The master, p.19
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       The Master, p.19

         Part #8 of Submissive series by Tara Sue Me
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  along her hipbones. She knew what he was doing—he was staking his claim on her. Letting the two other women know in no uncertain terms who was in charge. And who belonged to him.

  “Now,” he said. “If there aren’t any more inappropriate questions, Daniel’s invited everyone to the main house.”

  • • •

  It was slow at the shop the next day, and since they were caught up on orders, at two o’clock Sasha told Julie to take the rest of the afternoon off. Julie hadn’t mentioned Sasha’s overnight stay with Cole—most likely Daniel had told her not to—but that hadn’t stopped Julie from watching her just a tad bit too closely all day. Of course, it was very possible the discussion she had with her Dom about Kate also had something to do with it. Sasha couldn’t imagine that going over well.

  But no matter why Julie was quiet, with her best friend out of the shop, Sasha felt as if she could finally breathe. And think.

  She and Cole never had a chance to finish the conversation they’d started yesterday. Everyone made it to Daniel’s house to find he had started a huge breakfast. Kate ended up staying long past her originally stated hour and when she did leave, Sasha remembered Pip had been in her apartment, alone, since the day before.

  Cole had simply nodded and said they’d talk later. She thought he’d text, but so far she hadn’t heard from him. She was still pleasantly sore from her night with him and it made her smile each time an image from their time together came to mind.

  With a sigh, she headed toward the break room. There probably wouldn’t be any more customers today. She needed to work on inventory, but instead picked up a novel she was reading.

  She’d only read a few pages when the door chimed, alerting her that someone had entered.

  “Be right there!” she yelled.

  In her imagination, it was Cole stopping by to pick up their conversation. She pictured it so clearly: they would chat in the break room and she’d invite him up to her apartment when they’d worked everything out. Once in her apartment, she’d lead him to the bedroom.

  The imagery was so vivid in her mind, she dashed into the main room expecting to see Cole, but came to a complete stop when she saw Peter.

  Every cell in her body protested and the all too familiar panic threatened to have its way with her. To counteract it, she visualized herself kneeling at Cole’s feet while he stroked her hair. In her mind she heard him say, “You’re safe, little one.”

  She heard him so clearly and it felt so real, her body actually relaxed.

  “Peter,” she said. “What are you doing here?”

  He glanced around the shop and rubbed his hands down the front of his pants. His brown hair appeared unwashed and his eyes were ringed with dark circles. “I need some flowers. Are you the only one here?”

  “There are five thousand other florists in Wilmington. If you didn’t want to see me, maybe you should have picked one of them.”

  “They kicked me out of the group, you know. Because I called you.”

  “I think the fact that you lied and said Master Greene told you to call is why you got kicked out.”

  A surge of rage lit across his face. “William Greene is a pussy.”

  She wished she hadn’t told Julie to go home. She wished it really had been Cole who stopped by. And she really, really wished Peter would leave. “Like they say, takes one to know one. Now what kind of flowers do you need?”

  “Did you just call me a pussy?”

  “Flowers. What kind?”

  “I heard that Cole guy wasn’t allowed to fuck you. Why not? Can’t handle his dick?”

  Cole’s comment about knowing what was counterfeit because you knew the real thing so well came back to her. It was true. Peter was no more a Dom than she was. Compared to Cole, he was a wannabe, an impostor.

  The most enlightening feeling of power washed over her. Peter was nothing. A fake. A nobody. And she was strong.

  She lifted her chin. There was no reason for Peter to be in her shop. She didn’t think him capable of violence, but the sad fact was you never knew. “I’ve decided I don’t want you in my shop. Leave and buy your flowers somewhere else.”

  “Not very wise to mix your personal life with your business. You could be losing out on a big account I have.”

  “That’s a risk I’m willing to take. Leave now, and I won’t call the cops.” Her fingers inched toward the phone, just to show him she was serious. “And the next time you feel the urge to stop by Petal Pushers, ignore it.”

  “You’re a bitch, Sasha.”

  “Bye-bye.” She wiggled her fingers at him.

  Peter had always been more bark than bite. Truthfully, he wasn’t a match for her. He knew when he had been bettered. He shot her one last look before heading to the door.

  “One more thing,” she couldn’t stop herself from saying. “Rumors about Cole’s dick are seriously minimized. His cock would have you weep with envy.”

  Peter couldn’t make it out the door fast enough.

  For a long time, she simply looked at the front door and grinned. She’d done it. She’d faced her nightmare. She hugged herself. Damn, that felt good. She had the overwhelming urge to text Cole.

  She patted her pockets. Damn it. She’d left her cell phone in the back room. Seconds later, she found it beside the book she’d been reading. She was scrolling through her contacts when the door chime rang out.

  She sighed in exasperation. “I swear, if you brought your mangy ass back into my store, Cole’s cock won’t be the only thing you’ll be weeping over.”

  There was no sound from the front of the store. Shit. She hoped it was Peter and not a customer. She was almost too afraid to go look, but it had to be done. She shoved her phone in her pocket right as the silence was broken by the sinfully sensual accent that made her knees weak.

  “Who are you talking to and why are they weeping over my cock?”

  Chapter Nine

  She stood paralyzed for several seconds.

  Shit.

  She didn’t just yell out in her store about Cole’s dick, did she?

  “Sasha?” Cole called.

  Shit. She had.

  His perfectly sculpted face appeared in the doorway. “There you are.” At least he was smiling. “I stopped by thinking if you closed up a bit early, we could finish our conversation from yesterday. But now I’m curious as to who you’re discussing my cock with.”

  She was so flustered he was in her shop, just standing there, that she blurted out without thinking, “Peter.”

  All at once, the smile left Cole’s face. “Peter was here? Today?”

  “Just now.”

  He open and closed his fists. “I’ll fucking beat the shit out of him.”

  She moved toward him and held out her hand. “Wait, no. It’s okay—”

  “It damn well is not okay.”

  “Listen.” Something in her tone must have resonated with him, because his expression lost the murderous look and he gave a curt nod. She continued. “I was scared when I first realized who it was, but I did what you’d taught me and I remained calm and didn’t panic. Then I told him to leave and never come back. And I realized something else.”

  “What was that?” A hint of a smile touched his lips.

  “I finally saw that he was a counterfeit. Just like you said I would.”

  He nodded. “You’ve been thinking about what you want from a Dom.”

  She forced her eyes to remain on his and say the words, “No. I’ve been thinking about you.”

  He mumbled something under his breath and moved across the floor with long strides. Before she had a chance to think about what he was doing, he had his arms around her and crushed his lips to hers.

  Her mouth opened in surprise and she pulled him closer to deepen the kiss. One of his hands tangled in her hair and the other slid down her back to cup her ass. He jerked his hips against hers, letting her feel his hardness.

  “Just as I’ve been thinking about you,” h
e whispered against her mouth and then kissed her again. Softer this time, but no less intense. Rather, the kiss felt like a slowly communicated promise that he had every intention of showing her exactly what he’d been thinking about. But they had other things to discuss first.

  With a guttural groan, he pulled back. “We need to talk before we do anything else.”

  Sasha nodded and walked to the door to turn the sign to Closed. “Easy enough,” she said after locking the door. “My apartment or the break room?”

  He was already walking to the back of the store. “Break room.”

  She turned to double-check the door was locked before following him to the back. He was already sitting when she joined him. His fingers drummed on the table and he appeared to be concentrating on the wall across from where he sat.

  In fact, he was so deep in thought, she cleared her throat. “Cole?”

  He shook himself out of his trance and smiled. “Come and sit down. I was just thinking.”

  She took a seat next to him, careful not to get too close. Though why it mattered, she wasn’t sure. It was obvious they were going to talk about sex.

  And being Cole, he got straight to the point.

  “Are you still interested in slave training?” he asked.

  She blinked. Twice.

  “That isn’t what I thought we were going to talk about,” she finally said.

  “To be quite frank, it isn’t why I came over. But hearing how you handled Peter made me rethink things.”

  She didn’t think he’d actually consider giving her a taste of the twenty-four/seven lifestyle. Now that it sounded like he was, she was equal parts turned on and scared out of her wits.

  “I dropped by so we could discuss adding a more physical element to our time together,” Cole said. “But now, I think you might be ready for a, what did you call it? A taste of what a Master/slave relationship would be like.”

  “Why was that the thing that changed your mind?”

  He leaned forward. “Because you have to be strong to serve someone twenty-four/seven.”

  You think I’m strong?

  “And after the way you conducted yourself over the weekend as well as what happened today, I think you’re ready. Tell me, Sasha, do you still want me to give you a taste?”

  He heart pounded so hard, it shook her body. A taste of Cole. Would it be enough? Just a taste? She feared she knew the answer, but that wasn’t going to stop her.

  “Yes,” she said in a breathy reply. “That’s what I want.”

  “I need you to realize how hard this is going to be and make sure it’s what you want. It’ll be intense, and you’ll see and experience a different side of me. I’ve come to value our time together.” He shook his head. “I don’t want anything to ruin that.”

  “I can’t imagine anything changing my opinion of you.”

  “You haven’t seen all of me.”

  He said the words to discourage her, but it wasn’t working. She wanted to see all of him. Needed to experience all sides of him. And truthfully, the idea of him being stern and forceful didn’t scare her near as much as it turned her on.

  She pushed back from the table and stood up. His chair wasn’t far, she only had to take a few steps to be at his side. Once there, she went to her knees and dropped her head. “Please, Sir. Allow me the honor of seeing and experiencing all sides of you.”

  He sucked in a breath and buried his fingers in her hair. “Sasha, little one. You disarm me. How am I to argue with that?”

  With her head down, but a smile on her face, she simply replied, “You’re not.”

  • • •

  Cole knew he had no business giving her even a taste of the Master/slave relationship he liked. But when he’d walked into the shop and she off-handedly told him about her conversation with Peter, the thought hit him: This is the one you’re meant to be with. And it’d struck him in the chest that this woman, this submissive, with all her scars and her past and her emotional hangups, might just be his perfect match.

  And damn it all to hell, if she wanted to see what it was like to serve twenty-four/seven, he wasn’t about to turn that down. Of course, now that she’d agreed, they had to work out the details.

  He dug his fingers deeper into her hair. “Very well, then. I propose two weeks of training. It’s not optimal, but since it’s just to give you a taste, I think it’ll do.”

  “If it’s not optimal, why not extend it? Let’s do a month.”

  Her enthusiasm was delightfully refreshing. He hated to see it whither, but knew it would with what he’d say next. “I don’t think you’ll want to do a month when you hear what I think best for our two weeks.” The corners of her mouth dipped low and he continued. “You’ll move in with me for those two weeks. No need to bring anything with you, I’ll supply everything you need. And you don’t work at the shop.”

  “I don’t work? What? But we’re completely booked with events for at least the next month. Two weeks . . .” Her arguments died on her lips when she noticed him shaking his head.

  “I can only do two weeks and, frankly, it’s not worth doing if you spend eight hours a day working. Look at it this way. Remember I told you that you would only work if your Master allowed it? This is me not allowing you to work.”

  “It’s not negotiable?”

  “It’s negotiable in that the other option is not to do it.”

  She was silent. He could almost see her mind working through the options.

  “Julie’s going to hate me,” she finally said.

  “No,” he said. “I’m quite positive I’ll be the one she hates.”

  “I’ll talk to her tomorrow.”

  “Don’t you think you should hear the rest of what I want?”

  She nodded.

  “We’ll have more discussions before we start anything, but in general, at dinner each night, we’ll go over how your day was, talk about any issues or items to work on, and I’ll give you my expectations for the following day.”

  “Will I have any free time? Be able to call and text my friends?”

  He nodded. “This is all new to you, and though others might disagree, I think it’d be beneficial for you to have some down time each day. I’ll build two to three hours a day into your schedule. During that time, you’re free to make calls. Though I do suggest you put my number on your outgoing message. That way, if there’s an emergency, I can get that information to you.”

  “That makes sense.” She nodded and her head tilted in that endearing way she had. “How do I address you?”

  He’d have to give that issue some thought. Kate had typically used “Sir” or “Master,” except when he’d institute lower protocol, which gave her permission to use his first name. While he liked hearing his name spoken by Sasha, he found he liked hearing her use “Sir” a lot more. He didn’t think she was ready for “Master.” Or maybe he was the one who wasn’t ready.

  “I think ‘Sir’ is fine for now,” he said.

  “I should bring my journal, right? I’m sure you’ll have lots of writing for me to do.”

  “Yes, bring your journal and your purse. Like I said, I’ll provide everything else you need.”

  “Do you need my clothes size?”

  Making his voice as dry and deadpan as possible, he asked, “What makes you think you’ll be wearing clothes?”

  Her eyes grew wide. “I won’t be?”

  “Sasha, if you have to ask that, I question whether this is really the right thing to do.”

  She looked down at her hands. “No, I knew I’d be naked some, but I didn’t know it’d be all the time.” She peeked up at him. “Will it be all the time?”

  He swallowed his laugh. “It won’t be all the time, but it’ll be damn well as often as I want it to be. And I have to say, now that
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