Authors: Sherri Hayes
Oh no. No. No. No. No. No. I’d tried so hard to be good and something stupid like me refusing to go shopping with one of his friends was going to make him mad.
I hadn’t realized I was shaking until I felt Lily’s hand on my shoulder. When I looked up, she was holding her phone out to me. “He wants to talk to you,” she said, encouraging me.
Taking the phone, I put it to my ear. And then I heard my new Master’s voice. “Brianna, Lily is there to take you shopping for some new clothes. She’ll have you back before I get home.” I breathed a sigh of relief. He didn’t sound upset. “Do you understand?”
“Yes, Master,” I said dutifully.
Then Lily ripped the phone out of my hands and was guiding me once again toward the door. “Stephan?”
I kept my head down as we walked out the door, trying to not make it obvious I was listening to her conversation. Ian always said slaves should be invisible unless called upon to serve.
What I heard next brought my head up. “I’m sorry I raised my voice to you earlier. You did the right thing.” What was she talking about? “You can, and you will. I have faith,” I heard her say before she smiled and then ended the call, placing the phone once again in her purse.
“Come,” she said, hauling me into the elevator. “We,”—she paused for effect—“are going to shop.”
And shop we did. We visited seven shops full of women who crowded us with offers to help. I clung to Lily, trying to hide. Thankfully she didn’t force me to do anything other than try on some clothes in the first store. After that, she pretty much let me be. I wasn’t used to being around people like this anymore.
Two hours later we walked into a small café after Lily declared she needed to refuel.
I liked her. She was fun. Before everything happened, before my life changed, we could have maybe been friends.
It still wasn’t clear to me who she was exactly. Did she work for my new Master? Was she aware of what I was?
I didn’t think so. She was too nice to me and even asked me what I wanted for lunch. Trying to remember what I liked, it took me a minute to choose. In the end, I asked for a simple turkey sandwich. Lily ordered, and we took our seats.
Before taking her first bite, she looked at me. “So, Brianna, tell me about yourself.”
I took my time, remembering what Master had said about eating slowly. “Um. There’s . . . there’s nothing to tell.”
“Sure there is,” she said, taking a bite of her own sandwich. “Where did you grow up?”
“I’ve never been there. I’ve lived in Minnesota all my life.” She paused, seeming to think about something for a minute. “Do your parents still live there?”
“No.” I almost choked.
“Are you all right?” She appeared genuinely concerned.
“Yes,” I said, ducking my head. “I’m fine.”
“Good,” she said. I thought I saw something flicker across her eyes, but I could have been wrong. “Well, we still have a few more places to go, and I promised Stephan I’d have you back before five.”
I wanted to ask how she knew my Master but I couldn’t. Instead, I finished my lunch and followed her to the next store, both of us already carrying the bags from our earlier shopping.
By the time Lily declared we were finished, I was completely overwhelmed. It’d been a year since I’d bought anything, but even with my limited and dated knowledge, we had to have spent several thousand dollars today. For me. Real clothes. Even panties and bras.
I didn’t understand. With Ian, I’d been given seven skirts and seven tube tops, one for each day of the week. That was it. We weren’t allowed undergarments. He didn’t like them.
The confusion I’d felt earlier began to creep up again as Lily started putting things away in my bedroom. She seemed confident in what she was doing and didn’t seem to fear my Master. Lily didn’t belong to him, though, so why should she fear him?
After putting away all our purchases, Lily stayed with me, and we watched television until five o’clock when she said she had to get home. Her easygoing nature surprised me, as did the fact I realized I felt comfortable. For the first time in a long while, I felt something other than fear.
As soon as the door closed, however, the apprehension returned. He would be home soon.
What would he expect?
I racked my brain trying to anticipate what he would want, but I didn’t know him that well. Then it hit me. He’d sent me shopping with Lily so he’d most likely want me to be wearing something we’d bought, right?
With that thought, I went into the room he said was mine. Mine. It had been so long since I’d had anything that was mine.
Extracting an outfit along with underwear, I changed into new clothes. Lily had gotten me both pants and skirts. Although I preferred pants, I didn’t want to push things, so I selected a skirt. It was still short but longer than what I was used to wearing. When I looked in the mirror, I realized I looked normal.
But I wasn’t normal.
And then I heard the lock in the door turn for the second time today. This time I knew who it was. My Master was home.
Lily called as I was on my way home. She let me know she’d left Brianna and told me what she’d learned today. I was a little concerned with the response Brianna gave Lily regarding her family. If I knew she would be safe, I would try to get her home.
That didn’t appear to be the case, though, and my determination to help her doubled.
Opening the door to my condo, I saw a flash of color to my right. I followed the movement to see Brianna on the floor just outside her bedroom.
Strolling over to where she knelt, I reached for her hand. After only a slight hesitation, she took it with the same robotic motion as always. “Hello, Brianna.”
She didn’t answer. She never answered except with
. We would get past this. And if I had anything to say about it, it would be tonight.
I led her over to the dining room table and indicated she should sit. She complied without hesitation.
Setting my briefcase down on the table, I opened it and extracted three separate pieces of paper, handing them to her along with a pen. “I need you to fill these out. Be as honest as you can.” She nodded without looking at me.
The forms were nothing special. They were the standard new patient forms one had to fill out when visiting a new doctor, asking for name, age, family medical history, etc. To be honest, I was just as curious about some of that information myself.
Brianna looked young. Very young, the more I thought about it. If I had to guess, I’d say she was no more than nineteen or twenty. I’d had a brief fear as I’d contemplated this on the way home that I’d “purchased” a minor, but I pushed it aside. If that was what she was, then I’d turn her over to social services and say I’d found her wandering the streets. It wouldn’t be out of the question, given my position at the foundation. They’d never know unless Brianna told them, and in her current condition, I didn’t find that likely.
I left her to fill out the forms Richard had e-mailed me today while I went to make us something to eat.
Tonight’s dinner was spaghetti again. We didn’t really have time for anything fancy since we had to be at Richard’s office by seven, and I wasn’t willing to challenge her palate when we had to go out.
When I brought the plates over to the table, she was on the last page. Brianna glanced at the plate but didn’t stop writing until I took the papers and pen out of her hand. “Eat first. You can finish filling these out after you’re done.”
As usual, she did what I told her. While I ate, I couldn’t help but look over the pages she’d already completed. She was eighteen. And according to what was on this paper and what I knew of her situation, she’d been with Ian since just before her birthday. Did Ian really buy a seventeen-year-old girl?
I continued to read, keeping my face impassive. She didn’t need to see my discomfort over her answers.
. Birth control:
Unknown? So she was on birth control but didn’t know what kind. I was going to pass over it but then thought it might be the perfect opportunity to get more than her regular answer out of her. “You’re on birth control?”
“But you don’t know what type?”
“How do you not know?”
I saw her cringe. She thought I was upset with her even though I had not raised my voice in any way. “I . . . I wasn’t told. I’m sorry, Master.”
Ian. His treachery seemed to have no bounds. I could just see him taking her to a doctor she’d never met before, probably some sick friend of his, and not telling her what was being done. Maybe I could help her figure it out, though.
I tried to make my voice as gentle as I could. “Can you tell me about it? Maybe we can narrow it down.” She nodded but otherwise didn’t answer. “Was it an injection?”
She shook her head.
“Did you take pills? Wear a patch?”
A negative again.
That left only one option because I knew condoms weren’t any Dom’s contraception of choice. “Did he put something inside you?”
She nodded this time.
So that left the most likely answer to be an IUD. I made a note of that on her paperwork.
I didn’t ask any more questions. She was going to be nervous enough when I took her to see Richard.
Once we were both finished eating, I took our plates to the sink and instructed her to complete the paperwork. By the time I was finished loading the dishwasher, she was done.
Walking over, I knelt beside her, bringing myself to her eye level. “Brianna, we are going to go see a friend tonight.” She stiffened. I could feel the fear radiating from her body. “He won’t hurt you, I promise.”
I knew she didn’t know me, and my promise meant little to her now, but hopefully by keeping true to my word, we would have a building block of trust. We had to start somewhere.
Brianna didn’t relax the entire ride there. She sat with her hands folded in her lap, eyes down. It was okay; I had to keep reminding myself. One step at a time.
When I pulled up at his office, I saw Richard had left a light on for us. He’d agreed to see Brianna, but that didn’t mean all was right between us. It hadn’t been for the last six months. I took a deep breath and prepared myself.
After parking the car, I walked around and retrieved her from the vehicle. She followed behind me dutifully and remained by my side as I walked through the lobby and back to the offices to find my uncle.
In typical Richard fashion, he was behind his desk reading. When he saw me at the door, he dropped the book and came over to give me an awkward hug. “Stephan. It’s good to see you.” He paused, glancing at Brianna then back to me. “How have you been?”
He was polite, but I could hear the edge of unease behind it. I answered in the same courteous tone. “I’m good. Things have been busy.”
Richard looked past me at Brianna. This time his eyes stayed on her. “Yes, I see that. You must be Brianna. I’m Dr. Cooper,” he said to her, offering his hand.
She just nodded without looking up. He frowned.
I handed over Brianna’s paperwork, and he instructed us to follow him down the hall.
The room we entered held an x-ray machine and a long metal table. “If you could hop up here, Brianna.” She moved without delay and sat on the table waiting for further instructions.
Richard had her lie on the table, and then proceeded to take a multitude of images from her neck down, adjusting her clothing as needed. I stood behind the glass in the adjoining room watching her rigid form. There seemed to be no life to her.
My uncle had inquired when we’d spoken earlier if I wanted x-rays, and I’d told him yes. I’d thought they were only going to be of certain areas, not almost her entire body. This alternative was perfectly acceptable with me. I just wanted to make sure she wasn’t injured.
After the x-rays were put into the machine for developing, the three of us walked back down the same hallway. But before reaching his office, he turned to his right into a room marked Exam Room One. I felt Brianna hesitate.
Wrapping my fingers lightly around her arm, I leaned in and whispered in her ear, “Trust me.”
Her eyes flickered up to mine and then went quickly back down, but my heart lifted when she moved of her own free will into the room.
Richard took a seat on a rolling stool and had her sit on a padded table. I stood a few feet away, trying to remain close but not be in the way.
As he looked over what was now her chart, I wondered if I should have given him greater detail about her situation. I’d been more than vague on the phone, only telling him that I was trying to help someone who was in a bad situation, and I needed a doctor I trusted and that she could trust to give her a physical.
It was a testament to our relationship that he’d agreed with so little information. Especially given how rocky it was of late. The truth of the matter was I didn’t want to get him involved. I had no idea how this thing with Brianna was going to play out. If it all went wrong, I didn’t want him suffering for my decisions. No matter what was or wasn’t between us now, he was still family.
My uncle looked up from the chart and smiled at Brianna. She wasn’t looking at him, however. Her eyes were focused on a spot between her feet. He turned to me and frowned again.
Setting her chart down, he began his examination. I could tell she was nervous, but I didn’t know if it was because of Richard or if she was afraid to disappoint me. The thought that maybe I should step out crossed my mind, but then I remembered that when I’d asked her to trust me just a few minutes ago, she did. I remained where I was.
Richard came to stand in front of her, placing his stethoscope against her chest. “How are you feeling?”
“I’m fine, Sir,” she whispered, still without looking at him.
He spoke in a gentler voice as he moved around to her back and asked, “Are you hurting anywhere?”
I saw his brow furrow. He wasn’t happy with her responses, but seemed to understand pushing her would not produce results so he moved on, finishing his examination.
“Brianna, it says here you are on birth control but you don’t know what kind?”
“No, Sir,” she said so softly that I barely heard it.
He looked up at me, and I knew what was going to happen. He would need to examine her. Although I hated to do this to her, I knew it had to be done. I nodded my head, and he sighed. “I’m going to need to check it, Brianna. Is that okay?”
I saw her swallow, but she nodded in resignation.
“Okay then. We’re going to leave the room for a few minutes, and I want you to put this on,” he said, handing her what looked like a paper hospital gown. “We will be just outside if you need us.”
Richard didn’t wait for her to answer before grabbing my arm and pulling me out the door. Once outside, he didn’t stop moving. Instead, he dragged me down to the other end of the hall and back to the x-ray room. We could still see the door to the exam room but it was several doors down. He let go of me just outside the room, and went to retrieve the developed film.
When he returned to where he’d left me in the hall, he turned on an x-ray light box and began examining the pictures. I noticed his displeasure increasing the more he looked at the films.
Taking two sheets he’d looked at previously and putting them back up, he turned to face me. It was a look I’d seen often as a teenager when I’d came home from a place I shouldn’t have been. “What is going on, Stephan? You said this girl was in a bad situation, and I’ll give you that, but something more is going on here. Are you involved in something?”
I brought my hand up to rub my temples. “You don’t want to know, Richard. Trust me.”
“Trust you?” he said indignantly. “Trust you? That girl in there is scared to death.”
“I know.” Since I wasn’t willing to reveal her story to him, it was all I could say.
He was waiting for me to continue, but I didn’t. “Look, Stephan. I know about . . . your lifestyle . . . choices,” he said through gritted teeth. He made it clear, several times over, that he didn’t approve of my choice to be a Dominant. “But I won’t sit by and ignore signs of abuse.”
“And I don’t expect you to.” I ran my hands through my hair. This situation was beyond frustrating on so many levels. For years I’d gone to Richard for advice, looked up to him. Now there was this rift between us that I didn’t know how to fix. I wouldn’t be something I wasn’t, and he couldn’t accept who and what I was.
His voice pulled me out of my thoughts. “Did you go too far, Stephan? Did you hurt her?”
My head shot up. “No! Richard, how could you even think that?” I began pacing. “What I told you on the phone was true. She was in a bad situation.” At this, I paused and my eyes met his. “A
situation.” Taking a deep breath, I continued. “She’s hurt, and not just physically. But I need to know what I’m dealing with before I can really try to help her. So, please, can you just trust me on this?”