The master, p.26
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       The Master, p.26

         Part #8 of Submissive series by Tara Sue Me
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  “I see that.” His look at Cole was filled with questions she knew he was anxious to ask. She felt like a third wheel. It was obvious the men wanted to talk, but were uncomfortable doing so in her presence.

  She tilted her head up. “May I be excused, Sir? I’m feeling tired and think I’d be better if I went to lie down.”

  Cole’s forehead wrinkled. “Are you sure you’re just tired? No more attack?”

  “It’s long gone. I’m just a little tired now, Sir.”

  He leaned down and brushed his lips across her cheek. “Go on and nap, little one. I’ll check on you soon.”

  She left the men in the kitchen and went into Cole’s bedroom. At his door, she hesitated for a moment and then decided not to close it all the way. She crawled in bed and realized she could hear the men’s conversation.

  “Next time you break up with your slave of eight years, how about dropping me an e-mail or sending a text, so I don’t shock the hell out of your new one?”

  “Sasha’s not my slave or my submissive. She’s my trainee.”

  “Horse shit.”

  “What makes you say that?”

  “I have eyes.”

  “Well, get glasses. She’s going back to her apartment and life next week and that’s that.”

  Fritz snorted. “Right.”

  “She is. I’m not the one for her.”

  “She know that?”

  “Yes, we’ve been very clear in our expectations.”

  “She’s not like anyone you’ve ever been with: way too skinny, short dark hair. Nice legs, though. Seems a bit quiet for you. Kate, that one you couldn’t get to shut up.”

  “We are not having this conversation.”

  “Fine then. How is Kate? Damn, I can’t believe you two broke up. I thought if anyone would be together forever, it’d be you two.”

  “She’s fine, living on her own in upstate New York. Probably thrilled to be by herself for once.”

  Fritz grunted. “I doubt that.”

  “Doesn’t matter to me one way or another what she does. Here.” The refrigerator door opened. “Have a bitter and let me show you the house. Then you can tell me what you’re doing for Luke and Nathaniel.”

  Their voices drifted away, and she stared at the ceiling a long time before drifting into an uneasy sleep.

  Chapter Eleven

  The Friday night following Fritz’s visit, Cole took Sasha to Linden, New Jersey, to attend the grand reopening of Luke DeVaan’s club. Normally, he didn’t go to such events, but Fritz had been the contractor for the project and had invited him, so he felt compelled to go.

  Sasha fidgeted the entire drive into the city. She shifted in her seat, picked at her clothes, and drummed her fingers on the armrest. Finally he asked her why she was so nervous.

  She looked out of the corner of her eye, but he was pleased she didn’t even try to say she wasn’t nervous. “A lot of reasons. It’s been at least a year since I’ve been to a club, I’ve never been to this one, I’m scared I’ll mess up, and I fear I’m not cut out to serve you like this.”

  “That’s an awful lot to keep bottled up inside, little one.”

  “I guess I’m still learning how to better communicate.”

  “Yes, you need to tell me what you’re feeling. For instance, if I had known that was what you were worried about, I could’ve told you that I would be by your side the entire night, so it didn’t matter how long it’s been since you’ve visited a club. I’d have told you that it’s not your place to worry if you’re cut out to serve me because I think you’re doing an exceptional job. And lastly, I’d tell you that if you messed up, we’d deal with it and move on.”

  She took a deep breath. “It sounds so trivial when you say it like that.”

  He reached down and took her hand. “Don’t trivialize your feelings, Sasha. I didn’t say those things to make you feel badly. I just wanted you to know that if you shared them with me, I could have helped earlier.”

  “I’ll try to do better,” she whispered.

  He squeezed her hand, and they chatted easily the rest of the way.

  They pulled up to the unassuming brick building and parked.

  “You said only Abby and Nathaniel will be here from the Partners group?”

  “That’s my understanding. Yes. Apparently, Nathaniel is considering opening a similar club for the Partners group. That’s why they’re here.”

  They made it inside and he watched her eyes dart around, trying to take everything in. He hadn’t seen the club before, but it looked phenomenal. There were separate areas for lounging, eating, and playing, and a polished marble bar ran the length of one wall. The whole place had a crisp and contemporary feel. He took Sasha’s hand and led her in the direction of the lounge area.

  Maybe they would explore the play area next. There were several new pieces of equipment up. He had his toy bag in the car, and he could always go back out to get it. Sasha wore black lingerie under the short skirt and tight shirt she had on. He would really like to see how she handled playing in public.

  He looked over the benches and crosses and whipping posts, trying to decide which one he’d pick to tie Sasha to. Definitely not the whipping post. But a cross would be fun. Tie her up and bring her right to the edge and then not let her orgasm. Keep her like that until they got back home? Playing in public sounded better and better with each passing second.

  “Sir,” she said as they walked past a wall with closed doors. “Can we look at these pictures?”

  He hadn’t noticed the pictures before, but at her mention, he looked over them. They were black and white and mostly showed a woman in bondage. Several shots showed her profile, though most of them were of her back. He narrowed his eyes. You couldn’t see the submissive’s face, but she looked familiar.

  “They’re so engrossing, don’t you think?” she asked.

  “Yes, they have a very sensual and ethereal quality to them.”

  They looked them over for a few more minutes, and then Cole indicated they should move on.

  The sitting area was well designed with couches and love seats arranged in a way that allowed multiple groups to have conversational areas. At the moment, most guests were doing just that. But the night was early. They’d start drifting to the play areas as the evening wore on.

  Cole was also impressed with the number of men walking around with Monitor T-shirts. He’d heard Abby had almost been assaulted in this club before DeVaan bought it. Hopefully nothing similar would happen again.

  Nathaniel stood when they approached, but Abby was kneeling on the floor and didn’t move. Or at least she didn’t move until Nathaniel brushed her shoulder and whispered, “Feel free to talk to our friends. I know you wanted to speak to Sasha. If Master Johnson is okay with that?”

  Cole nodded. “Yes, of course. Sasha, if you would like to sit with Abby at that free love seat nearby, go ahead. Nathaniel and I will be here.”

  Abby stood to her feet with a smile and motioned Sasha to follow her. They’d barely sat down before they were talking with their heads together.

  “She’s talked about nothing but Sasha all day. She’s been anxious to hear how she’s doing.” Nathaniel gave him a pointed look. “I would have thought you would have checked in with me by now. That was part of the agreement.”

  “I knew you’d be here tonight, but I’m sorry to have caused Abby stress.”

  The two women were completely wrapped up in their conversation.

  “Since we’re both here now, let’s have a seat so you can tell me how it’s going.” They wandered over to an open couch nearby.

  “It’s going really well. She has a teachable spirit, rarely repeats a mistake, and she’s getting her spunk back.”

  Nathaniel watched the two women. “She does look really good. Not as thin and she has a peace about her.” He turned his inquisitive stare to Cole. “How are you doing?”

  “Me? I’m great.”

  “Will Ms. Blake be extending
her time at your house?”

  It was as if the air was suddenly sucked out of the room. “What? No. I’m not. We’re not. It’s. Aw, bloody hell. No.”

  Nathaniel crossed his arms and leaned back with a smug grin on his face. “Like that, is it?”

  “I’m too much for her.”

  “Yet we just agreed she’s looking and doing well.”

  Cole shook his head. “It’s too soon for both of us. Besides, that wasn’t the plan.”

  “Funny, I’m learning in my old age that the best plan isn’t necessarily the one you first decided on.”

  It wasn’t that Cole hadn’t thought about asking Sasha for more, he just feared doing so wouldn’t be in the best interest of either of them. The last thing he needed after the ending of an eight-year relationship was to jump into another. Sure it had been over nine months, but didn’t he need to be by himself for a while? To be something other than Kate’s Master?

  And Sasha? Who knew how long it’d be before she was ready for something serious. To ask that of her at this point in her journey would be selfish. She needed to experience other Doms, see that there were other men out there she could trust.

  But the very thought of her with another man made him want to slam his fist into something.

  He was saved from admitting as much by the arrival of a tall blond woman. She looked mildly shocked at seeing Nathaniel, but then her expression changed and she looked around the room. A large smile covered her face when she saw Abby.

  Nathaniel had noticed the newcomer, too, and coughed loudly. At the sound, Abby’s head shot up.

  “Meagan?” she asked.

  “Abby,” the blonde said, moving to stand near the women. “I wasn’t expecting to see you here.”

  As Abby and Sasha moved to make room for her to sit with them, Cole turned back to Nathaniel.

  “Who is that?”

  “That, my friend, is a time bomb waiting to go off.” He waved at a man walking toward them. “And here comes the match.”

  • • •

  “Trouble, two o’clock,” Abby said to the blond woman she’d just introduced to Sasha as her boss.

  Sasha looked in that direction and saw a man making a beeline for their love seat. He wasn’t familiar to her. He was nearly as tall as Nathaniel and had wavy brown hair in desperate need of a cut.

  “Damn.” Meagan just saw him, too. “I’d hoped to have a few minutes peace.”

  “Normally, I’d help you, but I can’t talk to Doms in a club without Nathaniel’s approval and he just shook his head.”

  Sasha glanced at Cole. “Same here,” she said at his mouthed “no.”

  “No problem,” Meagan said. “I can handle this.”

  “Who is it?” Sasha asked Abby in a whisper.

  “Luke DeVaan. The new club owner. He has a history with Meagan. I just don’t know what.”

  “Meagan, sweetheart.” Luke was all smiles standing before the tall blonde. “I thought you made it very clear you weren’t coming to opening night. Thought you said you were busy?”

  “Shut it, Luke.”

  “I see by your bracelet that you’re here as a submissive tonight. Might want to rethink the way you’re addressing me.”

  “My humblest apologies, oh, Lord and Master.”

  “There you go. Can you say it again without the sarcasm?”

  “Probably not.”

  “That’s okay. I’ll be patient.” He looked toward Nathaniel and Cole, then at Abby and Sasha. “Here with friends?”

  “Not that it’s any of your business, but I’m meeting someone. A man. A Dom.”

  “And he’s not here yet? Unworthy of you, sweetheart. Let me introduce you to real Doms.”

  “Master V is a real Dom.”

  It wasn’t Sasha’s imagination that Abby stiffened at Meagan’s words.

  “Master V?” Luke tilted his head. “Why does that name sound familiar? Oh yes, he did try to get in tonight. He was asked to leave. He’s not welcome here.”

  Meagan shot Luke a glance that would have had a lesser man on his knees. Keeping her eyes on him, she reached into her purse and took out her cell phone. She frowned at the display.

  Luke didn’t seem interested in what she found or didn’t find on her phone. He simply inclined his head. “If you change your mind, I’ll be around.”

  “When pigs fly.”

  Luke’s expression changed in an instant. “That’s the second time, Meagan. I’ve worn out quite a few backsides for less. Next time, your ass is mine.”

  Meagan wisely didn’t say anything, but sank into the love seat between Sasha and Abby. Luke nodded to Nathaniel and Cole and then turned back to the crowd and walked away.

  “Seriously, Meagan,” Abby said. “What’s with you two?”

  “Long, boring history no one cares about anymore.”

  “From the looks of the scene I just witnessed, there are at least two people who still care,” Abby said.

  Meagan waved her hand. “Nah, I don’t. Really.” She turned to Sasha. “Tell me all about that fine-looking man sitting with Nathaniel. Is he yours?”

  Sasha bit back the I wish and simply said, “I’m his trainee. Right now we’re doing some twenty-four/seven.”

  “I’ve never been interested in full-time service, but for him? I could probably be persuaded.”

  Meagan was probably more like the women Cole normally played with. With just one look, Sasha picked up on her strength. She practically oozed it. Meagan probably never had a panic attack because someone called her the wrong name.

  But something else struck Sasha about Meagan’s words. She, too, had never been interested in twenty-four/seven service before Cole. In fact, she still couldn’t imagine doing it with anyone else. Did that mean she was changing herself for him?

  How could she move forward if she didn’t know with 100 percent accuracy who she was and what she wanted? She needed to take off the Cole blinders. The truth was that after next week, she’d be going back to her apartment and picking up her life where it left off. She needed to remind herself this time with Cole was only temporary.

  “That’s an awfully serious expression, slave,” Cole said.

  Sasha jumped. She hadn’t even noticed him moving. “Sorry, Sir. I was thinking about something.”

  “I came over just in time, then. Time to stop thinking and let me take over.” He held out his hand. “We’re going to the cross over in the far right corner. I’d have you crawl, but I don’t want you to mess up those black hose.”

  She stood and discovered her knees were wobbly. They were going to play in front of people. She and Cole. She’d played in public numerous times before. She enjoyed it, but how different would it be to play with Cole?

  “I’ll be at the cross in five minutes. I want you kneeling and waiting for me.”

  She nodded and went to the empty play station he’d indicated. Because she had a collar on, no one spoke to her, though she did feel the weight of several people watching her.

  As she waited on her knees for him, she wondered if he would have her take her shirt off. Surely, he’d remember she didn’t like to be topless. Especially in front of all these people. But she knew if she dwelt on it, she could inadvertently bring on a panic attack. To head off any potential fear lurking inside her, she closed her eyes and took several cleansing breaths. She could do this. She was strong. She was whole.

  “Very nice, little one,” Cole said from behind her. “I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of seeing you wait for me like this.”

  She didn’t think she’d ever grow tired of kneeling for him.

  “Stand up and strip for me. Your back will be against the cross
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