Erik held open the front door of Deborah’s condominium for Melissa as they were leaving. She was silently amused at his parsing of chivalry. While he held the door for her, he didn’t even hint at carrying her overnight bag.
She guessed that he’d treat Michael or anyone else the same way. Her sense was that he saw holding a door open as a simple act of politeness, but offering to carry her bag would somehow cross over into a sexist presumption that she was too weak to carry it herself.
She wasn’t so certain that she agreed with his sentiment at the moment. When she had quickly changed out of her slave outfit and back into her skirt and blouse, she had borrowed a pair of high heeled sandals from Deborah and put the flats she had worn to visit her parents into her bag. Deborah’s shoes were a size too small, but the heel didn’t have a back, just lacing that wrapped around her ankles, so they mostly fit.
It amused her that despite Erik’s seeming lack of sexism, she had dressed in heels, short skirt, and no underwear for his amusement. The constant juxtaposition of sex slave and sexual equality felt strange. She was never certain which set of rules applied. Even though she would rather not be carrying her bag in wobbly five-inch heels, she didn’t ask for help.
As they walked to the elevator, she did slip her hand into his, as much to steady herself as for the reassuring contact after a night away. He seemed surprisingly awkward holding her hand. When he reached out with his other hand to press the elevator call button, she snuck a peek at him. He had a boyish look of uncertainty in his face, which she couldn’t recall ever having seen before.
In sudden realization, she asked, “You don’t have a lot of experience with the boyfriend-girlfriend thing, do you?”
He froze, holding her hand even more stiffly. Worried that she had upset him, she silently cursed herself for once again blurting out something awkward without thinking. After a moment, though, she could see that he was considering her comment much more deeply than she had intended.
He shook his head sadly and turned to her with a smile tinged by regret. “No, I don’t. You’ll have to show me how it’s done.”
She snorted a laugh, “Like I’ve had much success in the boyfriend department.”
His smile relaxed, “Well, at least you know what not to do.”
The elevator arrived, and they stepped in, both a bit thoughtful.
Melissa set down her overnight bag for the long ride down from Deborah’s upper floor condominium. Erik leaned back against the rear wall of the elevator, his arms crossed and a mischievous smile dancing on his lips.
Melissa cocked an eye at him and asked, “Yes?”
He laughed, “I know – it’s not the OSHA-approved method for lifting – but dressed in a short skirt and heels like that, you could set down your bag by turning away from me and bending at the waist.”
She shook her head in bemusement at his request, then straightened up to turn away from him. With a hidden smile, she bent over to search through her bag, exactly as he had asked her to pose. She was grateful she still retained most of her ballet flexibility, so she could make reaching to the floor in heels look effortless. In reality, though, she had to exhale all the air from her lungs to reach that far, and she couldn’t breath at all while holding her pose.
Behind her, she heard Erik say, “Yep, that instantly got me hard as a rock.” Grinning to herself, she willingly accepted not having oxygen for awhile longer in order to tease him. Finally, the elevator ‘binged’ to announce their arrival. She gratefully straightened up and snuck a deep breath. Turning to face him, she looked down with deliberate obviousness, she checked out his crotch. The straining fabric of his light summer pants proved he hadn’t lied.
“Oh Master, should I help you do something about that. You might hurt yourself.”
He laughed, “Your selfless concern is quite touching, but I will suffer with the situation for a bit longer.”
“Please Master, I’m more than willing do whatever is necessary. I wouldn’t want you to suffer.”
“Oh, I’m entirely certain I’ll think of something to relieve my suffering quite soon, and I’m equally certain that there’s a high likelihood it will involve some suffering on your behalf.”
“Oh goody!” She clapped her hands together gleefully, then twirled back around pixie-like, deliberately flinging out the hem of her skirt. She bent over, straight legged, to pick up her bag. Standing back up, she announced lightheartedly, “Okay, I’m ready to go.”
Erik sighed. Taking her free hand in his, he jammed his other hand into his pants pocket in a hopeless attempt to mask his erection. They walked together, crossing the large expanse of the lobby out to the sidewalk. Erik’s Porsche was parked in front, but he looked up and down the street thoughtfully. He said, “Do you want to stash your bag and find someplace to sit down, or do you need to get back sooner?”
“I’m in no hurry. Hanging out in the city is fine.”
“Good.” He popped open the front trunk while she fished around in her overnight bag to retrieve her purse. Then she put her bag in his trunk, noting that it was empty and vacuumed clean, not cluttered and muddy like her old sedan. She made a mental note to always keep the Aston Martin clean.
Closing the trunk, he took her hand again and set off down the street. After a few moments of companionable silence, she asked, “So, what were all those slave positions and names?”
“You mean like ‘Nadu’ and so on?”
“Yeah, you really ought to let me study that stuff ahead of time.”
“Oh, it was fun to watch you figure it out in real-time. Besides, you were amazing at it.”
“All those misspent years in ballet classes. But seriously, is there a book or something?
“I’m sure there’re some on-line references for Gorean slave positions. I’ll find you something.”
“Gory slave positions?”
He laughed, “Sorry, no, it’s Gor, G-O-R. It’s from a series of books that Michael likes. I find them horribly misogynist, and badly written to boot, but the books definitely have a following. There’s a whole series of slave poses and a naming terminology that’s come out of them, which I guess is useful to know, but I’m certainly not hardcore about it. More to the point, though, did you like it? Was it fun?”
She thought for a moment. “Yeah. It was kind of like dance, in terms of creating this beautiful flowing line with my body, but way more sexual. I liked what it did for you and Michael. Deborah didn’t seem to mind either.”
“True, she and Michael have really discovered a common connection in things like slave positions.”
“And pee games. I’m glad they didn’t go there today.”
“Yeah, I asked Michael not to.”
“Sure, so how were things at your parent’s?”
His question caught her off guard, and the first thing that leaped to her mind was her mother figuring out that she had fallen in love. Embarrassed, Melissa shoved the memory aside and simply answered, “Fine.”
Erik slowed to a stop, turning to face her with concern on his face, “Problems?”
She felt a sinking feeling inside at having to face telling him. Aloud, she said, “You know, that whole thing of ‘being sensitive to other people’s feelings’ can really be annoying. Guys aren’t supposed to do that.”
“It’s a bad habit. But seriously, is everything okay?”
“Yeah… it’s just that my mom is even worse than you are.”
He gave her a quizzical look.
“I walked in the door and, inside of a minute, she figured out that I’d fallen in love.”
Erik stiffened noticeably as she said ‘love.’ Suddenly feeling defensive and scared, she added, “Hey, you’ve used the ‘L’ word too.”
“True… but I have to admit that I’m not sure what it means.”
She pulled back a little, but he squeezed her hand tighter to keep her from breaking away. he tried to reassure her, “This is new territory for me. It wasn’t anything I was looking for… and it’s just that I don’t have any expectations for where it will go. When the summer ends, maybe we say goodbye and are good friends… I don’t know. The whole ‘forever and ever’ stuff never seemed real to me… but you are important to me, more than I’d ever… hell, I don’t know. I’m sorry; I’m not doing this very well.”
She squeezed his hand back, her eyes tearing up. “You’re doing it a shit-load better than any man I’ve ever known.”
“Thanks.” He took a deep breath to steady himself, “What about you? What does the ‘L’ word mean to you?”
“Well, one thing’s for sure, I’m not about to give up school and my dreams to be your house slave and have your babies.”
“Crap, I don’t know what it means either. I guess… well, every guy I every dated was either a boring ‘nice’ guy or a dickhead ‘bad boy.’ I‘ve never met anyone like you before. Malcolm nailed it right at the beginning. He said you’re a man, not a boy.”
“I’d really like to meet your friend Malcolm someday.”
“Ha! He’d never be able to keep his hands off you.”
He gave her a mischievous smile, “And your point is?”
“Ew, gross. I mean, true, watching you make out with Michael is kind of a turn-on for me, but Malcolm… he’s like my brother or something.”
“Hmm, watching me with another guy is a turn-on, you say?”
Melissa felt herself blushing, “Ah, sort of. You know, lots of guys like watching girls make out.”
“That’s fine; it’s just something for me to keep in mind. Anyway, so you don’t have a whole game plan for what ‘love’ means either?”
“No. I… it was kind of crushing to hear you say that maybe we’ll go our own ways at the end of the summer… except, that’s what I think too, most of the time. I just can’t see how I could live like this, and go to school… and go off on digs for months at a time. Plus, you’re, like, off saving some other company for months at a time too.”
“So, what do we do?”
He shrugged his shoulders, then gave her a quick smile. “Don’t worry about it for now. It’s still June. There’s time for lots of things to happen.”
She squeezed his hand again, “Okay, that’s a plan. Maybe not much of one, but I have to admit that I don’t have anything better.”
He laughed, then turned to keep walking down the sidewalk with her. “So, past boyfriends haven’t really worked out so good?”
“Fucking disaster city. It’s like, sure there’s nice boys, but they’re boring. Even the nice boys I had hope for, after a couple of months, the sex and the whole relationship just gets… repetitive? I don’t know; I’ve really tried to make it work, but I was always secretly attracted to bad boys. They’re more… interesting, more sexy. Except, they’re all assholes. Shallow, self-centered, fucked-up, assholes.”
“Wow, sounds pretty miserable.”
“Yeah. You know what’s funny? The day I met you, I had finally gotten to the point that I was actually thinking about dating a woman, just to see if maybe I’d been chasing after the wrong thing.”
“Well, you and Serena seem to have a thing going on, and you were definitely an awesome pair with Deborah this afternoon.”
“Yeah, who knew? I find an awesome guy and get to fuck around with multiple beautiful women – it’s like some stupid porn video fantasy.”
“Watch a lot of those?”
“A couple of boyfriends did. I think they were trying to convince me to have a three-way, or anal sex, or whatever.”
“I guess that’s a possible approach. Gosh, maybe I should’ve tried that.”
She snorted, “That’d be the day.” She smiled, more for herself than him, then continued in a serious tone, “Master, you can have me any way you want me, with anyone you want, anytime you want.”
He responded more lightheartedly, “You see, that’s what I love about you.”
A little offended, she asked, “What, that I’m a fucking whore?”
“Well, you may willing be my sex slave, and that’s wonderful, but you are much, much more. And I don’t like the word ‘whore’; it’s too pejorative… would you call Serena a whore?”
“Never! Maybe in some technical sense, that’s what she does, it’s not who she is.”
“Agreed.” He stopped in front of a rundown bar. “Let’s try this place.”
Melissa wrinkled her nose. “It’s a dive.”
He smiled, “There’s method to my madness.”
“Okayy… but you sure it’s safe?”
“No, but hasn’t Mike been training you?”
“Yep – and his first lesson is, don’t go into stupid situations.”
“Good point. Tell you what, if it looks scary, we’ll back out.”
Melissa grimaced, “Okay.”
They walked in together. Melissa immediately felt silly for being concerned. There were less than a half-dozen people in the bar, most of who were older Latino men watching a soccer match with a Spanish announcer on a screen over the bar. The room was long and narrow, with a bar on one side and tables on the other. Through an archway at the back was a smaller room with a few tables.
Erik smiled, “Ah, perfect.” He turned to Melissa and asked deadpan, “Not too scary?”
She rolled her eyes at his ironic tone.
He shrugged and explained quietly. “I figured that on a Sunday afternoon, at a place like this would be dead. On a Friday night… yeah, I would have passed it by.”
The bartender looked up at them, not unfriendly, but not particularly welcoming either. Erik pointed to the back room and asked, “Okay if we sit back there?”
“Sure, but do you know what you want to drink? We don’t got a waitress.”
Erik answered, “I’ll take whatever you’ve got on tap that’s dark and good.” He turned to Melissa, “Do you know what you’d like?”
She thought for a moment, then asked, “A vodka and tonic?”
The bartender nodded and waved them at the back room. “I’ll bring it back.”
Eric chose a small table near the rear wall and pulled a second chair around so they could sit next to each other, looking back out to the bar room.
Melissa sat down and looked at him, unsure, then asked, “Okay, so this doesn’t seem like your normal kind of a place to drink.”
“What? It’s not all hoity-toity? I bet the beer’s good.”
“Maybe, but it didn’t seem like a place where I’d order a silly girlie drink.”
“See, this bar has its good points.”
“I’ll have you know that I am a proud, card-holding member of the silly girlie drink club.”
“Okay, I guess you have to have a few foibles.”
She held her hand over her mouth, as though remembering something even more embarrassing, “When I was three, I used to pick my nose and eat my buggers.”
“I… I don’t know what to say.”
“No witty repartee?”
“Nope. I tried to think of something clever and utterly failed to come up with anything.”
“Do you often problems getting it up?”
Erik shook his head in defeated amusement. “Ouch, skewered yet again.”
“Okay, then tell me why we’re here.”
At that moment, the bartender came back with their drinks. Erik told him, “Thanks,” and was otherwise quiet until the bartender returned to the other room.
Then he continued, “So partly, I wanted to have the conversation that we wound up having as we walked here – about boyfriends, girlfriends, and the whole ‘L’ word thing. For now, though, it seems like we got to a reasonable place with that conversation. Anything more to talk about… in terms of relationships?”
“Lots,” she laughed, “I’m a girl. But I guess I don’t have much more right now. I sort of need to process everything we said already.”
“Makes sense,” he agreed. “I will say one thing that occurred to me.” He paused, seeming uncertain about how to start. She gave him an expectant look, so he plunged ahead, “You talked about being drawn to ‘bad boys.’”
“It makes me wonder if you’ve always know that you wanted something out of the ordinary sexually. And maybe that you’ve always wanted a dominant? But if you didn’t know what a dominant was, then a ‘bad boy’ might look like the right answer.”
She nodded thoughtfully, “That makes sense. But you’re nothing like the bad boys I dated.”
“I certainly hope so, but, like I said, if you didn’t really understand the whole sub/dom thing, and you didn’t know what a good dom is like, then maybe you just tried the best alternative you could find.”
“Well that sucks,” she said exasperated, “You’d think I’d have run across a dom somewhere in my dating…”
“And hey, you finally did. But I’m guessing you haven’t dated many older men.”
She shook her head ‘no.’
“I’m young for a dom. Most doms are older, especially male doms. I guess it takes awhile for a male dom, at least the good ones, to come to terms with how much a lot of BDSM looks like violence to women – because for someone like me – that’s just ugly. It frankly makes me sick. It’s… hard for a man like me to see himself wanting to do things like that. It takes awhile to sort it all out.”
“Wow, I never thought of that. But, why just guys? Why not female doms, like Mistress Amy? She doesn’t seem to have any problem with being a total bitch.”
“First off, I think you’ve stereotyped Mistress Amy as an evil dominatrix. I know she makes that easy to do – she certainly dresses and behaves like a movie caricature. And I know she’s been tough on you, but you really should have a person-to-person talk with her sometime, soon, not just a dom-sub interaction.”
“As for why male doms might struggle more with the abusive appearance of BDSM, I think it’s because the reality of male violence toward women is very ugly and has been around for a long time. The idea of female violence toward men, however, doesn’t have the same sort of cultural baggage. There’s some baggage, but it’s more myth than reality. Also, there’s a lot fewer female doms than male doms.”
“Yeah, I kind of figured that female doms were rare. I guess more of us girls are subs.”
“There’s plenty of guy subs too. But you’re right, there are way more female subs. In fact, there’s about twice as many female subs as male doms. For guys, there’re about three times as many male doms as there are male subs. When you realize there’s about three male subs for every female dom, then you get an idea how rare female doms are.”
Melissa was puzzled for a minute, doing math on her fingers. Then she asked, “So does that mean there’s a lot more women than men in BDSM?”
“Yep, almost twice as many women as men.”
“Well, that sucks!”
“Depends on where you sit.”
Erik shot her a stern look.
“Master sir, fuckhead, sir.” Then she laughed, “Maybe that’s why all the women in BDSM make out with each other.”
He chuckled in response, the said, “Interesting idea, but I’m not sure about it. There’s plenty of straight women in BDSM – who don’t play around with other women. But I’d certainly have to agree that it seems like the majority of women in BDSM are heteroflexible, to at least some degree. I just never thought about it having to do with an imbalance in the numbers of men and women. I mean, there’s plenty of guys like me who will play on both sides as well. Heteroflexible guys in BDSM might not make up as large a percentage as heteroflexible women, but we’re certainly not invisible.”
She shook her head. “There’s so goddamn much to learn about this world you conned me into.”
“Conned you? Yes, well, it’s true that I’m a cruel and manipulative sort.”
“Yeah, just the kind of asshole I always fall for.”
“Ouch. You would lump me with all those others?” He clutched his chest, mocking being wounded.
She reached out, framing his face with her hands, tears suddenly brimming in her eyes. “Never.” She kissed him.
He responded with a gentle, long kiss.
Finally, they separated and held hands, sitting quietly together. After a minute, a wry smile appeared on Melissa’s face, and she asked, “You said that part of why you wanted to come here was to have this talk. What was the other part?”
Erik took a sip of his beer, drawing out answering her question. “The beer’s okay, not great.” He gave her a knowing smile, “So, the other bit was to continue your exploration of all things kinky.”
“Yep. First off, you’re going to keep turned toward me, looking me in the eyes, and you’re going to reach down and masturbate yourself until you come.”
Erik said nothing more. He simply watched her.
Hesitantly, she reached down with her right hand and slid it up her skirt. She shifted her legs a little to provide access to herself. As her fingers reached her labia, she was unsurprised to find them wet and already puffing open. Sliding a finger alongside her swollen clitoris, she asked, “What is it about men – always wanting to see a girl masturbate?”
“Because women are so beautiful when you orgasm; it makes us guys horny; plus it’s just plain fun to order you to do something that’s so sexy.”
“I think it’s because you’re all perverts,” she said as the first shudder jerked her body. “You know I’m going to come quickly. Is anybody watching?”
Erik glanced over a the bar, “That would be telling.”
She groaned, “You sir, are indeed a fucking, goddamn pervert.” Then she stiffened as a string of orgasmic shudders reverberated through her body. When her orgasm subsided, it was all she could do to hold herself upright, without slumping forward against him.
“There,” he said, “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”
“Easy for you to say.” She retorted, then she asked more hesitantly, “Was anyone watching?”
“Only one old guy. He’s back to watching the game now.”
“I guess the game’s more interesting.”
“Only for a little while.”
“Now you’re going to get down under the table, on your knees, and suck me off.”
She stared back at him, horrified, but his expression did not soften. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, then slid out of her chair onto the floor, facing him. Reaching up to his zipper, she freed his fully erect penis. Steeling herself not to look toward the bar to see if anyone was watching, she leaned forward to take him into her mouth. He had to slouch a bit to keep her head from bumping the bottom side of the table, but she was soon taking him all the way in, deep into her throat. She wanted him to orgasm as quickly as possible, so there would be less of a chance of people noticing what she was doing.
With all the earlier sexual play that he had participated in without orgasming, he seemed eager to cum quickly. Happily, she took him in as deep as she could, her lips pressed hard against the skin of his abdomen, then wriggled her head back and forth trying to cram more of him in. As she hoped, her desperate enthusiasm tipped him over the edge. Hot semen shot down her throat.
Once he was finished, she levered herself as quickly as possible back up and into her chair. The whole time, she kept her head turned sideways toward him, not daring to let her gaze stray toward the front room. In a whisper, she asked, “Are they watching?”
“Every last one of them.”
“Oh shit.” She turned her head even further away, and her fair skin blushed fiercely.
“Don’t worry, they’re turning back to their own business now. Show’s over.”
She was astonished at his nonchalant tone. “Aren’t you embarrassed? At all?”
He pursed his lips, “I’m absolutely mortified. Sex in public places has never been a favorite of mine. I guess I like it well enough at parties and kink clubs, but…”
“What the hell?” she whispered angrily. “Then why’d you make me do it here?”
“Hey, just because I don’t like it doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t like it. Lots of people in kink get aroused by exhibition and having sex in public settings.”
“I… I can’t believe you would embarrass me like that, just to see if I liked it.”
“Ah, but did you?”
Melissa opened her mouth to hurl an angry retort, then stopped short. Taking a deep breath, she forced herself to consider his question. Deep within, she felt a plummeting sense of fear as she realized she had indeed been very aroused by performing sexually in public.
She blew out the breath she had been holding and complained, “It’s not fair.”
“You know, simply because your body responds to something, that doesn’t mean you have to do it. I certainly won’t force you. I just think it’s very useful to know what you do and don’t like. And who knows, maybe if it were a little less obviously public, it would be easier to enjoy.”
“Oh God, have I really become such a slut?”
“You have a very powerful sensuality, and I suspect you’ve been that way for a long time. I think that knowing your sexual hot buttons lets you have more control over them.”
“Yeah, control would be a good thing.” She looked down at the floor. “To get out of here, do we have to walk past everyone?”
“You can sip your drink. If we sit here long enough, maybe they’ll leave first.”
She snorted derisively, then picked up her glass and drained it. “Can we go now?”
* * *
As they neared the car, Melissa started to feel a little steadier on her borrowed high heels. The alcohol that she had swallowed so quickly had gone straight to her head, leaving her woozy. The walk back to the car had helped clear her head.
Erik noticed her increase in awareness and asked, “Doing better.”
“That was the fucking goddamn dictionary definition of ‘walk of shame.’”
“Trust me. You did fine. Nobody stared. Well, not too much.”
“Thanks,” she said sarcastically.
He opened the passenger door for her and helped her in. Melissa smirked to herself, annoyed that he was finally being a chivalrous gentleman, but only after she had completely debased herself.
As he walked around the car to the driver’s side, she felt her anger swell. There was also a growing realization that what drove her anger was discovering how much she liked being forced to perform in public. In disgust, she confronted her own lies, muttering, “Forced? Hell, I’d probably fuck him in public just for shits and giggles.”
As Erik got in, he noticed her change in mood. “This has got you pretty upset, huh?”
“Did you try telling yourself that it’s your job and that I ordered you to do it?”
“Doesn’t work.” She stared ahead, out the windshield. “Thing is, I wanted to do it. I liked doing it. I… I want to do it again.”
He was quiet for awhile. When she didn’t say anything more, he asked, “You’ve gotten past lots of other hot buttons. Do you have any idea why this one is making you so upset?”
She started to cry, “It was really embarrassing, and it’s something you don’t even like.”
“Mel, I’m absolutely serious; you don’t ever have to do it again.”
“But I want to.” She growled in frustration, “God, I hate myself.”
He reached out to hold her hand. “I’m sorry, really, really sorry. It was too much, too soon. I screwed up.”
“But you’re not the one who wants to fuck me in public. I’m the whore.”
“You know that’s not true.”
“Yes, it is. You’re paying me to be your fuck toy.”
Erik didn’t reply, and Melissa quietly sobbed. Finally, she caught her breath, shakily, trying to stop her sobs. When she was finally breathing easier, Erik asked, “Do you think this has anything to do with having just visited your parents?”
Within her pain-filled interior, she felt a connection click together. She nodded ‘yes.’
“Do you know what it is that set it off?”
“The people in the bar, they were like my parents. Oh God, they’d be so disappointed if they ever saw me…” She started sobbing again.
“Hey, it’s okay. It really is.” He struggled for what to say, “My parents are gone. But I remember them. They were good and loving parents. I… I can’t imagine what it would have been for my parents to have found out that I like whipping women. I don’t know how they would have understood. It’s something I’ve never told my uncle… But it’s who I am. Being this way… it’s different from most people. Despite BDSM supposedly being more mainstream, it’s still hard for most people to understand or accept, or even think that it is acceptable.”
He paused. When he continued his voice was quiet and filled with remembered pain, “I thought I was ugly… evil…”
“No,” she protested, suddenly turning toward him, “You’re one of the gentlest, loving men I’ve ever known.”
“But I’m the man who whips you,” he said, with pain and shame still tingeing his voice.
“Because I want it,” she answered fiercely.
He nodded. “So, if I have to accept myself, if I have to accept that I spank and whip the woman I love, then doesn’t that mean you have to accept your sexuality too?”
She hit the padded side of her door in frustration. “It’s just not fair!”
“Would you want to be vanilla? And miss being with me?”
After a long pause, Melissa answered in a small voice, “No.”
“Everyone I know in this world of ours, we all hit these ugly spots. It’s hard being so different… especially about something so intimate.”
Melissa sighed, and asked in a forlorn voice “I can’t go back, can I?”
“I don’t know. I don’t think so, but would you want to?”
After a pause, she answered, “No.”
“Is being here, in this place, so horrible?”
She shook her head ‘no.’ “I have you, at least for the summer.”
Erik whispered, “You have me for as long as you want me.”
Melissa started weeping again, but joy was now mixed with her pain.