been there before. Years of copping an attitude onstage made it easy for her to feign confidence. Feigning was definitely what she was doing, strolling into a BDSM club three thousand miles from home. Still, she’d rather look like a predator than prey, at least until she found a dom who would give her what she wanted.
There was a curvy redhead sitting behind the front desk, her boobs pushed up and almost over her tight emerald-green corset. Since it was a hot summer night, Kat didn’t have a coat to check, so she breezed on by. The only way forward was through a couple of black curtains, so Kat headed for them, hoping her nervousness didn’t show.
“Um, ma’am?” said the redhead.
Kat was halfway through the curtains before she decided whether to stop or not. “Huh?” Oh, very smooth.
“You need to pay the cover.”
Yeah, of course. Kat knew a BDSM club didn’t pay for itself, and it couldn’t make that much money off drinks. Even if there was alcohol served, the serious players rarely drank much, nor would they play with anyone who did. It had been over a year since she’d been in a place like this, but the economic realities weren’t likely to change. If she hadn’t been so concerned about appearing not to be nervous, she would have stopped and asked. She walked back.
Kat fished in the pocket of her black jeans and pulled out her wallet. She’d given up on purses long ago. Her mother thought she should carry one. That had been reason enough not to, once upon a time. Her mother thought her auburn hair was lovely long, so she’d cut it and bleached it the platinum that had become her trademark. Her mother thought Angus was trouble, so they’d formed a punk rock band together and made enough to travel the country, playing at sold-out clubs. Kat had done pretty well for herself, flouting her mother. Although her mom been right about Angus in the end.
Her hair wasn’t platinum now. It was dyed black—all part of her disguise—not that she was famous, but every so often, someone recognized her on the street. Actually, dyed hair pretty much was her disguise, that and a less garish shade of lipstick and a cream-colored silk blouse she’d normally not be caught dead in. It felt soft, feminine. She wasn’t sure she liked that. She liked being a woman, but she’d grown addicted to her hard edge. Soft was certainly an interesting feeling, and her mother would approve. That thought didn’t bother her as much as it used to.
Her mother definitely wouldn’t approve of her going into a BDSM club. But after three days in a hotel, she needed to get out. She’d never been a quiet person. She’d been going to clubs, usually places where the music was played loud and fast and the dancing was entirely free-form, with a fake ID since she was sixteen. Now and then, when she ventured into a fetish place. After she and Angus weren’t a couple anymore, she’d gone once a month to a bondage club on Santa Monica Boulevard when she was tired of having no sex life. When Angus had found out, he’d made such a scene that neither of them were welcome anymore. She’d thought of finding a new place to go for kink, but even if Angus wasn’t her boyfriend anymore, he had still been her guitarist, and she’d wanted to keep the band together more than she had wanted her fun. In the end, she’d accomplished neither.
The name of this club had amused her. She’d written a song called “My Little Death,” which some of her fans probably thought was horribly violent. She liked to think most of them figured out she was talking about an orgasm. Either way, they got what they wanted out of the song.
Now her days with Kradle were over. It was her
band, dammit. The name of it was a pun on her own name. But they’d kicked her out over a miscommunication about where to show up for a gig. It wasn’t her fault. She suspected Angus had deliberately given her the wrong information after she’d turned down yet another of his sexual advances. They hadn’t been lovers for years. Kat had thought they could still be bandmates. Obviously, she was wrong, and somehow Angus had twisted it around so that Clyde and Devious Dave thought she was trying to show them all up.
“Ma’am?” prompted the redhead.
Kat handed her a twenty.
“Do you want to check your blouse?”
Kat chuckled. That would certainly be a look more suited to her Kradle persona. Bra and black jeans. Take that, prudes. Breasts were not just soft and squishy; they could also be a weapon. But taking her shirt off would make her look more like Kat, the punk rocker, and that would increase the chance someone might recognize her. She didn’t want to deal with that. Besides, she didn’t know this place. It was one thing to wear an outfit like that onstage while she screamed the hard-edged lyrics she’d written, but another to wander around a strange club in a strange town half naked. “Not this time,” she said.
“Okay,” said the redhead.
Kat walked through the curtains. Inside was a big open area, a lot bigger than she had expected from the plain black door set in a row of industrial buildings. There were vendors, play stations, couches. The place looked like it had been a warehouse at one time with its tall ceilings. Her attention was drawn immediately to a bound woman suspended fifteen feet over the floor. The woman was in a leather harness, which crossed between her breasts and left them and her shaved pussy bare. Stout-looking ropes extended to the ceiling, which was so high up that she couldn’t make out the nature of the bolts the ropes must have been attached to. Or maybe they were on pulleys, because there was a big rope that dangled down behind her. That would explain how she’d been lifted up. If the object had been to give everyone a good view, it had certainly been met.
Kat hoped whoever had rigged it knew what they were doing, but she wasn’t here to give anyone a safety lecture. She wondered what it was like to be that woman and realized she felt jealous. Which made no sense at all. She didn’t like heights, although she wasn’t too scared of them to ride a roller coaster now and then. She liked attracting a few lustful looks, but she never wanted to be that exposed. And nothing was happening to the suspended woman: no touching, no spanking, nothing. In fact, she was literally out of reach of her dom, wherever he was. Kat assumed a dom was involved somehow, someone the woman trusted deeply. She turned away, not at all comfortable with the yearning she felt and not wanting to examine it.
The rules were posted in white-on-black script on a nearby wall, and she took a look. There wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, nothing she hadn’t seen in the BDSM clubs she’d been in before. She noted the club safe word. Red. Pretty common choice. Hopefully she wouldn’t have to use it, but there were jerks everywhere, as well as occasional misunderstandings.
A number of people were gathered around a spanking horse. A brown-skinned girl Kat guessed was Latina knelt on the horse, her body over the saddle and her knees and hands on the padded black cushions on the sides. She had bright purple hair. It was a vibrant color, and for a few seconds, Kat admired the woman’s hair. If there had been such a thing as naturally purple hair, it would look like hers, with just the right amount of variation and highlight.
With her was a tall man, shirtless, with an athletic body. Good-looking guy, although Kat liked ’em bigger, with rippling muscles. The woman was naked but unbound. The man was spanking her with his bare hand, and a pink glow was starting to show on her bottom.
“I promise not to do that again,” the purple-haired woman said. Her face was turned away from her dom, but Kat could see it well enough. She was smirking. She’d probably wanted to provoke this exact response. Kat wondered if the man knew it. The things a woman has to do to get a spanking.
Doms, like most men, were easy to manipulate.
Not that she’d had any success lately; Angus had done all the manipulating. But maybe tonight her luck would change. One night was all she wanted. Then she’d try to face the mess she’d run away from, see if she could get a new band together, get on the path toward signing a new record contract. Challenge Angus and Kradle straight up and find out who the fans had been coming to see for the last four years. A little kinky fun at the hands of a man who thought he was in charge would take the edge off and help her get her groove back. She’d always gotten a good crowd reaction in DC. Most people didn’t think the city had much to offer musically, but go-go music had started here, and so had emocore. Okay, neither had exactly set the musical world on fire, but they’d spread from here, and people in DC were open to innovation. She’d make an album with some of the stuff Angus and the others had rejected, mostly because it hadn’t sounded enough like The Clash or Offspring. Washington was a good place for a new start.
“Excuse me,” said a man behind her. She moved to the side and looked up at him. Now he
was her kind of man. Broad shoulders. Close-cropped dark hair, a chiseled face. He had a scar on his cheek, but rather than marring his handsomeness, she thought it gave him character. Carrying a huge bag, probably full of toys, as if it were weightless. A bit rude if he just wanted a better view, especially since he could look right over Kat with ease. But the man kept going after he got to the edge of the circle and plunked the bag down next to the spanking bench. Nice ass too.
“Got enough toys in there, Darren?” the big man asked the dom.
“I think so,” said Darren. “This little wench has been pushing my buttons all evening, and so I think it’s time she got a serious punishment.”
So he did figure it out. Although the “little wench” was grinning again, so maybe that was part of her plan too. Good for you, sister.
“Lisa’s has been pushing your buttons for over a year,” the big man amended. “And she likes what she gets. Have fun, you two.”
“Thanks, Brett,” Darren said as the other man turned around and walked back toward Kat.
Maybe I can snag that one. Brett, huh?
To her surprise, Brett stopped and looked at her. And offered his hand. “Hi. I’m Brett. I don’t think we’ve met.”
She put his hand in his. “Katrina.” She was Kat in the band, always, so she’d be Katrina here. His hand swallowed hers up for a moment, and then released it. Big hands, firm handshake. “We haven’t. Met, that is. Nice to meet you.”
“I’ve seen you around. Not sure why I haven’t introduced myself.”
A pickup line. And bullshit. Ah well, it was easier to love ’em and leave ’em when she didn’t respect them. Still, she couldn’t resist throwing it back. “Don’t think so. I’ve never been here before.”
From the look on his face, he was genuinely taken aback. “Hmm. Strange. I’m sure I’ve seen you somewhere before.” His eyes narrowed. For a moment Kat wondered if he recognized her from her career in music. Maybe it hadn’t been just a line. He shrugged. “Sorry for my mistake. Are you with someone?” As he asked the question, he looked her over. She felt his gaze on her neck, then her hands, not the usual place men looked. Maybe he was very good at disguising his interest in tits and legs. Then she realized it was related to his question. No collar. No ring.
, she’d been about to say. She usually liked to look around, scope a place out thoroughly. Play hard to get and pique their interest, and then decide which dom she was interested in. But she had a feeling that if she gave that answer, this one wouldn’t be interested in her ever again, and if nothing else he was the best eye candy she’d laid eyes on in a long time. “No, I’m not.”
“I was deciding whether I liked you or not,” she said.
“Wait to make up your mind after you get to know me. Come on, I’ll show you around.”
He moved past her without waiting for her response. The man called Darren had gotten out a paddle with a wooden handle and the rest flexible leather and had smacked the purple-haired girl with it. The look on her face made Kat wonder if maybe she’d gotten more than she bargained for. Either way, there wasn’t any reason to keep watching. Kat turned and followed Brett. She noticed he didn’t turn to see if she was following. He had confidence; she’d give him that. Or maybe it was arrogance. He’d be a hard one to bend to her will. She was looking forward to the challenge.
What she wanted was a simple enough scene, not unlike several she’d experienced before. Some spanking or maybe a flogger. Oh no! She’d play up that she hated it, that she was enduring it for him. And then she’d get what she wanted. A nice tasty orgasm to reward her for being a good girl, at someone’s hands rather than her own for a change. Yeah, it was all an act, but she didn’t feel guilty. She gave a dom what he wanted—a willing but reluctant victim. They gave her what she wanted. They’d both have enough to build some fantasies around later when he was alone with his fist or she with her vibe. She wasn’t just a user of men. The using was mutual.
Brett pointed to an older gentleman, whose leather vest had a star-shaped badge on it, like some old western sheriff. “There’s Marty over there. He runs the place. If you run into any trouble, he’s the one to go to. And if you yell out the club safe word, he’ll come running. You know what it is?”
“Red,” she said, pleased to have the answer. She looked at Marty doubtfully, wondering what he could do against a man like Brett.
Maybe I should have pretended ignorance.
A lot of doms liked breaking in BDSM virgins. The way she was dressed, she thought she could pose as one tonight.
“Good girl. Have you been in the scene long?”
“No,” she lied. “I told you it was my first time.” Give him what he wants, and I’ll get what I want. A good deal all around.
He fixed her with a stare that made her squirm. What about that wasn’t believable? Was he hung up about her knowing the safe word? “I read books,” she said. Didn’t everyone know what a safe word was these days, even if they weren’t involved?
“I bet you do,” he said. He took her hand and started walking. She walked with him, two mincing steps to each of his long ones to create the illusion she was having trouble keeping up.
“We’ve got a couple of St. Andrew’s crosses, some bondage frames, the spanking bench you saw earlier. And that’s Carlotta up there suspended from the ceiling. The ropes and pulleys are new.”
“Is it safe?” It was an honest question. She didn’t want Carlotta to fall because some guy was more concerned about “hot” than safe. But she also wanted to see where Brett’s priorities lay.
“It’s as safe as it can be. The ropes are checked by Marty every evening before he lets anyone on, and he replaces them once a month. They could hold someone who weighs up to seven hundred pounds, and the fixtures in the ceiling are rated even higher. You’d have to pretty much destroy the building to get them down.”
“You seem to know a lot about it.”
“I helped him put them in the pulleys.”
Sounded like Brett had been around for a while. She decided to change the subject. How would a BDSM virgin put it? “Are you a Master?” she asked. She already knew he was a dom—there was no way he could be a sub. But most guys thought Master was a hotter word. She did too, actually, even though she knew no man would ever master her. It was safe to use a word like that just to be hot, if you knew you weren’t ever going to want it to be taken seriously.
“I’m a dominant, yes. I suspect you knew that.” He walked toward where the vendors were, the four tables in two groups of two. “We’ve got a number of vendors too. Some evenings we have more. Malcolm makes some awesome floggers. Alex over there has mostly things he’s found in stores that he’s bent to more perverted uses. Glenda makes her own jewelry out of wire. She does beautiful collars.”
Kat nodded and looked around. Malcolm was a heavy, balding man who nodded at her as she looked at the floggers. They were well made from what she knew. Her experience was almost all on the receiving end, and she’d never owned one for herself. Alex, as far as she could tell, had a collection of junk. Glenda was a big woman, quite a contrast to the delicately woven wire jewelry she made. Kat wistfully picked up a green-and-gold bracelet. Money was tight. Angus owed her money—or the band did, anyway. But it was going to be hell to get it out of him, and living in even a lousy hotel wasn’t cheap. Reluctantly, she set the bracelet down. She was here to forget about all that.
“You do lovely work,” she told Glenda. She got a gratified smile in response, although not as big as she’d probably get if she’d backed up her compliment with her wallet. She resolved to come back sometime.
She nodded over at the empty table. There was a big bag stowed beneath it, not unlike the one Brett had brought to Darren, but it was right next to Malcolm’s table, and she presumed it belonged to him. “Someone didn’t show?”
Brett smiled, amused by something. Glenda chuckled. Now why was that funny?
“Most of the vendors like to play too. Whosever it is is probably on the floor somewhere,” Brett said. “Maybe you can check back later.”
Malcolm and Glenda exchanged amused glances. Whatever.
Kat nodded. It wasn’t like she’d be buying anything right now anyway.
He steered her away from the oblong vendor tables and toward a bunch of round tables at one end of the room. People were talking there. One male sub knelt at his Mistress’s feet, but most of the people were sitting on chairs. They could be anywhere. Okay, there was more leather, and one woman’s breasts were bared, but other than that, they could be sitting in a perfectly vanilla café. As Kat got closer, she realized some of the people were arguing basketball, and the others were discussing online role-playing games. There was a community here. People belonged. And she most definitely didn’t. She was there to have some fun. Maybe she’d be back, and maybe she wouldn’t. For a moment, she wished she was part of the community.
But to belong, she had to be herself. And she wasn’t, not really. She thought that Kat was an act, and maybe she was, but this nice-girl blouse wasn’t her either. Maybe Kat wasn’t a front so much as a facet. If she got a beer, walked over there, twirled a chair around and straddled it backward, and jumped in, she wouldn’t look like an attractive sub. She’d look like a tomboy, which she totally was.
“I could introduce you, if you’d like.”
“No, thank you.” Well, that was awkward, but she didn’t want to meet everyone. Not now, anyway. She sensed things weren’t going entirely well with Brett. There had been a few moments where it felt like he could see right through her. But she knew already she wouldn’t be satisfied with some other man at this point. Brett was a challenge. She was going to conquer him. “How about you and I play instead?” That didn’t sound like a BDSM virgin. “I mean you could show me what this bondage stuff is all about.” She tried an eye flutter that she’d probably vomit at if she saw any other woman do it. “I’ve been fascinated ever since I read those books that everyone’s reading.”
His eyes narrowed, as she’d expected. People in the scene didn’t always appreciate the things writers got wrong about what they did. She waited for his mouth to open and then said quickly, “I think there’s got to be something else to it, you know? I want the real thing. Can you show me what it’s really like?”
“What it’s really like? Well, the first thing to understand is that a dom likes his sub to tell him the truth. And the second is that this Dom will punish you if you don’t. If you don’t agree to that, there’s no point in playing.” He locked his gaze with hers, and her heart sped up. Could he tell if she told the truth or not? She’d been assuming it didn’t make much difference, that he’d rather have a fantasy to reality anyway. But now she was almost certain that if she lied while looking him in the eye, he’d know it instantly. And that scared the hell out of her. The stories she weaved about herself were her armor in a place like this, and without them she was naked.
“I agree,” she said, trying to sound casual. It came out a breathless whisper. Punishment sounded good. There was nothing like a hand smacking her butt or even a flogger to set her mind free and take it away from her troubles.
“Well, then, since you’re new to this, we’ll play very lightly.” Was that a smirk on his face? “I’ve got all evening.”
lightly? She had to steer him away from that thought. She wasn’t an edge player, but she wasn’t here to be babied. Telling him it was her first time didn’t seem like such a great idea anymore, but it was too late now. “We don’t have to play lightly. I’m generally a jump-into-the-pool-with-both-feet kinda girl. Dipping my toe in makes it take longer to acclimate.”
“Rule three. Trust your Dom, and don’t try to top from below. Especially if you’re new. I’ve been doing this for years, and I’ve played with everything from experienced submissives to women who are just dipping their toe in, as you said. I know what’s best for a new submissive. And I know what’s best for you.”
She couldn’t tell if those last two were meant to be a contrast or if one built on the other. If he already had her figured out, the best thing she could do was come clean. But if he didn’t, she’d better stick with her lie. She said nothing.
“What part of the scene makes you the most curious?” Brett asked. He took her hand and walked her toward an empty St. Andrew’s cross. It was plain and had obviously seen a lot of use. She liked the ones with padding, but this one didn’t have any. It was just a big X of black-painted wood with a few struts supporting it at an angle with the floor and eyebolts at the ends.
“Bondage,” she said. “And spanking. And fl—whips.” Very few new subs called them floggers. To an experienced practitioner, a whip was something like a single-tail, nasty enough to cause real injury and not to be played with unless you knew what you were doing. Floggers were the ones with the multiple tails that helped slow them down and spread out the force of the impact.
The silence stretched, and she wondered if he had caught her slip. At last he said, “I think you’re too much of a novice for a whip, and in any case that’s not my style. But I have a few floggers back in my bag. We can try those later.”
“Later?” She tried to keep the annoyance out of her voice. Besides, she didn’t see his bag anywhere.
“We’ll start with a spanking. Lean against the frame there. Hands on the upper reaches of the X, legs spread so that your ankles are near the eyebolts next to the floor.”
Kat smiled. That sounded more like what she came there for. She stretched out as requested. The cross was slightly off vertical. It was enough to give her something to lean on, but she still had a sense of standing. If she let her knees relax completely, she’d slide right down. “Are you going to tie me up, Sir?”
“Why not, Sir?” she asked without thinking. Fortunately the Sir was also habit, or she’d probably really tick him off. And she didn’t want to do that until after he was committed to spanking her. She had the sense that he could still decide to let her go. An experienced dom with those kinds of muscles wouldn’t have any trouble finding partners, even if he was a complete ass. And it was clear that Brett was as careful as he was well built.
“There’s a lot going on in a scene,” Brett told her evenly. “And when you’re starting out, it’s hard to know which part you’re liking and which part you’re hating. You might like the bondage and hate the spanking, or vice versa, and come out of it thinking the whole thing was a negative experience. Best to focus on one thing. In this case, that’s going to be my hand on your ass.” He cupped the lower curve of her bottom and lifted. Then he moved to the other side and did the same.
“Yes, Sir.” Darn it. She liked being bound. She liked not being able to move and not having to think about shifting or fidgeting because she couldn’t. But his hand felt good, and she definitely didn’t want him to stop, so she said nothing.
He slid his other hand around to her stomach. She imagined it touching her breasts or her pussy. But he moved it to below her belt and stopped. Just enough to brace her. “Now then. Are you ready for your first
“Yes, Sir.” Was it her imagination, or did she detect sarcasm in his voice?
He swatted her, right in the middle, his hand coming from below, cupping her cheek and then pressing it into her body. He had her braced with his other hand. It was sensual, without a trace of pain. If her pants were down, there might have been a sting. If he’d struck harder, there would have been a delicious thud.
She waited. He picked up the pace but not very much. Used a bit more strength. Maybe it would have been enough, if she’d been the new player she’d pretended to be.
“You want to pull my pants down?” she asked. She wore a thong under, and she’d wanted to keep that on.
He leaned forward so he could speak softly. “Oh, being stripped in public is a powerful experience. Probably more so than being spanked. Stronger for some, even, than being tied up. Not for your first time, little sub.”
She really regretted lying to him.
Sindra van Yssel