Monday, May 27, 2013

Private Delights

Chapter 11

Desperately in need of a few quiet minutes to put herself together, Joanne perched on the ugly orange chair that had missed the first furniture purge and wiped the tears from her lashes.

What had she done? Her submission in the bar had pleased him and he’d been clear in his praise. The conversation in the car had been pleasant and friendly. Hell, Derek was almost flirty. Then, with no warning, he’d become cold and distant. She riffled through the interlude to find a reason for the change but couldn’t.

Finally giving up the search, she repaired her face as best she could and went to find Mark. Wrong move, all the way.

“What happened?” He didn’t wait for an answer, just walked right up close and touched her cheek.

“It’s nothing. Just a misunderstanding.” The idea of discussing one boss with another was anathema, guaranteed to make her job disappear in a heartbeat. She’d never been there, but had seen it happen too many times to count.

But Master Mark was a pit bull.

He didn’t back away, and he didn’t take her answer at face value.

“What did he do?”

“Nothing. I misunderstood, that’s all. It’s fine.” She turned to the long table in his office with an eye to tidying the stacks of paper but he caught her arm with a warm palm around her wrist.

“Don’t walk away from this, Joanne. Tell me what happened. Better yet, let me tell you what I think happened.”

Oh, hell. What had she gotten involved in this time? And how could he know what happened at lunch, unless Derek had already told him. She turned accusing eyes at him, but he shook his head, sympathy pooling in those dark brown depths.

“I haven’t seen or heard from Derek, but I can guess what happened. He was flirting, teasing and friendly, dominating you to the edge of sensuality, and suddenly went cold. Am I close?”

Her free hand floated behind her hip to find the chair she knew was close by and when Mark let go of her arm, she sank into it.

“How did you know?” she asked, her words a thin whisper.

Mark perched on the chair across from her, his elbows braced on his knees and his hands hanging between his calves. “It’s not the first time, but it’s been a while.”

“Whether or not you get involved with Derek, your job is secure. We have high expectations for job performance in the mainstream fashion—theft, violence, and the like aren’t tolerated. Having a mutually satisfying relationship with someone you meet here will not be reflected on your yearly evaluation. Understand?”

A deep exhale lightened her heart. “Yes, Master Mark. Thank you.”

He nodded. “Good. Now, we still have a shitload of things to take care of before we open in two weeks.”

“Umm, can I ask a question?”

“Of course. Shoot.”

“Are you planning to upgrade the restrooms? I was in the ladies downstairs and it’s clean but on the far side of ugly.”

“How ugly?” His brow furrowed as he picked up a yellow notepad and a pen. “Show me. I never gave a thought to the public restrooms, since all the private rooms have a full bath. Damn.”

They started on the second floor and once inside the ladies room, Mark agreed to refurbish. “Even to my eye, it’s bad. You know what women expect in a high—end salon. Talk to Derek and have him set you up with his general contractor today. We need new tile, mirrors, chairs.”

He made a few notes and said, “You’re in charge of the bathrooms. Get a bid from the contractor for all of them and run it by me, since I keep the money. Let’s take a look at the men’s before we get carried away.”

Half an hour later, Joanne found herself back in the bar, sitting on a barstool while Derek finished his last interview. He’d acknowledged her with a nod when she arrived, polite and polished as always. When the applicant left, Derek rose and walked to the long bar and stood next to her.

“I owe you an apology, Joanne.”

She ducked her head. “I talked to Master Mark.”

Humor licked at his words when he said, “Turn me in with the boss?”

“No. He asked...he noticed that I was upset and before I could explain, he told me what had happened.”


His tone belied his comment, dark with a hint of pain, and her heart squeezed. “He helped me understand that it wasn’t my fault.” Dammit. Not the right words at all.

“It was never my intention to blame you.”

“I know. Can we change the subject? Master Mark asked me to take care of the refurbishing of the public restrooms and he told me to ask you for an introduction to the main contractor so I can get a bid.”

Derek tipped his head back and laughed. “Perfect, sweetheart. I’m the managing contractor. Show me what you want to get done.”



Monday, May 20, 2013

Chapter 10 Warning: Adult content

Chapter 10
Joanne clamped her lips tight and attempted to relax, but the sting in her nipples continued long after his hands went on to other endeavors.
This job would ruin her for any other sexual encounter. Just the thought of vanilla sex was abhorrent right now, the pulse of her arousal filling her head with a persistent drumbeat of need.
Beside her, Derek’s cowboy boot sat mere inches from her, and if she cut her eyes just right, she could see his jean encased hip and watch his thigh flex while he spoke to the applicant. She blinked a couple of times and refocused on the wall several feet in front of her. Aside from the table he used for the interviews, Master Derek had placed her in plain sight and she could only wonder what the potential employees might be thinking.
The rumble of Master Derek’s voice keyed her into what was happening beside her, pulling her out of her musings and into the reality of her place in the room. Chair legs scraped and footsteps moved away. Master’s hand stroked her head and crooned his pleasure while different footsteps approached.
They were quicker, or maybe the length of the step was shorter. A woman? The sensual overload played havoc on her perceptions of the area around her. And if it was a woman approaching, what would she feel about Joanne’s place in the room?
Derek’s voice interrupted her thoughts.  
“Private Delights is a private BDSM club,” he told the woman. “The bar will be open to the public, but wait staff may be asked to serve in the main club. This is an example of what you might witness on the main floor. Is this something you can handle on a daily basis?”
“That depends,” a female voice said. “Is this a choice or is this woman being coerced in some way?”
“Joanne, will you answer her question?”
“Yes, Master Derek.” A cleansing helped her focus on an answer. “I choose to be submissive, and my Dom provides for my needs. I have the right to deny him but choose to obey.”
“This is your decision, not his?”
She didn’t sound convinced and Joanne didn’t blame her. The lifestyle was a long leap from a traditional relationship. “My choice. Not one everyone might want to try, but it works for me. And for many others.”
The woman took an audible deep breath and let it out slowly. “Okay, as long as it’s consensual, I’m fine with it.”
He conducted two more interviews before calling a break, instructing the applicant to close the door on his way out. Joanne hopped it meant she’d be allowed to stand up. Her knees ached from the wood flooring and her back was stiff.
The door clicked shut and rough hands grasped her under her arms and pulled her upright, then onto Derek’s lap. Fingers dug into the tense muscles below her shoulder blades and she moaned in pleasure.
“I’m proud of you Joanne. You handled that woman’s question perfectly.”
“Thank you, Master Derek.”
His thumbs loosened the muscles and moved lower. “Stand for me.”
She eased to her feet and stretched then shivered when his hands settled at her waist and those hard thumbs massaged the small of her back. Just when she thought it couldn’t get any better, he stopped and leaned to the side. Straightening, he set her bra and blouse on the table.
“Turn around.”
Her perception of nakedness turned on a dime, much like her body did. Bare from the waist up and in the submissive pose was one thing, facing him with her tits in his face was another. Her face warmed and she attempted to keep her respirations shallow, but knowing he saw every inch of her chest as it rose and fell disarmed her more than being completely naked in the playroom with him.
He held out her bra. “Arms.”
Her heart pounded in her chest but she put her hands through the straps and fought to stay still while he settled the cups against her breasts. This wasn’t sex, this was intimacy, and she had no frame of reference for this man’s version of intimate behavior.
He drew the clasps together and asked, “Too tight?”
“No, Master.”
“Turn, and breathe, Joanne. I won’t bite.”
Oh, God, she didn’t need that visual, since her body was already half way to completion.
She faced him again and he slid her blouse over her head and helped with the sleeves.
“Now, since you’ve been a good sub, I’m going to feed you. We have time to get some lunch. Follow.”
Did she have a choice? Not a chance.
The voice and the attitude pulled her into his wake and kept her feet moving in his direction. Besides, the view from the back was almost as lip-smacking good as his captivating face. He put her into the passenger seat of his car and they left the lot. For all she knew, they could be on the way to Mexico, but she knew better than to ask. Instead, she sat silent and waited for the next instruction.
“Do you have a preference for lunch?” he asked.
“Not really.”
“Joanne. This isn’t a test. If you don’t want to have lunch with me, say so and I’ll take you back to the club.”
Turning to face him, she caught the glimmer in his eyes and she wasn’t sure what it meant. “I’m not sure what my place is here.”
He grinned, a smatter of a laugh escaping before he spoke. “Nothing earthshattering, just a friendly lunch with a little dominance thrown in, that’s all. Now, what do you like to eat? Or better yet, what won’t you eat?”
“Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find something I won’t eat.”
“Good. I can push your boundaries while we eat and we can talk about your duties at Private Delights once we open.”
“May I ask a question?”
Derek nodded. “Of course.”
“Will I be required to be naked when the club opens?”







Monday, May 13, 2013

Private Delights, continued...

Chapter 9


The weight of his palm as it settled on Joanne’s hair created a warm wave, and it worked its way down to her toes and back up her thighs to settle low in her belly. How had she not known what a true dominant could do to her body with such a simple touch? Certainly not something she’d gotten from what’s-his-name all those years ago.

His fingers dug into her hair, nails scraping against her scalp and sending tingles of pleasure along neglected nerve endings. The pulse in her chest intensified to a tribal drum beat.

“You’ve worked hard today. I appreciate your eagerness to take on responsibilities unfamiliar to you. Master Derek will be proud of you.”

“Thank you, Master Mark.”

“I am proud of her progress.”

Joanne drew air in through her nose and tried to keep her spine straight while Derek greeted Mark. His voice shouldn’t move her, but it did and she couldn’t change her body’s response. Master Mark was merely a warm up for Derek’s intensity.

Then he touched her, his finger trailing across her shoulders, left to right and back again, a gentle caress meant to sooth but instead, it caused her pulse to jump.

“Has Mark taken good care of you, Joanne?”

A simple question, but Derek’s tone made it seem as if they’d been humping their way to nirvana. Was he jealous? Did she want him to be? Dammit. This place, these men, were driving her crazy in ways she’d never imagined.

What else could she say except, “Yes, Master Derek.”

Warm breath floated across her cheek along with the distinctive scent of Derek. “Maybe you should offer him a kiss.”

Her hands quivered where they lay across her thighs. A kiss in this club could mean many things and she had no point of reference for what Master Derek suggested. If anything, she’d rather kiss Derek, but he hadn’t offered.

“Yes, Master Derek.”

A hand appeared in her sight line. Derek’s. She placed her hand in his and let him help her to her feet while Master Mark waited for his kiss. She’d never heard of a boss needing a kiss for giving an employee a task to perform, but she’d never worked in a BDSM club. Who knew?

He’d lowered his backside to a sawhorse left by the contractors, a concession to her height, and she was glad she wouldn’t be expected to climb his body for this kiss. Eyes down, she moved into place between his open thighs.

“Joanne. Look at me.”

Damn that masterful voice. She lifted her chin until she could see all of him from his clavicle to his messy brown hair. The hint of a flirty smile made her relax a bit but the slumberous Dom-at-work eyes negated the feeling.  Master Mark was all about power and lust, and he had both assets in spades. Any woman tangling with him would be squashed into submission in a heartbeat.

Nevertheless, she offered him her mouth.

He met her halfway, a soft brush of mouth to mouth, the slide of his tongue across her open lower lip, and then the pressure of his full mouth on hers, invading and investigating until he’d finished.

“Joanne, go and wait for the next delivery truck.”

Unsure as to who gave the order, she turned on weak knees and left the empty restaurant, pleading with her legs to keep her upright and moving until she was out of sight of the two men.
Wow. At this rate she’d need a cold shower every night after work.

Derek kept his eyes on her until she’d reached the end of the rear hall and turned toward the front entrance, sure she’d fall before she made it. Once sure she couldn’t overhear their conversation, he asked, “Do you really want her?”

To his credit, Mark didn’t even consider the question. “No. You know I don’t do commitment, and Joanne is one of those women who craves a happily ever after. I prefer the happy for the night version.”

Relief trickled and seeped under his scalp, and irritation he didn’t need. “Then don’t mess with her.”

Fucking hell. Where did that come from?

“You want her for yourself. Fine. Take her. I won’t interfere unless you want to share.” Mark’s easy expression gave nothing away, making him an excellent poker player and a master manipulator with the women. His sense of fairness was his only redeemer when it came to his sex life. He never seduced a woman unwilling to take him on his own terms.

Even with the little he knew about Joanne, he knew she wasn’t a play-toy for Mark. “I don’t want her. I just don’t want to see her hurt.”

Mark made rudimentary sounds of agreement but one dark brow rose in question. Best to ignore the issue, Derek said, “Are we on schedule with the opening?”

Mark’s smirk made it clear he hadn’t been fooled. “Pretty much. I have interviews set up all day today and tomorrow. Care to split the list with me?”

"Sure. What am I looking at?” Derek asked.

“Why don’t you take the bar staff? Since Joanne has some experience in that area, she can help and you can continue her training.”

“Thanks, buddy. I thought she was handling deliveries all day.”

“Nope. She’s all for you, my friend. Enjoy the gift.”

Mark strode down the rear hall as Joanne led the delivery men in through the front of the building. Her hesitation as she came into the dining room made him feel like a jackass. He stepped aside while she spoke to the crew then stepped behind her before she could leave.

“Joanne. Follow me.”

Satisfaction stirred when her chin lowered and she fell in step without comment. Derek stayed to one side of the wide hall. They moved against the traffic of the workmen, but he wanted to be in the bar area before the applicants arrived for their interviews. He had a schedule in mind for her training and he didn’t want to deviate too often.

He fact that he wanted a few minutes alone with Joanne had nothing to do with his feelings. She needed training and he’d agreed to school her on submission. Today they would play in the guise of training.

Knowing she followed without question didn’t make it any more or less a job. Just as thinking about her outside of the club didn’t mean he had feelings for her. She was a trainee, nothing more, and he wanted to be sure her training progressed to the point she’d be well-prepared when the club opened.

The bar had been installed during the reconstruction, a long, curved wooden expanse that curved from one side of the room to the other. Half the room was designated as dance floor, the other half providing tables and chairs for drinking and socializing. Unlike the rest of the club, the floors in this area were hardwood, stained in a rich brown, and sealed to keep them durable. A few tables, those sent as samples before Mark chose the d├ęcor, peppered the floor.

Derek pulled a chair over to one of the tables and set it to face the door. To Joanne, he said, “Arrange a few of these chairs outside the door and return to me.”

Her easy compliance encouraged him to push harder.

When she returned from the hall, she carried a manila folder. “Mildred asked me to give this to you, Master Derek.”

He sat at the table and opened the folder, glancing at the list while he made her wait. After a moment or four, he lifted his hand palm down and extended it to his side. Joanne paused and he could feel her anxiety in the air around them before she went to her knees on the wooden floor.

“Good girl. Face the wall behind  me, with your back to the main entrance.”

She adjusted her body and settled into the submissive form. A check of his watch and the schedule Mildred provided gave him ten minutes to play.

“Remove your blouse.”

Drawing a settling breath, Derek watched from the corner of his eye as her fingers dove to the hem of her top and pulled it over her head. Folding it neatly and placing it in front of her knees, she reached for the clasp of her bra and added it to the shirt.

“You honor me with your compliance, Joanne.” He pushed his chair back enough to enhance his view. “You’re a beautiful woman.” One finger traced her collarbone from the left side of her body to the right, then slid lower to circle her breast, beginning at the outside swell and swirling inward until he fingered the tight bud.

Eyes properly down and breath moving a bit faster than normal, she maintained her pose. Impressive.

He repeated the tracery with the left breast, and when he reached the apex, he palmed both mounds, rubbing and pinching the nipples until spikes formed.

     “Beautiful, Joanne. Just beautiful.” Derek shifted his chair back to the table and quietly told her, “The first applicant has arrived. Stay as you are until I release you.”


Monday, May 6, 2013

Private Delights, continued...

Chapter 8


Joanne unlocked her front door and eased into the living room as quietly as she could. Terri’s door was closed, but she didn’t want to inadvertently wake her best friend at midnight. She sank into the soft cushion of chair closest to the door and put her purse on the floor.

The ankle boots she wore for work pinched after a long shift, but at least she only had two more days at the bar. The manager was irritated, primarily because she was the only regular waitress who showed up on time, but Tim couldn’t blame her for wanting more money.

And the gig at the club would be a definite raise.

Feet finally bare, she stretched her toes and wiggled them in the thick carpet. Her head dropped to the back of the chair while the tension left her shoulders, and her thoughts drifted to the man from the new club.

Derek Lyons.


Not a man to fall in love with.

She barely knew him, just a name and persona and a wicked sensuality a woman needed at least once in her life.

But he wasn’t for her.

Getting her own life in order was her priority, and Master Derek had his own demons to tame. No idea what they were, but Joanne knew they were there, somewhere inside that strong, hard body. His eyes shone with a sense of pain she’d recognized from her own past, but she knew from her own experience that it would only heal when the time was right.

Not her job, anyway. She was an employee, a staff submissive in a bondage club, not a counselor.

Gathering her things, she double checked the front door’s lock and went to her room. Ordinarily, she’d shower and read or watch a little television before sleeping until noon, but she wanted to work at Private Delights for at least half a day before she went back to the bar at three. Her budget would thank her later for the double shifts and exhaustion would mean sleeping hard every night. The end result? No late night dreams about her teacher.

Setting the alarm for seven, she stripped and fell into bed, letting the cool sheets do their job.

Her eyes popped open at six fifteen and she’d showered and dressed before the alarm went off.

"Hello, stranger,” Terri said from the kitchen. “Coffee?”

“Yes, please.” Joanne slipped a bagel into the toaster and put her coffee cup on the oval dining table while she waited, cream cheese in hand.

“You’re up early.”

"I’m working at the new club this morning, then at the bar from three to eleven.”

“Ouch,” Terri said. “Whose idea was that?”

Joanne doctored her bagel and sat next to her friend. “Mine. I need the money and I’m in training at the club, so I might as well make the most of it.”

Terri chewed fast, her eyes wide, and Joanne gave serious thought to leaving before her roommate could empty her mouth.

“Training? Do tell, and don’t leave anything out.”

Sure, like that was going to happen. “One of the owners is teaching me about BDSM and how to be a proper submissive. I’m also learning about the workings of the club, the staffing, and helping with anything else that needs to be done.”

“Will you be the only paid submissive?”

“No, of course not. Well, actually, I don’t know. Mr. Harrison is still interviewing, and he’s hiring staff for several positions. Why? Want a new job?”

Terri took another bite and shook her head. “Not there,” she finally said.

Joanne laughed. “Chicken.”

“Yes, ma’am. I prefer to work with my clothes on.”

“It’s not a nudie bar. I’ll be dressed, most of the time.”

Terri laughed. “It’s the rest of the time that has me worried. Now, I’ve got to get on the road.”

Twenty minutes later, Joanne pulled into the parking lot of Private Delights, a rather large delivery truck turning in behind her. There weren’t many cars in the lot but the front doors were unlocked so she went straight in.

The new carpet made an amazing difference in the space, the green and gold scattered swirls in the dark purple mat visually doubled the large room. While the carpet looked great, the room itself was cavernous, empty and silent.

Upstairs, the main office door was open but Mildred wasn’t at her desk. Joanne knocked at Mark’s door and waited to be invited in. silent minutes passed before he pulled the door open. “Joanne?”

“Good morning, Mr. Harrison. I thought you should know, there’s a large delivery truck in the front drive.”

A devil-may-care smile lit up his face. “Every day’s like Christmas around here. Let’s go see what it is.”

He led the way, talking as they went. “Are you here full time now?”

“No. I have two more shifts at my other job, but I wanted to pitch in as much as I could here.”

“Please tell me you have some knowledge of interior design,” he said as they hit the bottom step. Two moving men were waiting for direction, a long sofa held between them and another pair of men right behind them.

“Oh, my. How much furniture did you order?” she asked.

“Quite a bit,” he told her, and then turned to the men. “Gentlemen, this is my assistant. If you’ll wait just a minute, she’d tell you where to place the furniture.”

His eyes sought hers. “Follow.”

Well, hell. Another man who could change his voice from sweet and friendly to deep and dominant in the blink of an eye. Her life would never be the same.

“Mr. Harrison, I don’t know much about interior design,” she said when she caught up with him.

His quick turn surprised her, even more so when he touched her chin and raised her head to meet his expression. Cool, controlled, and collected. “You can do this, Joanne. My plan for this area is open seating arrangements, a place for members to socialize. Think hotel lobbies. Scatter the sofas, tables, and chairs in a way that will make people congregate in small groups to discuss their day or plan their playtime here at the club. You’re in charge.”

“But, Mr. Harrison—”

“When you’re here, I’m Master Mark. Don’t worry, Joanne, it’s just furniture, and easily moved around until we figure it out. Just do your best.”

He left her standing in the middle of the cavernous main room and she looked back at the sofas waiting for her decision. Holding up one finger to the first delivery man, she walked the length of the room and measured the space in her head.

She could do this.

It wasn’t that different from arranging office space.

She waved the first man toward her and directed the pair’s movement until the sofa sat at an angle to one side of the room but still facing the main entrance. The second sofa’s placement mirrored the first, a dark green instead of the gold of the first one. She left room for accent tables, hoping they’d been ordered.

A steady stream of furniture came through the room and when she was almost out of space, Master Mark reappeared.

“Well done, Joanne.” His hand brushed from her crown to her nape. “There should be another delivery soon, restaurant tables and chairs. Have you seen the layout of the first floor?”

“No, Master Mark. I haven’t been much farther than this room and your office.” With her head tipped down, she could barely see the smile he flashed her.

“Derek’s teaching you the basics?” he asked.

“Yes, Master Mark.”

“Walk with me and I’ll show you the layout. And don’t be afraid to watch where you’re walking. While I appreciate your submissive eyes, I’d hate for you to break a leg before the club opens.”

A laugh bubbled up and she lifted her head enough to see the bottom half of his face. “Thank you, Master Mark.”

 They strode down the hall at a brisk pace and she was glad he’d given her permission to watch where they were going. The building was large and spread out, with evidence of recent construction in many areas. Master Mark stopped at a new wooden door.

“This is an access to the north side of the building where the public bar will be. It connects via a short hall and the door on the other side can only be opened with a keycard. All employees will have one, as will members.”

She nodded and gave him the requisite reply and they moved farther down the main hall while he talked about the bar and when the equipment would arrive. “We’re also looking for staff in that area, and if you know anyone trustworthy and hardworking, let me know. Or better yet, have them apply and mention your name.”

He stopped when they reached an intersection in the hallway. “Lost yet?”

“No, Master Mark,” she said with a smile. He might be a little different in lifestyle, but he appeared to be a decent sort of man and she found herself liking him a little more with every interaction.

Good. This hall runs down the backside of the building. There are rooms that open on both sides of the hall and it intersects the main room where you were arranging furniture.”

 “Thank you for the tour, Master Mark.”

 “If you look to the right, you can see the elevators. I believe Derek took you upstairs?”

 Her face warmed but she tried to keep her tone smooth and calm. “Yes, Master.”

He crossed to a set of double doors propped wide open and she followed. “The vendor delivering the seating for this area will take care of installing all the booths and setting up the tables and chairs. All you need to do is direct them to this room when they arrive.”

 She answered in the affirmative again and looked around the large space. The carpet she’d chosen looked lovely with the dark wood baseboards and crown molding. The back wall was half glass, the windows looking out on the former golf course, and she wondered what the man next to her had planned for that area. Something kinky, most likely.

 “Show me what you’ve learned from Derek.”

 It wasn’t a request. The voice was dark again. Commanding. Joanne went to her knees in silence and assumed the position of a submissive and awaited his instructions.