The master, p.28
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       The Master, p.28

         Part #8 of Submissive series by Tara Sue Me
 

  She sipped the water. “Tastes good.”

  “I have chocolate, too.” He held up a fun-sized bar.

  “Even better.” She smiled at him as she ate it, but it felt forced. Telling herself it was just her emotions going haywire after the scene, she settled back into his arms, certain things would feel different in the morning.

  Chapter Twelve

  Something was off with Sasha, Cole thought the next morning as he watched her kneeling and doing her morning meditation. It was so subtle, he didn’t think he’d have noticed if he wasn’t around her for so much of the day. She said the right things, did the right things, and she wore the smile that always made him feel warm inside.

  So what was it?

  He’d been honest with her the night before. He had planned to stop after that last orgasm and it did comfort him that she said her safe word when she felt the need.

  When they’d made it back to the house, he’d drawn a bath and washed her. After, he’d poured them both some wine and they cuddled some more in bed.

  He didn’t plan on her doing anything sexual for at least the next twenty-four hours. Her body had been tested last night and it needed to recuperate. More importantly, her mind probably did, too.

  Though he normally took her mouth after she meditated, today, he stood in front of her and held out his hand.

  “Slip your dressing gown on and come have breakfast with me,” he said.

  She looked up at him and her eyes were red and wet.

  “Sasha?” he dropped down to her side and put his arms around her. This wasn’t a panic attack, this was something more. “What’s wrong? Why are you crying?”

  She sobbed. “I don’t know.”

  “I do,” he said. “You’re having one hell of a sub drop.” Her body’s adjustment to the drop in endorphin levels had never been this severe, but it wasn’t unexpected due to the night before.

  “It’s never been so bad before.”

  “I imagine not, but I’m here and we’re going to get through it.”

  She brought her knees to her chest and hugged them. “Okay.”

  “First thing you need to do is get some clothes on and eat something. Let me make a quick phone call while you get dressed.” He’d had a few calls scheduled for today, but he needed to be with Sasha. The calls could wait.

  She looked delicate and fragile when she stepped out of the bathroom. He held out his hand and she hurried to take it. At least she still liked him to touch her.

  “Ready to eat?” he asked.

  “Yes, Sir.”

  “I think I’ll just do something quick. Oatmeal sound good?”

  “Perfect, Sir.”

  In his mind he updated his plans so he could be with her. They would eat breakfast and go on a walk around the property. Exercise usually helped sub drop, and he’d been wanting to get Sasha’s opinion on the landscaping and to see if she had any ideas on improving the yard.

  He squeezed her hand as they walked down the stairs. Hopefully, by this afternoon or evening, she’d feel more like her normal self.

  While they ate, she brought up something that took him completely by surprise. He’d just finished making a cup of tea when she asked, “You know what I’d like to do?”

  “What?”

  “I’d like for you to host a tea party and have me serve everyone.”

  He put his teacup back down. “Indeed? Where did that come from?”

  She ducked her head. “I was watching you drink your tea and thought about how much I liked serving it to you. And then I thought I’d like to it do for more than one person. Like you’d talked about once before. I’ve never served tea for a group. And part of me would like to show people I’m better than I was last night.”

  Her words were hurried, like she was afraid he’d turn her down or say no.

  “Your mind is a delight, Sasha.”

  She blushed slightly.

  “I think a party would be a brilliant idea, but I want you to do it because you want to. There is no need for you to try and make up for an error that’s already been corrected.”

  “I understand.”

  She didn’t appear as though she was going to change her mind, so he simply added, “I’ll give it some thought.”

  • • •

  The following Wednesday night, ten minutes before people were due to arrive, Sasha stood in the kitchen, mentally running through Cole’s plans for the day. The food was all prepared and ready to serve. It wasn’t time to boil water for the tea just yet. She’d moved the china into the dining room earlier. Cole had decided to only invite the senior Dominants for tea.

  She pressed her palms against the black dress Cole had picked out for her to wear. It felt damn awkward wearing clothes. Made her feel like she was hiding something. A nervous giggle escaped her. Who would have thought she’d ever feel more comfortable walking at home either naked or in skimpy lingerie than fully clothed?

  “What’s so funny, little one?”

  She jumped at the sound of Cole’s voice. Damn it. How did she miss him entering the kitchen? He stood in the doorway wearing a suit and tie. His hands were casually shoved in his pockets and a wide grin covered his face.

  Her cheeks heated at being caught unaware. “Just thinking about how comfortable I am being naked and how I wouldn’t have thought it possible a month ago.”

  The grin was still in place as he crossed the room to her, though his eyes had grown dark. He lifted her chin with his hand. “I’m immensely pleased to see your growth as a submissive and how you’ve embraced your training.”

  “Thank you, Sir.”

  “And I have no doubt you will be exemplary in your service to me today.”

  A not so subtle reminder as to where her focus should be. “I truly enjoy serving you, Sir.” She nibbled on her lip, debating on whether or not she should say anything else. The thought of leaving him in a few days, of him taking off his collar, kept her quiet. She ran a finger along its edge.

  “Sasha?”

  But now was the time to show exactly how much she’d grown. She felt as if she’d accomplished so much in the short period of time they’d been together. Serving him was like nothing she’d ever experienced and he’d been so patient, helping her in her journey. She only had to think back to the tender way he cared for her during the sub drop she experienced to know she wouldn’t be in the place she was if it hadn’t been for him.

  “I just wanted to say thank you for agreeing to these two weeks. I’ve learned so much and I think when the right Dom asks, I’ll be ready.”

  His hand slipped to cup her cheek and he dropped his head so his lips almost brushed hers. “You think or you know you’ll be ready?”

  “I know, Sir.”

  “Words, little one.” His breath was warm on her skin. “They have meanings.”

  “There’s something else I know.”

  “Yes?”

  “I know I don’t want to leave in two days.”

  He froze. She didn’t think he breathed. And then he nearly growled, “Bloody hell, Sasha,” and took her lips in a deep kiss she felt in her toes.

  She whimpered in a combination of bliss and need, pleased that his only reply was to pull her closer. Her fingers tangled in his hair and he moaned when she gave it a tug. Damn it all, she would never get enough of his kisses.

  The chime of the doorbell made them both jump.

  Not ready to meet his eyes, she buried her head in his chest. But as always, he wouldn’t let her hide.

  “Look at me, Sasha.”

  She peeked at him, but couldn’t read his expression. “Sir?”

  “I’m not finished with this conversation. When everyone leaves, we’re picking right back up where we left off.” He kissed her quickly on the forehead and then left.

  The exchange left her weak kneed and shaky and she was grateful for the few minutes she had to compose herself. Her focus needed to be on the upcoming tea service. Her talk with Cole would have to wait.
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  A few of the senior Doms stood in the living room, talking. Daniel and Evan were off to the side talking to Nathaniel. Jeff was sitting down, texting someone. Probably Dena. She didn’t see Master Greene. Sasha’s role was to be on the lookout for ways to help, but to remain as unobtrusive as possible. And she wasn’t to speak to anyone without Cole’s permission.

  Cole inclined his head slightly at her entrance and the right side of his mouth lifted in a hint of a smile. Sasha gave him one of her own and then glanced around the room to ensure everything was in order. She noticed Kelly Bowman, the female Domme, had watched the exchange between her and Cole.

  She turned around to check on the table for the third time and when she turned back to the group, Kelly was at her side.

  “Master Johnson,” she said, getting his attention. “May I have your permission to speak with Sasha?”

  “You may, but keep it short. She’s busy.” He looked at Sasha. “You may talk for five minutes.”

  Sasha felt like dragging Kelly down the hall so they could talk in private. Until that moment, she hadn’t realized how much she’d missed girly conversation. Talking to Julie or Abby on the phone wasn’t the same as being in the room with someone. Besides, with the tea party being a group event, she wasn’t at liberty to gossip with the Domme.

  Kelly pulled her to a quiet corner. “You look good. Everything going okay?”

  “I’ve rarely felt more content, Ma’am.”

  “As soon as word gets out I’ve seen you, Julie and Dena are going to be hounding my ass for details. For the next five minutes, I’m just Kelly.” She flipped her hair over her shoulder. “If you feel that’s too disrespectful, do it anyway and I’ll tell Master Johnson you’ve been a naughty little slave so he can punish you.”

  Sasha laughed. “Thanks, Kelly. Seriously though, I really don’t want this time to end. It’s been eye-opening and insightful and he’s, well, he’s incredible.”

  “Dear Lord, Julie will go batshit crazy.”

  “Most likely.”

  “Have you talked to Cole? Does he know how you feel?”

  “We’re talking tonight, when everyone leaves.”

  “I hope you get everything you want, Sasha. You’ve been through a lot, but you took a bad situation and you learned from it and grew stronger.”

  “Thank you. I feel stronger.”

  Kelly leaned in close. “There’s no feel about it. You are stronger. Own it. Own it with pride.”

  • • •

  Cole was only half listening to the conversation among Daniel, Nathaniel, and Evan. The majority of his attention was focused on Sasha’s conversation with Kelly. The Domme had said something that made Sasha laugh, but the rest of the conversation must have taken a more somber turn; she only laughed that one time. They spoke for a few more minutes until Sasha glanced at a wall clock, hugged Kelly, and made a turn around the room to ensure everyone was content.

  Kelly stayed where she was and looked him over as if observing him for the first time. He sort of felt the way he did when meeting a girl’s father, back when he was a teenager. He fought the urge to fidget and instead raised an eyebrow in Kelly’s direction. She studied him a few seconds longer before turning her attention to her phone.

  Assured nothing in the room needed her attention, Sasha shifted her focus to him. Finding him looking, she smiled briefly before dropping her eyes. Still, he watched her as she moved to stand near one of his couches. Out of the way, but available if needed. Watchful, but not overbearing. The dress he’d picked out hugged her in all the right places, and he was pleased to note she’d lost both the gaunt and the lost looks.

  All in all, she was transformed from the cowering submissive he’d first met in Daniel’s playroom. She was sharp, strong, and sexy as hell. She accepted him for who he was, and took everything he’d thrown at her in the last week and a half.

  She’d shocked the hell out of him when she admitted she didn’t want to leave, because he didn’t want her to leave, either. He could no longer imagine working without her in the room, catching up on the news without her knitting by his feet, or pushing her body to its limit. He loved watching her experience unknown pleasure before he brought her back down. And how could he go to sleep without her snuggled against him, awed by her trust in him?

  He couldn’t imagine it, and he wouldn’t do it. When everyone left, they would talk and somehow work something out so she wouldn’t leave. If she didn’t want to wear his collar permanently, they would find a middle ground.

  She glanced his way with a slight frown and he realized he was late moving everyone to the dining room. Bloody hell, she was probably worried about the food and timing the water. He’d made her worry, and that had never been his intent. He was supposed to support her, not cause her undue stress.

  Sorry, my fault, he mouthed, and the worry lines left her face. He gave her a nod and she hurried to the kitchen while he rounded everyone up and led them to the dining room.

  As everyone sat down and Sasha started serving, he let out a relieved breath. Everything was going great. She’d been worried the last few days. He’d done his best to reassure her, but knew deep down that only actually doing the service would erase the doubt.

  His eyes followed her around the table with an odd mixture of pride and desire. Bloody hell. What was it about a slave serving tea that turned him on so much? He could watch her forever and fortunately, everyone was talking among themselves so he didn’t feel the need to make small talk.

  He almost missed Evan’s hand shoot out to cover his cup before she could pour him water. “I’ll just have ice water, thanks.”

  Sasha faltered, just for a second, before nodding and continuing around the table. Most likely she was going to finish with the tea before getting Evan’s water. Exactly what he would have instructed her to do.

  “It’s rare to see someone be both an ass and a dick at the same time,” Kelly quipped from across the table. She had never gotten along with Evan, but no one knew exactly why.

  “I don’t see how this is any of your business, K,” Evan said. “I just don’t like hot tea.”

  “You’re missing the entire point. If that’s the case, why did you come today at all?”

  “I assumed there would be a discussion at some point about group business. I wanted to be part of it.”

  “In that case, you let her prepare the tea and you don’t drink it. Were you raised in a barn?”

  Sasha had made her way to Cole and though she’d appeared calm from across the table, up close he could tell she was trembling. Because of Evan or something else?

  Cole reached out and lightly brushed her wrist as she served him. He wanted her to know she was doing great and how proud he was. She relaxed under his touch.

  “Excellent job, little one,” he whispered, and she slipped into the kitchen, her demeanor calm once again.

  He would pull Evan aside after and talk with him. Though from the look and sound of it, Kelly was doing a good job setting him straight. He let them go at each other for a bit, but knew he had to put a stop to it before Sasha returned.

  “Kelly, Evan,” he said, purposely leaving off their titles. “Sasha will be back any minute, and I strongly suggest you cease the bickering now. I will take it very personally if you stress her out in any way.”

  “Sorry, Cole,” Kelly said, throwing one last glare at her nemesis across the table. “You’re right.”

  Evan huffed but didn’t say anything.

  “Do we need to step outside?” Cole asked the young Dom. “You will not cause her stress.”

  “I assure you, Master Johnson, I wish her no harm.”

  Cole gave him a curt nod, but the air still hummed with tension when Sasha reappeared. Daniel took over the conversation, changing the subject by asking for volunteers to work the melanoma fund-raiser.

  Minutes later, Sasha was serving everyone smoothly and Daniel had several positions filled. Cole rolled his shoulders and relaxed
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