It was nearly midnight on Friday when Karen walked into Knotty and Nice, Washington’s premier BDSM club. She’d been all set to meet Parker and Craig and Alicia for dinner at eight, when her sister, Kelly, had called needing an emergency babysitter. She’d changed out of her short and sexy black leather dress into jeans and a sweatshirt for her nieces, and now she was carrying her dress in one hand, toy bag in the other as she walked into the club. At least I’m warmer this way.
“Hey,” said the lady at the desk. Tori had jet-black hair done up Betty Page style, and she wore an underbust corset and a transparent white shirt that was made only slightly more decent by the Xs of electrical tape over her nipples. “Oh, Karen. I almost didn’t recognize you in street clothes.”
“It’s been a long night already, Tori.”
“I get off the desk in ten minutes. Maybe we could play some, if that would relieve your stress?”
Tori’s idea of stress relief was Karen flogging or paddling her hard. Karen could top—and enjoy it some—but it wasn’t really her thing, and she had to be in just the right mood for that. She definitely wasn’t. She thought back to the afternoon. She loved her nieces, but she couldn’t help being jealous of her sister. She knew it wasn’t all peaches and cream being a mom, and that Kelly was horribly busy, but Karen wanted children of her own. Two years older than Kelly, she could feel her biological clock ticking every time she saw how much bigger the girls had gotten. And the last munch she’d gone to, where three of the women were talking about their kids rather than anything to do with BDSM, had reminded her too.
Maybe if I spent my Friday evenings having dates with nice vanilla men from that online dating site I signed up for instead of at Knotty and Nice, I’d have a chance at that.
She’d had plenty of offers for vanilla dates, and they’d kept coming even after she’d taken her sexy picture down and replaced it with a selfie of her in a baggy T-shirt and flannel pj bottoms. So far, she’d yet to take any of the men up on their invitations, and she’d stopped responding to them all after the third day. Most of them didn’t even seem to have read her profile or like any of the things she said she was into. She still scanned the messages once a week. One of her online suitors, Gavin, had asked her for coffee tomorrow.
“No thanks, Tori. I think I want to sub tonight.”
“Pity. Me too. Playing with Parker?”
Karen shook her head as she counted out the money for admission. “No.” She and Parker had a regular Saturday afternoon arrangement—she wouldn’t call it a date—and Karen looked forward to it. She went to Parker’s house, where he had a dungeon set up in the basement, and for a few hours, she submitted to him. Sometimes he’d mark her; sometimes he’d use her for his pleasure; sometimes he’d make her come over and over again. She never knew what to expect, although occasionally she made requests. Those Saturday afternoons had become a source of security.
But for all its easy familiarity, it wasn’t really what she wanted. Parker wasn’t her boyfriend or a prospective partner for having children with. He was just a Dom. On Saturday afternoons, he was her Dom, but since she’d met him, he’d played with a whole string of girls. She’d never had any other claim on him. She’d been comfortable with that until recently. After all, it let her play with a variety of people, and keeping her distance protected her heart from getting broken. She could usually find a Dom to top her for a scene at the club, or a girl to play with if she wanted to top. Sometimes she even topped the Doms, especially the new ones. A responsible Dom wanted to know what it felt like to do the things they did to others.
A shame submissive men don’t do it for me. Then I could have a man and get my apartment cleaned.
“You’re miles away from here,” observed Tori.
“Not really. Just weighing the options. See you in there in a few.”
There was a changing room off to the left of the main club, and Karen walked into it and quickly changed. She hung her clothes on the coatrack, checked herself in the mirror, reapplied her lipstick, and headed inside. I look good. I feel good. I’m sexy.
It was a mantra she repeated every time she entered the club, and it usually worked. She was a curvy woman. Some men liked that, and some didn’t, but almost everyone appreciated confidence. Those who didn’t, she was happy to keep at a distance.
She looked around and spotted Craig and Alicia sitting at a table. They were new friends but had quickly become close ones. They were newcomers to BDSM, and whether because of or in spite of that, Karen loved their energy. She’d been something of a mentor for Alicia, although the other woman was increasingly finding her own way with the help of Craig, who had become her Master. She decided not to keep scanning and headed toward their table.
Craig was dressed in leather pants, a white shirt, and a tie. Alicia wore just a short skirt and a skimpy black bra, a leather collar, and heels. Craig seemed to like Alicia shirtless, and as with most things Craig liked, Alicia seemed to enjoy complying.
Alicia jumped up to hug her, and she exchanged hugs with Craig as well before sitting down.
“We missed you at dinner,” Alicia said.
“I missed being there.” She looked around to see where Parker had gone. He hardly ever played with her at the club, but maybe tonight was the night. She finally spotted him in a dark corner, chatting with some girl who looked like she was probably still in college. Parker would not appreciate her interrupting. She turned back to Craig and Alicia. “Still didn’t want to miss out completely. It’s good to see you guys. Have you played yet?” She hoped not. She liked watching them play.
“Yes,” said Alicia. “And my butt is sore. In a good way.”
“Sunny bought me a cane,” Craig said. Sunshine Girl was Alicia’s scene name, although even she often forgot to use it. “Not something I ever thought I’d want to use, but Parker gave me some pointers as to how to use it, and I think it wasn’t too intense.”
“A cane? Can I see?”
“Of course.” Craig reached into his toy bag, which seemed to be fuller every week, and pulled out a Lexan cane. The inside of the clear plastic had a rainbow-colored ribbon that glowed in the darkness of the club, and the handle was made of rubber. Karen held out her hand, and Craig gave her the toy.
“The wooden ones are gentler,” she said. “Parker probably told you that.” She had bought one like it for Parker years ago, as a present, but he rarely used it on her.
“Not before Sunny bought this one,” Craig said.
“That one”—Alicia pointed out—“is a lot prettier.”
“It is at that.” Karen rested the business end of the cane against her bare thigh. “May I?”
Karen whacked herself with it. “Ow! That is
intense. Do you have marks, A—Sunny?”
“I don’t think so.” Alicia looked disappointed. “Master was very gentle. But possibly next time.”
Karen grinned and handed the cane back to Craig. “You’ve got a pain slut on your hands, Sir,” she said. “If you want, I can always help with that. Give her a few good whacks.” She didn’t particularly want to play with her friend, and she knew Alicia would rather her marks come from her Master. But Craig was reluctant to play as hard as Alicia liked, and so Karen felt it was a service to egg him on.
“Karen!” Alicia exclaimed.
“We are going to play with the cane again,” said Craig. “Better too gentle at first than too hard, and if I’m going to push the envelope, I’d rather do it in private. Fear not, Alicia. By Monday, you’ll be feeling your present every time you sit down.”
“Oh goody.” Alicia turned her head up, and Craig kissed her.
Karen chuckled. She remembered when the fledgling Dom was afraid he’d hurt her by a little spanking. His growth as a Dom, and their growth as a couple, was lovely to see. And also, she realized, a bit painful, as hanging around her sister’s had been. She was jealous of Alicia. Craig was not only Alicia’s Master; he was her boyfriend. The two had just moved in together.
“I love you, Alicia,” Craig said.
“I love you too, Master,” Alicia replied.
They mean it too. Too cute.
Karen turned away, only to spot Parker. He wasn’t just conversing with the pretty blonde coed anymore. He had talked her out of her dress and had her leaning against an X frame, and he was running his hands over her body. A pile of cuffs were on top of his toy bag, ready to be wrapped around wrists and ankles. Her gut clenched. She used to be fine watching Parker play with other girls. After all, she always got her turn. The things he learned with others, he brought back to their Saturday afternoon sessions. There had been a time when she simply took pride in watching him do what he did so well.
That feeling had probably been fading for a while, but it definitely took a turn for the worse when Alicia had accused her of being in love with Parker one day. But jealousy isn’t love. It’s more akin to something else. And somehow I can’t help it.
The constructive answer, her usual answer, was simply to play with someone else. Even another woman, if that helped pass the time and distract her. Besides, Parker always enjoyed watching her with another woman. Not that I do it for his benefit. That’s just a side effect.
She wasn’t entirely sure she was being honest with herself, but she definitely didn’t feel like giving him the pleasure tonight.
“Are you guys done for the evening then?” Karen asked, partly to make conversation and partly to interrupt the two from making eyes at each other all night long. Yes, I’m cranky tonight. Probably hormones. Another reminder that I won’t be able to have kids forever.
Alicia looked at Craig, who answered. “No. We’re waiting for the cage to get free.”
“We are?” asked Alicia.
The cage was a simple rectangular metal space. A small girl might be able to turn around in it, but Karen couldn’t, and she doubted Alicia could either—there simply wasn’t enough space to turn sideways. It was eight feet tall and had stout metal bars. The front was three sections of metal, so a space could be opened to expose the bottom’s face, legs, or middle.
“We are,” said Craig.
“I don’t think I like cages.”
“I have an idea that I think you’ll enjoy. And hate. And enjoy.” Craig grinned.
“Well,” said Karen, amused. “Haven’t we become a little sadist?”
“Yes,” said Alicia and Craig at the same time, each in their own way sounding quite delighted with the development.
Karen glanced over at Parker. Now that’s a sadist.
He’d cuffed the girl to the cross and had taken out a flogger. Can she take as much as me, Parker? Will she come for you?
It was easier to watch him flogging the girl than it was to watch him touching her. Or to wonder if he’d go home with her when they were done. Parker likes variety too much to become attached.
There was comfort as well as frustration in that thought.
Sindra van Yssel