Copyright ©2013 Simone Holloway
First published by Simone Holloway 2013
Distributed by Al Romance
I stared down at the instruments on the table. One in particular caught my eye: a long black leather handle gave way to a metal wheel with spikes sticking out of it. The object-no, toy- as James was always so quick to correct me- looked menacing. The spikes threatened torture on the wheel, ropes, whips, handcuffs… My heart began to race.
I looked down the table. A cat o’ nine tails was laid out beside the pinwheel. The leather tendrils snaked out over the edge of the table. I ran my finger over the coarse leather delicately. I quickly pulled my hand back as if it had been burned by fire. My skin began to sting with the memory of the leather.
My mind went back to the first time James whipped me. The hair on the back of my neck stood on end. The sensation made me smile. Each device on the table had a story. Maybe some day one of them would tell my own…
It began on a hot autumn day. I sat in the office’s lobby with about a hundred other girls.
The number was actually closer to fifteen, but I felt so intimated by the competition it may as well have been a thousand.
I shook my foot nervously and waited to hear my name called. The job was an entry level position: Executive Assistant to Mr. James Quinn. The title made me laugh. ‘Executive Assistant,’ sounded important, even respectable. In truth, I would be the errand girl: fetching coffee, filing papers- menial tasks, but I was grateful for the work. The job market was tough and I needed the money.
I scoped out the competition. The room was filled with pretty girls wearing designer clothes. I looked down at my own outfit. I’d bought it at the mall, but I still thought I looked good. I wore a tight, black pencil skirt with a plum colored button up shirt and high heels. On closer inspection the fabric looked cheap and slightly faded, but I hoped Mr. Quinn wouldn’t notice.
I pulled a loose thread from my skirt and began to feel even more nervous. The girl beside me wore Louboutin heels and carried a Prada bag.
When she caught me staring, my face turned red. I was in over my head. I would never be able to afford expensive bags or designer anything, but, so what? It was the woman who made the clothes, not the other way around, right?
I sat up straighter, feeling a momentary surge of confidence. Then, my name was called.
“Summer Jacobs!” the receptionists shouted.
I nearly jumped out of my skin.
“Present,” I responded as if this was high school roll call. Shit, I thought, I really am nervous.
“I mean, yes-” I cleared my throat. “I’m here.”
The woman eyed me over the edge of her computer. “Mr. Quinn is ready to see you now.”
I rose and tripped as I made way to the receptionist’s desk.
“Last door at the end of the hall,” she said.
I nodded and began the long march to the man who would end up changing my life
Before entering his office I stopped. There was an elevator to my right. The doors were so shiny I could see my reflection perfectly. I looked myself over. My skirt was straight, my shirt ironed crisp.
A strand of hair came loose and fell into my eyes. I quickly unpinned and re-pinned my hair into a chignon. I thought it complemented my high cheekbones well. I smiled wide at my reflection and checked my teeth. I was relieved to see there wasn’t any lipstick smudged on them.
I began to walk toward the door and stopped. I felt like I was missing something. This was a common theme in my life: there was always an indefinable, ‘something’ missing.
Restlessness had followed me through high school and college. No matter what I did, nothing satisfied the longing inside me for more: more life, more excitement, more everything.
As I stared at my reflection I knew this was it. I was stuck in a rut and if I didn’t get this job, I would never get out of it.
I narrowed my eyes and said to my reflection: “This job is mine.”
“Well, that’s good to hear. I suppose I’ll tell the other girls to go home.”
I jumped and spun to find Mr. Quinn. He leaned against the frame of his office door casually. He wore a suit without a jacket or tie. The cuffs of his white shirt were rolled up to his elbows.
The shirt was tight, nearly too small. I could see the outline of his muscles through the thin fabric. His shoulders were wide; his biceps and abs were well-defined and almost completely visible. Of course, this may have just been my overactive imagination.
His face though, was inarguably gorgeous. Mr. Quinn was classically handsome, like an old Hollywood movie star. He had a strong jaw and high cheekbones; his hair was dark and thick with a slight curl at the end; his eyes a dark green.
I watched him, watching me and had no idea what to say. He appeared to find this amusing.
“Shall we conduct the interview in the hallway, or would you like to come into my office?” he asked.
“Office,” I responded meekly.
Mr. Quinn stepped aside and indicated I should enter. I tried to avert my gaze as I squeezed past him into the room. I briefly brushed against him. He smelled fresh and clean like he’d just stepped out of the shower.
I swallowed hard. I wasn’t anticipating being attracted to Mr. Quinn. I had imagined an older man- stuffy, conservative, the cliché look of old money. I never pictured a man of Mr. Quinn’s age as a billionaire. Of course, no one knew exactly how much he was worth. It was widely speculated that his company, lands, investments and cash were in the billions.
I cleared my throat and stood in his office awkwardly. The room was large. A bar took up half of the right side. The left side had a couch and a door leading to a washroom. The entire back wall of the office was made of glass.
Mr. Quinn’s desk was pressed against the window. I stepped forward to get a better look at the view. From this vantage point you could see all of the city. I wondered what it was like to go to work every day with the world at your feet.
“Please, have a seat,” Mr. Quinn said, gesturing towards the couch.
“Would you like a drink?”
“Yes,” I said hastily. “Uh, no,” I quickly corrected myself, “better not.”
I was terrified of looking unprofessional, but I could have really used a drink to ease my nerves.
“Ah, c’mon, I hate drinking alone,” he said.
I sat down, straightened my skirt, then crossed and uncrossed my legs. Mr. Quinn had his back to me as he mixed two drinks. I did my best to keep my eyes off his ass.
The interview had taken an unexpected turn. I had no idea what an understatement this was until later.
“Have you worked as an assistant before?” he asked.
“Please, don’t call me sir. It makes me nervous. I feel like my father’s just entered the room.”
“Sorry sir- uh, Mr. Quinn.”
He looked over his shoulder and raised an eyebrow. His smile hinted at a secret. I felt like he was laughing at a joke I wasn’t privy to. It made me uncomfortable.
“Mr. Quinn will do when we’re in a professional setting. James is fine when it’s just us-assuming you get the job of course.”
“Of course,” I added.
I hated how eager to please I sounded, but well, let’s face it- I was eager to please. He approached holding both drinks. He held one out to me, which I gratefully accepted. I drank half of it in one gulp. He sat across from me and watched, the same enigmatic grin on his face.
“So, tell me about your qualifications,” he said.
I’d had a whole speech prepared. I set down my drink, sat up straight and cleared my throat. I began to speak, but stopped. Mr. Quinn was looking at my legs. When he caught me watching he quickly looked away and smile.
Was it my imagination, or was he checking me out? My mind went blank. I couldn’t remember my prepared answers to the interview questions. Thankfully, he saved me.
“Let me tell you what I’m looking for: someone smart, diligent, thoughtful; someone willing to work long hours- often here alone with me late at night. Do you have a husband? Boyfriend?”
“Good. I’ll need you at my beck and call.”
His words sent chills up my spine. Looking back, I realize there was something in his voice then. It hinted at dark escapades and unknown pleasures.
“Call me James.”
“James, I’ll do whatever it takes to get this job.”
I met his eyes with the most steely-eyed determination I’ve ever been able to muster. He met my gaze with unmovable certainty.
I exhaled loudly. I hadn’t realized I’d been holding my breath. I picked up my drink and finish it one gulp.
“You start now.”
“Is that a problem?”
I wasn’t at all prepared to begin. “No, of course not.”
“Good. Call the receptionists- extension nine. Tell her to send the other girls home.”
He pointed out a phone on the side table to my left. I rose and bent over to dial. I looked back over my shoulder and noticed Mr. Quinn checking out my ass. This time it was not my imagination.
Instead of looking embarrassed, he simply leaned back on the couch and watched me.
There was something in his stare that turned me on and terrified me in equal measure.
I was so distracted by Mr. Quinn’s presence that I barely managed to tell the receptionists the position had been filled. She sounded surprised to hear from me, but I didn’t give her time to ask questions. I hung up the phone quickly and sat back down.
“Where shall we begin?” I asked.
Mr. Quinn considered the question. He ran a hand through his hair and leaned forward confidentially. “There’s another matter… it’s a bit unusual.”
I leaned in towards him, as if we were about to share a secret.
“I’m a very busy man. It can be difficult for me to find time for…” He looked away thoughtfully. “Pleasure, for lack of a better word.”
I froze in place, too afraid to move. Where was this going?
“I think you’re a beautiful girl.”
He let the words hang in the air between us. I felt my face grow hot.
“I would like to make you an offer that I believe would be mutually beneficial. An offer that you have every right to refuse, if you wish. I won’t hold it against you in any way.
The job is still yours and we’ll try to carry on as if I’d never said anything.”
He laughed nervously at this. It was disarming to see such a strong man act shyly.
“There’s an additional service I’d like to pay you for- quite handsomely, in fact.”
He took a business card out of his pocket, wrote a figure on the back and handed it to me.
The number twenty thousand was written on it.
“Twenty thousand a year?” I asked.
“No, a month.”
At first I thought he was joking, but his face was dead serious. I scoffed. “What’s the catch?”
“I’m looking for a…” Again he ran his hands through his hair. “Student.”
“What are you planning on teaching me?” I asked.
He laughed at my response. I wasn’t sure why he found it so funny until later.
“I’m confused,” I said.
“Yes, forgive me for laughing. I understand. I have unique tastes when it comes to sex.
Do you know what the roll of the submissive is?”
I stared at him blankly.
“That’s fine,” he said. “It’s part of what I’d like to teach you.”
I was intrigued and not just by the money. Mr. Quinn wanted me sexually- I understood that much, but I wasn’t familiar with the term, ‘submissive.’
“We can start out slow: spanking, whips, ropes, handcuffs…”
He watched my expression closely. My lips parted slightly and my pulse began to race.
“You will me be my submissive.” He paused. “If you consent. Do you consent?”
Without thinking I said, “Yes.”
“It’s customary to pick out a safe word. It’s a word, or phrase, that wouldn’t normally come up during sex. When you use the safe word, I know things have gone too far and you want to stop. If anything makes you uncomfortable say the word. I’ll stop
immediately. Do you understand?”
“What word would you like to use?”
“Whatever you think is best.”
He smiled. “You’re learning quickly… but I want you to choose.”
“How about ‘stop.’”
Mr. Quinn shook his head. “No, ‘stop’ comes up during sex play. I’ve been with women who enjoy saying stop when they want me to continue. The lines become blurred when you enter this world. You need to understand that stop doesn’t always mean stop; ‘no’
doesn’t always mean no. We need a code word, something random. A word that we both understand means, no.”
I was too distracted by his statement about being with women who say stop when they mean the opposite. It touched a secret part of me I’d never discussed with anyone. I’d never been with a man who was rough in bed, but it had been a fantasy of mine for years.
“Do you like it when a girl says no and means yes?” I asked.
His eyes seemed to take on a new depth. Their dark green appearance, I noticed, was actually a trick of the light. His eyes were blue with bits of yellow. They were deep and unfathomable, but I was about to plunge into their depths.