part eight: can you go home again?
“Yes. You hurt him.”
I did some experimenting in college.
While I don’t like — I don’t respect — that phrase, it is the most accurate way to describe my previous “experiences with women.”
Lesbian Femdoms had been one of the possibilities on offer at some of the BDSM munches I went to, post-divorce, when I was, arguably, “looking for discipline in all the wrong places,” but I had never found them meaningfully appealing: more caricature than reality, really; more silly than sexy — and the few that seemed genuinely serious were just scary.
Then there had been that rather intense lunch, two weeks back, during which I ate in the nude and, over dessert with Jason Flood, Genevieve, per his orders, had knelt before my chair, attached clamps to my nipples, and, head between my thighs, had me moaning through my chocolate mousse, while Jason looked on like a happy adolescent watching an X-rated cartoon.
Now I was in Genevieve’s bed.
Jason had, literally, drawn back a curtain, exposing a huge video screen that took up most of one wall in his bedroom, on which one of the other couples spending the weekend at his mansion was actively . . . engaged — the wife, with joyous viciousness and fully leathered up, sodomizing her at-least-fifteen-years-older husband, as he howled in pleasure and pain.
Jason had explained how comprehensively the entire house was wired.
Some liked to watch.
Some liked to be watched.
And I had . . . freaked out.
How could I not have?
“You could have trusted him.”
I was curled beside Genevieve, my head on her shoulder; she was stroking my hair, slowly and gently, the way you might calm a panicked filly.
Jason’s response to my freak-out had been measured.
He’d told me that I had not been videoed.
He’d told me that nothing like that would ever happen — and nothing would happen with any video that might result if it did — without my knowledge and explicit consent.
He’d told me he would summon his driver, to take me back to the city.
It was after midnight.
I had come to him, that second weekend, with nothing more than the sandals and light summer dress he had sent me: neither bra nor panties — although he’d sent those, too; no purse or cell phone; no money.
Walking the Long Island Expressway was a daunting prospect: Jason would send me home in one of his limos, if that was what I wished.
Genevieve would find me another room in the mansion, if that was what I wished.
What he wished?
He wanted me to stay.
In his bed.
Having told me the options, he’d then retreated to swim laps in his indoor pool.
I understood, as I said it, that this was a stupid response.
My second weekend at the mansion, after all.
On the first weekend, as a precursor to that memorable lunch, Jason had disciplined me in a manner that — with an intensity, a level of passion, and a clarity of purpose — no man had ever managed before.
Both the pain and the pleasure had been almost more than I thought I could bear. Perhaps more importantly: he’d made me feel desired to a degree that no one else ever had.
And he’d made me feel clean.
It was an overwhelmingly powerful elixir.
It’s possible that I had never really allowed myself to understand that before: the fact that a part of my need for discipline was a desperate hunger, a yearning for penance and redemption.
“You feel blindsided,” Genevieve said quietly.
I nodded against her shoulder.
“Because of things that happened that you didn’t want? Or because you discovered something that you hadn’t been aware of, something you hadn’t expected?”
As I would discover in days to come: she’d make a good attorney, Genevieve — or a therapist, for that matter; the juxtaposition she’d posed was subtle but central.
Had Jason Flood done anything outside the scope of what I had agreed to?
He pushed boundaries: we’d set black and white limits; he played with the gray — but there was nothing devious about that.
He didn’t violate agreements: that much had been clear from the time we first met, with me set to represent Caroline Heatherington — a former Flood Industries Senior VP — in a sexual harassment suit she’d filed against Jason.
Had he lied by omission, involved me in something I didn’t want to be part of, by “under-informing” me?
There was, as yet, no video of me.
That’s what he’d said.
I believed him.
So . . .
“He surprised me, and I panicked,” I said reluctantly.
Genevieve dropped her chin, kissed the top of my head, then remained like that for a moment, her nose in my hair; I felt her nod.
“Honey,” she sighed, “if you want to be with him? He will hurt you in just fabulous ways.” I felt her shiver against me and couldn’t tell whether that was real or theatrical. “But,” she lifted her head and, fingers soft on my cheek, encouraged me to look up at her, “he will never lie to you. And he will never be pointlessly cruel. He disciplines himself more intensely than he disciplines anyone else. Does that make sense to you?”
It did — more or less; I filed it away for further thought and possible discussion.
“So!” Genevieve said, as though something had been resolved — which perhaps it had. “Home, him, guest room or — ” she gave me a fast, almost shy, smile, “— me?”
I hadn’t been aware that Genevieve was “on the menu.”
I’d gone to her either to arrange the car back to the city or for her to find me another room to stay in until morning; I’d been unsure about what I wanted.
We’d ended up talking instead.
“Department of Comfort and Clarification,” she’d said when I explained why I was there. “One of the many hats I wear.”
I felt safe, I felt comforted, in Genevieve’s bed — and, yes, she had clarified things.
But both the upset and the general strains of a long — sexually and emotionally — complicated day had drained me; I really didn’t want to move.
“I hurt him?” I asked tentatively.
She simply nodded in response.
I flashed back to my youth for a moment, a lecture from my father: I had turned making my mother cry into something of a recreational activity; he’d explained to me that adults, and even parents, actually could be hurt, that, bare minimum, I owed them the same measure of civility and sensitivity I was to accord strangers.
It had been a difficult lesson to assimilate, but here it was again, in only slightly different form: Dominants — a Master! — could actually be hurt.
Getting up, disentangling myself from Genevieve, was difficult — on so many levels.
Propped up on an elbow, chin in palm, she looked up at me as I stood for a moment by the side of her bed.
“I’m going to go back to him?” I said, hearing the half-question in my own voice and wanting, half-expecting, some reaction, some guidance, some sign, in response; she gave none.
When I reached the door, she called to me softly: “See you in the morning, honey.”
Jason answered my knock wearing only a pair of black, silk, pajama pants, stepping back to provide me a path but not gesturing me in.
I couldn’t read his expression.
“May I?” I half-whispered.
“This is your decision?” he asked — his expression as neutral as Genevieve’s had been.
“Words?” he coaxed.
“This is my decision.”
He invited me in with the same set of physical gestures with which I had first invited him into my apartment, closing his eyes, a slight bow of the head, a theatrical sweep of his arm.
I all but shuffled to the side of his bed and he followed behind me.
Once there, I felt frozen, unsure of what to do next, less afraid than simply dazed.
Fingers light on my shoulder, he turned me around to face him.
I had trouble looking him in the eyes but — like Connie Price, one of the senior partners at the law firm in which I practiced — I knew he valued that.
“You are surrendering?” he said quietly.
That wasn’t exactly what —
I felt myself begin to nod, then quickly — to make up for that lapse and perhaps also because I didn’t want thought to slow or stop me: “Yes. I am surrendering.”
I was suddenly terrified, exhilarated, and . . . wet.
The softening of his features was just heart-melting when he heard that, and I was suddenly overwhelmed with a feeling of guilt and sorrow.
I’d hurt him.
I really had!
I felt dirty.
I was desperate for him to make me clean.
“Am I to be punished?” I asked, trying not to sob in passion, desire, and anticipation.
Jason drew me to him, in a warm hug, my head on his shoulder, cradled in his palm.
“You are,” he sighed, as if soothing me — which he was. “But not tonight; that can wait.” Hands on my shoulders, he separated us by a few inches, then leaned in and kissed me tenderly on my cheek; pulling back, he looked deeply into my eyes.
“I am grateful for your decision,” he said softly.
Late for Breakfast
I woke up alone, in Jason’s improbably large bed.
With my cheek to the mattress, two of the four edges looked like a distant horizon, or a mirage; the blanket and sheets were rumpled mountain ranges interrupting deserts of cream-colored, high thread count, Egyptian cotton.
There was a teal blue kimono and a small pile of towels on the yellow silk monstrosity of a couch that faced the now-curtained-off “video wall” that had been the focus of last night’s emotional commotion.
Absent instructions, I got up slowly, grabbed the towels and the gown, and sauntered into Jason’s vast en suite. I briefly considered the jetted tub, but — as a matter of time — that felt not just presumptuous, it felt closer to downright insolent.
The shower was like a cross between a tiled dressing room and a waterpark, jets and nozzles and some things that looked like lawn irrigation equipment, controlled by a waterproof digital panel. Luckily, the defaults were easy to access — and Jason had given me an intro course, Shower Operation 101 he’d called it, on my first visit.
I tried not to linger too long, but the water was just so soothing, and the options so broad: I felt like the Goddess of Weather; I entertained the possibility that, with the right sequence of buttons, I might be able to make it snow in there.
When I finally got down to the dining room, Jason was still sitting at the table, Friday’s Wall Street Journal in his hand, sipping yerba maté through a silver bombilla, from a gourd covered in a bull’s scrotum — “trip to Argentina,” he had explained cheerfully, the first time I saw him drinking that particular beverage.
Genevieve — in “uniform” but nothing like the French Maid fetish outfit she sometimes wore — was sitting across from him, sipping a cup of tea; she stood when I entered the room.
Neither Mal and Betsy, nor Caterina and David — the two couples from the night before — were anywhere in evidence.
Jason had looked up at me briefly, then focused again on his newspaper.
Taking a deep breath, I went and stood next to his chair.
He nodded, as if to himself, put the paper down, half-turned to face me.
“Good morning — ” I managed softly, unsure about title.
I had been using “Sir.”
Did my “surrendering” the night before mean that I should switch to “Master”?
“Maura!” he said quietly, as if in happy surprise that I had dropped by. “Did you sleep well?”
“Yes . . . Sir.”
“Good! Hungry now?”
He reached behind me and, his hand over my robe, gave my bottom a series of feathery, light, caresses; then, continuing that action and focusing on my face, holding my eyes, cocked his head to the side, a waiter trying to recall the breakfast order of a regular customer.
“Black coffee, rye toast — dry — and a grapefruit, peeled, segmented, and seeded?”
“Yes, Sir,” I said, still unaccountably anxious.
Well . . . of course: That’s a lie.
He had deferred punishing me the night before; I had no doubt that something, in the way of “correction,” was coming my way — and sooner, rather than later.
I was both fearful of what he would do — my body bow-string tight — and felt a rising, almost panicky, need for him to punish me.
Jason gave Genevieve a quick glance and she was off to the kitchen.
He let his hand drop and looked at his own knees for a moment, then raised his eyes to look at my belly, then further to look at my face, once again.
“So,” he said, his voice threading the needle between playful and menacing, “what happened last night, Maura?”
“I was — I — ”
I was bad?
I had misbehaved?
I had hurt his feelings?
I just didn’t —
It wasn’t that I was trying to disagree or argue; I just felt like I didn’t have the language to describe what had happened, what I had done, how I had behaved.
He watched me, face neutral, as I stammered through various failures to complete a sentence. Finally, he nodded again, which stopped me.
“I think,” he said, using what sounded like a somewhat sympathetic reasonable parent voice, “that you got upset — ” he paused for a moment until I nodded my agreement, “ — and you had something of a tantrum — ” pause; nod, “and — now I understand we don’t always behave well when we’re upset” nod, “but — you were a little harsh with me. Is that a fair description?”
“Yes, Sir,” I murmured.
“Alright then,” he said brightly, as though we’d come to a happy agreement. “So, we see this the same way. That’s good!”
I wanted to cry, the feeling physical, shivering through my body like a desperate need to pee.
“And we agree that some sort of punishment is in order?” I nodded. “What do you think that should be?”
He was supposed to decide that.
I should be sent to bed without supper that night?
I should lose TV privileges and he should fuck me until my eyes crossed?
I should be bent over the dining room table and whipped and sodomized until I climaxed in simply cardiac-perilous fashion?
“Spanking?” I managed to half-whisper, half-sob.
“I think that’s a very good suggestion!” Jason cried.
He pulled his chair back a little from the table.
In my peripheral vision, I saw Genevieve land my breakfast, then heard her pull out her own chair and sit down again. There was the soft sibilance of her sipping from her teacup.
Jason patted his lap.
“Fingertips and toes,” he said calmly.
I blinked, and my mouth went dry; then I draped myself across his knees, supporting my weight on my fingertips and toes.
With a deep hum of satisfaction, he delicately laced the hem of my kimono onto the small of my back, resting one hand there, the other tracing lazy circles on my buttocks — which were clenching in spasmodic syncopation to a rhythm I couldn’t hear, the sound of my breathing and the beating of my heart drowning out almost all background noise.
His hand left my back for a moment, he leaned toward the table, and I heard him take a quick slurp of maté.
“I’m wait-ing,” he said finally, in a teasing sing-song tone.
He was — ?
“I’m sorry, Sir, that I had a tantrum last night and that I was rude to you.”
“And I will — I’ll try to — I’ll behave better in the future.”
Omigod! It was all I could do not to begin humping his leg.
Couldn’t he. Just. Please —
“I will accept — I will gratefully — Please spank me, Sir! Please!”
I didn’t mean to shriek.
I was mortified when I, belatedly, identified the sound as my own — then suffered the same confusion, almost immediately, when his hand came down, quickly and thunderously, a second time.
He used only his hand; there were only six blows; beneath my belly he was terrifyingly and tantalizingly hard.
It was probably over in less than a minute.
Not having been given permission to do anything else, I remained there, balanced on fingertips and toes, wailing and sobbing hysterically, buttocks aflame, pussy wet, clit painfully swollen, crying Please! over and over again, though not entirely sure why.
Jason stroked my bottom softly and made little shushing sounds.
Then he coaxed me briefly to my feet and then immediately had me sit on his lap.
I curled into him, head on his chest; he stroked my hair and kissed my tear-streaked cheeks.
“Please forgive me — please!” I heard myself croon. “I’m sorry I’m bad, I’m so, so sorry.”
Almost imperceptibly, he began to rock me.
“No, no, no, Maura,” he whispered to me in gentle correction. “No. You’re not bad. You’re not. You did a bad thing, that’s all. That’s all. That’s not the same. You did a bad thing; you apologized; you accepted your punishment. You’re a good girl. I know you are. You need to know that, too,” he added with some gravity, as though that was perhaps the most important lesson of all. “In fact,” he said, voice brightening, “you’ve been so good that — if you’d like — after breakfast, we can go play in the basement!”
That made me laugh through my tears.
I had been so good he was going to punish me some more!
“Would you like that?”
I nodded enthusiastically against his chest.
“Okay then,” he said, encouraging me to sit up.
Then I stood, the hem of my gown falling back down to cover my throbbing and wonderfully inflamed bottom.
I felt so . . . clean.
“Breakfast first!” Jason chided. “Genevieve is just a genius with toast!”
I giggled a little at that as well.
And Genevieve smiled at me across the table.
Home is . . . Where?
I didn’t know who to talk to.
I wasn’t entirely convinced that I needed to talk to anyone but . . . maybe it’s a lawyerly thing?
Maybe it’s just basic common sense?
It’s important to get multiple perspectives.
Trust, but verify — or, at any rate, consult — even, perhaps especially, when the question is trusting yourself.
Jason Flood had proposed nothing at all — beyond perhaps the next weekend.
There was some implication or assumption of an increasingly shared social life; there was our growing mutual understanding of how our relationship functioned; there was less and less to be negotiated or explained.
But no one had broached marriage or engagement or moving in together — after less than a month! We’d done no mutual mulling of timeline or exclusivity.
We were what we were.
And I felt something indistinguishable from reborn!
The intensity of the pleasure, the depth of the discipline, the breadth of my gratitude for both: I didn’t know how to begin to measure any of that.
But then emotionally, but then emotionally, but then emotionally . . .
I was . . . happy.
That’s not a phrase that has ever come easily for me.
It was a happiness that I saw as a spider’s web: this intricate gossamer geometry that could stand up to a windstorm — the silk, pound for pound, stronger than steel — but could be swept away by the dismissive wave of a hand.
I didn’t want Devya “waving my web” to pieces; I didn’t feel like I could bring Connie Price into anything this personal — particularly given that it had all started because of a case the firm had taken on; and while I had an enormous amount of respect and affection for Genevieve, well . . . it seemed clear that she was more permanently his, a fixture in Jason’s life, than anyone else had yet been — or perhaps ever would be.
I didn’t think her the jealous type; the idea that anyone would make her feel threatened was laughable. But . . . what did I really know?
Just a month, after all.
“You look happy, Mau,” Teddy said, almost puzzled. “Kinda scary-happy, really,” he added, raising his eyebrows. “You okay?”
I laughed, hugged him, kissed his hairy cheek.
“I’m happy, Teddy, yes. Think you can handle that — just for a few hours?”
“That place over on the East Side?”
I nodded again.
“Think I’m dressed enough for it?”
I laughed again.
Teddy was a software engineer and his sense of style started and ended with Seattle grunge. Formal, for him, meant a plaid, flannel, lumberjack shirt that wasn’t visibly ripped and had most of its buttons.
I’d never been able to change that; it appeared that his second wife either hadn’t tried or had given up. Either way: wise woman.
Pick your battles.
I admired as well that, apparently, she wasn’t much for jealousy; she’d let Teddy “come out to play” with no fuss at all — and not for the first time.
“She thinks you’re the safest woman in the world!” Teddy said, over our second carafe of saké. “You had me! And you released me back into the wild — ”
“Where she caught you fair and square!”
“You know it’s possible that — ”
“No, it’s not! C’mon, Teddy. No lies between ex’s. She came at you. Yes? C’mon.”
He turned aside for a moment, shouted some rapid-fire Japanese to one of the guys working the sushi bar, turned back to me.
“Hey!” he said, faux offended. “I’m a catch!”
“You are Teddy, you are,” I agreed.
We clinked saké cups, downed the hot wine, refilled; Teddy got serious, voice soft, expression a little concerned.
“So, what’s up, Mau? Really. Why am I here? Pretty short list of things you won’t talk to Dev about, huh?”
I cleared my throat.
Why was he here?
What was I looking for exactly?
I cleared my throat again.
“Teddy,” I started slowly, “do you remember how I used to want you to spank me?”
Teddy blinked, nodded hurriedly.
And signaled for another carafe of saké.
Excerpted from Zoë Zelig’s:
Want More? https://zeligmedia.wordpress.com/
Catch up with the story here