Man and Master, page 1
“Man and Master”
Copyright © 2017 Jason Luke
The right of Jason Luke to be identified as the author of this
work has been asserted by him in accordance with the copyright, Designs
and Patents Act 1988.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either
are the product of the authors’ imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored
in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by
any other means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the author. Any person who does
any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to
criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.
Based on a premise by Vivien Sparx.
She sat, weeping and broken, for a long time after her boyfriend had stormed angrily out of the apartment. The sound of the front door slamming still echoed violently in her mind.
She felt like an utter failure… but more frightening than that, she sensed herself on the terrifying brink of being abandoned to loneliness.
The argument had raged for an hour, and now his bitter accusations – always so cruel and cutting – came back to haunt her as she drifted listlessly through the apartment, touching framed photos of them together and holding one of his shirts to her face, inhaling the familiar scent of him with a pang of guilty regret.
She started to cry; soft slow tears that spilled down her cheek and dripped from the line of her jaw.
“You’re just no good in bed, Gabby. Sex with you is… is lousy.”
She went into the living room and poured herself a drink, staring into the bottom of the tumbler for long numb minutes as if the answers to her dilemma might be etched into the glass. Her hands still shook in tiny tremors. When she gulped down the alcohol, the scorching burn of the fumes made her eyes smart and seemed only to accentuate the hollow chill of her despair.
“I wish you knew how to fuck. Just laying there like a corpse isn’t what I want in a woman.”
The apartment seemed an empty husk without him; without his voice and his presence and restless energy. Never mind that he could be abusive sometimes, and that he could make her feel worthless with just a few words. And never mind that she felt compelled to apologize for everything to keep the peace. He was still the only boyfriend Gabriele ever had, and she feared the thought of losing him more than anything else.
“He’s right,” she spoke aloud, her voice sounding bereft in her own ears. “He’s always right.”
She went slowly into the bathroom and on an impulse pulled back the mirror-fronted door to the medicine cabinet. The narrow shelves were lined with rows of bottled medication that she had recently been prescribed for anxiety and deepening depression. She reached for the tablets and rattled the contents of two full bottles into the palm of her hand.
“If you really loved me, you’d learn to be a submissive sex-slave. At least that way I’d finally get the sex I want.”
For a dreadful and tantalizing moment she thought about how easy it would be to end it all right now; to swallow down the pills and wait for the sweet blissful peace of death. She thought about the implications with a kind of fatalistic fascination.
Would Randall miss her?
Would he weep for her at her funeral?
How long would he grieve for her before looking for another woman?
She studied the tiny white and green capsules in her hand with a new and macabre fascination. She knew they were potent drugs. The warning labels on the bottle were quite specific, and she knew also that taking just the one or two she had been prescribed each day had a powerful tranquilizing effect on her emotionally.
What would a couple of dozen do to her?
Surely she was holding more than enough to kill her. She imagined herself slipping into a tranquil, beautiful coma, laying stretched out on her bed like Sleeping Beauty and simply drifting over the precipice to death; painless and private.
Then she thought about Randall coming home to find her pale and lifeless body. She tried to visualize him dropping to his knees in shattered grief and an anguish of tears… but somehow that image never fully formed.
“My ex was a better fuck. She knew how to please her man. I miss her.”
Who would miss her?
She had read that suicide was an act of unspeakable selfishness, and she agreed. The wreckage that such a desperate act left behind, and the emotional torture that loved ones endured in the aftermath of a needless death, went against her own moral resolve.
But who would miss her?
No. Her mother was living on the other side of the country in a trailer park with some used-car salesman, and whoring herself out to anyone with enough cash in back alleys just for drug money. Gabriele hadn’t even spoken to the woman in the six years since her father had died.
Her work colleagues?
Hardly. She was a low level accountant in the cubicle farm of a huge multinational corporation. She went to work each day and punched a card when she left. She doubted that her supervisor even knew her name. She was a paper shuffler in a soulless working world where she barely recognized the faces of her co-workers.
She laughed with a bitter tinge of hollow regret. Her childhood friends were a thousand miles away, left behind when she had followed Randall to a new city as he pursued his dream career as a web designer.
What about Randall…?
Gabriele uncomfortably shrugged that thought aside, reluctant to dwell, and hating herself for the fact that she faltered doubtfully. To distract herself, she took another self-critical glance at her reflection in the mirror, then spilled the handful of tablets on to the bathroom vanity and stepped, forlorn, into the shower. The scalding hot needles of spray beat relentlessly at her body and turned her flesh bright pink. She emerged in a billowing cloud of steam, wrapped in a towel. She smeared the fog away from the vanity mirror and stared at her misty reflection. Her eyes were like haggard black pits of despair. She felt a lump rising dry in her throat, and then she began to weep again, tortured by bleak desolation and – more than anything else – fear.
Fear of being alone.
Fear of being discarded.
Fear of failing in the exact same way that she believed her mother had failed when her father had deserted and divorced.
She dried herself slowly, for she was in no hurry now that she had reconciled herself to her decision. She knew Randall would be gone for hours, probably to one of the local bars. If he came home at all tonight, it wouldn’t be until it was too late.
Gabriele caught her mind drifting; raking over the debris of their relationship and wondering where it all went wrong.
The three years they had spent together seemed, on reflection, to have been peppered with incidents that at the time had been insignificant. Now they had accumulated to the point where she feared the relationship might fracture beyond all repair. She cast her mind back over all his cruel barbed comments as if she might pinpoint the exact moment when everything had begun to fall apart. Had it been her failure to sexually please Randall that had caused the ruin of her relationship?
In secret, Gabriele had always been deeply aroused by sexual submission, though it was a fetish she had never once shared with Randall. His efforts to dominate her had been so clumsy and so far removed from her fantasies that she had begun to question her own desire. The disconnect
Had the move to a new city broken them apart? Gabriele had left her life behind so they could make a fresh start together, but in the process she had isolated herself from everything and everyone who was a familiar support. And then when Randall’s extravagant plans to build a web-design business began to falter…
She went through to the bedroom still distracted by gloomy reminiscence and stood before the closet to select the dress that she would die in. It had to be something special, she decided. The clothes had to be significant, attached to poignant memories.
She reached for a white cocktail dress and held it against herself with a soft reminiscent smile that brought fresh tears to her eyes. It was the one Randall had said she looked best in; the one that he had taken her shopping to buy when they had spent a weekend in New York.
She laid the garment carefully out on the bed and then began to brush her hair and arrange her make-up. Randall had thrown a folded newspaper on the edge of the dressing table, and she picked it up thoughtlessly to set aside while she searched for her lipstick. Then something caught her eye, and she peered at the fine newspaper print more closely.
The newspaper had been opened to the classified pages, and there were two personal adverts circled in red pen. Gabriele pursed her lips, frowning. They were both advertisements from single women who lived in nearby suburbs. Beneath several lines of abbreviated text, one advertiser had posted a photo of her body posed provocatively in a bikini, with her face discretely covered.
Gabriele felt ice-cold claws of betrayal squeeze at her heart, and a chill ran down her spine. She realized her hand was shaking.
“If you don’t start giving me the sex I want, I’ll find a woman that will. You either learn to be a slave… or we’re through.”
Slowly, still trembling, Gabriele set the newspaper down. She felt her face seem to collapse of all tension, and an eerie serene calmness came upon her. She stood back and looked at herself in the dresser mirror, turning her head slowly from side to side so that her long dark hair swished across her shoulders while studying her features with cruel dispassionate criticism. She came up onto her toes to put tension in the fine muscles of her calves and thighs, then pulled in her stomach. The movement of her body made her breasts thrust out. They were small, but still firm with the elasticity of her youth. She cupped her hand under one breast and felt the weight and shape of it.
Then she relaxed her body and went back to the dressing table. Her underwear was neatly folded in the top drawer. She found a pair of white lace panties and caressed the luxurious soft silk between her fingers. Randall had bought them for her from a sex shop and then growled at her for not wearing them enough for his pleasure.
She stepped into the panties, drew them up over her long legs and across the shaved soft mound of her sex. They were as soft as a gentle lover’s hands about her body.
Still bent, her eyes drifted back to the folded newspaper, drawn inextricably to the damning evidence of Randall’s planned betrayal. Her eyes studied the photo of the woman in the personal ad, then mentally she compared her own reflection to the small picture in the paper in the same way that Randall had always critically compared her to beautiful women they passed on the street.
She was about to turn away again when a word of type in the next column of adverts caught her eye. She narrowed her focus.
It was in the midst of a block of close small text in the column next to the one with the circled personal ads. Gabriele picked up the newspaper and held it close to her face. The word leaped out at her again, and she read the notice with care.
Are you a woman who craves to understand the submissive lifestyle?
Are you a woman who has an interest in learning the art of sexual submission?
Have you ever fantasized about serving a Master?
Here is your opportunity to experience the lifestyle.
Beneath the lines of printed questions was a cell-phone contact number and a name: Master Joshua.
Gabriele trapped her bottom lip between her teeth and stared at the advert until the words began to swim before her eyes. A tingling sensation ghosted up along the length of her spine so that the fine hairs at the nape of her neck prickled with fascination… and hope.
Maybe it wasn’t too late to save their relationship.
Maybe – with professional training – she could make herself into the kind of submissive woman that would keep Randall satisfied.
She turned the idea over in her mind, caught between reckless optimism and plunging despair.
“I could pay to be trained…” she whispered the words aloud at last with forming wonder as the idea bloomed in her imagination, becoming perfect and shimmering. “Then I would be the woman Randall wanted me to be.” In the recess of her mind she again heard her boyfriend’s condescending sneers.
‘If you really loved me, you’d learn to be a submissive sex-slave…’
Gabriel spun on her heel and reached for her bathrobe. She could feel the sudden trip and pound of her heart beneath her hands as she hastily dressed. She snatched up the newspaper tightly in her hand and left the bedroom. She had to find her phone.
“Hello…?” The man who answered her call had a deep gravelly voice.
“Um, hi…” Gabriele clutched the phone to her ear with a white knuckled grip and fought back the paralysis of her nerves. “Is this Master Joshua?” She had been sitting with the phone in her hand for ten formless minutes of wretched doubts and angst before impulsively dialing the number printed in the newspaper advertisement. Now she felt suddenly nauseous with the stress.
“Yes. Speaking.” It was a baritone rumble of sound, somehow calm and poised, which gave off an immediate impression of confidence. Gabriele felt her apprehension jangle her into a long flustered silence.
“Um, my name is Gabby,” she said at last. “I saw your advertisement in the newspaper.”
He wasn’t making it easy for her by rushing into a long compelling and enthusiastic pitch. His tone didn’t change.
“I was wondering… if you could tell me more?”
“Certainly,” the man said. Gabriele frowned curiously. She thought she heard the clip of an accent in the man’s answer. “What would you like to know?”
She cleared her throat and forced herself to sit straight. She was perched on the edge of the sofa, knees pressed together, sitting tensed as if she might spring to her feet at any instant. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes.
“Can you tell me how much it costs for training?”
“That depends,” the man on the other end of the line qualified. “Most ladies who seek me out for submissive training attend a ten-session introductory course to the lifestyle.” He told her how much. Gabriele bit her lip. It was more than she had anticipated… but it was less costly than losing her boyfriend, she applied her own distorted logic.
“And what does the course entail?”
“I’ll tell you,” the man assured her, “after you answer my questions.”
Gabriele blinked and frowned. “What do you want to know?” She balked only after asking the question. Her face turned wide-eyed with incredulous horror, appalled with herself. Why had she felt compelled to concede control of the conversation?
“Tell me how old you are.”
“Are you married?”
“Do you have any previous experience in the lifestyle?”
“Then why did you respond to my advertisement?” the man’s voice was cultivated and sophisticated, each word a careful modulation that reflected both an education and a controlled demeanor. Listening to him, Gabriele felt her anxiety recede beneath the lulling appeal of his voice.
“I’m curious,” she said.
“Are you a virgin?”
“Do you watch pornography?”
“Sometimes…” Gabriele felt herself instinctively squirm and blush with embarrassment at this unfiltered confession to a complete stranger.
“Do you read erotica novels?”
“Are you willing to undress before me and perform the sexual acts that will be demanded of you in order to understand the premise of submission?”
A delay. Gabriele flinched, forced to confront the brutal reality. Of course she knew instinctively that she would need to have sexual contact with any man who agreed to train her. She knew, deep down in her soul, that it would be required and also necessary… but until this very instant she had nimbly avoided asking herself the question so that now she suddenly faltered.
Gabriele took a deep shuddering breath and felt herself free-falling over the abyss and into the dark daunting void of the unknown with a sense of helplessness.
She had no other choice, no other option. She simply had to do everything she could to keep Randall.
“Yes. I’m willing to do that.”
Gabriele lay in the darkness, her mind replaying the phone conversation with the mysterious Master Joshua. She had arranged to meet him the following day at the city’s art gallery and now while she waited, wide awake, she fretted over her impulsive decision to make the phone call and the ramifications of that fateful decision.
The night was warm, the silence disturbed only by the muffled sounds of other residents footsteps passing down the tenement’s corridors beyond the walls of their tiny apartment. Pale moonlight filtered through the bedroom window and washed soft shadows across the floor.
She had the buckle end of a belt lashed to a beam of the headboard and she was wearing the white dress and lace panties Randall had bought her. She turned her head to the side and saw the red lights of the clock radio on the bedside table as they counted down the time.
Her mind was restless with thoughts of tomorrow’s meeting, and her body was weary from the long fraught hours of waiting for Randall’s return while she lay in the carefully staged pose. She swung her legs off the bed, suddenly unsure about her careful preparations and planning. If Randall came home drunk, he might be surly with ill temper. He was volatile and unpredictable at the best of times.
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