The master, p.5
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       The Master, p.5

         Part #8 of Submissive series by Tara Sue Me
 

  “I didn’t see the point. It was over and done.” But deep inside she knew she should have told someone. If not Daniel, then one of the other senior group members.

  “The call triggered a panic attack.” His words were simple, but they were true and from the corner of her eyes, she saw Julie cross her arms and press her lips together.

  “I told my therapist.”

  He shook his head. “It’s not the same, and you know it. Peter was told he could remain in the group with certain restrictions. But more than that, anytime someone in the group does something to another member that is harmful, I need to know. How am I to keep you safe if I don’t know?”

  Sasha had to admit that Julie was a fortunate woman. She’d initially had her misgivings about her best friend dating and later wearing the collar of such an experienced Dominant, but Daniel had proven her wrong. He really was a strong protector, and he loved Julie with an intensity and passion that took her breath away.

  “I thought I could handle it on my own,” she admitted.

  “I appreciate that, but we’re here to help and support you, and we can’t do that if you don’t tell us what’s going on. Now”—he gave her a knowing smile—“the next time something like this happens, you’re to let me or someone else know. But I have a feeling there won’t be a next time.”

  “How can you be so sure?” Julie asked from her corner of the couch.

  Daniel chuckled. “Let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be Peter’s mentor right now.”

  • • •

  Cole stepped out of the shower and tied a towel around his waist. Walking to the window, he peeked outside to see if Sasha’s car was parked at Daniel’s. She’d still been there when he returned from his jog. Now, it appeared as if no one was at the main house.

  He finished drying off and slipped on a clean pair of jeans and long-sleeve T-shirt. He had a phone call to make, and he’d purposely waited until he’d finished his jog and shower before calling. Over the years he’d found that he rarely reacted out of anger, but for some reason, the thought of Peter calling Sasha made his blood boil.

  Master Greene picked up on the third ring. “Hello.”

  “William, it’s Cole Johnson.”

  “Cole, hello. What’s going on?”

  “I met with Sasha today. We started on her retraining.” There was nothing from the other end of the phone, so he continued, “The retraining that is only needed because of the actions of your mentee.”

  “I’m acutely aware of the situation.” William sounded a little put off. “I would also remind you that he was not my mentee when the incident happened.”

  “Incident. Such a neat and tidy word. Let’s call it what it really was, why don’t we? You were not Peter’s mentor the night he bound and gagged Sasha, then whipped her until she passed out.”

  “Master Johnson, is there a reason you called me?”

  “Of course. I would like to know if you have any additional plans for your mentee to call or in any other way make contact with Sasha?”

  “I’m not sure what you mean by additional plans.”

  “Peter called her to apologize. He said it was part of his mentorship.”

  Soft curses were the only reply Cole received, and his suspicions concerning Peter were confirmed. “I take from your response that you didn’t ask him to call Sasha.”

  “No, I didn’t ask him to call Sasha. I did say that something of the sort might be beneficial to both of them in the future. I made it very clear the timing wasn’t right just yet.”

  “When she told me he’d called, I suspected he went behind your back.” Cole felt his anger rise at the thought of Peter’s disregard concerning Sasha’s well-being. “However, I still hold you partially responsible. You should have better control over your mentee.”

  “I had no way of knowing he would go against me.”

  “Be that as it may, I will be spending the foreseeable future trying to undo the damage the phone call created. Make sure Peter is aware that if he contacts her again, he’ll be on the receiving end of my bullwhip. And I’m nowhere near as nice as Daniel.”

  “I’ll ensure it doesn’t come to that. I’ll handle it. There’s a way to work with fragile submissives.”

  An image of Sasha kneeling in the sitting room fighting a panic attack flashed before him. He lowered his voice. “Master Greene, have you ever been whipped to the point of unconsciousness by someone you trusted to never hurt you? And then months later, returned to the same environment, willing to give that trust to another?”

  “No, but—”

  “Then you have no idea what’s it’s like for her. But let me assure you of one thing: Sasha isn’t fragile. She’s stronger than both of us put together.”

  William was silent for a long moment before clearing his throat. “If you would allow me, I would like to offer her my apologies at the next meeting on behalf of Peter.”

  “I’ll think about it and let you know.”

  “Fair enough.”

  Once he hung up, Cole put the phone on the table beside his chair and looked at the pile of papers he’d printed out to read in preparation for his next article. Somehow he couldn’t bring himself to be interested in the Indian caste system at the moment.

  He felt listless, the dull ache of nothing looming before him. If he were still in India, he would have found a willing submissive to pass the time with. While he was there for his last assignment, he had never been without female companionship if he didn’t want to be.

  And before India, there had been Kate. Her absence was probably the cause of his current melancholy, especially since it was a Sunday night. When they’d been together, they had a Sunday night routine. They would sit together in their sunroom and go over schedules for the coming week. If he thought there was something she needed to work on, he’d give her an assignment. It was also a time for her to voice any concerns she had, though she was at liberty to do so during the week as well.

  Once they had talked, the evening could proceed in a few different ways. Sometimes they’d go to his playroom, sometimes he’d take her over his knee in the sunroom. Other times, he’d just take her. But she had left, and with her went more of himself than he’d realized the day she walked out the door. What nagged him, though, was he wasn’t certain if he missed her or what she symbolized.

  He sighed and looked down to the floor, where hours before Sasha knelt.

  Sasha.

  He closed his eyes and allowed his mind to replace the image of Kate kneeling before him with Sasha at his feet. He imagined calling her name and how she’d look at him with those expressive green eyes.

  “What do you want, little one?” he asked, running his fingers through her short dark hair.

  “I want to serve you, Sir. However you wish.”

  “And if I wish for you to sit in the next room and spend the evening by yourself?”

  Her expression revealed nothing. “Then I will sit in the next room and spend the evening alone. But you will keep me company in my thoughts.”

  “Unzip my trousers and take them off.”

  She quickly had him naked from the waist down. He took his erection in his hand. “And if I tell you to stay on your knees and watch whilst I get myself off?”

  “Then I will enjoy the sight of you giving yourself pleasure.”

  “And if I tell you I want to thrust my cock into your mouth and drive it down your throat?”

  “Then I will happily show you how my deep-throating skills have improved.”

  He grabbed her hair and pushed her head toward his groin. “Suck me down as deep as possible and hold still while I fill that throat first with my cock and then with my come. If I decide you have done a good job, I’ll reward you. If you can’t take me or if you spill anything, I’ll strap your ass.”

  “With pleasure, Sir,” she said and parted her lips to take him inside.

  Cole worked his hand up and down his cock, lifting his hips as he imagined using Sasha’s mou
th. Her fingers would be digging into his skin, holding him as tightly against her as possible. He’d stroke deep, deeper, and she’d take him. He’d press as hard and as far as possible when he felt his release cresting.

  With a grunt he spilled into his hand right as his phone rang.

  “Fuck,” he panted, looking for something to clean his hand with. When was the last time he’d jerked off like a teenaged boy?

  The ringer on his phone seemed to grow louder.

  “Fucking hell.” He hit the speaker button with a finger on his clean hand without checking the caller ID. “Damn it, what?”

  “Cole?” a familiar voice asked, all breathy and feminine. “I’m sorry, is this a bad time?”

  “Kate?” he croaked. He carried the phone to the bathroom and placed it on the countertop while he washed his hands and straightened his clothes. “No, this is fine. What’s going on?”

  He hadn’t talked to Kate in months. She might not have been the very last person he thought would call him tonight, but she was pretty damn close to it.

  “I spent today unpacking,” she said.

  She had finally found a permanent place. Before now, she’d been crashing at a girlfriend’s. Cole had thought he was beyond feeling anything when it came to Kate, but hearing that she’d moved into a new place proved him wrong. Suddenly, he was acutely aware of how lonely the quiet guesthouse was.

  “I’m glad you found a new home.” He forced himself to speak through the tightness in his chest. “You’ll have to e-mail your address to me so I have it on file.”

  “That’s not why I called.”

  “Forgive me, then. You don’t have to send me your address.”

  “Would you stop being an ass and listen to me?”

  He took a deep breath and hoped his tone sounded more civil to her than it did to him. “Why did you call?”

  It was easy to picture her on the other end of the phone. She would be holding it tightly in one hand, anger blazing from her cool blue eyes. He imagined her counting to ten to calm down.

  “I unpacked some boxes today,” she repeated.

  Yes, you said that already, he bit back from saying and instead replied with, “Oh?”

  “One of your boxes got mixed up with mine.”

  “In that case, I’ll give you the address where I’m staying for the time being and you can post it to me.”

  “I know you’re staying with Daniel, you told me when we closed on our old house. It’s the box containing your mom’s jewelry. I don’t think it’d be a good idea to mail it.”

  He cursed under his breath. He thought that particular box had been put in temporary storage. His mother could trace her lineage back to the fifteenth century. Back to some earl who lost his title and estate when he pissed Henry the Eighth off or something. The jewelry had been hidden at the time and passed down through the generations. He never did anything with the pieces. He’d actually thought about giving them to a museum. Regardless, they weren’t anything he was going to give to Kate and she was right, she shouldn’t mail them.

  “I don’t have plans to visit New York anytime soon,” he said, thinking about his upcoming sessions with Sasha. “And unfortunately I can’t make any plans to visit due to previous commitments.”

  “If it’s okay with you then, I’m driving to Mom and Dad’s in about a month. I can stop by and give them to you on the way.”

  Her parents lived in Florida. When they were together, she’d visit them every few months. “That would be fine. Thank you, Kate.”

  “It’s no big deal.”

  An uncomfortable silence followed. The uncomfortable type of silence that could only be shared by those who had once shared everything and now had nothing to say. The air between them was filled with unspoken history and whispered what-ifs.

  “Thank you for calling.” They were the only words he discovered he could speak. Four fucking words to the woman he had loved and who had worn his slave collar for years.

  “Nice talking with you,” she said, but he didn’t think she sounded like she meant it.

  After he said good-bye, he went back to the living room where he distracted himself with the research he’d been avoiding. It was either that or spend hours thinking about Kate. As it was, he knew she’d be visiting his dreams that night.

  But it wasn’t a blue-eyed woman with long black hair who filled his head while he slept, rather a wounded submissive with nerves of steel who had admitted she liked it when he touched her.

  • • •

  Sasha rang the doorbell at the Wests’ residence on Monday after work. When she’d called Abby the day before, she mentioned that she’d be meeting with Cole on Wednesday, and Abby said she wanted to talk before she met with Cole again.

  Abby opened the door with a big smile. “Hey, Sasha. Come on in.”

  Sasha genuinely liked Abby. She was friendly and down-to-earth, an all-around nice person. And it was becoming harder and harder to find those.

  They walked through the house, the sound of childish giggles and shrieks meeting them in the hallway.

  “Nathaniel just got home,” Abby explained. “He’s playing with the kids. We’ll go to the office, where it’s quieter.”

  She led her to a large his-and-hers-style office and waved to a love seat.

  “This is gorgeous,” Sasha said, taking in the large room. Two desks took up most of the space, but the love seat was placed in front of a picture window in a small seating area. It was inviting and warm, just like its owner.

  “Thanks. We just had it done. Nathaniel doesn’t work from home often, but when he does, we both need our own space.”

  They sat down and Abby faced her. “Tell me how it went with Cole yesterday.”

  “He was different than I expected. But in a good way.” She thought back to how he’d calmed her down and rubbed her back.

  “He’s a complex guy, but he has your best interests in mind. I know he probably wasn’t who you thought the group would pick.” Abby gave a little chuckle. “I know it surprised me at first, but now I honestly believe he’s the best choice.”

  “You knew he wouldn’t have sex with me?” It was a bold question, and Abby seemed to be taken aback for a second—but Sasha wanted to know.

  “Yes, in fact, it was that knowledge that finally convinced me to agree for him to do your retraining.”

  Sasha raised an eyebrow at her.

  “You have to be strong mentally before you can submit physically. Once you get the mental down, the physical will follow,” Abby explained.

  “It makes sense in my head.” But damn, she’d like to have sex again. And now, with Cole saying she couldn’t orgasm without his permission, it didn’t appear like that would be happening anytime soon.

  “I’ve played with Cole before in a mental scene,” Abby said, surprising her. “And from that I learned two things: one, he knows what he’s doing, and two, he knows what he’s doing.”

  Sasha laughed. “What was it like, submitting to him?”

  “He’s intense, you know that. So much more so than Nathaniel, and trust me, Nathaniel’s intense. But Cole’s a good man and he’s fair. I don’t think you have a thing to worry about.”

  Sasha had once told Julie that she found Nathaniel too intense. Her stomach flipped over hearing Abby say Cole was even more intense than Nathaniel. Why did the thought of Cole not intimidate her as much as Nathaniel did?

  “I trust you,” Sasha said. “And I really feel supported by everyone in the group.”

  “I’m so glad. You said you’ll be meeting with Cole on Wednesday. Do you have any idea what you’ll be doing?”

  “He gave me a writing assignment.” Sasha frowned. She’d started on it last night and hadn’t gotten very far before she put it down. She hated writing. “I guess we’ll go over that.”

  “You don’t seem excited about it.”

  “I’m not. But everyone talks about how beneficial it is to write my thoughts down, so I’ll do it and see how it
goes.” Those were her words, but Sasha knew exactly how it was going to go. She’d hate every second of it.

  • • •

  Sasha chewed her bottom lip Wednesday while Cole read over the writing assignment he’d given her. She’d spent hours writing down her goals for the retraining on Monday when she got home from Abby’s. She’d thought she’d done a good job, but kneeling in the bedroom of the guesthouse he used as an office, with him sitting at his desk, she started to have doubts. He had a red pen in his hand and he was using it far too frequently. Judging by the frown on his face, she guessed he wasn’t writing Terrific insight or Excellent
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