Authors: Chloe Cox
DISCIPLINED BY THE DOM
A Club Volare Novel
By Chloe Cox
Copyright 2013 Chloe Cox
All rights reserved.
Just a Quick Note…
Disciplined by the Dom
took me completely by surprise. Actually, to be specific, Jake took me completely by surprise. (Not…that way. What? Your mind totally went there.) I realized in the middle of the first draft that he had become an amalgamation of a few people I’ve known and admired for their quiet tenacity. The one thing that kept coming back to me was that this was a guy who tried his hardest to be his best, even when no one was watching, and even when he didn’t think anyone should believe in him. It made me love him, a little bit. ;)
So this book became about the leaps of faith that make up a relationship—the bravery involved, the risks people take, the wounds they accept, and ultimately the ways they choose to love each other. This one really got to me. I hope it gets to you, too. :)
Oh, and since I apparently can’t stop myself from doing this (!), this one also has at least one thing that you should
try at home without some training and research first. (Chapters 20-21.) If you’re interested, there are plenty of websites out there, so definitely do your homework first. (Jake and Catie are on the riskier end of the spectrum here, though they do take precautions.)
Wishing you lots of love and happiness,
Catie Roberts looked nervously over her shoulder, lit a match, and set fire to the folder containing every last shred of her personal information. Then she thought about all the things that had led her to this awful moment.
Catie was in the private office of one Lola Theroux, Mistress of the secretive society, Club Volare, and someone who’d been really nice to her. And Catie was setting fires, fires that would burn away all the evidence that Catie was not who she claimed to be, that she was lying to everyone, that she was here not to learn about BDSM or herself, but that instead, she was here to betray them all.
It made her want to cry. Instead she reminded herself that she had to be ruthless, and watched the flames lick their way up the manila folder.
You have no one else, Catie. It’s up to you.
She gritted her teeth and thought about the day this all started—the worst day of her life. As the fire grew, she kept one eye on the door, terrified of being found out.
A minute later, that door would open, and Catie Roberts would be sure that everything was coming to an end.
A minute after that, and she’d be naked.
The worst day of her life, the day that would, somehow, through a series of unpredictable twists and turns, lead to Catie naked and kneeling before a Dom in the New York offices of Club Volare, had started with a break up.
Catie had spent all morning learning lines from Brian’s latest script so she could help him prepare for his audition, but he hadn’t come over to run a scene. He’d come over to dump her.
“No,” Catie had said.
“‘No?’” Brian looked confused. “You can’t just say no.”
Catie rolled and unrolled the untried script in her hands, trying not to let her anxiety show. Brian was just standing there, with his hair artfully tussled into a studied bedhead look, his two-day scruff carefully trimmed, giving her that
, that look that a man will give a woman that says he’s just waiting for her to see logic. It was so infuriating it made it hard to think. Of course, she couldn’t just say no to a break up. That wasn’t the point.
“It’s not fair,” she tried to explain.
Brian rubbed the back of his neck and looked at the floor. “Look, Catie, you’re a great girl—”
“Don’t say that,” she said, feeling the tears begin to well up. She’d be so upset if she cried. “That makes it sound like…”
But she couldn’t continue. All at once, the reality of the situation hit her: his shifting body language, the way he kept moving towards the door, the way he wouldn’t look her in the eye. There was no point. Maybe there’d never been a point. Why did it hurt so much, then? If they weren’t supposed to be together? If it was such a bad match? Even Catie couldn’t deny that maybe they didn’t quite fit. They spent a lot of time clarifying the things they said to each other, compromising on movies, laughing at different times. So why did she care? Why had she put so much into it? Why was her heart broken?
“It’s just that people are supposed to be there for you when you’re there for them,” she whispered.
Brian looked uncomfortable, but he didn’t look sorry. He said, “I gotta go, Catie.”
And then he was gone. Her apartment felt empty. Her roommate was on a paid junket in Vegas, modeling…something. It seemed like the perfect time to eat ice cream and feel sorry for herself. She grabbed a pint of
dulce de leche
and snuggled into the corner of the couch, remote and phone within easy reach.
Catie knew she shouldn’t call her father. She knew he probably wouldn’t talk to her about her emotional problems, that he’d probably just silently wait her out until he could bring up “business”—the management of the trust fund her grandfather had left her, which he controlled until she turned twenty-five. That’s if he even picked up. He hadn’t answered her calls in at least a week, but Catie kept trying, just like she tried now, even though she knew from experience that her father’s silence was likely to leave her feeling even worse. It was like a scab she couldn’t help picking at. Part of her dreaded her twenty-fifth birthday because she wondered if they’d have anything to talk about at all after that.
Her twenty-fifth was so close. Just a few months. That sealed it: she called her dad.
He didn’t pick up.
This was, in a way, almost better. Catie could pretend the conversation would have gone the way it did in her fantasies, with her dad breaking his usually stoic countenance to give her some gruff but wise advice, the kind of thing that would let her know he’d always been listening, even when it hadn’t seemed like it. Like the way it would go in a movie.
But then her phone rang. It wasn’t her dad; it was Mr. Everett, their family lawyer.
Catie listened intently, hearing the words, but not quite putting it all together.
“What do you mean ‘he’s gone?’” she asked.
“He’s left, Catie,” Mr. Everett said. He sounded tired. “He cleaned out everything and left. Apparently, he ran away with a married real estate agent in his office. He did it while I was on vacation.”
“But I don’t understand.”
“He cleaned out nearly everything, Catie. Including your trust.”
Again, Catie heard the words. She knew what they all meant individually. She understood, on some intellectual level. But it all felt unreal. Like everything was underwater, in slow motion. Dulled.
“But he’s ok?”
“As far as I know.”
“Did he leave a note?” she asked. Her voice sounded sedated.
“He left one for me.”
What was maybe most surprising was the total lack of surprise. Catie had always told herself that her dad’s reticence wasn’t personal, that that was just his way. That they might not get along, but they were still family. They still loved each other, could still rely on each other. Right? Of course, she’d always wondered how things might have been different if her mom had survived. Would they have been close? Would her grandmother have wanted to be part of their lives? Catie didn’t really remember her mother as a person. She just remembered the smell of lavender lotion, and the feeling that she was loved and cared for wrapping around her like a warm blanket.
There was a long pause. Catie thought she could almost hear Mr. Everett working himself up to what came next.
“We have to talk about your grandmother,” he said.
And that was how Catie found herself making the trip out to Ridge Hill again. It was different in the middle of a weekday instead of on a Sunday morning. She was used to going on Sundays. Never missed one. Wasn’t going to miss this Sunday, either. She wasn’t sure exactly what she thought she was going to accomplish—maybe talk to the nurses? Find out if it was possible for her Nana to come live with her?
Even as Catie’s brain fizzed and sparked, trying to come up an idea—
idea—part of her knew it was hopeless. Her grandmother was slowly dying out there, and it had apparently been Catie’s trust that paid for her care. Catie didn’t mind that part, except that now it was gone.
There was an old woman with tangled white hair and dirt on her face on Catie’s bus, muttering angrily to herself. Normally the sight of a mentally ill old woman with no one to take care of her would have just made Catie sad. Today, it made her crazy with fear. Nana was all the family Catie had. She was all she had left of her mom. She
end up somewhere terrible.
When she got to Ridge Hill, her Nana was parked by a window, staring out at the street with glazed-over eyes. Catie had forgotten to bring her usual See’s Candies.
Her grandmother didn’t answer. Catie pulled up a chair and just started talking. She hadn’t really meant to do that. She’d come to see her grandmother with the intention of being strong and reassuring, but as soon as she sat down, it all just came pouring out.
“Nana, it’s five thousand a month here,” she finished, searching for one of the tissue boxes that were always nearby. “I don’t know if I can pay that.”
But she did know. Catie didn’t even make five thousand dollars a month between her sparse acting gigs and picking up various waitressing shifts. She’d never wanted her friends to know that she was actually a spoiled little rich girl, and she hadn’t wanted to grow dependent on her trust fund—except now that it was gone, she realized how just the knowledge that it was there had made her life immeasurably easier. Now that it wasn’t, the anxiety descended upon her like an ominous fog. She was overwhelmed by it.
Catie was choking on it when her grandmother spoke.
“You look like your father,” Nana said, eyes focusing in a moment of lucidity. “You could charm your way into anything. People like to trust you.”
Nana tried shaking her finger, and Catie knew she was about to get another lecture on what a scoundrel her dad was—a lecture she no longer needed. Catie told her grandmother that it would all be ok, even though she’d felt bad for lying, and soon after she took the bus home, wanting to just crawl into bed and go to sleep. But her grandmother’s words wouldn’t let her. They kept bouncing around inside her head, crashing into thoughts and memories and the random things Catie knew from the weird club jobs she worked, growing bigger and bigger, until finally Catie had an idea.
It was a terrible idea. But it was her only idea. There was one thing Catie knew, the one secret of value that she had. One thing she knew about because sometimes it was her job to get rich, famous men really drunk. And one place where she knew she could sell that secret, because she’d sold them gossip before.
. Biggest gossip rag on the market. One of the only magazines that could still afford to stay in print.
She showed up unannounced, and her exchange with a man called Brazzer had been brief. He hadn’t had much time for her, chewing and smacking his bubble gum while he looked through emails. “Nothing up front,” he’d said. “Bring me some dirt good enough to print, I’ll pay you cash.”
And that was how Catie ended up in Mistress Lola’s office at Club Volare NY, pretending to be a BDSM novice under an assumed name, destroying the employment documents she’d stupidly filled out with her real social security number.
“Moron,” Catie muttered to herself. She’d thought to open the window while she burned away the evidence, but she hadn’t made sure there was something to catch the ash or burning bits of paper. She should have emptied the trashcan. That would have been smart. But as it was, now she had about ten seconds to find somewhere to put the flaming folder.
Getting caught setting fire to things would
help with her already precarious position at the club. She’d been too petrified, so far, to choose a Dom as a trainer, and had instead fallen into the familiar patterns of stuff she knew: waitressing, hostessing, generally being charming. Never venturing into any of the novice classes, never learning the kinds of stuff she needed to learn. Lola had finally suggested—insisted, really—that Catie make her role at the club official, with official employment records and everything. Something about the way Lola had looked at her made Catie think that the red-haired Mistress was slightly suspicious, like there was an unstated concern about what Catie was doing, exactly, if she wasn’t going to choose a trainer and commit to Volare instruction. Which had made Catie feel like crap; she
Lola. Lola was a good person.