When her estranged lover returns to claim her, Celia must come to terms with the dual nature of her personality. But giving in to her biggest weakness could mean the end of Whipped, the bondage club she’s built from the ground up.
“What do you say, slave?” Celia swung the whip high over head for effect and then snapped it sideways, the thin tip just barely marring the smooth skin of the novice kneeling with his back to her. A seasoned sub could take much harder strokes, but even the slight sting she’d given him made him arch up and cry out in pain.
“Thank you, Mistress,” he sobbed, his hands wrapped tightly around the chains that hung from the ceiling and connected to the leather cuffs at his wrists. It took a moment longer for him to speak again.
“May I have another?”
Celia tilted her head to examine the neat row of corset markings down the young man’s spine. Her aim was getting better – it was her best work yet this week. She coiled the long length of leather, moving forward with slow, calculated steps until she was standing directly behind him.
“You’ll have to ask your new mistress. She’ll be here any moment.”
He twitched at her words, but wisely remained quiet. She smiled and walked back toward the door. The new Domme she’d arranged for him was waiting in the hall, and had watched the last few sessions with great interest. Celia was sure it would be a good match, at least until his training was complete.
Opening the door, she handed the whip to the woman standing just outside, along with the key to his bindings.
“Thank you, Celia,” the woman said, glancing into the room. “We really appreciate it.” She strode into the room, her stilettos clicking heavily on the cement floor as she went to introduce herself.
Celia closed the door and went back down the hall toward her office, the hair on the back of her neck tingling as she walked through the dimly lit corridor. Frowning, she stopped and looked behind her, but she was alone. Shaking her head, she continued to her door and pushed it open, the faux stone swinging easily on well-oiled hinges. Shutting it behind her, she leaned against the seam and closed her eyes, tired from a too-long work day and thankful it was almost over.
She breathed in deeply, her brows drawing together again as a scent she hadn’t experienced in a long time wrapped itself around her and woke a part of her she’d thought was dead.
“Duncan,” she breathed, not daring to open her eyes lest she lose the sensations rippling through her body. The only man who’d ever tapped into the submissive side of her nature, he’d left her when she refused to publicly acknowledge his dominance at the club. It would have been the end of her burgeoning business back then, when switches like her who played both a dominant and submissive depending on the circumstance were frowned on in the community. It was more acceptable now, but she hadn’t seen him in ten years. So what had brought the memories back, she wondered?
“That’s no way to greet your Master, is it? On your knees, sub.”
Celia’s eyes flew open and her whole body tensed. It took a moment to realize she wasn’t hallucinating, but it was definitely him leaning against her desk with those muscular arms crossed over a white t-shirt. His casual jeans and sneakers looked odd considering she’d never seen him in anything but leather before, but those dark, piercing eyes hadn’t changed.
Unfortunately, neither had his ability to tap into the submissive side of her nature. Even as she remained standing, she steadied herself with a hand on the doorknob, fighting the urge to give in to his command.
“Surely you haven’t forgotten me,” he said, pushing off the desk and moving closer with slow, deliberate steps. “Your body hasn’t. I can see you fighting to stay on your feet. What I don’t know is why. We’re in your office, no one can see… what’s the harm in showing your master some respect?”
She shook her head, holding out one hand. “Don’t come any closer. And you’re not my master, not any more. You gave up that position a long time ago when you decided to leave. Why are you here?”
He stepped into her hand, bumping against it with his chest, and she let it drop to her side. Being in the same room with him was dangerous enough. Touching him was the height of foolishness. One more step, and he loomed over her with his full six-foot-four frame, forcing her to look up.
“I’m here to claim what’s mine,” he said, the words practically rumbling out of his throat and vibrating to her core. “Now kneel.”