Authors: Allyson Young
“If you pass your medical, I’ll accept you as a member.”
Lois gravely inclined her head. “Thank you, Master Patrick.”
He’d grilled her for over an hour, hardly referencing the forms she’d filled out in advance. Asked about her childhood, her parents, lack of siblings, school experiences, future plans, the lack of past relationships. She assured him she had no dependencies on drugs or alcohol, the closest thing to an addiction her newfound fascination with sexy underwear. He quizzed her on the Lifestyle and didn’t trip her up once. She knew she was in good health, having just seen a physician, but rules were rules.
“I have a proposition for you. One of our house Doms has offered to train you.”
Her head was shaking
at the same time as her mouth inquired
“I advised Master Jonathon you were very specific about exclusivity. As it happens, he is taking a leave from his job here and thus meets your expectation.”
Lois couldn’t seem to utter a sound. She stared helplessly at Patrick. He stared back and waited. She dropped her gaze to the desktop and swallowed. She somehow thought Master Trevor would have asked before Master Jonathon.
“Lois, you don’t have to accept his offer. You have other options.”
She did? She wanted to ask if Master Trevor had—no, that wasn’t right of her. She was scared and thinking Trevor would be the easier Dom. Except she liked them both. Never a love interest in her life and now she had two. Patrick seemed possessed of bottomless patience, but he needed an answer.
“I want to accept. He’s the most amazing man I’ve ever laid eyes on in my life. And not just his size and good looks. I’m talking about his presence, and how he’s so in tune…” She wound down like an old music box. Patrick actually blinked at her. She’d surprised the Dom.
“But?” He was back under control.
“I have to protect myself. If he trains me and I feel more for him than just, well, you know, more, what then? I think I need to date.” Maybe Master Trevor would date. She somehow knew for sure Master Jonathon wouldn’t. Conflicted.
“We’ll date, Lois, if that’s what you need.”
Her Saracen’s voice poured over her like so much smooth dark chocolate. Lois didn’t need to see him to know who spoke. She melted, seduced by his tone and understanding. Patrick rolled his eyes and threw up his hands.
“You were supposed to wait outside, Jon. But I guess that’s settled then. I’ll have her medical results in a few days. She’ll see our usual physician.”
Lois guessed her nonverbal communication, the part where she turned all gooey and compliant, was the answer Patrick waited for. And he’d quit talking to her anyhow, just about her. Putting her in her place, sub in training. Dating? She swiveled in her chair, and Master Jonathon gravely offered his hand. She placed her own on his palm, and his fingers closed over it, swallowing it. Their connection sparked and he felt it, too, his nostrils flaring, eyes narrowing. He urged her to her feet and through the open doorway, releasing her then placing his hand in the small of her back. It warmed like a brand. Lois went where he directed, although her limbs were unaccountably heavy and her head full of cotton wool. Pure chemistry. The words popped into her head. Attraction fuelled by pheromones and dopamine, serotonin, a touch of adrenaline, estrogen. And a ton of testosterone, not hers. She felt drunk on it, she who rarely imbibed and then only a glass or two of wine.
Her new top was scant protection against the heat of his massive hand, and her designer jeans rubbed pleasantly and suggestively against the silken crotch of her new panties. Her breasts ached within the confines of her bra. She hesitated when they reached a junction in the hallway, and Master Jonathon’s bulk impacted her, his hand replaced with something harder and no less supportive. It grew in proportion, and she leaned back.
“You’re telling me something, Lois. No need for words when you show me.”
Startled, she stepped forward. He chuckled behind her, and his hand again settled on her back to guide her along.
“Where are we going?”
“To my quarters.”
“Oh.” That was cutting to the chase. She quivered a little with anticipation and lust.
“Relax, little one. I need to get my jacket and car keys. We’ll go have coffee somewhere, and then I’ll take you home.”
Lois bit her bottom lip. Well, she wanted to date. If she really wanted to get laid, or at least find out what the whole thing was about in person, she should have asked for that. And now she couldn’t ask because she’d been so
. Darn it. Master Jonathon knew exactly what was going on with her, and now she’d have to go along with the program. Unless she could change his mind. Nope, she wouldn’t be a slave to this insane attraction. She wanted to respect herself. If only she wasn’t so damn aroused.
He asked her to wait outside his door for a moment while he retrieved his things. She wanted to see his place and pouted for an instant before realizing she was copying Nathan. The absurdity of that made her smile, but not before Master Jonathon fixed his gaze on her mouth. His hand flexed, and she held her breath, but he simply opened the door and vanished inside. He returned quickly, holding a black leather jacket, jingling his keys in the other hand before tucking them into his pocket. He guided her back through the building to the entrance. Maurice mustn’t work during the day because there was no sign of the man. She remarked on it and wasn’t prepared for Master Jonathon’s response.
He whirled her around to face him with effortless strength and locked eyes with her. “Maurice plays for keeps, Lois. No compromises. Just pure submission. You think long and hard before messing with that.”
Tears leapt unbidden to her eyes at his censure. Lois was adept at hiding her pain and emotional upset, well practiced over the years under her mother’s tutelage, harnessed by the fact no one cared enough to respond in any event. She was both surprised and humiliated to find herself wanting to cry. It was as if she’d been stripped of all emotional defenses. She wanted to play for keeps. He immediately cupped her face in his enormous hands, his face softening, warmth and gentleness now standing in his eyes.
“Sweetheart, I’m sorry. That was my need to protect you talking. I won’t raise it again.”
No one had ever felt the need to protect her. The tears slipped over her bottom lids and tracked down her cheeks. He drew them away with his thumbs and pressed a kiss on her hair, leaning down to do so, his bulk enveloping her. She cuddled into him, and he dropped his hands, his arms then wrapping around her to hold her close. His heart thudded beside her temple, and Lois sighed.
“It’s nice to be protected.”
He stiffened at her comment but relaxed almost instantly. She wondered about it but said nothing. He released her and eased her away from him. She felt chilled and shivered. He tucked her into his side and hurried her to the parking lot where he unlocked a big SUV and handed her in. Actually, he lifted her up. She wondered how they would fit together if they did come together but didn’t really concern herself. Master Jonathon hid a gentle soul, if a stubborn one. If roused, no doubt he’d be formidable, but Lois never planned to find out. She resolutely pushed Master Trevor from her mind, the pinch of her action causing her to wince physically. She hurriedly blanked her face before Master Jonathon saw it and asked her what was wrong. Be thankful for what one had.
* * * *
Fuck. He was dating. Jonathon Aloysius Spence was dating. His mother would be proud. He never dated. He trained subs and fucked them from time to time. Okay, a lot. And Lois wanted him bad. That little pout made him want to paddle her, face fuck her, and kiss her all at the same time. She walked like a woman aware of herself, with grace and sensuality. Less the complete submissive from a few nights ago, the one in the hall, and more like the woman who devoured him with her eyes. A contradiction and he liked it. He’d scared her about Maurice, but she’d heard him out and accepted it. She hadn’t bratted or faked him. He cautiously considered if there might be more to this than chemistry, attraction, and the pull of a Dom to a submissive. If he was honest with himself, he thought he wanted a sub who’d cause him no trouble, one who didn’t play games and who would simply accept him. No topping from the bottom, although he knew there were depths to Lois he’d plumb only if she allowed it and boundaries he’d never be able to push. He liked that, too. He wanted some practicality because he wasn’t infallible and knew little about relationships outside of D/s and the military. He found himself anticipating, a new experience for him. Interesting. It scared the shit out of him at first, her little comment about being protected, pulling hard at the possessive side. Then he found he liked it.
They went to a bistro providing both tables and booths. Jon needed the room to be comfortable and wanted to encroach on Lois’s personal space, get her used to his proximity because he planned to be a hell of a lot closer, very soon. He got her settled in a booth, as private as one could get in such a busy venue, and ordered two large coffees, plain, none of that boiling, frothing and stirring nonsense. He perused the display cases and chose a crème-filled pastry drizzled with chocolate. It suited his sub.
He carried his booty back to the corner booth, ignoring speculative glances and outright blatant stares. He was used to them. Lois waited serenely and didn’t appear to notice the attention he drew. She thanked him prettily for the coffee and pastry. Watching her nibble the sweet treat, her little tongue lapping up the filling like a kitten roused his senses. He hitched his bulk a little closer, and she didn’t retreat.
“I don’t date.” He could scent her, soap and shampoo and something else. Sweet woman.
He dragged his mind away from dark sexual acts and focused. “Me neither.”
She laughed, and the musical sound soothed those senses. It was a push and pull he thought he’d never tire of. What was he thinking? He had to stand down before she insinuated herself right into his soul and he couldn’t get her out. What if this was just about domination and submission? Training? If it turned out that’s all she wanted? What if it wasn’t and she had expectations he couldn’t fulfill? Fuck.
“Um, do I call you Master or…?”
“Not here, little one. Jon or Jonathon.”
He was startled. People called him Jon, or Spence, the Rock, hard-ass maybe, but rarely Jonathon. Not even his parents or his siblings. He nodded his pleasure, and her face lit up. So did his day. Shit, she was getting to him. She’d gotten to him and it was time he got with the program and quit being a pussy.
“So, Lois, tell me about yourself.” That sounded like dating, maybe.
He heard her share some basic information and recognized how she withheld. Shame? Guilt? He didn’t know, but he’d find out. “You won’t hide from me, Lois.”
And there it was, the response, the connection. A pale-pink flush crept up over her throat and painted her cheeks. If she was at the club he’d know where that blush originated. The swell of her breasts? From her areolas? Her eyes darkened to mocha, dilating with arousal. She needed to share, to be peeled back, layer after layer. This he understood and craved and was what he needed as well. This he could give her, and if the rest of it was meant to be, whatever the rest of it was, it could come. He was man enough, in almost every regard.
He drank his coffee as she pulled herself back together, once again the demure yet sensuous woman he wanted more than he’d wanted anyone. Awakening Lois was going to be his supreme pleasure. In the meantime, they’d date until she asked for what she needed.
“I’ll take you home now, Lois.”
“Okay. Would you like to stay for dinner? Kennedy and Graham wouldn’t mind.”
He hesitated, and her smile dimmed. In tune and sensitive. He really didn’t want to go back to the club and eat dinner there, alone. Or with Maurice. And dating could include dinner at her home. “I’d like that, Lois.”
She didn’t enthuse or say much of anything, but she was pleased, and he felt it. He’d pleased her, and they hadn’t even fucked.
* * * *
Jon wasn’t used to socializing in suburbia. Graham greeted them at the door and aside from that infernal raised brow, didn’t refer to their brief conversation that night in the club. He led the way to a man cave and handed Jon a beer. No glass. The game was on, and they watched it and made desultory small talk. Jon had a hard time keeping his mind on the other man. He wondered where Lois was and what she was doing. He’d prefer it if she was sitting with him, at his feet actually. There was lots to think about because Lois probably wouldn’t want to live in the club. At least not forever. And he was getting ahead of himself again.
“Daddy!” A little boy threw himself at Graham and Jon marked the similarities. The child bounced on his father’s lap and stared at Jon.
“That’s Mr. Spence, Nathan. He’s Lois’s friend.”
Jon could imagine Nathan in twenty years. The boy narrowed his silvery eyes and folded his little arms on a huff. “Wowis. Mine.”
Holy shit. Was there a man alive who wasn’t in competition with him? Jon hid a smile and nodded gravely at Nathan. After a suspicious glare it was all smiles and enthusiasm again.
“Is dinner ready?”
At Nathan’s nod, Graham set him on his feet and patted his backside. Nathan led the way to a large formal dining room. Lois was there, fixing something on the table, and Nathan wrapped himself around her legs in a proprietary way. She immediately stopped what she was doing and knelt to hug the child to her, murmuring something in his ear. He smiled sunnily and let her lift him onto a booster seat. Kennedy came in with a platter, and Graham quickly relieved her of it. It might feel strange, but Jon didn’t hate the idea of this life, for sure. It reminded him of his own family, something he thought he didn’t miss. Except it couldn’t be exactly like this, and his gut wrenched in a surprising way. He shut it down, taking his place beside Lois, and the meal progressed.