Chapter 6

I woke the next morning unsure of where I was, why my lips felt so yummily sore, or the identity of the warm and rather nicely shaped woman lying nearly under me. I looked around, but the dim, indirect light gave no indication of what time it was, and for a brief second, the nude woman laying half out from under her blanket on the couch across from me just added to my confusion. Then it all came rushing back to me.

The lady on the other couch was Nicolette, and I had just woken up wrapped around her slave. Last night I had, had, wow. Just then the sound that had initially woken me came again. It was a discreet cough from the shadows just beyond my field of vision. I looked toward the sound and realized it must be Robertson, the butler. The wondrous smell of coffee confirmed the fact and I gently pulled an arm free of the tangle of blankets and woman to motion for him to put the tray he carried on the table between the two couches. I sat up slowly trying not to wake the slave and reached for a steaming cup.

"Will there be anything else, sir?" Robertson had set the tray down and retreated to a safe distance, once again, just barely shrouded in the shadows.

I inhaled deeply over my mug, and looked at the tray. It was resplendent with hot French rolls, little pots of butter and jelly, what looked like blueberry muffins, and two more massive mugs of coffee, complete with cream and sugar service. "Just remind me to put you in my will Robertson, you are a god among men."

"Very good sir." And with that he was gone, swallowed by the empty room and probably already busy waking whoever else had passed the night in this amazing mansion. I sipped gingerly and sighed happily. It was a French roast, something expensive by the taste, and there was no way I was going to spoil it with cream or sugar.

I looked down and realized that I had no idea whether or not I should wake Nicolette or her slave. We had all been up until nearly daybreak, and judging by Robertson's appearance it was probably about noon. I debated with myself while I rummaged for a cigarette and tried not to spill coffee on the slave. Finally I decided Nicolette had probably arranged for the butler to show up at noon, so she may have some reason for waking up at this time. I set my mug down on the table, and started with the slave.

I leaned over and gently kissed her lips. "Slave." I whispered. "Slave, I think its time to wake up now. If you know Nicolette wants to be woken up at noon then wake up. If not tell me and you can go back to sleep."

She murmured in her sleep and tried to nuzzle under my hip. She shifted and the blankets slid off her upper body and I was again rewarded with the marvelous view of her naked form. I started to get hard, and that brought to the forefront of my mind the fact that there were other less pleasurable bodily functions that needed tending to. I tucked the blankets around the slave and slid my pillow around her so she had something to snuggle. Then I sat up and tried to see through the permanent gloom to a bathroom.

"It's directly behind you, about ten paces. Just hurry, I'm next." Nicolette was awake and blowing the steam off her coffee. She had wrapped the blanket around her when she sat up; and she looked like it was going to be one of those mornings. She was still beautiful, but only making a vague pass at awareness.

I stood and realized I was still nude. I looked at the blanket I had just wrapped around the slave, but my bladder, realizing that the end was near started screaming and I shambled behind the couch and felt my way through the shadows until I found a wall. It was a short trip sideways before I found the door and sweet release.

When I made it back to the couches, the slave was awake and nibbling daintily at a muffin. She hadn't bothered to dress either so I sat back down and reached for my cup. Nicolette rose quickly, and dragging her blanket behind her, made for the bathroom. I leaned over and kissed the slave on the cheek, she sighed happily and turned to make it a real kiss. I tasted blueberries on her lips and wondered if Nicolette would consider giving us a few more hours together before she and the slave left.

The call of caffeine finally broke through our kiss and we came up for air and both snuggled back into the plush cushions of the couch to drink and wake up.

Nicolette returned before too long and sat down on the same couch with us. She sat down on the slave's other side and hip shot her to make us all scoot down a bit. They snuggled a bit and got reacquainted while I tried the muffins and considered mainlining the coffee. I wasn't as hung over as I had been the morning before, but something told me I wanted to be awake rather quickly. Nicolette's next words confirmed my suspicions.

"Today you get to be introduced to another tradition of the lifestyle. Some people don't really bother, but I'm a stickler for it, and in cases like this, it's even more important than usual, for everyone involved." She drank deeply from her mug and looked at me over the rim. Then she shifted so she was facing me across the couch, I mirrored her actions so we could see each other and the slave slid down on the couch so she was nestled between us, her head on Nicolette's lap and her legs across mine.

"Let's talk about last night, feelings, impressions, fears, what was good, what if anything was bad. Xeno, how do you feel about what we did last night?" For a second her question confused me, we hadn't done anything, her slave and I, now that was a different matter, but... "Don't kid yourself, aside from the fact that she is my slave, I also coached you through the opening moves. And watching does actually make me a part of it. With you it was easy, but on occasion, watching people in a BDSM circumstance can be a very interactive pass-time. Not that you two got very kinky, but you get my drift. So yes, I was involved as well." She was petting her slave's hair, making her sigh happily and somewhere it tugged at me a little.

"I had a great time last night, I sort of forgot you were there for most of it, and I did feel like I was making it up as I went along. I felt like there was more to be made up as well, in comparison to other sex I've had. I also felt like I was on the edge of something a lot bigger than I had expected, which was weird. And I think I'm feeling jealous now, is that bad?" I hid behind my cigarette while she responded.

"No, it's not bad, it would be strange if you didn't feel something, but be careful to correctly identify what you are feeling, is it jealousy, or is it something else? Are you afraid of being left out? Are you simply feeling left out? Or is it something else entirely. I would be surprised if you didn't feel possessive of her this morning; it's part of possessing someone. And in almost every way last night you took ownership of my slave."

I nodded; she lapsed into silence and let me mull that over. I probed my feelings again and realized what I was identifying as jealousy, was in fact something else. I was definitely feeling left out, but that was just flavoring to the sensation that what I'd had was suddenly being whisked away and I couldn't play anymore. I told Nicolette about it and she agreed that what I was feeling was perfectly natural.

"You may touch her now. As of this morning she is fully mine again, but I know she would welcome your attention. Let's not get too physical though, I felt pretty left out last night and I'm not in the mood to sit idly by and watch again. We also need to continue with your education, so sit up like a good school boy, there will be many tests over the course of your life." She smiled again and I felt more at ease than I had since she came back from the bathroom.

Speaking of which. "Does she need to be told to go to the bathroom? What about slaves in general?"

"See? I knew you were a natural. No, in her case that's one of the things we have worked into our relationship. Those are bodily fluids neither of us have any erotic inclination towards, and I do not need the burden of gauging the state of her bladder all day every day. She just seems to have a false leg or something, I've always envied that about her." Nicolette scowled lovingly down at her slave.

"That you cared enough to ask is a good indicator of the type of master you will be, if you are so inclined. Some people try to get into the whole BDSM vibe because they perceive it means free sex anytime and that's all. They don't realize the kind of responsibility involved in taking on control of another person's will. There is so much to be aware of, so many things to take into account. But, I think tonight will give you a bit more insight into that arena." With that enigmatic statement, she busied herself with spreading raspberry jam over her slave's lips and kissing it off.

For a few minutes, I watched in a detached state of mind. I let my eyes wander over the delights of the slave's body while I reflected on my emotions. I wasn't feeling left out as much, although the fact that my hands had taken it upon themselves to begin kneading her thighs might have had something to do with that. I also felt that even had she been my slave, I would have been just as happy sharing her. And strangely, in my mind, I drew a line and then crossed it. I asked myself what if she was my girlfriend? It didn't take long before I realized that I would feel the same way. I realized that were she my slave, she'd also be my girlfriend, and either way; I was starting to split hairs. I decided it was time to find out what time it was and what exactly lay in my immediate future.

"Umm," There was that word again, I winced. "As much fun as this is, what exactly do we do for a shower around here?" I thought that was a good a place as any to get the day started. Nicolette pointed to the corner opposite the one in which I had found the bathroom. I slid out from underneath the slave's legs, gathered up my clothes, and made for the shower.

My first impression after I had found both door and light switch was of size. I looked across the bathing room and saw my reflection peering back at me from a sizable distance. The back wall of the room was a massive mirror. Between the mirror and myself lay an expanse of marble and tile that would have made the Romans envious. This was what I called a shower. The four shower nozzles, per side, were chrome, or maybe even silver. They ran the gambit from the height of my waist al the way up to poking straight out of the ceiling. I was standing on the only surface in the room that was not a part of the shower. A thin marble step ran the length of the wall through which I had entered. Plush towels hung from hooks to my right, and an assortment of soaps, shampoos, sponges, wash towels, and a few things I couldn't begin to guess at were neatly arranged along shelves to my left.

I selected body-soap and shampoo at random and made my way into the tiled bathing area. The tiles were warm under my feet, black marble shot through with seams of gold. The walls were made of more of the same, but the ceiling looked as though it was made of smoked glass. I thought to myself it was a pity the glass was smoked or the floor above could have had a rather interesting floor.

The spray from the shower came out strong and warmed immediately; and I was halfway through the second verse of Blondie's 'Heart of Glass' when the door opened. I stopped soaping my chest and was shocked into silence to realize that the person who had entered was none other than Bettie. Of all the people I had met over the last few days, she was the last one I expected to come walking into my shower wearing nothing but a silk dressing robe. The robe was black, shiny, and on the floor faster than I could get my mouth closed. I clenched my teeth against the rising 'Umm' and tried to look without appearing too obvious. She noticed.

"When you're done gawking like a schoolboy, want to hand me that shampoo? It's my favorite." I nodded and mutely handed over the shampoo. She chose a spot directly across the room from me and began to wash her hair. I took the opportunity to check her dimensions against the mental image I had formed.

My first impression was that she looked shorter naked. She was almost the same height as I, but clearly in better shape. She was lithe and smooth from top to bottom, and from there down to her toes. And while I was certain she was out of my league, I made a mental note to remember her if I was ever asked about the top ten naked women I had seen. From where I stood, I could see that she tanned naked, but her natural hair color would remain a mystery. I watched her move under the spray of the shower for a moment more before sadly turning and rinsing the soap off my own body. I finished washing and was just turning off the water when Bettie turned off her own.

"Come on, get dressed and let's go, you've got things to do and people to meet." Bettie reached the towels first and tossed me one while she dried her hair. "Look, Xeno, I can see you're glad to meet me, but how about we get a move on Ok?" She snapped her towel at me and I realized I had been watching her instead of drying myself. I finished toweling my hair, to the extent that shoulder length hair can ever be dried with a towel and looked for my clothes.

"Don't worry about your old rags, they'll be around somewhere. I had Robertson bring you a new outfit, something a bit more appropriate to the day. She reached up to the top shelf, above the soaps, and brought down a wire basket. She handed it to me a grabbed a second basket down for herself.

I figured it would do me no good to argue, and reached in to find out what I would be wearing. It looked like whatever it was; black was the color of the day. I pulled the first thing off the stack and found a shirt. The material was so thin I could see through it. I hung it from a hook and dug further into the pile. Leather pants, extremely high quality leather pants, black died lambskin leather pants. I decided to start getting dressed before someone came and took them away from me. I pulled the pants on and after a few minutes struggle, was happily wrapped in the tightest outfit I had ever worn. The pants not only showed which way I was leaning, but whether or not I shaved my legs. The shirt was easily as sheer as a pair of nylons, and just as snug. Suede boots finished out the outfit, they were sleek and ran up to mid calf. From far away across the room, I could see my reflection in the mirror. I liked what I saw.

"Look Narcissus, before you start making passes at your reflection, you're still not fully dressed, and we are running late. So let's hop to it!" Bettie snapped her fingers and I looked back at the basket. She was right, there was something else in the basket. I hoped it wasn't underwear, there was no way I was going to ruin the line of these pants, and besides, I didn't think there was room between my skin and the leather. I pulled the item from the basket and it flopped open in my hand. At first it didn't register, but then I realized it was a collar.

Now normally, I would be all over wearing a collar, spikes an inch long had done more damage to some of my rowdier dates back in my street-rat days than the pit at a hard core punk show. But this... I examined the collar carefully; it was also leather, black as night with a single silver ring at the center of the strip. The tips of the collar looked as though they fit into each other, and a small lock face adorned one end. In this crowd I already knew what it meant, and I was so not going there. I started to hand it back to Bettie, but she held up her hand.

"Look, this is make or break, so I tell you what, let's play make a deal. You put that thing on, and I'll tell you as much as I know about what tonight holds. We're going to be hopping into the car in a few minutes, and if, by the time we get where we're going, you don't like what you hear; I'll turn around and drop you wherever you like. OK?" She kept her hands up, flatly refusing to take the collar from my hands.

Finally I accepted and raised the collar to my throat. It locked in the back, and fit perfectly. Bettie took the small silver key from me with a smile and we were off. While we walked through the now empty rooms below the mansion, I adjusted the collar around my neck. I found that as long as I didn't strain my muscles it didn't bind. In fact it was quite comfortable, but the knowledge that I was wearing a slave collar in a club that took these things very seriously kept me a bit on edge. The fact that it was Bettie who held the key wasn't helping matters either.

We reached the car without meeting anyone; even Robertson was notably absent. When I sat down in the passenger seat, Bettie reached across my lap and pulled the same blindfold from the glove compartment. I sighed and sat still while she tied it around my head. Moments later we were moving.

I turned my head and though I knew it was impossible from past experience, I strained to see the silhouette of Bettie's head through the cloth over my eyes. " Bettie, you said you'd tell me what you knew if I put the collar on, now talk." I tried to put a commanding tone in my voice, but it was hard to do while blindfolded and highly aware of the collar around my neck.

"Just sit back and enjoy the ride Xeno, I'll talk, you listen. I was just thinking of where to start." I felt Bettie's hand touch my own, and a moment of dangerous confusion finally revealed the lit cigarette she was handing me. I took a drag, and her advice. I had to breathe slowly to keep from pressing my Adam's apple against the collar and this enforced a state of relaxation. I leaned back against the seat and assumed Bettie would tell me if I needed to ash. It was then that Bettie started talking.

"OK, you've been to the club twice now, I'm assuming you know I'm referring more to the group than a physical place when I say the club. You've met some of the patrons, and you've had some experiences. Your first night was simply to introduce you to the setting and see how you would react. In general anyone who has gotten an invite has been to a dozen clubs like it, so it's just a question of whether they are secretly complete assholes or not. Your second night was much more than that. We brought you in and let you get settled with a few familiar faces. Dream was supposed to be there as well, but, circumstances took her out of our hands." I felt her finger stop the question on my lips. "No don't talk, I don't know where she is and just like RG, I'm bound not to tell her private tales."

"Last night was a second initiation, and a test. Nicolette and her slave were chosen from a few volunteers to find out how you would react under the exact circumstances you experienced. I remember my second night, and I'm guessing you had a hell of a time. And you clearly passed or you wouldn't be here now, at least not dressed like that. I'd have been told you were going home before I picked you up. You know we have a ten-night process, it is necessary for us to evaluate you and find out who, and what we are letting into the mix. It's as much for your protection as it is for ours. You have these ten nights to evaluate us. I'm not saying we're the mob or anything, but once you actually join, it is for life."

I realized I was beginning to listen more to the sound of her voice, than the words she was saying when she stopped talking and told me in a totally different tone to ash my cigarette right where I held it. I flicked my cigarette in mid air, right over my lap, but nothing touched my legs, so she must have been holding something under it. I was suddenly alert again, and tried to gain some clue as to our location. I could smell exhaust and hear the sounds of traffic echoing off buildings. I wondered briefly if we were heading back to the first club, in the warehouse district, but gave up trying to guess when she started talking again. I was totally aware of the things she was telling me, but again her voice lulled me.

"Tonight, well, I can't tell you as much about tonight as you might like, but I can tell you it is another test. You can assume every night until you either join or decline is a test. I can tell you two things. One, you can at any time stop whatever is happening and take a moment to gather your wits. Not only is it acceptable, but in most cases, it's totally requested that you be aware of that point in yourself. It's easy to get overwhelmed sometimes, and there is nothing wrong, or wimpy about it happening. Second, you get to be on the other side of the proverbial stick tonight. I don't know who your master will be, but once you are introduced. Your name will be slave until morning."

"Well, we're here!" Her voice suddenly became sprightly, with forced joviality, and I could tell she was trying to rush me.

My head spun, and I tried to form words. I was not as shocked as I expected myself to be, but at the same time, I had no idea how to respond. Nor was I entirely certain I didn't want her to turn the car around and drop me in town. I asked her to give me a minute to think, and she agreed. We sat in the cooling car and I listened to the engine tick while I tried to decide which way to turn. My thoughts were chasing their own tails while I tried to make sense of it all when Bettie's voice cut through the confusion.

"Remember Xeno, if you walk now there is no turning back, but if you try, and it's too much for you, you can always stop then, but you have to be willing to try to move forward." Her voice had gone soft, and I wondered what had happened to the bad ass Bettie I had come to know and fear. This distraction gave me time to strengthen my resolve, and I nodded.

"Let's do this. But if it all goes pear shaped, I'm blaming you." I reached up for the blindfold.

2002 ©  Shmeng