[<- continued from A School for Kinky Stuff]
The Grind was dark, but not so dark we couldn’t see, and the techno rave music had an insistent driving bass beat while still at a level where it was possible to hear each other. Colored lights pulsed around the edges of the dance floor, and already bodies were filling it up while others, like us, stood to the side and watched. It almost didn’t seem like the same room we’d come through earlier.
More people, members presumably, must have arrived, as there hadn’t been nearly this many people at the orientation. The dress code seemed to be almost anything goes, from leathers and chains to jeans and black t-shirts, frilly miniskirts to latex bodysuits. While I didn’t see any actual nudity, some came close, both men and women alike. Halter-tops were popular, it seemed, and black panties with fishnet stockings and garter belts. I saw one man dressed like the genie from Aladdin’s lamp, pantaloon trousers and a brief open vest over a pronounced muscular chest and bare six-pack abs. He would have been intimidating, were it not for the collar around his neck and the leash being held by a woman in thigh-highs and bustier. She wore a coiled whip-like thing attached to her belt and held the leash casually, a drink in her other hand, while her genie slave danced in front of her.
Off to one side, the bar was an oasis of low-level light, the racked glasses backlit and the bartender’s face lit from below by a counter-level light. A few stools before it had occupants watching the dance floor, while others leaned up against it. I saw Master Nicholas having a word with the bartender, and I was about to walk over there when I saw my rival, the woman from the orientation, sidle up to him. I swear the bitch swayed her hips and practically pushed her breasts against his arm. I couldn’t hear what she said from across the room, of course, but whatever it was made him smile. I glared daggers at her, but despite my best effort she failed to fall down and die in anguish on the spot. Master Nicholas bought her a drink, and I looked away.
“Liv, don’t get hung up on a guy you don’t even know. You’ve just met him, you’ve exchanged maybe three words with him. Sure, he’s hot, but so are a dozen other guys here tonight.”
I sighed. “You’re right. Come on, let’s dance.”
I pulled Ashley onto the floor and we started to sway to the vibes. I wasn’t really used to dancing this kind of music, so my moves were kind of awkward at first, but after a while I just let the bass beat take me and move me as it willed, and I started to have fun again.
After a couple of songs, Ashley tugged at my arm and leaned in to speak in my ear.
“Don’t look now, Liv, but there’s a leather-clad hunk over there watching us.”
Of course I looked, and in a moment I spotted who she meant. Clad all in black leather, shoulder to boot, dark-haired, definitely watching us, and when he caught my eye his lips turned up into a faint smile. It didn’t so much say I like you as I’ve got you now. He didn’t move toward us, just gave the barest of nods.
“Go talk to him, Liv. I’ll wait here.”
“Are you crazy? He looks kinda scary. Besides, how do you know it’s not you he’s watching? Come on, we’ll both go. Safety in numbers.”
I took her hand and practically pulled her after me. We wound between the dancers until we were in front of the man in black.
“Hi,” I said, showing my brilliant erudition. “I’m Olivia; this is Ashley.”
He just smiled, not saying anything, and for a moment I felt like the fly pulled into the spider’s web. Then he spoke, and his voice was deep, quiet so that we had to lean in to hear, and a little rough.
“Hello Olivia and Ashley. It is a pleasure to meet you. I am Master Alexander.”
He was definitely good-looking, no question about it, but also a little scary. I wasn’t sure if it was all the leather, or something else about him, but I wondered if coming over had been a good idea after all. I fidgeted, not certain what to say next, but Master Alexander took control of the situation.
“May I buy you ladies a drink?”
Without waiting for an answer, he led off toward the bar, and Ashley started following him. I hesitated, not wanting to run into Master Nicholas and his vixen, but I didn’t see them any longer. Ashley looked back, a question in her eye, and I smiled and followed her over to Master Alexander at the bar.
“Two cosmos for the ladies, John, and I’ll have a bourbon, rocks, please.”
“Actually, if you don’t mind, I’d prefer a gin martini, dry, thank you.”
Ashley and Master Alexander both regarded me as I changed the order, but John the bartender merely shrugged and started making the drinks.
“You know what you like, I see, little one.”
I bristled a bit at the “little one,” but dammit, I was little, as in a bit on the short side. Was he trying to be rude? Ashley put her hand on my arm and I calmed down. Master Alexander didn’t miss anything, though.
“You don’t like being called ‘little one’? Ah, of course, this is your first time here, and you are new to the scene. I meant no disrespect. It is a term of endearment a Dominant may use when addressing his submissive, nothing more.”
“Very well, forgive me, Al-, er, Master Alexander,” I said. “You’re right; we’re both new here, and we have a lot to learn.”
“I would be very happy to be your teacher.”
Just then the drinks arrived, obviating any immediate need to respond to that. Master Alexander saluted us with his glass, and we each sipped.
“And what about you, Ashley? Would it bother you to be called ‘little one’?”
“No,” she said quickly. “No, not at all.”
I looked sideways at her. Ashley was full of surprises tonight. First she’d been hesitant about coming with me tonight, only agreeing when I begged her, then she’d seemed a little shocked by what we saw when we arrived, and now she was practically jumping at the chance to be all submissive.
Master Alexander smiled, having identified his catch, and now he would begin to reel her in. Ashley gulped, looked down into her drink, and squeezed my arm.
“Hello, Alex, how are you tonight?”
He had appeared out of nowhere at my other side. Master Alexander lifted his glass in greeting.
“Olivia and Ashley, I’m so glad you elected to stay. Are you enjoying yourselves?”
I opened my mouth to answer, but before I could say a word Ashley jumped right in. “We are very much, thank you, Master Nicholas.”
I blinked, and Master Nicholas laughed.
“I think our little Miss Olivia isn’t used to not getting her word in. Come, Olivia, dance with me. Ashley will be just fine with Master Alexander.”
Without waiting for a response, he took my drink and set it on the bar, then took my hand and led me out to the floor. I was in such a state of shock I didn’t even protest, and then I was even more in shock about not protesting.
The piece that was playing that moment was a mix of fast melody and slow rhythm, such that one could dance to it any number of ways. Master Nicholas pulled me in close to him and chose the slow rhythm. Meanwhile, my heart chose the fast one, fluttering in my chest like a nectar-seeking hummingbird. Where his hand and arm pressed against my back I felt as if he might sear through my skin, I was so hyper-aware of him. I stole one glance back at the bar.
“Don’t worry, your friend will be all right with Master Alexander. He can be a little rough around the edges, but he won’t hurt her in any way.”
“And you? Will you hurt me in any way?”
He paused, leaned in close in and whispered in my ear, “That depends. Do you want me to?”
My heart skipped a beat. I sucked in a couple deep breaths before responding.
“What happened to the other girl? From the orientation? I saw you buy her a drink at the bar. She really seemed to like you.”
“Vera. Sweet girl, very nice. Some day she’ll make a wonderful sub for somebody. I don’t think that somebody will be me, however.”
If he kept doing this to me, I was going to need a cardiac response team.
He pulled back slightly to look me in the eye, an enigmatic smile on his face.
“Can’t you guess?”
I shook my head.
“Let’s just say, I think there may be somebody else who is more my type.”
I’m pretty sure I stepped on his toe then. He just grinned and pulled me close again. He wasn’t just leading, he was pretty much dancing for both of us. I just held on for the ride. Again I felt his breath in my ear.
“For that, little Olivia, I may need to punish you. What do you think a crushed toe is worth? Five swats across the rear?”
I nearly pulled out of his arms when he said that, but he held me tighter and shocked me further when he nipped my earlobe with his teeth. I felt a flash of heat sear down through me, from my ear right down into my belly. What the hell was he doing to me? No man had ever talked to me like this before, and no man had ever in just two minutes made me want to drop everything and drag him off to a back room. Or be dragged off. Whichever. I admit, I was a little confused.
Which reminded me. This place had back rooms. Oh oh.
“Calm down, little one. It won’t happen tonight, though the temptation is very strong. You aren’t yet a member, and as you learned in orientation, there are a few protocols we must follow before anything happens beyond this dance.”
This time I was the one to pull back, looking up into his eyes.
“What if I wanted something more to happen tonight? I could go sign up with Walter right now, then I’d be a member.”
“Master Walter, and yes, you could, but we still have a cooling off period. I want you to sleep on it, think about it for twenty-four hours first, make sure this is what you really want. Still, I hope you’ll decide to come back.”
“But I do want this. I know I do. I mean, yes, I’m a little conflicted, but not about this club, not about… well, not about you. Do you really mean that no one can come in here and be swept off their feet and have love at first sight, or anything like that, when I could go into any other bar in town and take someone home that same night?”
“Would you do that? Go into a bar and take someone you’d just met home that same night?”
“If I wanted to, I… well… no. No, I wouldn’t, but that’s not the point.”
“Actually, it’s exactly the point. You see, you have good sense about these things, and here we’ve just codified that good sense into our rules.”
I stamped my foot in frustration. I wasn’t really all that used to not getting my way, and now two men in as many weeks had essentially said no when I offered them… well, I hadn’t actually offered anything to Master Nicholas yet, but he pretty clearly knew what I wanted. He was still grinning at me, while all I could do was frown. He reached out and tucked a lock of hair behind my ear.
“Sweet Olivia. You are so cute when you’re frustrated. Why don’t I take you back to the bar, where you can have a second drink with your friend Ashley and talk things over. I must get back to work here, in any case. I’m on duty tonight, even if I am mightily distracted by the most enchanting sub to walk through that front door in a very long time.”
With that, he took my hand again and led me back to where Ashley was still in conversation with Master Alexander.
“John, whatever the lady would like, on me, please. Gin martini, was it?”
And he was gone, melted back into the crowd.
Ashley looked into my eyes, trying to figure out if it went well or not. Even I wasn’t certain which it was.
“Are you all right, Liv?”
“I think I need to go home.”
“Already? But…” She looked at Master Alexander.
He nodded, then said, “I’ll see you to the door, and Master Walter will call you a cab, if you like.”
For the next week I was an automaton. I went through the motions of my life and work without really being there, without paying much attention. My focus was entirely on what had happened at the Spot. I mean, nothing had happened, but I could not take my mind off it. Off him. Nicholas. Master Nicholas. One dance, a few dozen words, that’s all we really shared. Oh, and one seriously hot ear nibble. How could such a simple thing have turned me on so fully? I guess it meant I was finding what I needed after all, but it was so frustrating!
The day after our visit to the Spot, I wanted to go right back, but I was also so ticked off at having been told I couldn’t have what I wanted when I wanted it that I stayed home instead, out of spite. Though I think the only one to feel the effect of that spite was me. The next day I didn’t go again, and the next day, and very soon I found myself in the position of wondering if I even could go back. What would I say to him?
I had lunch with Melody, and when I told her what Ashley and I had done, she couldn’t believe it.
“You actually went into a place like that? Liv, what were you thinking? You don’t know what kind of creeps hang out in these sex clubs.”
“Well, actually, the people there seemed a whole lot less creepy than some of the guys we’ve seen on the Avenue on a Friday or Saturday night.”
“Yeah, but you went into their lair! The freakin’ lair of the creeps! They had you in their clutches. What if they hadn’t let you go?”
“Again, it really wasn’t like that. In fact, that’s kinda the problem.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I sort of wish they had been less responsible. They have all these rules…”
“Rules? What, rules for creepiness?”
“Mel, would you just shut up for a second? You really don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“And you do?”
“Well, I was there. Anyway, what I’m saying is, they take safety and security pretty seriously. You have to become a member, you have to go through an orientation, there are all sorts of classes, they have monitors to make sure everything is on the up-and-up…”
“So what’s the problem, then?”
“Well, there’s this guy…”
“Ah ha! Now we’re getting to it. There’s always a guy. What’s his name?”
“Nicholas. Anyway, he sort of works there. I’m not sure if it was like a volunteer thing or an actual job, but he was definitely in some kind of authority position.”
“What, like a bouncer?”
I thought about that. I guess I didn’t really ask exactly what Nicholas did there.
“Well, maybe. I guess if it became necessary, he’d be like a bouncer. Though I think he was more focused on making sure everyone had a good time than anything else. Almost a… hmm, like a marketing rep. Since it was an orientation event, after all.”
“So what’s the problem with this Nicholas?”
“Mel, you wouldn’t believe it, but I fell hard for this guy the moment I laid eyes on him. I don’t think I’ve ever reacted to anyone like that before.”
“And he didn’t reciprocate. Uh huh. I’m sorry, sweetie.”
“Actually, he did. He even brushed off a gorgeous blonde in order to spend some time with me.”
“Wow, really? Ok, so what’s the problem? I wish I had problems like that.”
“So, we’re dancing and talking…”
“This is good.”
“Right. Anyway, then he just sort of says ‘That’s it for tonight, but I do hope you’ll come back.’”
“He blew you off?”
“Well, he said it was a club rule, a mandatory 24-hour cooling off period before new members could do more than attend the dance, or something like that. But he really wanted me to come back. Or said he did.”
“So what’s the problem?”
She could be so frustratingly logical at times, I wanted to choke her.
“Well, I wanted to do more with him, right then! Right there! My God, Mel, I don’t know how to explain it, but I would have torn his clothes off in some back booth and ravished him on the spot, and he knew it, he freaking knew it, yet he coolly said ‘come back tomorrow.’ I’ve never been so frustrated! So I’m angry, and that’s why I haven’t gone back.”
Melody shook her head. “Do you know how silly you sound, Liv? What does Ashley think about all this?”
“You know, that’s the weirdest part. I really thought she was only going along to support me, that she wouldn’t like it at all, but I think she actually got turned on by it.”
“Have you asked her about it since?”
No. No, I hadn’t. Why the hell not? I was so consumed with my own doubts and frustrations that I didn’t call up my best friend and check in on her after rocking her world with that club. Now I had guilt playing on my mind as well.
“Well, actually, Liv… I did go back.”
I nearly dropped the phone.
“You did? Without me?”
“I’m sorry. I wanted to call you up, but you were in such a mood after last time, and I thought maybe you needed to sort it out first. I was going to wait, but…” There was a moment of silence. “Well, I decided I wanted to see more of what they had going on. I really didn’t expect this, Liv, but I really like that place.”
“So you’re a member now.”
“So you’ve been to… more… than the Grind.”
Ashley hesitated. “Yes.”
I didn’t know what to say. Finally I just asked, “How many times?”
“Just once. But I’m definitely going back for more. And Liv… I want you to come with me. If you want to, that is.”
“Was he there?”
“Did you talk to him?”
“Are you going to answer with more than one word responses? Or do I need to keep prying it out of you?”
She laughed. “Ok, ok, I give. Yes, Master Nicholas was there, and yes, I talked with him. No, I didn’t do anything more with him than talk, though he’s certainly attractive enough. Everybody there seems to really like and respect him.” She paused. “He asked about you.”
“He did? What did he say?”
“He just asked how you were doing, and whether I thought you would return.”
“And? What did you tell him?”
“I told him I hadn’t seen you. I told him I didn’t know for sure, but I thought, yes, probably you would come back, you just needed a little time. He was good with that, he didn’t pry or anything. He’s really very nice. If you didn’t like him, Liv, I’d… well, he’s not interested in me, anyway, it’s you he’s after.”
“He told you this?”
“Not in so many words. But, Liv, a man doesn’t ask a girl about another girl unless he’s interested. And I get the sense that Master Nicholas isn’t much of a girl-chaser. He doesn’t need to be. They’re all chasing him.”
“You mean Vera.”
“Yes, Vera was there, too. She’s definitely angling after him, but he keeps putting her off. Liv…”
“Right. If you don’t go back… well, he’s a man, he’ll only wait so long. But I think he is waiting for you. I think you should go see him.”
[Continue on to Return to the Club –>]
© Lace Winter and lacewinter.com, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lace Winter and lacewinter.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Pingback: The Grind | Lace Winter