Master of My Heart - Pre-Published First Look
The office I sat in was elegant and pristine. Decorated in creams and gold, accented with dark chocolate wood and leather furniture. I relaxed comfortably in a plush deep brown leather chair waiting for Anya, the occupant of this office to return.
I could hear voices lingering faintly outside her office door; they were muffled, but I easily recognized that one of the voices belonged to Anya. I adjusted my blazer and smoothed my white blouse for the hundredth time since I'd been here and steadied myself as best as I could, waiting patiently for her to enter the room.
"- yes, tell him as soon as I finish up in here I’ll give him a call." I’d heard her say before the door swung open revealing a leggy drop-dead gorgeous strawberry blond.
"Hold all my calls please." She told her assistant as she stepped into the office brandishing a thick manila folder. She closed the door behind her and sauntered over to her antique mahogany desk.
"Well Miss Anderson,” She addressed me as she sunk down in her chair. “All the necessary paperwork has checked out and your tests have come back negative.” I nodded with a smile and listened intently.
“I see here in your application, you’ve been a submissive before but have only been collared once?”
“Yes,” I paused. “Just the once,” I answered, knowing full well the ten million dollar question was coming.
She stared at me for a moment, I was sure it was because she was waiting for me to elaborate. She didn’t know that I wouldn’t.
“Care to elaborate?” She asked with a smile.
“I’ve participated in a few scenes, but I was only exclusive with two men. One of which, collared me.”
“How did the relationship end?”
“As I told you on the phone, I don’t wish to disclose that information. The non-disclosure prevents me from doing so and I consider myself a person of integrity.” I said as politely as possible.
“Of course, that’s your business. I just need to be sure that you understand; I need full disclosure-“
“I have no current arrangement or relationship and I’m sure that is all that’s relative at this point.” I interrupted.
“That’s all I need to be sure of.” Anya smiled warmly. “You understand you’ll need to sign a statement to that effect?“
“Yes, I understand and I have no issues doing so.”
“Wonderful, now can I assume that the collared relationship was your last? “
I grimaced at her constant prodding and decided that the only way to move on to the more important discussion was to pacify her with as short an answer I could muster.
“He wasn’t actually since that relationship ended I’ve indulged… you could say, in scenes with other Dom’s and couples that I’ve trusted after that arrangement came to an end. ”
She looked perplexed at me for a moment; I knew this would only open up another round of questions. I decided to let her know here and now that wasn’t an option.
“Before you ask, I did have a collared relationship with that Dominant. We, however, did not draw a contract between us. I was new to the lifestyle, young and naive. You could say, I’ve since learned from my mistakes the hard way. You know of my recent experience with Katrina and Grant based on their recommendation to you for my candidacy for membership.” Kate and Grant had been a couple I had met through a lifestyle app. I had only done a few scenes with them, but they were a lot of fun both in and outside of the bedroom. When they told me about the network Kate’s sister Anya had created from her matchmaking company, I couldn’t turn down filling out the application and taking their recommendation to join.
She opened her mouth several times before closing it and keeping it that way.
“Very well,” She smiled knowing I wasn’t going to budge. “Everything looks wonderful and although you lack certain….experiences, I think you’ll be an excellent addition to our community. You’re spunky and strong-willed, you’ll fit in our little club just splendidly.”
“Now I know you marked down that you were looking for just casual relationships, I just want to be sure you understand that some of our members have been known to change their preferences once they match with someone. That’s absolutely between the members, however, we ask that once you decide to become more exclusive to one and other, you change your status. It helps us to weed out potential matches that are otherwise unavailable.”
“That makes sense.” I agreed.
“You have full control over the information you share in your profile and you can select how and when you communicate. The design of the platform is very much like any other dating application, just more tailored to the needs of someone more engaged in our particular flavors in relationships.”
“That’s great, it sounds so simple, I’m looking forward to exploring those details.”
Anya pressed a few buttons on her phone and her assistant’s voice came over the small speakerphone.
“Bring me an invitation to The Masque please.” She said.
“Masque?” I asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Yes, we have an annual ‘Munch’ each summer. We like to mix them up, they are usually four or five throughout the year to keep our community fresh and active. The Masque is always right around now. You aren’t required to attend, obviously. However, I would like to think you would take advantage of our club, come out and socialize, perhaps meet a few clients of mine and members of the community?”
I didn’t see the harm in it after all this is why I had come to Anya. I was looking for a safe way to play so to speak. I’d missed being in the community and I knew by coming here, I had the potential of meeting someone I knew would be trustworthy.
This was a lifestyle I had chosen and couldn’t escape my craving for. I also knew spending another six months in physical therapy wasn’t an option either. One wrong move and my sciatica would be all done. I had just regained full use of my leg with a slight limp and I hid it well with all my practice. Whoever I moved forward with would have to be someone I could trust implicitly. I needed an experienced and knowing Dominant and I knew I couldn’t settle for any less. This network Anya had put together, well, let us just say I knew it was my last resort if I wanted to continue on in this lifestyle, the right way that is. I couldn’t afford another careless mistake like the last.
A petite redhead walked into Anya’s office and handed her a smoke colored envelope. Before she turned and left, closing the door behind her I noticed her glance fall on me for a pause before she righted herself and scampered off. I could imagine what she thought of me, but I could also care less.
Anya handed me the envelope, I nodded my thanks and took it from her hands.
“You’ll need that for admittance.” She smiled. “This Wednesday, seven sharp. The details are inside.”
“I’m looking forward to it.” I smiled as I stood and smoothed my blazer again. “If that’s all, I guess I’ll see you there.”
Anya stood to shake my hand. “It was nice to meet you, Grace. I have a few clients I know will be interested.” She smiled warmly and then something seemed to dawn on her. “Oh! I almost forgot. Before you leave, if you wouldn’t mind filling out a Play List?” She quickly reached behind her and unplugged a small tablet and began tapping the screen. “I like to have everyone complete here first that way if you have any questions I’m here to answer them.” When she was finished tapping she handed the tablet and a stylus to me from across the desk.
“Sure.” I looked over the screen noticing it was my profile photo in the top corner. In the body of the screen was a series of questions with selection marked zero through five and boxes for comments.
“How do you like these marked?” I questioned, knowing everyone had their own little quirks about their paperwork.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” She said as she stood and came around the desk. “Soft limits you'd just use the scaling system zero through five. Zero being no desire, and five being as much as possible. Simply put an X for your hard limits. The screen you can mark anywhere, in the notes section just anything you think might be important information to disclose up front. For example, if Blade Play is an example of a hard no for you, maybe disclose why you feel that way or what about the play you might be willing to encounter or explore within certain reason.”
I nodded; I was familiar enough with the system I just wanted to be sure I understood how they liked to see it down. I started scanning through the list placing numbers accordingly. On things such as impact play, bondage, and wax play. Among others I hadn’t tried yet but was curious enough about them to keep an open mind, I chose my lowest number on the scale and simply put ‘no experience’ in the comments section.
The X’s were easier to place; I knew exactly what was getting X’s. I knew what my hard limits were, some I’d learned the hard way.
I never wanted to go through those again.
I quickly finished, leaving some activities unmarked on the scaling system, but initializing next to them with a notation of “zero - unsure” just in case anyone got any ideas. Anya and this place seemed safe, but as I learned, looks could be deceiving. Besides, I knew if I found someone and they came up in the relationship, we could address them at the time and negotiate with each other to find a comfortable level of play for the both of us. It was already making me feel more comfortable, having handed the tablet back to Anya I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
She glanced at it, skimming through quickly. A small smile spread across her face as she went over the screen. When she was finished reading through my responses her eyes met mine and she smiled warmly.
“Excellent.” She said. “I think you’ll fit in quite well in our community. I'll have this uploaded and added to your file, you'll be able to access and make changes digitally or add notes through the club portal if you need. This is a great start for your file and will make things much easier. If you have any questions about changing any responses just let me know.”
Smiling at her, I loved that they had a network and a place I could go and look over documents and other important information. It was nice to know that everything was safeguarded and accessible. “Thank you, Anya, it was nice to finally meet you after everything Kate has told me about you,” I said, gathering up my purse and the invitation. Anya led me to her door and out into the reception area where her assistant sat.
“We’ll see you Wednesday evening Grace. If you need anything please don’t hesitate to give me a call. I’m so looking forward to getting to know you better and welcoming you as part of our community.”
“I will, and thank you.” I smiled and turned toward the elevator where Anya’s assistant was holding the door for me. Entering, I pressed the ground level button.
“Jackie, get Mr. Barnes on the phone please.” I could hear Anya ask just as the doors began to close.
While I waited to descend from the forty-second floor, I broke the seal of the ash envelope and pulled out a thin rectangular invitation.
The invitation itself was beautiful, ebony in color with a bronze graceful scroll. A thin cardboard sleeve held it together and when I slipped it off the paper fell open to reveal the intricate details of tomorrow night's black-tie event.
I stared down at the invitation for a few moments, wondering where in the hell I was going to find a suitable mask for a masquerade before tomorrow evening. As much as I disliked the idea, I was in need of a shopping trip.
Even though I didn’t necessarily want to admit it to myself, I couldn't help but feel the excitement and anticipation of meeting someone new. I just hoped I could find trust in a new Dominant. I couldn’t help but crave this lifestyle, it was who I was. I wouldn’t let previous encounters deter me from my goal and I couldn't be ruled by fear any longer. It was time to move on from the past and live for today.
The dinging of the elevator brought me out of my reverie, and when the door slid open, I strode confidently out and through the lobby. As I exited the building and the cool damp Seattle air hit me bring clarity to my previously foggy mind.
I was on a mission tonight: I needed to find a killer dress.