Betsy smiled. “Have fun, dear.”
“That’s what I’m here for.” Amanda grinned and looked about. Her quarry, Jeremy, was leaning against the rail, watching a scene taking place on a big St. Andrew’s cross in the middle of the room. Master Imad had Sofia chained up and was applying fierce blows with a slender rattan cane, intermixed with soft caresses. The alternation between tenderness and brutality provided a stark contrast and had attracted a number of rapt observers, both new and experienced, some of whom looked horrified. Jeremy, on the other hand, looked only half-interested; he appeared to be neither repelled nor transfixed.
Amanda moved behind him. “What do you think of them?” she asked.
He looked up. “Ah, it’s you.”
Amanda raised her eyebrows. “Is that a good thing?”
In answer he moved a few inches, making room for her, and tapped the rail next to him in invitation. She took the place he offered.
“I think he’s very caring,” he said. “And the marks he’s making are going to stay with her for a while. I’m not sure I could use a cane in such a fashion.”
Although he was a perceptive newbie. “Even if I—I mean, she—wanted to be marked?”
“There are marks, and there are marks. It’s a matter of degree. I presume if she didn’t want it, she’d use her safe word. But she’s clearly suffering; she’s not an out-and-out masochist. So yes, I presume she wants the marks. Still, he takes pleasure in it that I could not.”
Amanda nodded. One session with Imad had been enough for her. He was kind and considerate, but he was also a sexual sadist. Giving pain was what got him hard, and he made no apologies for it. The more it hurt, the more he liked it. Amanda liked intensity, but what gave Imad pleasure and what she enjoyed were too far apart for them to be good partners. She had to hand it to Imad, though. When he realized it wasn’t working, he’d made sure of her pleasure rather than his own. He deserved someone compatible.
you take pleasure in?” she asked.
Jeremy turned to her, and she was struck by the sudden intensity of his gaze. “I’d like to bend you over my knee and spank you.”
“Oh.” She’d asked an abstract question, and he’d suddenly made it about him and her. An image of herself, ass skyward, flashed through her head. She waited. He’ll turn away, shy when he doesn’t get an answer right away. And then I’ll tell him I’m interested.
But he didn’t.
“I meant in general,” she said.
“No you didn’t. You walked all the way around the room to talk to me.”
“You were watching me.”
“You’re a pleasure to watch.”
Amanda blushed. “Are you always so direct?”
“I don’t know.” He smiled. “It’s my first time, remember? But yeah, I’m straight with people. It saves a lot of trouble in the long run. What would you take pleasure in, Amanda?”
“Um. The spanking sounds good.”
She expected to find relief on his face, or excitement, but instead there was something unreadable. He couldn’t have said it hoping I’d say no, could he? But of course he could. He’s new. He’s not sure his desires are okay. I remember being uncertain once, half hoping that dates wouldn’t turn out to be all I fantasized about so I wouldn’t have to confront the reality that my wants were needs.
She’d run from herself several times after that, thinking she’d scratched a few items off her bucket list and now she could go back to being normal. Vanilla. But she knew now that it was a mistake, that kink was in her blood. And she wasn’t going to let him make the same mistake. “Let’s do it, then.”
He chuckled. “What? No negotiation, no discussion of limits?”
“You can touch me after if you want,” she said. “But no sex.” The thought of his fingers on her made her wet.
“No penetration of any kind.”
It sounded like a statement, but it had to be a question. “Fingers would be okay.”
“I have limits too.”
That didn’t sound like a personal limit to her. That sounded like the sort of limit a man had when they had another partner at home. “Are you married? Seeing someone?” It wasn’t a deal breaker for her, if he’d been given permission by his partner, but how to be sure of that? Guys would say all sorts of things.
He frowned, and then his face went blank. “No. Widowed. No other partners.”
She’d touched a sore point. “How long has she been gone?”
“Three years. We’re not talking about her.” His face softened. “This is about us, and a moment.” He reached up and put his hand toward her face, and then stopped. “May I touch you?”
She could almost feel his hand against her cheek already, it was so close. A moment. She was good at living life for the moment, especially at Excess. She nodded, wanting to feel his hand, afraid to reveal too much or too little of desire with her voice.
His fingers started at her temple and feathered across her cheek to the edge of her lips, his pinky tracing the line of her jaw. For a moment, she forgot to breathe. He touched her with total concentration, as if there was no bustling of half-dressed people around them, no scream at the strike of a cane. She couldn’t filter out all the distractions, but it was clear that he was utterly focused. His gaze was intense, demanding her attention as well.
A simple touch shouldn’t be so powerful.
He turned his hand, caressing her cheek with the knuckles this time. She shivered.
“Your reactions are beautiful, Amanda.”
“I don’t usually react this way. You’ve barely touched me.” And I want more.
He leaned forward and brushed his lips against hers. She opened her mouth, expecting him to deepen the kiss, but instead he pulled back, regret and desire mixing on his face. “What’s wrong?” she asked.
“This is a lot to take in.”
She nodded. Maybe he was distracted by everything after all. She couldn’t blame him. She had a hard time being completely focused at Excess, and she was used to the place. For a newcomer, it was overwhelming. She wanted him to take charge, but it was unfair of her. “I could show you around more, if you want. Introduce you to the owners. It’s a lot to deal with your first time. Just—”
“Just what?” He looked amused.
“Just don’t forget that you’re going to spank me.”
He chuckled. “Have you been a bad girl, Amanda?”
Her mind flashed to all the things she’d done, all the people she’d played with. “Oh, you have no idea.” She didn’t think having so much sex was truly wrong, but it didn’t matter. She loved to pretend she was being punished. If it made him hot too, so much the better. Some of the more jaded doms didn’t bother with a rationale for a scene. For them it was all about technique. She didn’t expect much technique from Jeremy, but if he made up for it with enthusiasm, she’d be satisfied. Besides, she could always offer helpful hints.
I can train him.
It wasn’t a very submissive thought. It was followed by a darker one. The old club owner, Vincent, had trained her once. As with everyone he trained, until he met Susan, he gave her up once his work was done. If I train Jeremy, am I going to just be giving some other woman a good time, without anything for myself?
“I think I do,” he said drily. “By all means, show me around.”
They walked about, looking at scenes. Amanda gave him a running commentary. Jeremy asked the occasional innocent question. The knee-weakening moment of his touch was gone, and Amanda was back in charge, in her comfort zone. As she led him into the dungeon room, she yearned to feel that intensity again.
Lord Kelvin—not his real name—was doing fire play with Eric, another one of the regulars. They were doing it on a table that was set up to look like a medieval rack. “It looks dangerous, but it only burns for a moment,” Amanda said as Kelvin’s hand smothered a line of burning alcohol on Eric’s back. “It doesn’t even feel as scary as wax. Looks great, though.”
“It does look great,” Jeremy agreed. “Would you rather have your top make what he’s doing with you look great or feel great?”
For a newbie, it was an insightful question, she thought. “It depends.” She’d loved a few scenes she’d done that were just for show. She didn’t feel she looked that great most of the time. If a dom could bring that out, it could be wonderful, but she knew why a lot of doms concentrated on how it looked. They wanted other people to want to play with them. There was nothing wrong with that, but she didn’t want that from Jeremy. For a while, I want to have him to myself. I’ll release him when I’m done. Oooh, that wasn’t a very submissive thought, either.
“What does it depend on?”
“On whether there’s someone else I’d rather be playing with than the dom I’m with.”
“Would you rather be playing with someone else, Amanda?”
That was direct.
“If I say yes, you’ll leave, won’t you? You’ve got to have a thicker skin than that.” Her default position was that she wanted to play with the best doms. Gray or Vincent or Betsy. But Vincent was totally unavailable these days, and time with Gray and Betsy was very hard to come by as well.
“I won’t leave. I just want to know.”
She didn’t have anyone she’d rather play with. She wanted, this once, to have at least the illusion there might be something more going on than the physical. With Jeremy, maybe she’d have it. Who knew what could develop. It seemed unlikely, but with a man who touched with that much intent, anything was possible.
“No. Not right now.” I ought to play more hard to get than that. “You suit my mood of the moment. Here, I think the caning is done, and Madam Ayako is going to do a suspension scene in the middle of the club. She’s incredible with rope. You should—”
She left the room while she was talking and walked toward the rail. Suddenly he stopped her with an arm around her waist. She shrieked as he pulled her back to him. She was aware of people turning to see what the noise was about.
“We’re done sightseeing,” he murmured fiercely. He picked her up off the floor, making her feel suddenly weightless.
He was in control. Her heart raced, and her skin tingled. A moment of fear was quickly doused be the fact that Betsy and the others were looking out for her. The worst that would happen was an uncomfortable scene as a result of him not knowing what he was doing.
He took her toward a table where there was one empty chair. When she saw who was there, she froze. Percival was talking to Lucy. The music shifted from soft, ethereal trance to driving, electronic body music, and the two leaned close to carry on what appeared to be an intimate conversation.
Lucy looked up. “Hey, Amanda.” Lucy’s dark hair was cut straight across her forehead in Bettie Page-like bangs. Amanda was surprised by the greeting, because she’d gotten the impression Lucy regarded her as unwelcome competition. She wondered what had provoked the change. Percival, on the other hand, glared at her.
She supposed she might as well make the best of it. “Jeremy, this is Sir Percival and his submissive, Lucy. Sir Percival, Lucy, this is Jeremy.” She wanted to make it clear to Lucy she acknowledged the woman’s claim to her man, even more so than the other way.
“Pleased to meet you both,” said Jeremy. “Mind if we take this chair?”
“Feel free,” said Lucy, but Percival glared.
Jeremy picked up on it too. “I’m going to move it away,” he said.
Percival nodded, clearly mollified but not entirely willing to give up on his scowl. He was apparently still in a bad mood. Well, Lucy and he will have to work it out themselves. It doesn’t have to become my business at all.
“Thanks,” said Jeremy as if Percival had been perfectly gracious. He grabbed the chair with his free hand, spun it around, and headed back to the rail, his hand still wrapped around Amanda’s waist. He set down the chair about eighteen inches from the rail and then leaned over toward Amanda. “You seemed on edge there for a moment. You okay?”
He’d noticed. She smiled. “Just didn’t want to get involved in their drama.”
He nodded. “Fair enough.”
“I called him Percy earlier.” She wasn’t sure why she felt constrained to confess, but once she did, she couldn’t resist a giggle.
He chuckled. “Not very respectful.”
“No,” she agreed. “But I don’t think he respects me, either.”
She half expected him to give her a lecture, lifted straight from popular fiction, on the difference between doms and subs. But he didn’t. “Shame, that.” His eyes twinkled. “Clearly, though, you need to be punished for your disrespect.”
The smile in his eyes reassured her, and she grinned. “Clearly, Sir.”
“Sir. That’s the right way to address me, isn’t it?” He tilted her chin up and held it to force her gaze to stay on him.
It wasn’t as if she wanted it anywhere else anyway. “Yes, Sir,” she breathed, her voice unsteady.
“Very good, Amanda. If you disrespect me, the spanking will become distinctly less enjoyable.”
She took in his meaning. On one hand, it was a warning. But he was also telling her that he expected her to enjoy what he was going to do to her. Her pussy moistened at the thought. What turned her on might not be what did it for everyone, but she never enjoyed a dom’s anger, even if it made him do exactly what she otherwise wanted. Yet being able to be bratty and having a dom use that to drive the scene forward was perfect.
I’ve chosen well.
He sat down on the chair and pulled her toward him. Feeling mischievous, she started to sit in his lap. His grip tightened, and without warning, she found herself tipped over, her ass skyward, her waist bent over his lap. She knew why he had moved the chair, and it wasn’t only to get away from Percival and Lucy. They were seated where everyone could see them, nearly as much so as they would have been if they were in the center of the room. He’d heard what she said about there being times she cared more about how a scene looked, and assumed she liked to be watched. Sometimes.
She knew she did. She just didn’t know why she did. Maybe just that having people watch seemed so wrong it was hot.
“You are not in control, Amanda.” His voice was as firmly in command as any experienced dom’s. Like Gray or Vincent.
Was he really a novice? It seemed incredible.
“Do you have any shyness about being in public like this, Amanda?”
“Um, no, not really.” Once. It seemed so long ago.
“Good.” He flipped up her skirt, and she felt a sudden breeze of air on her bottom. “You’re wearing panties.”
“Just a thong, Sir.” She wondered if he’d yank it off or ask first.
“Good,” he said instead. He ran a warming palm over her bottom.
Good? Why is that good?
She didn’t understand what made Jeremy tick. Which was unfair, because judging from his actions, he had a very good idea of what did it for her. Her heart was racing, and she wondered if there was a damp spot on her panties.
There wasn’t much she could do about it if there was. At least probably only he could see. There was something uniquely helpless about the position she was in: her head down, her feet stretching to touch the floor, his arm over her back with a firm grip on her side to hold her in place.
He lifted his hand, and she braced for it. He probably didn’t know how hard he should hit. But instead of a smack, he just patted her bottom lightly. It was almost disappointing.
“You can hit harder than that, Sir,” she told him.
“Really?” She couldn’t tell whether he was being sincere or sarcastic. But the next swat was exactly the same as the one before.
“Rea—” she started as he raised his hand again. He cut it short with a sharp smack that made her exhale suddenly. It was harder than she would have wanted, with more follow-through, but it definitely made a statement about who was in control. The question was, did he know enough to take charge? I’ll let him follow his instincts, then offer helpful suggestions after.
“I want to start slow and build up. You, Amanda, need to be patient. I want to give you what you need as much as you want to get it.”
He did exactly that, working from cheek to cheek, slowly building up the intensity. Her bottom got warmer. Her pussy got warmer too. He nudged one leg to separate her thighs. He had to be able to see how wet she was. That part never ceased to be embarrassing and to make her feel vulnerable. Once a dom knew how turned on she was, the power shifted toward him.
He delivered a series of soft, stinging slaps to each buttock, and then a soft, thuddy press right in the middle, his fingers curling to stroke her pussy through the damp cloth. Oh God. She shivered. “Don’t stop.”
“Don’t stop what, Amanda?” he asked and gave her a stinging slap. The sharpness of it faded and seem to wind itself into her core, coiling like a second strand of rope with the tension his gentle stroke had provided.
She wasn’t sure, so she didn’t answer. His fingers on her pussy were heaven; his hand on her bottom was making her ache. She didn’t know which one turned her on more. She arched, instinctively pushing her ass higher, and spread her legs as far as they could go without falling off his lap.
He slipped his hand between her legs, not bothering to disguise it as the follow-through of a swat this time. His fingers found her clit with unerring accuracy, and she took a sharp breath. She hadn’t expected such a perfect touch. There were guys who seemed to have trouble even without her panties in the way. Hell, there were guys who probably couldn’t do it with a flashlight. He moved his fingers so that they slid on each side of her tender nub, creating pressure.
“You squirm beautifully. Don’t stop.” His voice contained genuine admiration. She hadn’t even realized she was moving. She was grateful she was facing the floor, because she was sure she was blushing. She tried to stay still.
He withdrew his hand.
“Don’t stop,” she said, almost at the same time.
He caressed her bottom, then spanked her again. She yelped, although she had suspected it was coming. Her feet kicked up in surprise, and he tightened his grip on her to stop her from falling off. “Whatever I have to do to get you to move is fine with me,” he said softly.
Sindra van Yssel