The enticement, p.25
Part #5 of Submissive series by Tara Sue Me
“It’s a lot to take in. And I understand you’ll need to talk it over with your husband.” Her long platinum hair had been straightened today. Paired with the silver and black suit she wore, it looked like she should be the one getting in front of the camera.
“I don’t know anything about television,” I confessed.
“Abby, dear.” She walked over to me and pulled me up out of the chair. “That’s why you’ll be perfect. Come here.”
She led me to a picture window. We were about sixty stories high, making the people on the sidewalk look like Elizabeth’s play dolls. I could almost envision reaching down, picking one up, and carrying them to a new location altogether.
“You see all those people?” Meagan asked. “Take those that you see and multiply times one hundred—heck, say a thousand. That’s a hell of a lot of people. You know what most of them are looking for?”
“Something real. They can smell the fake shit from two blocks away, but they’ll always be drawn in by the real thing.” She lightly punched my arm. “That’s you. You’re the real thing. I told you this when you started writing for the site and I’ll remind you again: people are drawn to you because they know real when they see it, when they read it, when they hear it, and when they feel it.”
“Live TV?” I imagined all the people below the window watching me on the air and almost hyperventilated. “Do you know how many ways I can mess that up?”
“You know we won’t let you do that.” She took me by the shoulders and spun me around to face her. I recognized the look in her eyes immediately and I remembered her once saying she topped women. “Focus on who you are, what you know, and who you can help. When you’re in your collar and your Master asks you to do something you’re not sure about, do you fret about messing it up or do you focus on him?”
“I force myself to focus on him.”
“Because it makes me leave doubt behind.”
She smiled. “Yes, and if you decide to do this, we’ll have a lot of mock situations and practice questions. We’ll go over the routine so many times, you’ll be sleep-talking your answers. You’ve got this. Trust me, okay?”
I let out a shaky breath. “Okay.”
“There you go,” she said. “Do you want to go see the set? You want to chill out in my office or just go home and think?”
It would be fun to visit the set, but I could always do that another day. And while it was nice of her to offer her office, I really wanted to get back home, throw on some comfortable clothes and think. Nathaniel would wonder how the meeting went; I needed to call him before I talked to Linda or anyone else about it. And I wanted to swing by Felicia and Jackson’s house, since I promised her I’d stop by.
“Thanks for the offers, but I think I’m going to go home. Get out of these shoes and do some thinking.”
She gave me a quick hug. “Okay, call me if you have any questions.”
I had just reached for the doorknob when she called, “Abby.”
“How’d the week go? With Nathaniel?”
I’d told her before we left that I’d planned to wear Nathaniel’s collar all week. She’d been interested, not only because of the pieces I could write when the week was over, but also as a switch. She’d told me the longest she’d ever worn a collar was a day.
I’d been so confused and hurt and angry. Now, with miles separating us, I felt only sad. I dropped my shoulders and exhaled.
“That good, huh?” Meagan asked.
I slowly turned to face her. “Parts of it were great. He pushed me more than he had before and I liked it. Not always when it was happening, but it was all good.” I wiped my forehead. It suddenly felt hot in the private conference room. “But toward the end, we got into a huge fight over the stupidest things. It was like we were looking for ways to get on each other’s nerves. And we succeeded.” I didn’t want to give her the details. It was enough to know we had fought.
She gave a low whistle and pointed to some empty chairs. “I’m so sorry to hear that. Arguing is never fun.”
We sat down. “Right,” I said. “And this morning, I had your call, so I’m here. He’s at work. And we still haven’t talked.”
“When you get home take it easy.” She patted my knee. “Take time for you, read or watch a movie. Then talk to your man.”
“Why do you say that?”
“I’m no expert, but I have been in the lifestyle for twelve years. To me it sounds like sub drop.”
“Sub drop?” The intense emotional and physical reaction a submissive experienced after a scene when the endorphins wore off? It didn’t make sense. “But he always does aftercare and I’ve been his submissive for years.”
“True, but have you ever had a week as intense as that one before?”
She nodded, as if I’d given her the response she anticipated. “There are those who say sub drop is actually worse in long-term committed partners.”
“Really?” I didn’t think I’d had anything remotely resembling sub drop for years. But as I thought about what I’d felt last few days and compared it to what I knew from both others and my own experience, it did sound an awful lot like what I had gone through.
“Really. So do like I suggested, talk to your Master, and give me a call in the morning. Let me know how you’re doing so I don’t worry.”
We stood up and I hugged her. “Thank you, Meagan.”
“I’ve been there,” she said, but the strong Domme look had left her eyes and in its place was a haunted expression. “I know what you’re feeling. Just know you’re not alone.”
* * *
I called Nathaniel on the way home. He would probably just be finishing up his meetings for the day. I thought about waiting until he got home, but I had promised to let him know how it went.
“Abby?” he asked, picking up on the first ring. “Everything okay?”
Though I had been angry and upset with him earlier, my body felt more at peace hearing his voice. Something about hearing him say my name, in the soft gentle way only he could, partially erased my unease.
“Yes,” I said with a smile. “Everything’s very good.”
I heard the relief in his voice. “I’m so glad to hear that. The meeting with Mr. Black went well?”
“I guess you could say that.” I couldn’t believe I was getting ready to say the next words. “They want me to be on TV.”
“I know. Exactly what I said.”
“On TV doing what?”
“Just on Mondays for a question and answer session with viewers, to tie into the blog.” I rushed to add, “They said they’d disguise me so I’d be unrecognizable.”
“This is incredible. What a great opportunity.”
Any lingering tension in my body left with his affirmative words. I didn’t realize until he said them how much I’d feared he wouldn’t be excited or think it was a good idea. Though I didn’t need his permission, I craved his approval.
“You think it sounds good?” I asked.
“I think it’s beyond good. I think it’s fantastic.” His voice lowered. “I’m just not sure I’m ready to share you with the rest of the world. I kind of like having you to myself.”
“You’ll still have me Tuesday through Sunday. You only have to share on Mondays. And only for ten minutes or so.”
“I don’t know. Ten will turn into twenty. Twenty into thirty. Before you know it, you’ll be famous and you won’t want to have anything to do with us.”
He was teasing, but I wondered if there wasn’t a bit of truthful worry in his tone. We hadn’t left each other’s company on the best of terms. That mixed with me being offered a position in television was enough outside of any plan he’d ever thought up that he was probably about ready to crawl out of his skin.
“That’ll never happen,” I assured him. “The world can have me for ten minutes on Monday nights,
“I hate it when we argue,” he said, out of the blue.
I swallowed the lump in my throat. “Me, too.”
* * *
I made it home early in the afternoon. Linda left a note saying she’d taken the kids to see Felicia and to keep the twins company and out of trouble.
I picked the newspaper up from where I’d left it on the floor early in the morning. It’d been ages since I’d read the paper and had a cup of coffee, and at the moment it sounded like the perfect thing to do.
I was curled up on a couch in the library, coffee at my side, when I flipped to the political section. I almost missed it. If it hadn’t been for the paper crinkling up at just the right spot, I never would have seen it. But the paper crinkled and as I was straightening it out, I realized my thumb was beside a picture of Nathaniel.
My hands shook as I looked closer. He wasn’t the subject of the picture; that honor belonged to the council member who’d just been accused of misuse of public funds. Nathaniel simply had the misfortune of being seated nearby in the photograph of a fund-raising dinner. Nathaniel and his dinner date, that was.
Charlene. She was gorgeous in that naturally beautiful way some women were born with. I remembered from seeing her in person, but it was even more obvious from the profile picture. And while that was irritating, it was the look captured unknowingly by the photographer that made my chest tight. Nathaniel and his date were gazing into each other’s eyes, completely oblivious to their surroundings.
I set the paper down. Was it taken the day I saw them in the bar or some other time? I couldn’t make out exactly what Nathaniel was wearing, but I assumed it was taken in Delaware.
I didn’t like the thoughts forming in my head. While I knew, I knew, he would never cheat on me, the fact remained he’d had dinner, or lunch, alone with a woman and he hadn’t told me about it. That itself didn’t sit well.
Circumstantial evidence, one part of my brain said.
Still pretty damning, said another.
I should call him. Call him up and talk about it. But the more I thought about, the less it sounded like a good idea. There wasn’t any way to bring it up that didn’t sound accusatory. And we’d already fought over her once. Besides, I knew it was nothing.
The sound of Linda pulling into the driveway caused Apollo to bark and I decided to think about Charlene and Nathaniel later.
* * *
I found my chance to bring it up later that night. I’d put the kids to bed and everything was quiet. Nathaniel was in his office working. I picked the newspaper up from where I’d left it on my desk and opened it to his picture.
He looked up when I entered the room. “Abby?”
I put the paper down so he could see the picture. “Was this taken while we were in Delaware?”
His eyes widened as he looked down. “Damn, I didn’t see a camera.”
“Really? That’s how you’re going to answer? You didn’t see a camera?”
He picked up the paper and looked closer. “Yes, this was taken while we were in Delaware.”
I crossed my arms and waited.
“I don’t know what you want me to say,” he continued and he sounded tired. “We’ve already argued about her once. I really don’t feel like rehashing it again.”
I sat down in the leather chair across from his desk. “Then let’s not rehash it. Tell me what your business is with her.”
His lips pressed together tightly and for a long moment, I thought he wouldn’t say anything. But then he sighed. “I offered her a position.”
I shot up. “You what?”
“Running the nonprofit.”
Shit. It really was the nonprofit. I started pacing. And he’d offered her a job? She was never going to go away and I’d have to hear about her and talk with her and be sociable. “Why would you do that?”
“You know, I don’t make it a habit to routinely question you on your business decisions.” He narrowed his eyes. “Sit down. You’re giving me a headache.”
“No,” I said and stood behind the chair, holding on to the back. “She’s trouble. Why would you hire trouble?”
“She’s exceptionally qualified and is looking to diversify her résumé. It wouldn’t be for a long period of time.”
“I think it’s a bad decision.”
“I don’t think it’s your concern. But if you must know, she’s the best person for the job, is willing to take it on, and can make it into something I can’t.”
“And you know she’s not going to cause anything but problems for us.”
He didn’t say anything, just looked at me. There was disappointment in his eyes. “What’s your problem with her? I’ve never seen you like this before. You don’t act like this around women I’ve played with.”
“Those women are in the past. She’s right here, in the flesh, and she’s now.”
“Are you afraid I’m going to be tempted to do something with her?” he asked.
I thought about that. “No,” I said, honestly. “It’s her I don’t trust.”
“I’m with women all the time. Every morning you say good-bye to me and I’m willing to bet you never think I’m walking out that door to fall into the clutches of the world’s most evil women.”
So what was it about her that rubbed me the wrong way? “There’s something about her I don’t like. I can’t put my finger on it.”
He sighed and shuffled the papers on his desk. “You’re going to have to find a way to deal with it if she accepts the position.”
I snorted. “Mark my words. You’ll regret this.”
“Thank you so much for your insight. Your warning is duly noted.”
He said it with a hint of sarcasm and that just made me angry. I thought about what I could say to make him as angry as I was. “I don’t want to wear your collar this weekend.”
But my words didn’t have the desired effect on him. He calmly looked me in the eyes. “That won’t be an issue. I’m not going to allow you to wear my collar until you work through the trust issues you have with me.”
“What?” I asked, certain I’d heard him wrong.
“You can’t wear my collar if you don’t trust me. So until you can once again believe that I’m trustworthy, you won’t be wearing my collar.”
“It’s not the same.”
“It is,” he insisted. “You have to trust me in all things before you accept my collar. There’s no room for doubt.”
“You’re being unreasonable.”
It was like he didn’t hear me. “And I was going to tell you later, but I’ll go ahead and tell you now. I’ll be home late tomorrow because I have a late meeting with Charlene.”
“You’re meeting with her?”
“I’m expecting her to accept my offer.”
There was little else he could have said that would have made me angrier. “So will you be going out to dinner after to celebrate?”
“Damn it, Abby.”
“I think it’s a reasonable question.”
“I take issue with your definition of ‘reasonable.’”
“And yet you haven’t answered my question.”
“No,” he said in a cold voice. “I’m not having dinner with her. I’ll be coming home to my wife and children. Because that is what I want and this is my place.” He stood up. “Why don’t you go on to bed? I’ll be in the guest room tonight.”
The Enticement by Tara Sue Me / Romance & Love have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on40 votes