Mastering Wren

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Chapter 13

Theo walks right up to a narrow shop front that doesn’t seem to have many clothes but as I glance at the layout through the window I know it’s not just for anyone. This place had simple work clothes that popped out with elegant, sleek designs. Nothing over the top, but the simplicity made all the clothes appear beautiful and classy.

I spot a perfect looking middle aged woman behind the counter, tapping her finely manicured finger nails on the glass counter as we stop by the front door. I notice we’ve come to a halt and Theo is grabbing the handle, about to open the door while looking me over. He was studying my expression.

“I like this spot – p-place, shop... boutique,” I try to smile as I say whatever the hell that was. Theo blinks slowly, obviously intrigued I can make up such strange jumbled sentences, “sorry,” I add, my bottom lip trembling from my sudden nerves.

Theo’s eyes instantly zone in on my lip as it jitters for that split moment. As it does his hand slips out of mine and reaches up, grabbing my chin with a tight grip. His thumb is over my bottom lip, pressing into it gently.

“Hmmm...” he thinks to himself, and I’m almost positive he is about to say something. Possibly he was about to mock me, but gosh, I was frozen stiff. I wasn’t breathing as I wait for him to speak.

He doesn’t.

His eyes are simply assessing as his hand slips away from my chin and he turns from me, opening the door to lead the way.

I exhale and try to raise my chin confidently. If I couldn’t relax around him I’d had to bluff my way through this as well as I could.

In a way I start to feel almost irritated. Didn’t he realise I was uncomfortable about all this? I was excited, yes, but I was quickly catching onto the fact that he seemed to love to go out of his way to make me nervous.

Wren... he just looked at you and words came tumbling out of your mouth... you can’t blame him for looking at you. You didn’t have to speak but you did and look what happened.

Right, I was being ridiculous. I should be thankful that he was being so generous with me.

And to be honest if I didn’t get my mind off the fact that a moment ago he had been gripping my chin and before that, holding my hand... I’d probably go crazy with over thinking that feeling in my tingling stomach.

I would focus on the task at hand.

I follow Theo into the clothes shop and the girl greets him, when she glances over at me I just nod in her direction and smile. I see Theo glancing at some of the skirts and I decide to just look in a different section. Must avoid. Genius plan –

"Wren,” Theo snaps my name as my hand filters through the first set of blouses.

I spin around so fast I nearly trip.

“Yeah?” I respond to see him curling two fingers, beckoning me over.

He waits and I expect him to say more so it has me hesitating. That’s until I see his eyes narrow. Then I’m practically lunging over to him in the three or so metres that separate us.

Once I’m by his side he faces the skirts, happy I’m by his side.

“I know you only have one pair of work pants... they’re nice but I want you to try on some of these. Choose a few different kinds, variety is good for all the different events you’ll be attending with me,” Theo stands back and then suddenly walks off to the counter.

I flick through the skirts and try to choose ones that he’ll like. I find one with a lace pattern, one plain and black, and one with a layered look. I let out a sigh when I find some good choices. I had never been so stressed looking at clothes, or so fussy.

“Hi, hun, do you want me to help you with sizes?” the sales assistance comes towards me and I look up to see her approaching with a helpful smile on her face. I smile back, she looks inviting and kind and I know she’ll help me. I just wish I didn’t notice Theo casually overseeing everything from the counter.

“I should be fine in these, thanks,” as I show her my choices she nods and takes them from me.

“This way,” she turns around and I follow her into one of the stalls.

I try on all the skirts and only like two so I take both the plain and lace skirts. They were fitted to the waist and ended at mid-thigh length, fitting my figure perfectly.

By the time I’ve reached the counter, Theo whips out his credit card to pay for the clothes. The sales assistant folds them up, bags them and hands the bag to Theo, who in turn hands it to me.

“There you go, sweet cheeks,” Theo drawls happily as I take it and then he puts a hand on the small of my back, walking me out of the shop.

“Thank you so much, I really appreciate it,” I turn and jump away from him once we are outside on the sidewalk and I pretend to be busy scanning the street, “I guess I’m allset with these skirts now...really couldn’t be more ready for work now, really happy, I mean I’m really happy, with these skirts... they’re so good, nice... really pretty – and um... oh gosh, it’s cold... okay,” what the hell, Wren?

I want to cringe at my own words so I look around for an escape.

I try to hint that he should take me home now by suddenly and very bluntly just staring at his car and no-where else.

You know, before something terrible happened. Aka, more words tumbling out of my mouth.

Instead, Theo has simply waited for me to finish my nervous rant, then responds by answering, “I need to have a chat with you, Wren, across the street. There’s a café, follow me.”

I nod and turn, my heart jumping all over the place.

Pretend what he said was totally casual, don’t over think what he meant by a ‘chat’.

I walk quickly to the curb, ahead of him instead of following. I’m hoping to avoid him grasping my hand again. If he did it wouldn’t help my brain work properly. I look both ways for cars and then step out onto the road, failing to see a bike hugging the inner bike lane until the last second. I take a hurried step backwards. I end up barging into Theo, who instantly grabs my elbow.

“Unbelievable,” he’s angry now as he gets in front of me to check the road. He leads me across while I stumble with him nervously.

“I looked!” I exclaim, trying to explain, terrified I’ve pissed him off, “I don’t know how I didn’t see him coming.”

“You were rushing across,” Theo pulls me onto the other side of the curb and spins me to face him.

“You make me nervous, Theo,” I explain, jerking my arm away from him. Oh gosh, why did I just admit that to him? “It’s cold in the shade, let’s get inside!” I turn and try to barge my way into the café before Theo but he just gets to the handle in time.

Our hands brush but I eventually give up and glare at him as he takes the handle in his grip and opens the door first.

“...you’re not faster than me, Wren,” Theo points out as he heads in first. It suddenly changes my mood from terrified to really annoyed that he is mocking me. He stands back, keeping the door open while he faces me. He waits for me to enter and I bound past him, annoyed by his arrogance.

“...you’re not faster than me, Wren...” I mimic him in a whisper under my breath as I look over the café in search of a good table. I was irritated and flustered at the same time after he scolded me about nearly rushing across the road. It was a mistake; we all stuff up sometimes.

“I heard you, sweet cheeks,” Theo growls in my ear, his tolerance suddenly non-existent for my retorts. However, his close proximity nearly makes me jump as his breath hits my neck. It seemed my personal space was also slowly becoming non-existent between us. Great.

He swivels past me to choose the table and I grudgingly follow him.

“What do you want to talk about?” I ask, dryly, sitting and picking up the menu so I don’t have to meet his intimidating gaze.

This is the moment I had been dreading.

Here comes the offer about being his submissive, Wren, prepare for it just in case–

“I apologise for springing this on you at the last minute... but I won’t be in Melbourne for work next week,” Theo glances at the menu but it seems he already knows what he wants as he focuses back in on me, “I’m going to Sydney for a couple of nights. I’ve booked the accommodation. It was only meant for me... but a few last minute changes have been made and I need an assistant to help me through the meetings I’ll be attending. Are you willing to come, Wren...or not?" Theo asks me, professionally, but his eyes speak something else.

I can’t help but feel there is a warning behind what he said; that I should answer carefully.

I can’t help but suddenly feel excited.

I had always wanted to go away to a different city for work, hence my mood quickly lifts.

“I’d love to come,” I smile, hoping the irritation in his gaze that remains from before, dissipates soon, “It’ll be great fun...!”

Wait.

My smile slowly slips off my face and my eyes dim as a rush of thoughts suddenly ignite my worry-wort brain.

A couple of days of constantly being around Theo? The same accommodation...?!

No.

Bad idea.

I did have an option to opt out, I shouldn’t have agreed.

“Actually I–” he cuts me off.

"Actually I’ve already booked your flight,” Theo smirks as if knowing I was about to change my mind, “I knew you’d agree to go, sweet cheeks.”

He’s mocking me again. He knew I’d overthink it but he was locking me in on my first answer before I could take it back.

“I’m – how, how did you know I would say yes?” I ask, flustered not because I was nervous but because I was annoyed he knew me so well. However, I needed to grab some independence back just to make myself feel a little more in control, so I add, “Um, Theo... I don’t think I can accept that my boss is paying for these clothes. Surely you’ll let me pay you back.”

Theo is not impressed as I change the topic.

The waiter suddenly approaches us and takes our orders, interrupting our conversation.

We both just order takeaway coffees, deciding not to eat.

Once the waiter is gone Theo is suddenly looking even more pissed off.

“You’re not paying me back,” Theo says quietly, sitting up straight he opens his mouth to say more, then suddenly doesn’t.

He goes quiet.

My eyes widen in recognition. He did that last night.

“What?” I suddenly blurt out, “You were about to say something, what was it?”

“I want to ask you something but... you’re not ready for it,” he mutters, slowly sitting back and then relaxing his gaze. He watches me through half hooded eyes, assessing my reaction.

“What... I don’t... you’re confusing,” I bite my bottom lip, “please tell me.”

He sighs, almost groaning in frustration as he suddenly sits back up again.

Oh, he’s changed his mind!

I watch closely as he leans in, his elbows on the table as his eyes travel all over me, thinking.

“Fine. I’ll tell you. I don’t want you talking back, Wren,” he murmurs this as he finally gazes at my lips, “I want you to listen to me. Can you do that for me?”

“...well, yeah,” I answer quietly as my mind jumbles up two immediate questions that surface.

Was he talking to me as my boss?

Or as a Dominant?

“A yes would be more sufficient.”

“Yes,” I correct myself and feel like blushing at how direct he is being... how Dominant. Heh.I shouldn’t be enjoying this so much.

“Good, now listen. I need you to do two things for me tonight. You’re not sleeping on a damp mattress, you’re staying at mine,” he speaks directly and to the point while I just sit back and furrow my eyebrows.

“The second thing?” I prompt him to continue.

Theo pauses and looks at his clasped hands, instantly smirking to himself. The coffee is delivered in takeaway cups and he suddenly stands once he has his in his grasp and I have mine.

His eyes do a curve to the door, telling me we’re leaving now.

I pick up my coffee and follow him.

“The second thing?” I repeat myself. First we have to walk out, cross the road and we get to his car.

He opens the door for me as he finally speaks, “...agree to the first thing I want from you, Wren,” Theo speaks as I sit down and buckle up. Ok, what? I give him a funny look and when I don’t reply he comes around, hops in and starts up the engine.

For once I decide to think before I answer.

Did I want to sleep over at his?

If I didn’t I would be sleeping on the carpet. The mattress wouldn’t be dry until tomorrow at least.

So... I guess it was a good thing to accept his offer.

Not to mention I wanted to know what the second thing was... really badly.

“I’ll stay over... thank you, Theo,” I eventually speak up as we drive back.

“Good girl,” his response is automatic and I know it shouldn’t but... it makes me feel warm and tingly inside.

I wait for him to answer me about the second thing. He doesn’t tell me.

My mind races, it drives me nuts he is holding it back from me. He’s practically silent again until he pulls up in front of the apartment and work building a couple of minutes later.

I find myself prompting him again.

“The second thing you wanted from me, what was it?” I ask, not wanting to sound desperate for his answer but I was dying to know.

Theo faces me, blinking slowly and his eyes then begin to narrow at my wanting eyes. I wanted the answer so bad, I didn’t even know why, I guess because I had no idea what he was going to ask of me.

“You can be really frustrating, Wren,” he reaches out a hand and grabs mine, he guides it down to grip the bag of skirts as he continues to explain, “Today, you really tested my patience at times. I’ll be picking you up later and you need to... think of something.”

“What?” I blurt, confused, while holding the bag to me as he grips the gear stick.

“Sweet cheeks... you need to give me a very good reason not to punish you tonight. I usually don’t give second chances, but I’ll make an exception this one time while you... process all this.”

My eyes nearly pop out of my head and my ears curl open for confirmation of what he said.

“Got it, sweet cheeks?” Theo adds, completely seriously, it makes me think I’ve surely misheard him.

Haha, right? He was joking!

“Um, y-yes,” I nod and then find my hand reaching for the car door handle. I literally miss it twice as my heart races before I actually look at it properly, grip it and open the door, “Are you picking me up later or... something?”

“Seven... I’ll be coming up to get you, sick or not,” Theo responds instantly again, a new, clearly more openly dominant side playing out from him now.

“Um, thanks for the – the clothes – skirts uh... yeah, bye, thanks, bye!” I hold the bag of clothes to me tightly. As I push the door, before it shuts, I see a glimpse of him raising a brow at me.

There is a growl from his engine as he quickly takes off.

Finally, some freedom to think –to panic.

What the fuck just happened!?

He was joking.

No he wasn’t... yes he was... no he wasn’t...?

I feel like he leaves me behind a complete mess, my mind in a state of denial.

“... oh my gosh... I’m going crazy... my luck... I’m delusional... I need to cuddle Mr. Fox...” I mutter to myself as I stumble my way into the lobby and head for the lift, “It’s a joke, for sure, for sure... for sure... right?"

Argh! Why did he stay silent about what he wanted until the end?

Look at it simply, Wren, it’ll make more sense.

My mouth pops open as it all falls into place.

You’re not ready for that... he had warned me but I encouraged him to answer me and... and then he changed his mind and wanted two things from me. To stay over and reason not to punish me.

Fuck.

He wasn’t so dead serious to make a joke funny...

...he was being dead serious because he wasn’t joking.

Fantastic.

I had no idea what to do or what to think anymore.

I head into my apartment and sit on the damp carpet and cuddle Mr. Fox to me.

I try to convince myself not to go, but...

I’m way too curious and my heart flutters at the prospect of how exciting this could all be.

I’d try it out.

I’d just get a taste of what it was like to live with a Dominant. Just a little sample, a little test-run.

Yeah.

That’s all!

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, how about I list everything...?

Shut up mind, shut up, don’t go there!

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