He moved off the bed, walking into the adjoining bath. She got up as well, headed for her dresser, and pulled on a pair of pink panties and a matching camisole, enjoying the feel of the silky fabric. She didn't want to be naked anymore. She wasn't sure why. Maybe it was because she felt vulnerable, but it was also because she felt conscious of the power clothes could symbolize. It had been hot before when Daniel had been in his suit and she was naked, and now that the roles were reversed, she wanted something on. Something soft and feminine to take the edge off the hardness she felt from being on top.
More than ever, she didn't want to lose Daniel. She knew he loved her. She wanted to do what they had done again, and maybe take it even further. But when she had started to get into it, she had wished it would shut her submissive side up. It hadn't.
She knew now that she wasn't going to pass up her chance to meet Randall X. She'd have to tell Daniel when he got back. The sound of running water in the bathroom stopped.
He hesitated, standing in the door for a moment. His cock was still half-hard, and she was tempted to get sidetracked and fuck him. She felt-no, knew-that he'd be up for it if she told him to be. Her gaze drifted over his taut muscles. Mine, mine, all mine. She was glad he was back and hadn't interpreted her directions as a request for him to take a shower.
"Thank you, Mistress." He smiled at her.
She wondered if he was waiting for permission to enter. She shook her head. "Playtime is over, Daniel. Don't call me 'Mistress' right now. We need to talk."
"Is something wrong?" He was at her side in moments, his arm around her waist, his tone and eyes full of concern.
She bit her lip, not sure how to begin. How to tell him that she loved topping him. How to tell him she still wanted, needed to feed her submissive urges as well, to explore her fantasies.
He looked down. "I kinda blew it, didn't I? I mean, that was incredible, Louise, but I know you wanted something else out of the first part. I hope I made up for it." He met her gaze again, the way he always did. He never backed away from her. Never showed fear. Always did as she asked.
"Yes. I mean, yes, I did want something else out of the first part. But yes, that was incredible, and I'd like to do it again sometime."
"Me too." His eyes brightened. "I never realized a little S and M could be so much fun. So profoundly moving. Wow."
She smiled at him. "I almost got carried away there. I wanted to possess you. It was crazy and fun and yeah, pretty profound."
"Maybe you aren't the submissive you thought you were," he suggested hopefully.
She knew she didn't have any real experience with submission. But she also knew the mental part of it was there when she was online with Randall X, even if the physical part wasn't. Her body responded to his words, her pussy getting wet just from a typed order. She shook her head sadly. "I found out something about myself, for sure, but it wasn't that I'm not a sub. It's that it's more complicated than that."
"You want to meet him, don't you?"
"Yes." Her heart felt like it was jumping into her throat, making it hard to breathe. Why can't I just take what's in front of me? I must be crazy.
"Then you should." He patted her knee. "I'm not over the moon about it, but you should do what you want to do. I'll be here." He chuckled. "Well, I'll be at my place. You know where to find me."
"Thank you, Daniel."
"You're welcome, Lou. I think, you know, I just like knowing you're doing exactly what you want to do. If you ever aren't, please come to me?"
She tried to figure that one out. He knew she was submissive in her relationship with Randall X. What did "doing exactly what you want to do" mean in that context? Like a lot of things, it was complicated. Then she blinked. In the middle of trying to parse his words, she'd almost failed to hear them.
She'd made him promise they wouldn't say I love you when they first started dating. She didn't want to be tied down or trapped. And now he's my best friend. With benefits, lots of benefits.
She never asked, but she didn't think he wasn't seeing anyone else, even though with his looks and his money he could probably fill his calendar with women anytime he wanted. I like knowing you're doing what you want.
Even when it obviously wasn't what he wanted. Was that another way to say what they'd agreed not to say?
"I love you too," she whispered.
He kissed her, more ferociously than usual. Her lips parted to let his wet tongue slide against her own. She buried her hands in his luxurious dark hair, not sure whether to pull him close or to tug him back by his hair so she could take charge of the kiss. He'd like either, she was sure, but she didn't. For the moment, it was nice to know he loved her no matter what she did.
* * * * *
Rob Randall pulled up the one picture he had of "Lulu"-known in the real world, apparently, as Louise. She'd warned him that it wasn't recent, and that she'd put on weight. But still it gave him his one chance to recognize her. Black curly hair, brown eyes, a lovely smile.
He closed his laptop and leaned back in his chair. In another moment, he would be arriving at Union Station, and he would finally meet her. Living halfway across the country, he hadn't been sure they'd ever meet, but ever since he'd "met" Lulu online, he hadn't been able to get her out of his mind. He knew from watching others, and from experience, that most online relationships didn't last very long. They heated up fast because finding someone to share one's deepest secrets with was an intoxicating experience, and it was easy to be open online. They usually ended as suddenly because it wasn't always the deep secrets that brought relationships down, and everything else was often skimmed over.
The last part hadn't happened between him and Lulu. He'd known her for six months, which passed for a long-term relationship in the virtual reality game they played. He knew she had another boyfriend in real life, and he accepted that. Running his custom electronics business kept him busy and gave him less and less time to hang around the Chicago BDSM scene with its munches, socials, and play parties. Lately he hadn't bothered at all. Lulu was it for him, but it was understandable she'd want more than he could give at the moment. Maybe someday he'd learn to delegate more and he'd have extra free time.
He wondered if meeting her was a good idea. They seemed to sync up so well online, but people could be very different in person. He didn't want to be in a relationship that was built entirely on fantasy, however, even though he was willing to settle for an online relationship. He wanted to know everything there was about Lulu-he still hadn't gotten used to thinking of her as Louise-and this was the best way to do it. If she'd said no, maybe he wouldn't have pushed. But she'd kept him wondering, and then, on the last day before he boarded the train, she'd said yes.
He wished they'd had more time to plan and to talk about their expectations. He was there to attend a convention for inventors, and he couldn't neglect it to spend as much time with her as he'd like. He was hoping to find someone at the convention to hook up with, not in a sexual sense but in a business one. Physical presence in different locations still mattered, no matter how much the Internet had internationalized his business.
Would their online relationship as Master and slave carry over to real life? Or would it be like starting all over with getting to know each other? If she hadn't waited until they were almost ready to sign off for the evening to tell him she was going to meet him, he would have told her what to expect and what he expected. As it was, he'd have to follow his instincts. He grinned. He might have preferred to plan, but he was confident he'd know what they both needed once he spent time with her.
The train slowed down with the low screeching sound of brakes against the iron track. He'd loved trains, ever since he was a kid. Now he took them to avoid wasting his time in security lines at the airport when he could be catching up on office tasks with his computer, but he still enjoyed the sensation of arriving someplace much as people had a hundred years ago, in the heyday of the iron horse. He loved his gadgets, and what was a train but the ultimate gadget? Especially the old ones with their exposed coupling rods and wheels. Since the steam engine, how many lovers had reunited in Union Station? The mixture of his old-fashioned penchant for trains and an Internet romance certainly didn't fit into any of the familiar norms.
He was eager to meet Louise, but he let the other people in a rush clear the way. An older woman asked for help getting her suitcase down from the overhead compartment, so that delayed him further as he helped her. He offered to carry it, but she was happier dragging the heavy luggage behind her on its little wheels. He chuckled. He'd waited a while for this meeting. He could wait a while longer.
When he finally got off the platform and into the station, he spotted her immediately. She wore a white blouse and a dark blue skirt, as she told him she would. The blouse was loose but couldn't completely conceal the lushness of her soft body or the black bra she wore beneath it. Damn she looked sexy. Her face was just like her picture, with a few extra laugh lines around the eyes. She didn't notice him right away but kept scanning the throng ahead of him. He didn't want to wait, so he took the quickest path. He broke from the line, crossed through a row of seats for those waiting for a train, and then stepped over the rail that enclosed the waiting area. He wasn't trying to sneak up on her, but it nearly had that effect.
She whirled at the last moment. "Rob Randall?"
He grinned. "Louise." His casual willingness to start from scratch with her if need be had melted away upon seeing her. He wanted to hold her and taste her soft red lips, and he didn't want to wait. "Give me a kiss, slave girl."
She hesitated a split second, which gave him time to put his suitcase down and wrap an arm around her waist, pulling her to him. She was over half a foot shorter than him, and when she tilted her head up and he bent his down, their lips met perfectly. He'd intended something short, but her lips parted against his, and he couldn't resist sliding his tongue in to taste her better. She kissed him back with a ferociousness that more than made up for her earlier hesitation. She smelled good, like roses and vanilla. Her body felt warm and soft and womanly. If she'd put on weight, it had done her some good. He'd much rather hold someone cuddly than some skinny model.
"MASTER." LOUISE HADN'T been sure whether she'd be willing to say those words or not. There was an element of role-playing in their online existences, even though she always tried to be true to herself. In some ways, she felt like her avatar was more her true self than the accountant she "played" in real life, but in other ways, she wasn't. Long hair, thin waist, breasts that stood perkily in place as if weightless, none of the concerns of someone who had to take out the trash and do the dishes and all the other myriad things one never had to do online. But after Randall's kiss took her breath away, "Master" was the only thing that seemed appropriate to say.
The kiss wasn't all that startled her out of most of her vocabulary. He'd given her a rough description, but it hadn't done him justice. She figured people online generally gave themselves rave reviews, and he'd stuck to height and hair color. He'd been accurate as far as it went-he was tall and his hair was short and blond, a buzz cut really-but he hadn't mentioned that he was lean and fit. He moved with an easy grace. She'd seen him step over the rail casually, out of the corner of her eye, before it had registered that he was the person she was waiting for. Flexible. And from the feel of his arms around her, strong too.
"It's nice to finally meet you, Louise."
She didn't find herself using his name very often online. He was almost always simply Master. He'd never insisted on that, but that had been what she wanted, in her desire to immerse herself more fully in the fantasy of their existence there. She didn't know where to go from here. Did she call him Rob or Randall? Rob seemed too casual, but addressing him by his last name was awkward too. For a moment, it panicked her, and she was afraid, as she had been a dozen times on the drive to Union Station, that she would somehow screw it up. She'd come up with two answers. Let him lead.
It was simple, really. She trusted him. Not completely-one couldn't completely trust anyone, and especially someone one only knew online-but until proven otherwise, she trusted him. Then there was the other answer. Relax, be yourself.
"It's nice to meet you too, Randall. Rob? You're a good kisser. Even if that did create something of a scene."
"Rob will do. You've a lovely blush," he told her, grinning.
The thought that she was blushing made her cheeks warm up even more. "Well. Um. Thanks, I think."
"Thank you for picking me up. So much better than getting a taxi. So much prettier than a taxi driver. You're gorgeous!"
No, I'm not.
But she didn't say it. One of Randall X's greatest peeves was bad self-talk. And while getting a spanking online wasn't too bad, she wasn't about to risk what he'd do in the train station. "You sound surprised."
"Do I? I guess I hadn't thought about it too much. I've known you're a gorgeous person on the inside for a while, and I wasn't going to worry about the rest. Anyway, I'm glad you agree."
She wasn't going to argue. "You're pretty good-looking yourself. And yes, I'm surprised. But I won't complain."
Her heart was racing, and she felt out of breath. She was positively giddy that he was pleased with her. Being quite so eager was uncomfortable. But here he was, the man she'd been fantasizing about, in the flesh. Whenever she logged in to meet him, she felt a sense of submission wash over her, and it made all the muscles in her shoulders and neck relax to simply let him take charge. Now it was real, and she wanted him badly. And yet here in the crowded train station, she was too tense, and she didn't know if she'd be able to let herself go quite the same way as she was online, with someone she barely knew.
He reached out and took her hand. "It's all right, Louise. It's strange for me too, you know. We'll take it one step at a time."
She felt some of the tension go out of her. Relax, be yourself.
She realized the two answers she had given herself weren't as contrary as she thought they might be. Being herself went well with letting him lead, actually. "What's the next step?"
"The next step is to get to your car." He picked up his suitcase with his other hand. "But I'm afraid you're going to have to show me where that is. Lead on, slave girl."
She grinned. He'd kept his voice low, and she felt comfortable that among the bustle no one else heard him. She had to take charge some. This was her city, and it was her car. But he'd found the right words to let her know even leading would be seen as service. She charged forward through the throng, weaving her way to the elevator that led to the parking lot.
There was a silence after they left the parking garage that Louise found uncomfortable until she realized that, like any first-time visitor to Washington, he was looking around for sights of the Capitol building and the Washington Monument. By the time she figured out that was the reason, she had already headed northwest on Massachusetts Avenue.
"Did you want me to go down to the Mall? I'm afraid I'm not really taking the scenic route."
He relaxed in his seat. "It might be nice to take a walk there later, if we've time? But no, I'm happy to head to the hotel."
She shifted her hands awkwardly on the wheel. I better focus on my driving. Does "hotel" mean sex, bondage, and all the rest?
The pep talk she gave herself about going for it, about how Daniel had given her permission, about how modern women didn't get so hung up before making love, hadn't entirely worked. She'd even bought a pack of condoms to put in her purse in case he forgot or hadn't bothered. He didn't strike her as the type to do either, but again she was struck by how little she really knew him. They'd discussed her most intimate fantasies and acted some of them out online. He knew things about her no one else knew, not even Daniel. She knew some of the same about him, although it seemed they spent more time exploring her fantasies than talking about his. Was he considerate or holding back? It hadn't mattered too much online. Now it did.
"Relax, Louise. Nothing is going to happen between us, in the hotel room or anywhere else, that you don't consent to. You remember your safe word?"
He'd given her one, months ago. She'd never used it, nor had she expected to. Online, you could always log off or even say someone was at the door or that you had an important phone call to take. She'd never had to use either of those dodges with Rob, although she'd done quite a lot of that in the weeks before she met him to ward off unwanted attention. Now he expected her to remember her safe word. At any other moment, she probably would have, but right now it seemed impossibly difficult. "No. No, I don't." She tried to keep the panic out of her voice.
She took a breath. He was perfectly casual about it. When she'd been small, she'd had a Labrador puppy named Colorado. They'd had to give the dog away when they moved, so she had never seen it grow up, but holding that little puppy had been a fond memory that would never go away. No other dog could ever replace him. He'd asked her for a word that had good memories for her, and she'd volunteered Colorado's name. From that one conversation, he remembered.
"All you have to do is say your puppy's name, and you'll be freed if you're tied up, let go if I'm restraining you, and I will do everything I possibly can to make sure that you are all right. Your safety is my first priority, and that means physical safety and emotional safety. You have the final say, and I'm only in charge as long as you want me to be. There's nothing to fear."
The submissive is the one with the real control.
It was something she'd read when she first started learning about BDSM three years ago before she ventured online. But I don't want to be the one with the control. I just want it to be safe to give it up.
She felt some of her shoulder tension go away with his words, though. She wasn't so relaxed that navigating DC's traffic circles didn't stress her, but at least she could worry about that rather than what would happen once they reached the hotel.
She steered the conversation to a safer direction. "So what do you do exactly, anyway?"
"Ah. I make electronic widgets, custom stuff, made-to-order. Sometimes it involves modifying something the customer already has. Someone wants their security system to incorporate a new feature without buying a whole new system, I can do that. Or maybe someone wants a door in their house to unlock when they use the garage door opener. Or they want their smoke alarm to play 'Light My Fire.'"
"Is that a real example?"
"And what brings you to Washington?"
"There's a convention here, and there are some business opportunities I'm looking into. Government contracting and subcontracting is big, potentially. I can invent something, and then a contractor can produce as many as the government needs."
She had to ask the question, in spite of her desire to keep the conversation neutral. "Do you ever make anything kinky?"
He grinned. "Now would I do a thing like that?"
He might be a stranger in some ways, but she knew him well enough from their online interactions to know the answer to that was yes. She kept her mouth closed and her eyes on the road. The idea of electronic sex toys intrigued her. Maybe something remote control. She shivered. They were almost to the hotel anyway. A few moments of silence wouldn't kill her.
"Do you feel comfortable coming up with me?" he asked when they were in the lobby.
She blinked. "I have a choice?"
"Of course you have a choice. There's an element of risk in going into a room with a man you've just met. I feel I know you quite well, but I don't think the risk is quite the same for me as it is for you. If you like, you could call a friend. Daniel, maybe? And let him or her know where you are."
The thought of Daniel coming to rescue her made her smile. She didn't doubt he would, if need be, not at all. She wondered, though, if he might have second thoughts and burst in on them when she didn't need rescuing. Rob must have sensed her indecision because he took her hand and led her to the check-in desk. He could have done that by himself, she thought, and then she understood when she overheard the clerk give him his room number: 859. Now she knew it too and could let anyone know.
"Make that phone call, and meet me upstairs when you're done." He handed her the second keycard to the room.
She nodded and got out the phone. Only when he was boarding the elevator did she realize he'd made that an order. Yes, Master.
She couldn't quite see herself saying it, certainly not with the ease that she could say it online. She looked at her phone, her finger hovering over Daniel in her contact list. She could call someone else. Kathy? No, if she told her, she'd never hear the end of it, given Kathy's attitude toward "pushy" men. And if she told Zoe, whatever she said would be all over the place by the end of the weekend. Daniel was the obvious choice, and besides, she trusted him.
She hit the button.
"Hey, Lou. Everything okay?" She could hear the concern in his voice, and it touched her.
"Yes. Everything is okay. I wanted to tell you where I was, though. I'm at the Wildwood Hotel on Connecticut Avenue. I'm in the lobby. I'm about to go upstairs to his hotel room." Her heart beat faster. She couldn't quite believe she was doing this. And never in a thousand years did she think she'd be telling her boyfriend
There was silence on the other end of the line.
"Anyway. Room eight five nine. I guess, if you don't hear from me in two hours, please give me a call? And if I don't answer, have someone check on me?"
"Sure thing. You don't trust him, do you? Makes me worried for you."
"That's sweet, but it's not really that I don't trust him. It's that I want to be sure. He knows I'm making this phone call."
"Because you're my best friend," she answered truthfully. An impulse grabbed her, and before she knew it, she was talking again. "And maybe because I'm giving you a last chance to say no. Or to say yes. I think it would make me happiest if you said yes, but no is still an option."
There was a pause, and for a moment, she was afraid she'd gone too far. But talking to him about it was turning her on.
"Yes, what?" he asked at last. "You know I want you to be happy, don't you?"
In for a penny, in for a pound. "Yes, Mistress would do nicely. If what makes me happy is to go upstairs and do whatever I want to with Randall, that's fine with you?"
Another pause. "Yes, Mistress. Do as you wish." His voice got stronger with each word, and there was no resignation in it.
Funny, I'm not feeling very submissive at all right now.
"Are you hard right now, Daniel?"
She could hear him take a sharp breath at the other end of the line. "Yes. Yes, Mistress."
"Good boy. I love you." She hit the End Call button before she went any further. Her desire to tease Daniel and take control warred with her image of herself as a kind, gentle person. It scared her. At the same time, she was ready to surrender that same control to another man. How could she have both feelings, so strongly? She'd been half tempted to tell Daniel to go jerk off but not to let himself come, and thinking about that made her pussy wet, very wet. She walked quickly to the elevator, feeling as if the other people milling about the lobby could tell how turned on she was.
"Eight, please," she told the little old lady who was standing in front of the buttons in response to the lady's inquiring glance. The woman was wearing way too much perfume, and the elevator moved with agonizing slowness, but at last it arrived on the eighth floor. After the first quick steps out of the elevator, she tried to keep her gait even as she walked down the hall, torn between a desire to flee and a desire to run forward. What I have with Daniel is wonderful. And getting even better. Why do I need more?
The door marked 859 was slightly ajar, and so she went in and closed it behind her. The room was wallpapered in soft greens. There was a bathroom open to the right, a closet, television, small fridge, and desk along the wall opposite the king-size bed. Rob had his suitcase open, and he was hanging up his shirts. He looked over to her and smiled at her. "Take off your blouse, Louise."
Such an easy command to follow online, but one click wouldn't do the trick here. Her fingers fumbled with the buttons. She wore a black lacy bra underneath. Virtual breasts might not need support, but she felt strongly that her breasts benefitted from some uplift in real life. He put a hanger back on the rod and watched her. She hoped he didn't ask her to take the bra off too. Not yet anyway. She felt much sexier in it than without it. And judging from his appreciative stare, he was pleased so far. She managed a hesitant smile. She put her blouse on top of the rack next to the clothes rod.
"Come here and sit in this chair." He moved to where a mahogany-stained chair and matching desk sat against a wall, and met her with the chair between the bed and the television. He set it down in front of her. She turned her back to him and sat down, wondering what he had in store for her. Was he going to tie her to the chair? And if so, what then?
Sindra van Yssel