The Domination Game

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Chapter 10

Davis groaned as he stretched out in his bed. He turned over, blinking up at the ceiling a couple of times, before he turned his head to look at the beautiful woman he’d spent the evening with.

Only when he looked over, there was nothing but an empty pillow next to him. His mind raced over what was going on. He sat up in bed, looking around him. “Abie?” he yelled out, thinking maybe she was in the bathroom. But there was nothing but silence.

Making his way out of bed, he slipped on his boxers and went to the bathroom. When she wasn’t there he looked for her in the front room, but she wasn’t there either. He ran back to his bedroom, looking around.

That’s when he saw the piece of paper on the nightstand. He walked over and took the piece of paper in hand, thinking this was it, she was telling him goodbye. And damn if that didn’t hurt like hell, and piss him off at the same time. When he opened it, he dropped to the bed, sitting on the edge, and began to read the missive.

Davis,

I’m sorry you’re going to wake up alone this morning. Believe me when I tell you, you are a very persistent and persuasive man. And someone who is capable of having me break all sorts of hard lined rules that I never thought I would ever break again.

At this point staying the night with you isn’t one of your challenges I’m willing to accept. I have to have some things that are still mine, and have control of the world around me.

I’m not saying never, I’m just saying, we need more time. I might rush into bed, but I don’t rush into things when it comes to the heart. I hope you can understand that.

I know you said you wanted to see me again tomorrow, but I’m going to be out of town. I leave for Belgium mid-morning for business. I should be home, if all goes well, in five days’ time. If then you want to tell me you’ve rethought the situation of a relationship with me, I’ll understand.

A.B.

He let out the breath he’d been holding since he saw the letter, and ran his hand through his hair. He looked at the clock on the nightstand and saw it was eight o’clock. Picking up the phone off the dresser, he found Abie’s number.

The phone rang a couple of times, and that’s when he remembered he’d never given her his number. Hell, she’d never even asked for it.On the fourth ring she picked up.

“Adire Black.”

“Good morning,” he said softly in his deep voice.

She was quiet for a minute. “I wasn’t expecting a call from you so soon.”

“I called you because I just wanted to let you know, as soon as you get back into town, I want to see you. So if that’s two in the morning, or one in the afternoon, I will expect you to come and see me right when you’re off your flight,” he growled softly into the phone.

He heard her sigh. “Look, Davis, if you want to end this, just let me know now. I’m going to be boarding my flight in just a minute.”

Damn this woman! “I’m not ending anything with you, Abie. Put my number that I just called you from into your phone; just in case you need anything, you have a way to get hold of me,” he told her, exasperated.

She laughed lightly, and he heard a speaker in the background calling for people to start boarding. “All right I’ll put your number in, and I’ll come and see you when I’m back. If you’re sure this is what you want.”

He smiled into the phone. “Yeah, sugar, it’s what I want.” Something ran through his mind at that moment, and what they shared together last night. “I have one thing that I want to make sure we’re on the same page about,” he began, and he could hear her walking now. “And what would that be?” she chuckled once again.

“That would be: you’re mine, and there’s no other subs, men, or lovers from now on,” he said possessively. Then he heard her beautiful laughter ring through the phone, making him chortle as well.

“I don’t know about being yours,” she said, amused once more at him. “I could as easily say you’re my pet now, couldn’t I.” But then she sighed. “But yes, I did agree to your challenge, Davis Mills, and that was one of them. But you have to keep up your side as well. That means no other woman for you. And I must inform you that if you break a rule…I’m not a forgiving person. You set the rules, you also have to abide by them.”

He smiled happily at her through the phone, feeling better about the situation. “I know, sugar. But I’ve got to tell you after last night…there’s nothing out there quite like you. They broke the mold when it comes to you… You’ve got me hooked,” he confessed.

Mumblings of someone asking for a ticket could be heard from her end. “Yes, well… there’s something about you that works that way for me as well,” she told him softly, then hung up her phone.

He looked at his phone with a big boyish grin on his face. Damn, if this woman wasn’t the ultimate catch! He got up off his bed and made his way to the shower, thinking when he saw Abie again…he was going to show her how the vanilla man makes love to his woman.

***

The flight to Brussels was a very long ten hours, and with the state of mind I was in, I mused on all the things that were happening in my life at that moment, the man who had now appeared, setting my clarity in upheaval.

The rules by which I govern my life, that have been in place for such a long time and make me the person I am, once again I was questioning. Yvette told me the rules to live by when I first started working with her as her apprentice.

They were easy to keep, and were stated to me in such a way that would give a woman power if she used them truly. When I was first starting out she gave me a statement that had stayed with me to this day: A woman doesn’t have to have a husband and a family to have a full and meaningful life, just guidelines in which one believes fully and wholeheartedly. And if followed, these rules will always keep a woman out of trouble. There are six rules I live by:

1)Never depend on a man. A woman is capable of getting everything she wants or needs for herself.

2)Never let a man have control over you mentally or physically.

3)Never let a man get too close to your personal space.

4)Never let them see the real person that lies underneath the dominatrix.

5)Never, and this means never, fall in love.

6)Rule number six is the most important of all: Never break any of the other five rules.

Only once did I break my rules, when I started working in college as a dominatrix. Yvette and Inga knew all my secrets, all the things that haunted my dreams from childhood, and it was Yvette who helped me put myself back together.She had warned me of the heartbreak that would inevitably happen with the man I’d chosen to let into my heart.

She was also the one who helped me mend my wounded soul and broken spirit when what she warned me about came to pass. Jonathan did more than damage the exterior of my body. He’d broken the confidence that I’d let no other man before him have with me. I let him be in control, thinking this was what he wanted from a woman.

I changed myself for this man, that’s how hard I fell for his slick words, handsome face, and beautiful body. He had this air about him that I’d never seen in a man before, even among the people I’d meet from work. I remember thinking to myself how lucky I was to have this man love me. And when he asked to try things with me, I stupidly obliged him.

No, this man did so much more than hurt me. The things he said that night, the incident that tore into the core of my being, broke something in my soul that seemed beyond repair, and destroyed my heart so much more than the beating he gave me ever could.

I thought back to that day in July, long before Jonathan, when I was working in a little sub shop down near the university trying to earn food money just so I could eat. My scholarships paid for all my schooling, but buying books and the necessities was digging deep into my pocket book. I talked my boss Harry into letting me work the drive-through, hoping I could work up enough tips so I could go down and buy a box of ramen and for a treat, a green apple.

My attitude has always been harsh when it came to men, and soft when it came to women. I could easily turn my cheek if a woman affronted me, but if a man thought he had the right to state his opinion, that I didn’t ask for or require…he needed to be put in his place!

On that muggy July day in Boston, in my gray jersey shorts and a tight Kelly green t-shirt that read Pickle Peter’s Sub Shop in bold black letters, I found myself putting some guy in his place after he swatted my ass and commented on my chest.

Harry took pity on me and told me to take a step out and have a smoke to cool down, while he told the guy that there was no handling the waitresses in his establishments. And that’s what I did, stopping by a tall woman with hair the color of a bar of chocolate with blonde highlights.

I walked out the side door and took out the cig I bummed off Kerry who was working that day; she knew I didn’t have any money for food, let alone my smoking habit. I lit up in heavenly bliss, taking my first drag of my cancer stick. I kicked myself against the wall, thinking of that stupid ass sitting in the store.

My flip-flopped foot was against the wall, and the back of my head hit the clapboard siding in frustration. I wished that for once I would find guys’ stupid flirtation flattering, instead of annoying and downright insulting.

“Do they really think I’m going to say, ‘Yeah, I’m glad you think my tits are hot! Why don’t you come and take a feel, baby,’” I blurted out to the air in anger. Taking another drag, the smoke escaped from my nose, as thoughts ran through my mind.

The lady that I’d huffed by came over to me as I still slouched against the wall. She pulled out a cigarette and showed it to me. “May I join you?” she asked. But it seemed more like a disguised order to me somehow. I shrugged, not giving her much thought.

“Has anyone ever told you that you possess a very dominant personality?” the woman asked me after she put her lighter back in her pocketbook. That made me chuckle on an exhalation of smoke. My whole life, people had told me what a pain in the ass I was because of my…strong, or dominant personality.

I took a long drag before I answered this woman, looking her over, trying to get the take on her and what she was about. “Yeah, I’ve been told what a pain in the ass I’ve been my whole life,” I offered her.

She gave me a little chuckle in return. “Yes, women who have strong personalities sometimes have a hard time blending in with the normal female cattle of society,” she said, which I found to be very crude and uncalled for.

“I think that’s really harsh. Just because some women are softer, doesn’t mean they’re a cow out for every guy to come milk,” I retorted.

She took a drag of her forgotten smoke, pulling her glasses up and pushing them atop of her head. “Tell me, are you seeing someone, or dating on a one to one basis?” she asked before dropping the cigarette to the ground and stepping on it.

“No. Guys require too much maintenance. I’m better on my own,” I quipped, as her eyes thoroughly roamed over me very offensively, with a nod.

“You know I’ve been looking for a new apprentice, and I think you’ll do rather well, darling,” she said to my shocked and confused face.

“Whah?”

She reached into her big expensive bag, took out a card and handed it to me. “From the looks of it, I would say you need to eat more, darling. Come over this Friday night at nine, and I’ll teach you how to enslave a man,” she said with sly smile, placing the black and white card in my fingers.

Pushing myself off the wall, I handed her back her card. “I might have to dress in clothes that are a bit on the tight side ’cause of money problems… That don’t mean I’m going to be a prostitute for you,” I said icily.

She looked at the card in my extended fingers, then back to me. “I’m sorry, that was crass, the way I bluntly said my words,” she told me with a smile, and with a sophistication that I really liked. “You would not be a prostitute, darling, in fact there would be no sleeping with any client whatsoever. But I have to be fair and tell you up front, you might see a lot of bare behinds.”

That got me curious. “Well, what kind of work would I be doing, then? Cleaning up after the prostitutes? Or just helping manage their nightly screws.”

She chuckled at me. “Now who’s the one being crass?” she quipped. “But no. I’m in the business of dominating people, and I think you would be masterful at it.” She sized me up once again. “You see, they come and see me and my partner when they want a good…spanking, or something along those lines.”

I really didn’t know what to say to that. I stood there for a minute, trying to visualize what she was telling me in my mind, when she pushed my hand with the card in it against my chest. “On that card is the address of my place of business. You come over Friday night at nine, and we’ll see if we can put you to work,” she told me, as she walked away.

I jogged to the end of the patch of green, shouting at her before she got into her car. “What if I don’t like it?” I yelled.

She stood at the door, her long brown hair flowing, her shapely figure making men look as they walked by. “Oh darling, I think this is something that is right in your repertoire,” she said, with that appraising look.

She then got into her cream-colored Mercedes and drove off, leaving me a little dazed and confused with everything that had just happened. But I remember, at that moment there was an excitement in considering something like what she was offering me.

I wasn’t sure if it was for the right reasons or not, but the thought of spanking a man’s ass and having him ask me for another… I thought was pretty damn hot, and I liked the thought of the power I would have. Power that I felt had been denied me my whole life.

Looking down at the card, flipping it this way and that, I tried to get some clue what this tall, extremely well kept woman wanted with me. The card was black, and in bold white cursive lettering it just said “Y & I,” with a phone number.

The woman I had just met looked like a movie star, well groomed and tailored in ways that you’d see in a magazine. I looked down at my clothing, reached up and touched the long blonde ponytail that my hair was in, and was grateful that I could manage to take a shower this morning. Lately I’d been passing out while studying, barely remembering to brush my teeth before I left for classes.

That first night I went to the brownstone, I followed the address on the card and pulled into a very clean and well-groomed area of Boston that I’d never been to before. I had put on my very best clothes, a jeans skirt and a black silk tank top with a pair of black flats.

Making my way to the building number that was on the card, I went to go knock on the door. When the door was finally opened, the woman I’d met earlier in the week wasn’t the one who answered.

There before me stood a small thin short-haired blonde in a red silk robe, but it looked bulky under the silky material. “Jes?” she asked in a very thick accent.

“Yeah, I was given a card this week by a woman I met at work. She told me to be here Friday night at nine…and here I am,” I retorted to this woman, who was looking me over just as bluntly as I was her.

“Jhust a moment pleases,” she told me, then shut the door in my face. I was just about to leave, thinking this was complete bullshit, when she opened it back up to me. “Jes, Yvette said she was expecting shou,” she cooed, stepping aside to let me enter the residence.

Once inside she shut the door, taking off her silky robe only to expose very revealing red lingerie. She put on her red spiked heels, adding four inches to her short stature. “Shou the girl from the sub shop, are shou not?” she questioned.

“Yeah. That’s me,” I grumbled, at this whole situation.

“Jes…not jah. Jah is not sexy,” she informed me.

I thought this woman had lost her mind! “Whah?”

She shook her head and moved aside to take me deeper into the living area. “Oh, never mind at thees moment, pet. Let’s go see Yvette.”

As I walked in the house was very dimly lit, but it was also very sophisticated. The walls and decor were light, with crystal wall sconces, and maple hardwood flooring. It seemed like a mansion the more I looked around the area.

I could hear people talking, even grunting in the background behind the white wooden doors on the bottom rooms. The woman I’d met before stood at the top of the stairs, looking down at me with a real smile on her face.

She descended the stairs with a grace you don’t see with women anymore, like something from an old movie my mom would make me sit and watch with her when I was child. Her hair was long and dark brown, high up in a ponytail, and her mane still came to the middle of her back. Her makeup was spot on, and even though it was heavy, it looked beautiful on her. She wore a black bustier that accentuated her very large bust, a black thong with a garter belt, and black nylons with thigh-high boots.

She walked over to me. “Ah, Inga, I told you she’d come!” she exclaimed happily. “Is she not exactly what I described to you?” Her red painted nails took me by the chin, taking me in. “Hmm, yes, very nice. Needs a little clean up, but on the whole she’s already well put together.”

Inga came closer, looking me over like something to be put on display. ”Jes, I do see the potential in this one. Very strong, and very beautiful as well.” She turned to Yvette. “She will need some grooming as well on how to use some proper wording,” she informed her.

Yvette chuckled. “Rubbish, we can work with her as we go. I have a feeling she’ll pick up quickly with all the little nonessentials. The most important part of her transformation is the guidelines she’ll have to learn quickly,” she commented to Inga.

Yvette took me by the shoulders and guided me into a room filled with clothing from ceiling to floor. “Now my dear, I have a very indulgent man who is willing to be your first client. I will be there with you, so don’t fret. And I will instruct you on everything you’ll need to know about how to live this lifestyle.”

She pulled out a black leather bra and boy-cut panties, handing them to me. “Now let’s get you dressed, and ready for your first client.” She turned before she shut the door to let me dress. “If you’re as talented as I think you’re going to be, I’m willing to pay you seven hundred dollars a week.” Her eyes roamed over me. “And men don’t like a woman that looks as if she’s starving herself. So before you go home tonight, chef will make sure you’re properly fed,” she said as the door shut behind her.

I stood there with the black leather undergarments in my hands, just staring at the door. Then I looked around the room at all the articles of clothing that were strewn about. A police style hat caught my eye, peeking out from under a white see-through nightgown. Fishnet nylons were hung on a mirror at the far side of the room, making me smile. If I’m going to play this part, might as well add a bit of my own flair to it.

***

Once I got off the plane I picked up a taxi out front to take me to downtown Brussels, and Inga’s place on the fourth floor of an apartment building with brown-gray bricks and aqua-painted doors and framing around the windows.

The ride was pleasant enough, and I always loved to visit Belgium, but this time around, with my concern for Yvette and my heart in conflict, I really needed to talk to the one woman who could always help me manage my thoughts when they were spinning out of my control.

After paying the cabbie, I stood on the street in front of the building and took a deep breath of the delicious smells around me, instantly making me hungry for the Belgian cuisine. Watching the people walking past me, speaking Flemish or French or Dutch, made me smile as I walked inside.

The little old-fashioned elevator clacked as I made my way to the fourth floor of the building with my small suitcase in hand. Once off, I made my way to her apartment and knocked on the wooden door.

But when the door opened, to my surprise there was a man standing there in a pair of khakis and a polo-collared shirt. For a moment I almost lost control of my motor skills wondering who this neatly presented man was!

“Hallo,” this older gentleman said kindly as I gathered myself.

Clearing my thoughts, I smiled. “Spreekt u Engels?” I asked in the only Dutch that I really know.

He smiled. “Yes, I can speak English. Can I help you?” he asked me.

“Yes, I’m looking for Inga Marx. By any chance is she still living here?”

He moved aside, letting me in the apartment. “Yes, let me go fetch her for you. May I ask your name,” he said politely.

“Yes, I’m sorry. Tell her Adire.”

He left the little front room and made his way to the back, leaving me to wonder what the hell was going on with this woman I’ve known for the better part of fifteen years now. After a minute Inga came running to the front room in a woolly robe and hugged me, prattling in her native tongue of Dutch as she squeezed me.

She pulled back and I looked at her. Her always short hair was even shorter now, and wet as well. I’d sent her a bouquet of flowers for her fiftieth birthday this year, and like always she still looked fabulous, even without her makeup on.

But it surprised me that she had this man in her apartment, and furthermore that she wasn’t put together in front of him. That was always one of her own personal rules about how to portray one’s self in front of a man, and combined that with rule four.

She smiled, pulling me to the vibrant coach she’d acquired on one of her many trips. “Are you here for business or for a much needed visit?” she chuckled, taking my hands.

My eyes went to the man sitting in the comfy chair that was one of my favorite spaces when visiting Inga. “Well, I have a client that needed guidance on some suggestions that my company gave them. I swear, sometimes I feel like a glorified babysitter when it comes to these CEOs and the questions they come up with,” I sighed.

“But I also left you a message about not being able to get hold of Yvette, and I never heard back from you. That in and of itself was so unlike you that when they asked me to take a look into this particular client’s needs, I offered my services.”

She let go of my hand, and the man came and sat down next to her. “Yvette and I had a falling out about seven months ago.” She took the man’s hand in hers, smiling sadly back at him. “Adire, this is Stephan. We got married just seven months ago,” she informed me quietly, and I now knew why my two friends were at odds with each other.

My eyes darted to Stephan, then back to Inga. “Why am I only being informed of this now? Did you not want me at your wedding, or meeting the man you were intending to marry, Inga?” I asked, hurt.

She reached over and grabbed my hands. “No, darling. I was afraid that you would be repulsed with me like Yvette was. I do not think I could handle my little kaje being just as displeased with me as she was.”

I leaned back on the sofa. “So you haven’t talked to Yvette since she overtook a sub that I had,” I said flatly. “I’m heading out to Amsterdam as soon as I get my work cleared up. Grayson, the man she wanted to break, has been calling me. Truthfully, I’m worried that Yvette took on a man who could be a little more unstable than I first thought he was,” I told her.

“I could try to call her, kaje, but she wouldn’t answer if it was a call from me,” she explained sadly.

Taking a deep breath, I smiled at her. “So this is Stephan?” I enquired, extending my hand to him. He gladly took it, shaking it. “So, I was going to stay here with you for the next couple of days. But now that I see that you have a permanent resident, I’ll go find occupancy somewhere else.”

I pulled myself up from the couch but Inga took my hand, pulling me back down. “No, Adire, you are always welcome in our house, kaje. Go put your things away in your normal room and come out for tea,” she insisted.

“As long as you’re sure I’m not interrupting anything, Inga,” I said with a tilt of my head, and she knew exactly what I was referring to.

She laughed at me now, and my comment had Stephan chuckling at me as well. “No, kaje, Stephan does not practice submission with me. We are on equal footing in this relationship,” she smiled, to my shocked expression.

“Ah, I now see you fully understand the true situation between Yvette and myself,” Inga continued. “You know how she feels about a man having any say, or power in a relationship.”

Yes, yes, I did. She had drilled it into my head after Jonathan, and the catastrophe that I was hoping to be the man I would marry. I looked at Inga and Stephan. “Look, do you mind if I freshen up? I have a meeting in an hour and a half, and I’d like to look my best when I enter the den of wolves,” I expressed with a wink.

She nodded but looked still unsure of my feelings about the new situation in her life that made her so happy. “Inga, if you’re happy, that’s all I care about. The life you choose to live is up to you. Anyway you know I’m not as hard as Yvette can be when it comes to love,” I reassured her, as I looked down at my knees. “Plus I have something I wanted to talk to you about…but tonight when I get back, okay?” I got up and kissed her cheek. She now at least wore a smile, which made me happy as I went into the back to get ready to meet my clients.

The meetings were long and tiresome. When a company doesn’t apply the advice and information that we spend so much time investigating and putting together for them, the advancement they’d hoped for usually doesn’t come to pass. Then someone has to fly out and see how the hell they managed to screw up a perfectly formulated plan.

I had received two texts from Davis checking in on me that day, but hadn’t texted him back as of yet. This man knew how to push my buttons just the right way to have me thinking of him all day long. Can someone be sexy as hell, and absolutely adorable at the same time? I really couldn’t answer that. All I knew was that this man could pull it off.

It was ten at night before I got back to Inga’s place, and I was really hoping that she had my favorite yogurt I loved, at the end of a very long and irritating day. But with that said, my trip was going to be much shorter than planned, with all that I’d managed to get accomplished this afternoon, and this evening I let my mind drift back to a particular man.

When I unlocked the apartment door and walked inside, I could see the kitchen light on, so I made my way to the glowing room in the darkened apartment. Inga was at the table drinking her tea, and looked up when I came in.

“I went and picked up your yogurt for you,” she said, as she blew on the hot tea in her cup before taking a sip. I walked over and opened the small fridge, pulled out my Greek yogurt, then got a spoon.

“You’ve fallen in love, haven’t you?” she questioned me to my back.

My shoulders sagged. “It’s not love, Inga.” I sighed at her assumption, but made my way to the table. I pulled out a chair and sat in front of her as I opened my yogurt. “But there is something about this man that makes me lose my senses completely.”

I took a spoonful of yogurt and ate, waiting for her to speak, but she waited patiently for me to tell her everything instead. “He wants to date me…exclusively. He’s willing to try some of my lifestyle, but asks for a lot in return,” I confessed.

She watched me, still not making a comment on the information I gave her. “But it’s not only that, he wants to be involved with every part of my life. There’s this little part of me that’s so giddy that this fascinating man wants this from me.”

She raised her brows. “But…”

Sighing once again, I put my spoon down, giving her my full attention. “But I’m afraid to give in to my feelings towards him. I’ve been in this life for so long now. I’m accustomed to certain things in the bedroom, as well as out of it. But to give in to this man’s very ordinary way of love-making is just as intriguing as me spanking his ass,” I said with a chuckle at my own words.

Inga placed her cup on the table. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard you talk like this, Adire. Not even with your first serious beau.” She examined me with narrowed eyes. “There is something more about him for you, what is it?”

I sat back frustrated, wishing I could give her a sensible answer instead of little girl remarks. “He is the epitome of a real male. Smart, arrogant, but in a way that makes me laugh at him. He has this twang when he speaks…so yummy. But it comes out heavily when he’s… aroused. He’s funny, and treats me as though I’m special to him, even though we hardly know each other. Lord, is he sexy, Inga. Just having that body naked next to mine…” I confessed, lost in my thoughts.

“Kaje, it’s obvious to me that you want to let him pursue you. What’s stopping you from finding your happiness? And please don’t tell me Yvette,” she grumbled.

“Jonathan…” I whispered.

She sat back, stunned. “That was so long ago. Why would you worry about him now? I know you’re not still in love with him…unless I am unaware of something?”

“No, of course I’m not in love with him,” I sighed. “Because I let him in, and gave myself to his whims, and look at the devastation it brought to my life. I think following the rules has worked well for me these last seven years. Would it really be wise to break them now when my life is right where I want it to be?”

“Are you really content with your life? If you’re asking yourself all these questions that have been eating at you, then maybe you are not as content as you think you are?” she offered, then tapped her fingers against the table, thinking. “Well, let me first ask you… Can you say no to him even if you wanted to?” she said, watching my expression.

“No,” I told her truthfully.

She smiled at my solemn face, nodding her head, already knowing my answer. “I’m going to tell you something that I told Yvette when I told her that I was going to marry Stephan.” I sat quietly while she made me wait for the answer.

“We all need love, Adire. We are not the lifestyle of a dominatrix, we are first and foremost, a woman. And try as we may, Cupid somehow seems to find his way to get us with his arrow in the end.”

“Too bad it usually comes sticking us in the ass at the most inopportune times,” I mumbled, and she laughed at my comment.

“Look, when we find the real thing, if that person truly loves you they won’t ever ask you to change. Because they fell in love with the person you already are, not the person they are hoping you’ll turn out to be.

“Likewise if you find a person like this, then you want to give them some of their request, kaje, because if they’ve accepted you, you want to accept them as well. Then you make a way for it to work out between the both of you. Do you think I just sit back and am no longer myself in the bedroom?” she questioned, and I returned that with a very unladylike shrug. “No, I’m still me when it comes to what I need, and Stephan is still who he is and he has his needs. Together we work them out, and we find what we both need.”

I didn’t say anything as I thought back to the night Davis and I spent together, and we seemed to fit together. But at the same time I also got exactly what I needed from him. Inga leaned onto the table with her arms folded, watching me.

“You are not only a dominatrix, Adire. We all grow, we all expand in our needs and wants. If being dominant is all you let yourself be in the bedroom, then you’re missing so much more you could have in life. Enjoy the rollercoaster ride, don’t settle for the merry-go-round.”

With that I looked up at her, giving her the piece of information that really had been bothering me. “I feel like I’m betraying all the women who are like me. Like I’m just another cow being lead to the slaughter if I agree to this,” I mumbled once more, picking at the yogurt cup.

She reached across the table, taking my hand like a mother would. “Those women who would say such sentiments, no matter what they preach, have not found real love, kaje. Don’t deny yourself something wonderful to please the imaginary people out in the world,” she told me lovingly.

I nodded, picked up my spoon, and once again started in on my yogurt, letting everything she said run through my mind. She took her teacup in hand, taking another sip. “So what’s up for tomorrow for you?” she asked.

“Well, I’ll be wrapping up the hand-holding session with this company, then I think I’ll go check on Yvette. And I swear if she’s all right and she’s pulling this stunt just because she’s perturbed at you, I’m going to smack the hell out of her for causing me to worry,” I sighed back to her, which made her laugh.

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