The flirtation, p.5
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       The Flirtation, p.5
 

         Part #10 of Submissive series by Tara Sue Me
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  it looked at and hopefully fixed, but not in time for tonight.

  Best,

  Faye

  Well, damn. He smiled. He hadn’t been expecting that. It was always nice when someone surprised him in a good way. No, the audio situation wasn’t optimal, but she would be able to hear him so they could work around it for now. It would be similar to him commanding silence from a submissive or gagging her.

  He hurriedly went about getting something together for dinner, while at the same time planning what he was going to do in a few hours. He’d just sat down to eat when his phone rang. He looked at the display. Luke.

  “Hello?” he answered with a frown. He couldn’t think of a reason why Luke would be calling him.

  “Master Neal,” Luke said, “I’m so sorry to interrupt your evening, but I have a situation. You know I wouldn’t bother you otherwise.”

  Club business. That couldn’t be a good sign. “What’s the issue?”

  Luke sighed. “Anna Beth.”

  Of fucking course it was Anna Beth. He cursed the day he’d decided to go to the club and played with her. “What now?”

  “One of the staff has information that she’s been going around telling the subs you’ve played with before that the two of you are together, but you can’t go public because of her job. She’s threatening anyone who expresses any interest in you.”

  “What the fuck?” Surely Luke was making this up. “I don’t even go to the club that often.”

  “I know, but the fact is, she’s causing trouble and dragging you into it. I don’t believe her, but some people are accepting what she’s telling them.” Luke took a deep breath. “I can deal with her myself, but it’d send a stronger message if you could come down and be part of it as well.”

  Simon closed his eyes, knowing what the answer would be but having to ask the question anyway. “When?”

  “She’s coming tonight at eight.”

  It had to be eight. Of course it had to be. “I had plans, Luke.”

  “I understand. I’ll take care of it.”

  But he shouldn’t have to. Yes, he was the club’s owner and manager, but Anna Beth was a problem because of Simon. “I’ll be there,” he said, forcing each word out.

  “I truly appreciate it.”

  “Yeah, no big deal.” Except it was. He hung up after telling Luke he’d be at the club by seven forty-five, and then he wrote Faye.

  Faye,

  I am so sorry. I’ve had an urgent issue arise that I have to take care of tonight. We’re going to have to reschedule. Tomorrow night, same time?

  Apologies,

  SirSimon

  In less than two minutes he had his answer.

  I’d love to take care of any issue you have that’s come up, but I have the feeling my help isn’t needed in this instance. Maybe next time . . .

  —Faye

  He chuckled at her sense of humor and again bemoaned the fact that he was going to have to spend his time taking care of Anna Beth instead of experiencing what had the promise of being a very enjoyable video chat with Faye. He’d have to make it up to her at some point in the future.

  However, even with the promise of a future video chat in the back of his mind, Simon arrived at Luke’s club in a foul mood. It was a Thursday night and the crowd was heavier than a normal weeknight. In some ways that was a good thing; it meant there would be more witnesses. On the other hand, the very fact that there would be more witnesses meant that Anna Beth would be even more upset. Not that he cared; he would have nothing to do with Anna Beth after tonight.

  Not for the first time, he went back over the last scene they’d had together. He’d started out slowly. He’d played with her before, but it had been a long time and he’d wanted to get a feel for what she could handle before he did anything too extreme. It’d quickly become obvious, to him at least, that Anna Beth was not a masochist.

  Yes, she’d begged him for more. She’d said she wanted it harder, but he had enough experience to know when he was being lied to. Worse yet was the way her body flinched. It wasn’t a movement of acceptance and need for the pain he gave, but rather a shrinking away.

  It’d made him feel even worse than when he’d started in the lifestyle. He decided then and there the situation was too fucked-up for words. Unfortunately, Anna Beth wouldn’t use her safe word, so he’d decided to end things with the whip. He went light on her. Too light, really. And he made sure she got off. But that was it. He’d walked out of the room they’d been in and realized it was the first time he’d ever played that he didn’t get hard during the scene.

  And now the chit was telling people they were exclusive?

  What the ever-loving fuck?

  He nodded to the doorman.

  “Good evening, Master Neal,” the man, whose name Simon couldn’t remember, said. “Master DeVaan is expecting you. He said to tell you he’d be waiting at the bar.”

  “Thank you.”

  Normally, after he arrived at the club, he would stop by the locker room. But this was no normal night and he had no reason to stop there. He pushed open the double doors leading to the main area of the club.

  As expected, there were a good number of people in attendance, but he didn’t stop to talk with any of them. He wanted to get this over with as soon as possible. He looked over the crowd at the bar until he spotted Luke.

  The club owner had his back toward him, and at the moment, his attention was focused on the lovely blond woman at his side. Simon recognized Meagan Bishop, who was not only Luke’s submissive, but also the newest morning news anchor for the local television station. Their heads were close together and they appeared to be discussing something intently.

  They didn’t move apart when he walked up to them, and it wasn’t until he cleared his throat that they stopped whispering.

  “Sorry for interrupting,” he said when the two finally looked his way.

  “Master Neal.” Luke slid off the barstool. “Thank you for coming. I apologize again that you had to change your plans.”

  “Nothing that won’t keep,” he said.

  “Meagan was just telling me about a conversation she overheard in the ladies’ locker room.” He nodded toward her. “Tell him what you told me, sweetheart.”

  Meagan was frowning, which wasn’t like her at all. Not only that, but something lurked behind her expression that gave Simon the chills. “I was in the shower area, but no one knew I was back there because I wasn’t exactly showering.” She cut her eyes to her Dom.

  “She was cleaning the tile floor,” Luke explained. “When she gets stressed, she stress-cleans. She also turns into a brat. The shower needed cleaning and I needed her to stop being a brat. Win-win.”

  Meagan didn’t look like she so much agreed with the win-win part. “Anyway, I was out of sight, but I could still hear the conversations in the dressing rooms. One of the unattached subs, Gennie, started talking. Said you were part of an online group and that lately you’ve been out of pocket more than normal because you found an online play partner.”

  He gritted his teeth. Now they had a bigger problem than just Anna Beth. Seemed as if Gennie needed a refresher course in basic confidentiality. He glanced at Luke.

  “I’ll deal with Gennie,” Luke said with a wave of his hand. “There’s more.”

  “Turns out, she was talking with Anna Beth,” Meagan continued. “And Anna Beth told Gennie that if she found out who the whore was you were seeing behind her back, she’d hurt her.”

  Simon was at a loss for words. None of what Meagan said made any sense. Why would Anna Beth insist they had a relationship? And what the hell was she doing threatening a woman she didn’t even know when there was nothing at all between her and him?

  “That right there is enough to get her kicked out of the club,” Luke said. “I don’t allow any type of threat made of that sort, joking or not.”

  “I don’t think she was joking, Sir,” Meagan said, worry still etched across her features.
<
br />   Luke put his arm around her. “It’s okay. I’ll take care of it.”

  “But what about . . . ?” She glanced first to Simon and then back to Luke. “Should someone tell her?”

  “I’ll leave it up to you,” Luke told Simon. “With whatever you decide to tell your other partner or partners. It’s probably only talk, but I’d hate to make that assumption and be wrong.”

  What Simon didn’t want to do was tell Faye to watch her back. Seriously, if he didn’t know what she looked like, how would anyone else find her? But like Luke had said, the possibility of something happening if he didn’t tell her was more than he could imagine.

  “I think she’s safe, but I’ll let her know the threat has been made,” Simon said. Damn, he hoped she didn’t run away after he told her. Odd as their relationship was, he enjoyed the time they spent chatting together. “What’s the plan for Anna Beth?”

  Luke was rubbing Meagan’s back. “She thinks you two are in a relationship? I say break up with her. Here. In public, so there’s no doubt.”

  “She sounds a bit unstable,” Simon said. “You don’t think that will set her off?”

  “I think she’ll handle it okay since you’re the one she’s obsessed with,” Luke said. “From what I gather, she’s all about making you happy.”

  “Obviously not, or she wouldn’t threaten the woman I am with.”

  “After you break up with her, I’ll be here with some backup and we’ll escort her out,” Luke said. “I’ll talk with her. If I think she was exaggerating for dramatics, I’ll send her through the retraining program. If I think she was serious, I’ll let her know she’s no longer welcome and that if she comes back or threatens anyone in the group, we won’t hesitate to call the police.”

  “Here she comes, Sir,” Meagan whispered.

  Simon looked over at the women’s locker room and, sure enough, Anna Beth had just trotted out and was making a beeline toward him.

  This was not going to be pretty.

  • • •

  Lynne knew it was crazy, but she kept her laptop out and ready on the off chance Simon was able to finish whatever it was that had come up for him and was able to chat. She’d spent so much of the day stressing out about how to do the video conference and not reveal who she was, it was sort of a letdown now that it wasn’t going to happen.

  She’d found a mask to cover her face. It was a no-frills black number that covered what she thought were her most telling features. The eye holes were small enough that she didn’t think anyone viewing her from a webcam could tell much about them. There was nothing remarkable about her nose, but the mask covered it as well. The only part of her face left uncovered was her mouth.

  She’d made up the part about her audio output not working. She hated to add in another lie, but she couldn’t think of a way to change her voice on such short notice. It was only a little lie in the big scheme of things. And the only other option would have been to tell him she didn’t want to do it, and she was too curious about what he had planned for the video chat to tell him that.

  And what was her reward? Some emergency had popped up and he’d had to reschedule. She’d been so worked up about what she hoped he had planned, she’d let loose and joked with him. Now, though, she had an entire evening of nothing planned.

  If she really tried, she probably would have been able to convince herself that she’d brought it on herself for lying about the audio. Served her right. She’d always been told that there were consequences for lying.

  However, she’d do the same thing again, if given the chance. More than that, she knew she would keep up the pretense of the audio output not working. Consequences be damned.

  The ping of an e-mail made her jump.

  Simon!

  She grabbed her laptop and headed to the couch to read. Her smile withered when she saw it wasn’t Simon, but Anna Beth, and it disappeared completely as she read the e-mail.

  Lynne,

  I know we aren’t close, but you’re one of the few people I know in “real life” who’s into kink. It’s been crazy at work, and then shit has been going down at the club. You would not believe what happened tonight. I’m still furious.

  I’m telling you in case you decide to revisit a club—be careful who you confide in. The place I was going to always seemed to be on the straight and narrow (or at least as straight and narrow as a BDSM club can be! LOL).

  Someone at my club has been telling vicious lies about me. Straight-up LIES. Not only that, but when I showed up, the Dom I told you about? He said he wasn’t going to play with me anymore. In front of EVERYONE. It was so humiliating.

  Ridiculous, right?

  I don’t know who would do such a thing to me. Maybe someone who wants my Dom?

  I don’t know.

  I don’t know anything.

  I don’t even know why I’m telling you all this.

  —Anna Beth

  P.S. I mentioned running into you to Lori—remember her? She had this old picture she asked me to send. Good times, right?

  Lynne sat and stared at the screen for several long seconds, trying to process what she’d read. It was a serious matter to be kicked out of a club. And to have it done in such a manner? That made her think there might have been some credibility to what was being said. But she couldn’t tell that to Anna Beth.

  Actually, she decided, it was late, she was tired, and it appeared Simon’s issue or whatever was still ongoing, and he wasn’t going to be able to chat. She closed her laptop. Plenty of time tomorrow to worry about the hot mess that was Anna Beth.

  She clicked on the picture and smiled at Old Lynne at a party, three years ago. Though why Lori wanted her to have it, she didn’t know.

  She changed into her pajamas, got into bed, and picked up her e-reader to read a few more chapters in her current BDSM romance novel. As she read, her hand drifted to the hem of her gown.

  It would have been so easy to let her fingers keep going and to grant her body the relief it craved. But she stopped, her fingers curling into a fist. She had more self-control than that. She’d held up over the past two weeks. Surely, she could handle a few more days. With a heavy sigh, she put her e-reader on the nightstand and turned out the light. Maybe, if she was lucky, she would have a sex dream.

  • • •

  As it turned out, it was longer than a few days before they had a chance to get together again. The day after he had to cancel their evening appointment, he was called out of town. His regretful tone was evident through the e-mail he sent. He explained that as manager of the temp agency, he’d been asked to step in and visit a major client that was having personnel issues.

  Lynne told him it was fine—she actually had exams to study for. As fun as it was to be spending time with Simon again, she couldn’t forget that her first priority was to study. She looked at the few days that Simon was away as a chance to buckle down and focus on her coursework.

  The other thing she did was reply to Anna Beth. She kept it simple but straightforward, thanking her for the picture, telling her that she was sorry to hear that Anna Beth had had such a rough time at the club, and yes, it was uncalled for and totally unacceptable for someone to spread lies. She almost added that she hoped the club’s management found out what happened soon, but changed her mind. For one, she wasn’t certain Anna Beth was telling the complete truth, and if she wasn’t, Lynne didn’t want her to think she somehow condoned anything she had done.

  She contemplated telling Simon about it, but didn’t want him to think she had whack jobs as friends. Eventually, she decided to keep the e-mail to herself, thinking maybe she’d talk to Abby about it in the future.

  Finally, six days after they were supposed to have their video chat, she received a message from Simon right before she headed to bed.

  Faye,

  I’m finally back. Missed chatting with you. Reschedule video chat for tomorrow at 8 p.m.?

  —SirSimon

  Lynne was both excited and nervous.
She was still going to say that her audio output wasn’t working. Maybe make it sound like it was more expensive to fix than she felt she could spend. She replied, telling him that eight p.m. the next night was perfect and she was looking forward to finally connecting.

 
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