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Author: Tiffany Reisz I’m writing this story for one reason and one reason only—Kingsley is paying me to do it. Well, that and he ordered me to do it. That and he’s gorgeous and I have trouble telling him “no” when he pouts. Okay, maybe I have more than one reason for doing it.
But I still don’t want to do it.
Kingsley, do you have any idea what a huge and obnoxious undertaking this is? Writing client profiles? Do you know how many clients I have? And no, I’m not going to talk to you as long as you’re reading over my shoulder while I type.
Since you’re reading over my shoulder, I’m going to insult you every chance I get. I know you want me to write these files “so zee other Dominantz can learn from me and ’Ow to better treat zee clientz. . . ” And yes, you do sound like that, Frenchy. Now stop breathing in my ear and let me write. I’m going to use real names here. You can have Juliette change them later.
Oh, and I’m doing the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle-esque titles on purpose and if you change them, I’ll set your bed on fire. And not in the good way this time.
Client: Sheridan Stratford, age 23.
Profession: Actress, currently starring in Empire City as the virginal daughter of a corrupt billionaire CEO. She’s known colloquially in the press as “America’s Sweetheart” because of her slight stature, her innocent youthful looks and natural blond hair. She is, however, anything but innocent. Thank God.
Sexual orientation: Straight but flexible.
Fetishes: Men’s business suits, the pricier the better.
Sheridan’s not attracted to women, but she had a problem she didn’t trust a man to solve. Probably because a man caused it. I’m a woman. Hard to hide that fact—D-cups, thank you very much, Mother Nature—but I’m a damn fine cross-dresser and only Kingsley looks better in a three-piece suit than I do. The man annoys the piss out of me on an almost daily basis, but I’ll be the first to admit, the Frog is a Prince.
And an ass at times who should treat his best Dominatrix better and give her chocolate and martinis on a daily basis. (I know you’re still reading over my shoulder, Kingsley. Go away. Don’t you have your secretary to violate or something?)
But back to the point. Sheridan. Ah. . . Sheridan. Dominants take note—it’s a terrible idea to fall for your clients. Terrible. Verboten. Don’t even think of doing it.
Unless you’re me. I did it. But only a little. You wouldn’t blame me if you could see this girl. Oh, wait. She’s on TV. You have seen her so you understand. Beautiful little waif—in her early twenties, she hardly looks a day over eighteen. So petite and fragile, she’s like a glass flower you want to hold in your palm and marvel at the intricacy of each flowing line until you close your hand around it and crush it into a thousand pieces.
I’m sorry. I might have just had an orgasm.
Back to the Sheridan. Love this girl. How could I not? She was practically trembling the first time I saw her in person on the roof of Kingsley’s town house holding a candlestick in the conservatory. . . .
You know, I think I’m getting my job mixed up with Clue again. Come to think of it, Clue would have been a much darker, more interesting game had it been about a sex crime instead of a murder.
Digression over. I’m sorry. I get verbose in first person, which is why I should never write it in. Let’s fix that, shall we?
Dear reader, just imagine Sheridan Stratford—an ingenue of Broadway, the sweet starlet of the small screen—sitting on an antique fainting couch in a moonlit conservatory on the roof of a Manhattan town house. Silver slip dress, strappy heels on stick-thin ankles, long pale hair in a loose knot, eyes wide and scared.
Scared but brave.
That’s my girl.
The First Session
Sheridan whispered something into her glass of wine and what she whispered The Mistress would never know. “Help me” perhaps. “What am I doing here?” maybe. Sheridan took a sip and then another before setting the glass down on the table next to the vase of white orchids. The Mistress merely waited in the shadows of the doorway and watched her for a moment, trying to read the girl’s body language. Shoulders slumped, head down, feet that never stopped moving even though she remained seated. The Mistress could glean two facts from the moves Sheridan made—one fact true and one fact terrible. The girl was terrified. True. And the girl was ashamed.
From Kingsley, The Mistress had learned why Sheridan had come to them. But her reasons didn’t really matter. The clients came from everywhere. They were everyone. And every last one of them told them a different reason for coming to the Underground.
My wife won’t tie me up. . . .
My boyfriend can’t touch me right. . . .
My mother said I was sick. . . .
I have these dreams every night that won’t stop. . . .
I need to be hurt or I can’t come. . . .
I need to be punished to feel loved. . . .
A thousand reasons that could all be boiled down, stripped bare and divided into one of two real reasons. . .
I’m here because I want this.
I’m here because I need this.
The Mistress was no prostitute. She never let a client touch her, never let a client inside her. Never inside her body anyway. Sometimes on rare occasions if the client was particularly beautiful or especially broken, sometime The Mistress let the client inside her heart.
Sheridan had wealth from her acting career, and wealth meant power. But it was a powerless little girl who sat under the glass roof that night. And when a tender leaf on one of the orchids dropped off the plant and landed on the floor, Sheridan stood up and walked quickly to the sink by the cutting station and poured out her glass of wine before refilling it with cold water and pouring it into the plant.
The Mistress smiled to herself as Sheridan turned wine into water so she could give a little drink to a thirsty flower she’d never met before. And that’s when Sheridan first crawled inside The Mistress’s heart.
Digging into her pocket, The Mistress found her silver lighter and brought a cigarette to her lips. She snapped open the lighter and flicked on the flame. Sheridan gasped at the sudden noise and spun around so fast she dropped her empty wineglass onto the floor, where it shattered into a thousand glinting shards.
“Oh, God. I’m so sorry,” Sheridan said, raising a hand to her flushed forehead. She stared down at the glass on the floor, her face a mask of utter shock and self-loathing. It broke The Mistress’s heart to see such an ugly look on that beautiful face. Then and there she resolved to wipe the shame off that face for all eternity.
The Mistress made no move. Whatever happened, no matter how emotional the client got, The Mistress had long ago learned that she must remain calm in every situation. Even when screaming German curses while beating a client with a birch rod, she must be calm inside, at peace and always in control. They clients didn’t just pay for that, they deserved it.
As Sheridan looked down in horror at the broken glass, The Mistress merely brought the lighter to the tip of the cigarette, and lit it as she stepped forward out of the shadows.
“Leave it,” The Mistress ordered. “Just a wineglass. Kingsley has millions of them. ”
“I’ll pay for it, ma’am. I promise. ”
“You’ll do no such thing. I’ll make him pay you for daring to give you a glass that breakable. Now go. Sit over there and forget about the glass. ”
The Mistress nodded toward a settee at the edge of the conservatory. From there one could look out
and see a thousand windows lit from within by artificial lights and shining out, into the Manhattan moonlight.
Sheridan rushed to obey, nearly skidding on the slick floor in the process. She sat on the silk cushions and crossed her legs. Such a little slip of a thing. . . The Mistress wanted to gather her close and hold her until she stopped being so scared of herself. But The Mistress didn’t touch her, merely sat down next to her and took a long draw on her cigarette before blowing the smoke out.
“I don’t smoke,” The Mistress said as the last of the white cloud reached the glass roof.
“But. . . ” Sheridan squeaked one word out before falling silent again.
“But I’m smoking? Well, yeah, you got me there. I have this client. Some music publishing company bajillionaire. Total masochist. He’s a human ashtray. All I have to do is use him as a footstool, smoke a cigarette and then put it out on his naked back. He orgasms so hard that Niagara Falls says ‘Damn. Someone get the mop there. ’ Easy job. Fifteen-minute session. I charge him five thousand dollars for it. Plus twelve dollars for the plastic drop cloth. ”
Sheridan blanched. Apparently the thought of putting a cigarette out on someone’s bare back didn’t sound like an “easy job” to her. But then again, that’s why The Mistress made that kind of money. She walked a fine line with every client—a line of morality, legality, sexuality. Any one of her clients could take his or her injuries, bought and paid for, to the police and report an assault. The Mistress took a risk with every client. The bigger the risk, the bigger the payday, and she did love payday.
The Mistress took one last draw on her cigarette before stubbing it out in the soil of the nearest plant. Sheridan’s eyes widened even more, and The Mistress had to use all her willpower not to kiss the poor thing.
“I like pissing off Kingsley. You can tell him I did that. ”
Sheridan laughed nervously. “I wouldn’t do that. He terrifies me. ”
“Sheridan, I have a feeling everything terrifies you. ”
Wincing, the girl nodded.
“Look. ” The Mistress held out her empty hands and tugged melodramatically at her cuffs. “Nothing up my sleeves. No crops. No canes. No floggers. No knives, whips, or guns. Nothing to be afraid of here. No one’s going to hurt you. ”
“But. . . isn’t that what you do?”
“Yes, if that’s what my client wants. Not all my clients are masochists. I’ve got medical fetishists, foot fetishists. . . I have a college professor who likes to drink human urine. I’ve got a world-famous surgeon who’s into cross-dressing and domestic discipline. I bring him my laundry and order him to iron it while he’s naked but for an apron. I only hurt the ones who want to be hurt. And obviously tonight you don’t want to be hurt. The question is. . . what do you want?”
“I’m sorry. I don’t even know why I’m here. This is ridiculous. You’re not going to be able to help me, and I’m wasting your time—”
“Slow down there, beautiful. We just got started. First of all, tell me what your problem is, and then we’ll figure out if I can help you or not. ”
“Didn’t Kingsley tell you?”
“He told me. I want to hear it from you. ”
Sheridan paused and took a deep breath. She tugged at the hem of her dress. Her right foot worried the floor with tapping.
“I can’t. . . ” She took another deeper breath. “I can’t orgasm anymore. ”
“Nonsense. You just don’t orgasm. You still can. ”
“I haven’t. Not for years. I try. I had a couple boyfriends. Gorgeous boyfriends. Smart, sexy, sweet. Really nice guys. And they tried everything. Not since Rex. . . ” There she stopped, and dropped her head again in shame.
“This was the man you lost your virginity to?”
Sheridan nodded. “I went to a therapist, several therapists. They said he raped me, and that’s why I couldn’t orgasm anymore. ”
“You were only fourteen the first time?”
She sighed. “Yeah. I know—”
“Did you tell him no?”
“No. I told him yes. He asked and I said ‘yes. ’ I had a huge crush on him. I didn’t want to tell him no. ”
“Well, he shouldn’t have asked. And technically it was statutory rape. But if you enjoyed it—”