Headmaster, p.6Part #2 of Lessons From the Rack series by Tara Sue Me
some modeling and, truthfully, that was the main reason he’d turned her down.
It was wrong and judgmental, but somehow in his mind he’d convinced himself that anyone in the arts or entertainment industry would not be a good fit for the academy. Of course, he only had Winnie to base that on. Earlier in the summer, though, he’d been around Andie’s ex, Terrence. Terrence was an actor as well as a Dom and being in his presence helped Lennox to see his flawed logic.
So he’d made a last-minute decision to allow Susan to enroll, and another Dom with her so there would still be an even number.
She walked—no sauntered—into the room. “I heard a rumor you might be joining us today.”
God, she was sure of herself. He had anticipated her beauty, and she certainly was a stunning woman. What he had not anticipated was the visceral reaction he had toward her. At the moment, his cock didn’t care that she was a student, that he was the headmaster, or that he’d sworn off relationships, especially those kinky in nature.
No, his cock only cared about one thing.
But his cock was also used to disappointment and it looked as if today would serve as another lesson.
“Susan Mims, right?” he asked, making sure he kept his eyes on her from the neck up.
She stopped. “You know me by sight? You, Mr. Headmaster? I’m honored.”
It didn’t escape his attention that she had yet to address him as either “Sir” or “Master,” which was a clear violation of academy protocol. On one hand, he was only there to be a warm body at this scene. On the other, it was a rule. As a warm body, he shouldn’t say anything. As the headmaster, he had to address her infractions.
He couldn’t help but think she was baiting him. He had pegged her as a bratty sub, and now he saw that his initial assessment was correct.
But to draw her attention to the rule meant he had to enforce it if necessary and discipline her if warranted. He suddenly saw why filling in for Fulton was a very bad idea.
“I’m the one who ultimately decides who is enrolled at my academy, Miss Mims. It’s not so surprising I can tell eighteen students apart. Especially since nine are women. And while ‘Mr. Headmaster’ has a nice ring to it, I believe you know better. There’s a proper way to address me and that’s not it.”
“Well, that certainly puts me in my place, doesn’t it? I guess I’m not so special after all.”
“No. You’re especially not so special that you may feel entitled to drop the proper forms of address. You won’t get another warning.”
She didn’t look overly abashed to be called out on her behavior. “You’re right and I apologize. Do you prefer ‘Sir’ or ‘Master MacLure’?”
“Either one is acceptable, as I’m sure Master Matthews has told you.”
Fortunately, he was spared any further communication with Susan by the arrival of a group of students. He nodded as they entered and moved aside so they could make their way to the various stations Fulton had set up earlier.
Several minutes later, Susan’s partner hadn’t made it to the room and Lennox glanced at his watch. Four minutes. The Dom in training was cutting it close. He wondered if he’d have to step in and scene with Susan, when the young man dashed into the room.
“So sorry, Master MacLure,” he said. “I had a note that a package was waiting for me, but when I stopped by the office, no one could find it or remembered writing the note in the first place.”
Someone in the class—Susan, Lennox believed—snickered.
“And did it not occur to you, Mr. Powell, that perhaps it would be in everyone’s best interest for you to wait until your lunch break?” Lennox asked, narrowing his eyes at the student.
Powell was a first-time applicant. A recent college graduate who had been highly recommended by several Doms Lennox knew on the mainland. While he might one day make a great Dom, it appeared he needed a lot of work.
Susan mumbled something from the back of the room.
“What was that, Miss Mims?” he asked. “Did you want to make a comment?”
“No, I’m good,” she said, her pointed look a clear challenge even as several students gasped.
Cold fingers of panic encircled his heart, but he refused to let the class see his struggle. “I believe I’ve already corrected your lack of respect today, Miss Mims. I let you off with a warning. I will not be as lenient this time.” He crooked a finger at her. “Come here.”
In what has to be a cruel joke of the universe, Marie confirmed my fear. MacLure is a Dominant. Damn it all. Now what?
I should have let Marie have him—she’s into that kinky shit. And she’s totally into him. He would be a better fit for her than he would be for me. I should have stepped aside. I know that would have been the right thing to do. The best thing for everyone involved.
But then he asked me out. Me. Not Marie. I honestly did think about telling him no. In the end it was Marie who changed my mind. She told me to go for it.
God help me. I am.
Mariela tapped her foot as she waited for Andie to pick up her phone, all the while keeping one eye on the live feed from dungeon classroom B.
“Hello,” Andie finally said.
“Andie, thank goodness. I thought you would never answer.”
“Sorry, trying to get lunch ready. What’s up?”
On her computer screen, the student was making her way to Lennox. There was no sound, but she didn’t need it to guess what had just gone down. Nor did she need it to know that Something Very Bad was about to happen.
“We’ve got Code Red or something brewing downstairs.”
“It seemed better to put it that way than to yell, ‘Abort! Abort!’”
“Damn. Are you talking about the plan? What’s going on?”
Susan was now kneeling in front of Lennox and he was talking. “Susan Mims must have done something and it looks like Lennox is going to punish her.”
“Oh, shit. Shit. Shit,” Andie muttered.
As Mariela watched, Lennox left his place at the front of the class and walked to one of the well-stocked cabinets. He didn’t immediately search the cabinet, but looked up, directly at the camera. She wondered if he knew she was watching because it certainly felt as if he was staring straight at her.
His expression was so tortured, it made her chest hurt. The pain was made worse by the fact that it was all her fault for agreeing to go along with Andie’s plan. Damn it. She had gotten him in this position and she needed to get him out.
“What do we do? We can’t go in,” Andie said. “And they won’t leave until he’s finished. What’s happening now?”
“He’s opening the cabinet.” Mariela kept an eye on the screen, even as she considered what Andie had said. She couldn’t think of a reason to burst into the dungeon. And like Andie had said, they weren’t coming out anytime soon. Unless . . .
“Fire alarm!” she shouted in the phone. “I’ll go pull it!”
“Yes!” Andie agreed, but Mariela hadn’t waited for her agreement. She left her office and was headed down the hall to the nearest alarm pull. She made it in mere seconds and didn’t think twice before activating it. Even so, the high-pitched beeping made her jump.
She ran back into her office, just in time to see Lennox directing students out of the dungeon, making sure everyone had a robe or a blanket to cover themselves with. Satisfied, she killed the feed and turned her laptop off before joining the students and staff in the hallway.
Andie caught up with her. “Oh my god,” she said, as they stepped out on the main lawn. “I’m not sure our plans could have gone worse.”
Mariela agreed, but she didn’t say anything since she was too busy looking for Lennox. With Fulton and David both out of the building at the moment, she was next in charge. She finally found him near the drive, his hand in his hair, talking on the phone.
“I need to go to him,” Mar
“Okay, I’m going to call Fulton and let him know we’re all right.”
She hoped Andie didn’t tell her Dom everything, but she couldn’t worry about that yet. Lennox was gesturing with his free hand as he spoke to whoever was on the other end of the line. He saw her coming, said something else she couldn’t make out, and disconnected.
“Marie,” he said.
“I came to see if you needed my assistance while we’re a bit short staffed.”
“Yes, that’s what I was just telling the monitoring service. They’re insisting the alarm was manually pulled and I don’t see how that’s possible when there were so few people with the opportunity to do so.”
Damn it to hell and back, she’d not thought through her plan to save him very well. She bit her lip, hoping she looked thoughtful and not guilty. The cameras had probably caught her pulling the alarm. She needed to get to those files before he did.
“Is there any way a fuse could have blown or a wire short-circuited or something?” she asked.
“Not according to them.” He sighed. “I need to make sure everyone’s out of the building. Can you do a head count and see if anyone’s missing? I’ll get started on clearing everything for us to get back inside. Maybe Andie can see if Fulton could help me with that?”
“I’ll get right on it, Sir.”
“Sir,” he mumbled under his breath. “Speaking of which, you’re Susan Mims’s advisor.”
It wasn’t a question, but she nodded anyway.
“She has a problem forgetting to use proper terms of address. She’s due a punishment, but I’d like for you to talk with her first.”
“Of course, Sir.” So that’s what had happened in the dungeon. “I mean no disrespect by asking, but are you going to be the one who punishes her?”
“I don’t see another viable alternative, though I’m going to follow up with Fulton and David to see if they’ve experienced anything similar from her.”
She nodded. In the end, she hadn’t saved him from anything. At best, she’d bought him more time. She debated for a few seconds if she should get the camera files now when he was obviously occupied elsewhere. After all, it really didn’t matter if everyone was out or not, it hadn’t been a real fire. But there were too many eyes, and now she had to speak with Susan, so she went back to the larger group. Hopefully, there would be time later to grab the files.
As it turned out, it was much, much later before she had a chance to pull the damning video from the server. Fortunately, it didn’t appear that Lennox had been back to his office before she made it to hers. She breathed a sigh of relief even though she knew that nothing was ever really deleted. Hopefully it wouldn’t prove important enough for anyone to dig into the incident more deeply.
A knock on the door drew her attention away from her laptop. Susan. She had a feeling this would be a very interesting talk.
“Come in,” Mariela said.
Susan walked in and draped herself across the loveseat. Mariela had met with Susan once before, back when classes first started—she thought she might be a bit of a bratty sub. Which was fine, some Doms liked that in a sub. Mariela didn’t think Lennox was one of them, however. He’d sent her a brief message a few minutes ago saying Susan had always used correct protocol when speaking with Fulton and David.
Mariela had a pretty good idea as to why she pushed things with Lennox, but she wanted to hear Susan say it first.
“Miss Mims,” Mariela said. “Master MacLure asked me to meet with you today. Can you tell me what happened this morning?”
“I’m sure you’ve heard what happened.”
“Yes, but I’d like to hear your side.”
“My side? It’s really very simple. I don’t have any issues with protocol.” Susan smiled and leaned forward. “I decided not to use it because I figured out how to get something out of Master MacLure that no one else has been able to.”
The little bitch.
“So you were aware that not addressing him properly would lead to some sort of consequence?”
“Very much so. How long has it been since he’s done anything remotely close to punishing someone? A long-ass time, that’s how long. Or at least that’s the rumor going around.”
And Mariela and Andie had basically handed him to her on a silver platter.
“You deliberately baited him to get him to punish you?” Mariela asked.
“Yes, and it worked until that damn fire alarm was pulled.”
“Miss Mims, one of the principles of RACK Academy is respect for others. Your actions this morning show a decided disregard of the others involved in the scene. Not only did you disrespect Master MacLure, but you disrespected your entire class.”
“I felt it was worth it to have his hands on me.”
Mariela felt like such a hypocrite. How could she say anything to this woman about respecting others when her own actions didn’t? When she herself longed to feel Lennox’s hands and had done underhanded things in an attempt to draw his interest? The only difference was Mariela hadn’t been caught.
“Be that as it may, that is not the type of action we encourage, endorse, or will allow to continue. If it happens again, you’re out.” She really wanted to send the woman packing now, but Mariela knew she had to follow the proper channels. “As for what Master MacLure had planned for you, I’m sure you’ll be receiving more information shortly.”
Susan nodded, looking more unsure about herself than she had when she arrived. “Am I free to go?”
“Yes, of course.”
• • •
LATER THAT NIGHT, Mariela was in her apartment on the island, drinking her second glass of wine and wishing she’d poured whisky instead. She hadn’t seen Lennox at all after her talk with Susan. She’d had dinner with Fulton and Andie, and Fulton had said he’d shut himself in his office and hadn’t been seen since early afternoon.
When Fulton said Lennox hadn’t been seen all afternoon, Andie had glanced her way with a look of remorse. So much for the plan. Thus far it hadn’t gone very well. Maybe it’d be more accurate to call it a complete and utter failure.
From what she’d guessed, Andie hadn’t told Fulton what they had planned or their unexpected involvement in the day’s events. She secretly hoped it’d stay that way. There was little doubt that Fulton would stop their plan in its tracks and, as bad as today had been, she wasn’t ready for that to happen.
The knock on her door startled her. Curious as to who might have come by to see her, she rose and went to answer. She opened the door and managed to cover her surprise at finding Lennox there.
“Master MacLure, how nice to see you this evening. Come on in.”
“Would you like a glass of wine?”
“Yes, I think I would.”
She went into the kitchen and poured him a glass. He waited beside her mantel holding an old picture of her and Winnie that was on display there. He looked up as she walked in and put it back down.
She handed him the wineglass. “Here you go. Want to sit down?”
“Thank you,” he said, settling into a corner of her couch. “How did your talk with Susan go?”
“About the way I thought it would.”
“And how was that?”
She took a sip of wine. “I’m not sure what you plan to do with her, but I strongly recommend you not be the one to punish her.”
He lifted an eyebrow. “Oh?”
“Why is that?”
“Because that’s what she wants. She wants you.”
“You must be mistaken.”
Headmaster by Tara Sue Me / Romance & Love have rating 4.1 out of 5 / Based on45 votes