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       Headmaster, p.17

         Part #2 of Lessons From the Rack series by Tara Sue Me
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  paperwork that would allow her into the club. Not for the first time, she was thankful Fulton had ties to the club and had taken care of the needed recommendation to help her gain entrance.

  Lennox had been gone for two weeks. Two. After he’d said he’d be gone for a week or so. She supposed two weeks technically fit into the definition of “a week or so” but still. . . .

  She had never gone so long without hearing from him or talking to him, and though she’d known she’d miss him, she’d not anticipated how much or how intently. Maybe it was foolish, but she’d feel better if she could just see him.

  The young woman working the front desk took her paperwork and started entering Mariela’s information. “Fulton Matthews is your recommending member?” she asked with a lift of her perfectly sculpted eyebrow.

  “Yes,” Mariela answered, finding the woman’s renewed interest in her humorous.

  She stopped typing and picked up a pen. “Any chance he’ll show up tonight?” She started twisting the pen. “To, you know, play or something?”

  Mariela shook her head. “No, he’s not in town.”

  “Shame. Even if I had to watch him play with someone else, it’d still be nice to see him. Last of the great single Masters.”

  “Not so single anymore. He collared a friend of mine not too long ago.”

  “Seriously? Damn. Never thought that would happen.”

  Mariela had never thought it would either. But Andie was exactly what Fulton needed. And likewise, Fulton was perfect for her.

  “I actually know another guest here, too.” Mariela hadn’t planned on bringing up Lennox, but the woman behind the desk seemed so friendly. “Tall, dark hair. Doesn’t smile a lot.”

  The other lady’s eyes widened. “Master Mac? Right?”

  Master Mac? What the hell?

  “The guy I’m talking about has never gone by that name before.”

  The lady in front of her shrugged. “He said it was new for him, but that he liked it. One of the club submissives picked it out for him.”

  Mariela was unprepared for the overwhelming rush of possessive jealousy that swept through her so hot she felt as if it would burn her alive. Maybe it had been childish of her, but she’d thought their night together meant something to him. That perhaps he might not be able to bring himself to play with anyone else afterward.

  She wasn’t even totally convinced it was the same man, but on the off chance it was, at least she had advance warning. Taking a deep breath, she worked up the courage to proceed inside. After all, she hadn’t come all this way to sit in the shadows.

  “If that’s all I need to do, can I go change?” Mariela asked.

  “Sure. The ladies’ dressing room is through those double doors and to your right. There’s an entrance to the club from there.”

  Someone else entered the main doorway behind her and the woman’s attention shifted to them. Mariela picked up her bag and headed to change.

  There were only a few other women in the dressing room. Mariela couldn’t help looking at them and wondering if any of them was the submissive who gave Lennox his new nickname.

  Two of the women present smiled and said hello, but no one attempted to start up a conversation. She hurriedly changed into her chosen fetish wear: a nearly see-through lace corset and micro miniskirt. As far as footwear, she undid the boot that had replaced her cast. Technically, she wasn’t supposed to take it off except to shower, but what would a few minutes hurt? To compensate, she put a brace on and wrapped her right ankle. Then did the same to her left, so she wouldn’t appear injured. Would Lennox be surprised to see her walking?

  As soon as she stepped out into the club, she was hit with the smell of sex, sweat, and leather. That, along with the deep pounding bass of whatever music was being played, served to remind her why she didn’t frequent clubs. There was nothing about this intense public environment that turned her on.

  Her eyes scanned the crowd, taking in the scene as well as looking for Lennox. The decor was mostly dark: deep reds and black. A bar was set up along the far wall and a dance floor separated an area filled with couches and a public play space.

  Her eyes drifted upward to the balcony. Fulton had told her a lot of people went up there because it was quieter. If she knew Lennox, that’s where he’d be. Sure enough, it didn’t take long for her to spy him in one of the corners talking to someone who looked a lot like Terrence Knight.

  She was almost ready to head up the nearby stairs when a tall, redheaded woman approached the two men. The woman all but ignored Terrence and only spoke with Lennox. He wore an expression of surprise, like he wasn’t expecting her, and her heart sank because she had the strangest feeling she was looking at one of the women he used to spend his Friday nights with.

  The woman looked over her shoulder as if she was talking to somebody, or waiting for a signal. Lennox looked in the same direction and she saw his mouth move, talking to somebody out of her line of sight. She gasped because the next second, he gave the redhead a big hug. And that hurt. He had never hugged her like that. Never.

  She should leave before she did something stupid like burst into tears. But as she took a step to spin around, she ran into a massive man. He reached out to steady her.

  “Whoa, hold up. Are you okay?”

  Ow. Fuck!

  She had nearly twisted her bad ankle in her haste to flee, it hurt like the devil. She tried to ignore the pain and instead looked up to see who she’d run into. Obviously, she didn’t know him, but everything about him exuded Dominant. He was rather nice-looking, rugged, more blue-collar than white. The hand on her shoulder confirmed that. It was rough, a working man’s hand. The complete opposite of Lennox.

  She smiled. “Yes, sorry, I was thinking about leaving. But now I think I’ll stay.”

  The look of pure delight covered his expression. “Really? Because I was about to ask if you’d like to get a drink?”

  “I’d like that very much.” And without a backward glance to Lennox, she followed him to the bar.

  His name was Matt. He worked in the lumber industry. And he had been a Dom for eight years. She told him she was a dancer, but didn’t mention the fact that she taught at the RACK Academy. She told him she was new in the area, which wasn’t a bold-faced lie, but it was stretching the truth a little bit. She also added that she was looking for a new club.

  He was sweet, commanding, and charming. He was everything a woman would want in a Dom, except for the fact that he wasn’t Lennox.

  Yet when he asked her if she’d like to play, she accepted.

  “Any hard limits?” he asked.

  “Blood play, body fluids, sex, fisting, breath play.”

  He nodded. “Safe word?”

  “Red.” The butterflies in her belly were having a party. Holy hell, what was she getting ready to do? Play with a man she didn’t know, in a club she’d never been in, all to make a man who didn’t even know she was there jealous?

  She was one thousand percent out of her mind.

  “You mentioned sex as a hard limit,” he said, his blue eyes steady. “Can you elaborate?”

  She’d intentionally been vague to see if he’d pick up on it. He rose a few notches in her book. “I don’t want any sort of penetrative sex.”

  “Got it. Are you opposed to orgasms?”

  “I don’t know a woman alive who is,” she said as dryly as possible.

  He laughed. “Just making sure.” He looked around the club, probably trying to find an open space. “Go wait for me by the wooden bench, and from here on out, I expect to be addressed as Sir.”

  She thought it was more than likely her imagination that she was being watched by Lennox as she made her way to the bench. Yet with each step, she couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was drilling holes in her back with the force of their gaze.

  Probably just curious club members, she decided. She was new, after all.

  It wasn’t surprising that no one approached her as she walk
ed to the bench. What was surprising was the redhead who’d been talking with Lennox—scratch that, who’d hugged him—stood at the edge of a crowd gathered near the bench.

  Mariela was proud that she didn’t look around to see if Lennox was also nearby. He shouldn’t even be a thought in her head at the moment. She was playing as Matt’s sub and he deserved to have the focus of her attention.

  With downcast eyes, she knelt by the bench, wincing just a little when her ankle protested the position. Damn, she probably should have mentioned her ankle to Matt.

  “Very nice, Mary,” Matt said, suddenly appearing before her.

  Mary? Why the hell was he calling her Mary? Had he already forgotten her name? She gave serious thought to correcting him, but decided not to. What did it matter anyway? She wouldn’t see this guy after tonight.

  “You may stand, strip, and lean over the bench. Keep your head down. Your eyes are for me only, not the rest of the club. As far as you’re concerned, we’re the only ones here. Understood?”

  “Yes, Sir.” That was an odd request, to keep her head down, but she really didn’t want to know if Lennox was nearby, so she didn’t mind too much.

  In her rush to get to her feet, she moved too quickly and a sharp pain radiated up her leg. Hot tears sprang to her eyes, but she blinked them back, thankful that her head was down and no one saw.

  She worked quickly to undress. Her ankle hurt when she moved it, but she didn’t say anything because her ankle had nothing to do with the scene she was playing with Matt. She couldn’t help but wonder what he had planned. If she had to guess, from the setup, she’d go with an impact scene. Maybe a paddle or flogger.

  Though she wasn’t with the Dom she wanted to be with, she was strangely looking forward to whatever Matt had in store. Outside of that one night with Lennox, it’d been way too long since she’d played with a knowledgeable Dom. Especially one who was a stranger. Excitement pulsed through her body.

  Oh yes, she’d forgotten the rush that preceded a scene.

  With her head still down, she turned and walked the few short steps to the bench and leaned over it. Matt moved behind her and pushed down on her upper body.

  “All the way, grab the holds at the bottom,” he said.

  She had to stand on her toes to reach them and she hoped she was able to hide her wince of pain. She decided she must have, because Matt didn’t comment on it. She took a deep breath and waited for further instruction.

  He shifted behind her, and gently stroked her backside. Though she didn’t mean to, she compared his touch to Lennox’s. She’d been right in her assessment—Matt’s hands were far rougher. And though his touch was nice, that was really all she could say about it. It didn’t make her ache with longing or burn throughout her body like Lennox’s touch.

  He spanked her a few times in warm up and she counted the lines of woodgrain on the hardwood floor. The first stroke of a flogger caught her a bit off guard and she jerked, putting more pressure on her bad ankle. She sucked in a breath at the pain.

  Matt didn’t stop or slow down, and truthfully, she didn’t want him to. She wanted him to flog her, to take her away momentarily from all her problems and to leave her mind so transfixed she didn’t feel the urge to count woodgrain.

  He gradually picked up speed and it was a decent flogging. He was perfectly adequate as a Dom, but that was it. She wondered if Lennox had ruined her for other Doms? But how could that be when he’d never flogged her?

  “I get the distinct impression you’re not with me, Mary.”

  Hell, there he went with the Mary again. She rolled her eyes. This was a mistake. She shouldn’t have agreed to do this. Lennox was probably still upstairs and all she’d have to show for the club visit was a sore ankle.

  The next strikes of the flogger were low on her body. He struck the back of her calves, the tips hitting just above the brace, and she yelped. Finally, she let go of the handhold and fell hard to her feet. Pain shot up her leg.

  “Damn it. Red,” she exclaimed as she slid to the floor.


  “Her fucking name is not Mary.”

  Mariela groaned at the sound of his voice. Of course. Now he’d show up. Now, when she was on her ass in front of god and everyone in a new club.

  “Who are you?” she heard Matt ask.

  “I’m her employer.”

  “Man, that’s fucked up.” Matt had certainly nailed that one. “But this is my scene and you need to leave.”

  Except she didn’t want Lennox to leave. She was embarrassed as hell and felt like shit, but she didn’t want him to leave. “Lennox. Stay.”

  She glanced up in time to see the look of triumph on his face. And a polar opposite look on Matt’s.

  “Are you with him?” Matt asked, and to Lennox, he added, “I asked her if she wanted to play. She didn’t say she was with anyone.”

  “No, I’m not with him.” Mariela tried to stand, but her ankle hurt too much. “He’s a friend is all.”

  “Where’s your boot?” Lennox asked with a bit of anger in his tone.

  “In the dressing room,” she mumbled.

  Lennox gave a signal to someone behind her.

  “You didn’t tell me you were injured,” Matt said.

  She reached her hand up to Lennox. “Help, please.”

  Lennox scooped her up while glaring at Matt. “You didn’t ask if she had any medical issues?”

  As Lennox’s words sank in, his face paled and he saw his error. “No. But she should have told me.”

  “Agreed,” Lennox said. “And I’ll be having that conversation with her privately. But for now, I want you to see your mistake as a Dom.”

  “Who are you?” Matt asked.

  But instead of answering him, Lennox turned to the group of men he’d been standing with upstairs. “This lack of communication between players is exactly what I was telling you that you needed to watch out for. Both parties were in error here, but it is imperative that you ensure your Doms know what to ask when negotiating a scene.”

  Lennox was here consulting? Mariela looked at him in shock. What the hell?

  “Marie, the submissive here, hurt her leg in a car accident and it would appear that she is supposed to be wearing a boot. Is that right, Marie?”

  She felt her face heat. “Yes, Sir.”

  “And you didn’t feel it necessary to let the Dom you were playing with know about the injury?”

  Damn him for doing this in public. “I didn’t think he’d do anything that would put stress on my leg or ankle.”

  “And as a sub in the scene are you supposed to know everything he has planned?”

  “No, Sir.”

  “Exactly. Which is why Doms rely on the submissive to not withhold important information. Wouldn’t you agree?”

  Oh, she was going to let him have it when they were alone. “Yes, Sir. I royally fucked up. Not telling the Dom I was playing with about my ankle was fuckup number three. Playing with someone was fuckup number two. But my number one fuckup was giving a shit about you and coming here in the first place.”

  Several of the surrounding people gasped at her words, several others snickered. Lennox glared at her.

  “Are you trying to earn a spanking?” he asked.

  “I don’t know. Can you do anything other than run your mouth? Sir?”

  She didn’t know what she was doing. The words simply left her mouth without any communication with her brain. Perhaps, deep inside, she was hoping he’d punish her. But one look at the expression on his face told her that he was onto her.

  “I happen to recall a very similar situation involving another submissive who was trying to goad me into punishing her.” Lennox spoke very calmly. “You gave me some excellent advice. Do you remember?”

  Oh, hell.

  Lennox laughed, and she realized she’d spoken out loud. “Exactly.”

  The tall redhead approached them carrying her boot and no one said anything as she buckled it in place.
  When she finished, Lennox motioned toward the Dom in the front of the group he’d been addressing. “Eric, please cane Marie for me. When you finish, bring her to me in room C. Be sure to be mindful of her injured leg and ankle.”

  She cursed under her breath, but Lennox simply nodded at her and turned away, heading toward the aftercare rooms along the back wall.

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