A lot could happen in three days…
A Dom in need of a girlfriend…
A submissive whose curiosity got the best of her…
The ad read: Submissive Wanted, Three Days Only
Theirs was a temporary relationship contracted not to last… but a lot could happen in three short days.
Excerpt: Chapter One, Part 4 of 4:
She melted a little. She also panicked. “I haven’t scened with a Dom since Roger.”
“Your Dom from college?”
Was it a trick of her imagination, or did the intensity of his stare just sharpen on her?
“I thought you said you’d been to a few play parties?”
“I have,” she quickly assured. Her stomach was knotting and her bottom tingling.
“Are you saying you didn’t play?” It wasn’t said anywhere near like the accusation she took it to be, but she was afraid he’d think she was lying about everything. Or maybe even too inexperienced to take seriously. She shouldn’t have cared as much as she did, but he was a good-looking man, and he turned out one hell of an intriguing negotiation contract. Now that she was here and they were both in the middle of it, it was surprising how much she wanted to see this through.
“I did play,” she explained, clutching at her fingers, twisting them in her lap and trying hard not to show how flustered she’d become. “But it wasn’t that kind of play.”
His golden eyebrows lifted. “What kind is that kind of play?”
“Impact,” she said, even more flustered because honestly, he really hadn’t said what kind of play they would be doing. She’d just assumed and most of her assumptions were running towards things as far away from Little play as possible. “And ropes.”
“You read my profile.”
It seemed more a statement than a question, but she nodded anyway.
The sternness relaxed into another of Eric’s dazzling smiles. “Good girl, you did your research. I like that. It shows you’re both interested in knowing more about me and cautious enough to realize I could be a crazy person or a serial killer.” He winked first, then shrugged. “I wouldn’t mind tying you up, either in a private or a public setting. If we play in private, the rules for your safety would include—”
“A safeword,” she guessed, mostly so that he would know she really did have a little experience.
“Yes, but also that you would take a picture of my driver’s license and the license plate on the back of my car. You’ll send both to your safety contact and let him or her know that you will be following me to my house, and then you’ll give them the address. They are to continue calling or texting you every twenty or thirty minutes or so, until our scene is over, aftercare is dispensed and you leave again. If that sounds good to you, then we can schedule that for later this week, Thursday or Friday work really well for me.”
Lacey blinked, a little surprised. “Oh. O-okay. I can do that.”
He looked at her. “You do have a safety contact, right?”
“Of course.” She huffed, trying for laughter but it came out sounding as weak as it was fake.
Eric sat back in his seat. His eyebrows were still arched, only no longer out of polite inquiry so much as it was a look of disapproval. “I’m calling that a One, although by now, I’m pretty sure it’s more like three or four.”
It was a fight not to go Small. From the way he was looking at her, to the words and the tone he used, she fought to keep her inner Little stuffed as far down as Lacey could make her go. “I don’t understand.”
Hands resting to either side of his plate, he said, “We’ve been here more than half an hour. I haven’t heard your phone beep or vibrate, and you haven’t looked at it once. How many people know you’re having lunch with me right now?” He arched an eyebrow again. “Anybody?”
She looked at her purse, sitting neglected in the booth beside her. “I… I didn’t want to tell anybody.”
“My rules for your safety were non-negotiable, Lacey. I told you that from the beginning,” he reminded. “And you agreed to it. Am I remembering that correctly?”
Her bottom crawled as if she were sitting on a throne of nettles. “I brought my phone, just in case.” She fidgeted with a fold in her jeans. “I did that much.”
“Was that what I asked you to do?”
No. Her throat closed in on her, as if admitting to that out loud might somehow make the offense even worse. “Am I in trouble?”
He watched her closely. “Did you do it so you could be in trouble?”
She recoiled, shrinking all the way back in the booth. “No.” Her stomach was already a mess. She hated the way just the thought of being in trouble made her feel. “Never.”
His tone softened. “Why did you do it?”
Because if anyone knew, then at the end of this no matter what she said to try and explain it, Lacey would always know they’d be thinking it was her fault. They’d be thinking, no wonder she couldn’t hold onto Roger; that something must be wrong with her. Maybe something was, she wasn’t sure. But how could she explain any of that to someone like Eric—all handsome and fit and easy-going? Whose biggest problem right now was that his mother believed in his Dom-liness to such an extent that she couldn’t bear not to see him matched to an equally great submissive.
“Because I—” She faltered. Because what if what was wrong with her was that Roger was right?
A real Little doesn’t act like that.
A real submissive doesn’t do it that way.
If you really want to please me, you’d know better… try harder… stop asking questions…
She was going to cry. Lacey fought the tears back. “I-I don’t know why,” she said finally. It was the safest thing she could think to say and even as she said it, her Little was right there, at the tip of her tongue. She tried not to let it out, but he seemed to hear it anyway.
“All right,” he said softly. “If you want me to accept that, it’s going to count as Two.”
Lacey shook her head. “I don’t know what that means.”
“If you choose to continue with me, you’ll find out what that means soon enough. Do you want to continue?”
Yes! her inner self cried. The rest of her understood the temptation. It had been so long. The allure of Eric’s quiet authority called to her, but not in the tough, over-the-top Domly Dom way Roger used to act with her. She liked his seemingly gentle, patient manner. “Yes, please.”
“Then pick a day for us to scene.”
Their first scene. Her stomach dropped all over again.
“Aren’t you afraid if you make it too late in the week I’ll get scared and change my mind?”
She was already scared, and yet the last thing she wanted to do was change her mind.
“I’d rather that,” Eric said, “than to have you rush into something you don’t really want to do. I don’t want my reputation in this community to be ruined because you got caught up in the moment, only to have buyer’s remorse set in once it’s too late.”
“I would never—”
“I’m not saying you would,” he gently interrupted. “What I’m saying is, I don’t want you to feel pressured in any way to agree to something I want, but which deep down inside, you don’t. If you haven’t played in two years, then sub-frenzy is a concern.”
For some reason, his ‘no pressure’ attitude made her feel even more pressured. She pressed her hands flat against her thighs, trying to still the shaking that seemed to be welling up inside her.
“With all due respect,” Lacey said, “I’ve had two years to think about what I really want. Admittedly, I did answer your ad half thinking it might be a joke, and I… I didn’t do what you told me to, the way I should have. But you need someone to make your mother back off for another year, and I need someone to…” She floundered, not really sure how to put the confusion she was feeling into words. “…t-to make me feel like I’m worth something. I put four years and everything I was into Roger. I bared my soul thinking we were fine, only we weren’t. I don’t know if you can appreciate what that does to a person, when they’ve been told that every desire they feel is the wrong one, and everything they do is the wrong thing. I guess I’m looking at this as a test to see if… maybe…” She faltered again and looked to him helplessly, not at all sure how to explain.
Eric seemed to know anyway. “I promise you, Lacey, you’re worth something. I don’t know what happened with Roger, but I guarantee you’re going to be the right submissive for some very lucky person in the scene.”
“What if I don’t belong in the scene?” she said, for the first time in her life giving voice to the fear that had gripped her once the grief of leaving Roger, her Dom and her Daddy, had faded. “What if everything I’ve identified as is all wrong?”
His mouth curled, but though her eyes tried at first to see it as mocking, it didn’t seem that way at all when he said, “That’s the thing about This Thing We Do. There are no cookie-cutter molds. Just because we don’t fit someone else’s ideal, that doesn’t make us wrong. It makes us individuals.”
That was also the problem with harboring deep-seated fears for as long as she had. Even though she liked what he’d said, it didn’t really make her feel any better.
“If you have the time, I really don’t want to wait,” she told him.
Eric leaned back in his seat. He mulled that over, rubbing his fingers lightly over the last bite of burger and what few fries remained of his lunch. “How do you feel about impact?”
Some of the tightness inside her eased. “I love it.”
“What implements do you enjoy?”
“Belt,” she said, the word falling out of her mouth as the image of dungeon-master-him dressed in black leather pants, boots, and that wide leather belt flashed through her mind. “Hand, hairbrush, wooden spoon.”
“Domestic discipline aficionado,” he commented without judgment.
“Guilty, as charged.”
“No guilt required. I love the intimacy. Cane? Crop?”
“With a warmup.”
“Naturally. Strap and tawse?”
“Not wooden ones.” She shuddered, fighting not to feel the phantom grip of Roger’s hand on the back of her neck, holding her down while he used that horrible cherrywood paddle again and again, no matter how desperately she screamed and cried and pleaded for another chance to be good. She swallowed back the worthlessness when he stopped and she heard again: A real submissive would have taken that better. Kiss the god-damn paddle and thank me. Lacey felt sick all over again. “That’s a hard limit.”
“No wood. Got it.” His gaze barely left hers as he signaled the waitress to bring the check. “I’ll get your coffee.” Opening his wallet, he handed the waitress cash and passed his driver’s license across the table. “Take a picture of that and email it to yourself with the following phrase: This is the man I went home with. Include today’s date and the current time. Now, if anything happens to you, you’ve left a fail-safe lead for police to follow. Not that anything is going to happen, mind you, not while you’re with me.” He smiled again, right before giving her that knowing Look. “That doesn’t keep you safe, though, and that’s why you’re going to promise me you won’t ever use it again. The next time you want to meet someone, but you’re afraid to let anyone know, I don’t care if it’s a year from now or ten, you call me. I will be your safety contact. Do you understand?”
“Good girl.” Packing her contract into his briefcase, Eric looked up. “The place we’re going is four miles down the road. Our scene will last approximately two hours. How does that sound?”
Both intoxicating and scary as hell. Lacey swallowed hard, unsure if the shivers running through her now were those born of nervous dread for what she knew was coming or excitement and relief. “Sounds great.”
“Liar,” he teased, then winked and, as he climbed out of the booth, reached over to give her a light chuck under the chin. “Don’t worry. Depending on how the rest of our scene plays out, I may or may not count that as Three.”
Real by Maren Smith
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