Headmaster, p.8
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       Headmaster, p.8
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         Part #2 of Lessons From the Rack series by Tara Sue Me
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  broke his heart?”

  “Yes,” Andie said. “Not bad for a lunch lady, is it?”

  Fulton put his hand on her shoulder and whispered something to her, though Lennox could see his own control was being tested. Susan looked Fulton up and down as if just noticing him for the first time.

  “Damn,” she said. “And here I thought it was the headmaster’s pants I wanted to get in. Looks like I was going after the wrong Dom.”

  Andie shot out of her chair. “Listen here—”

  She was cut off by Fulton grabbing her and slipping his hand over her mouth. “If it’s all the same to you, boss, we’re going to leave. If you need us, we’ll be at the lighthouse. I don’t think it’ll be to anyone’s benefit for us to stay for the rest of this.”

  Lennox nodded. Fulton was right. He waited until they left, then called David.

  “Master Nader,” he said, when the other man picked up. “I need you to go to Susan Mims’s room and confiscate her computer and any papers you find. Call me when you finish.”

  Susan shot up, showing fear for the first time. “Hey, you can’t do that.”

  “I just did.” To David, he added. “I can’t imagine anyone is in the right frame of mind for class today, so you can go ahead and dismiss them. We’ll resume tomorrow.”

  “Should I stay?” Marie had been so quiet, he’d forgotten she was in the room.

  “Yes, please,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to be alone with Miss Mims. I need a witness present or else I have a feeling I’d find myself facing false assault charges.”

  Susan wisely didn’t say anything; she crossed her arms and her legs, bouncing her foot up and down. Marie examined her nails—she looked calm, but he knew all too well how good she was at masking her emotions.

  He wondered how he’d been fooled into thinking it’d be a good idea to let Susan enroll. He’d turned her down before. Had she always been planning on throwing him and the school under the bus or was it just this year?

  He ran a hand through his hair. Damn it, he was getting too old for this. He enjoyed the academy, but maybe it’d served its purpose. Maybe it was time to let someone else run it. Someone who would actually participate in a scene. He had plenty of business investments on the mainland.

  There was only one thing that kept him on the island. He glanced at her and found her watching him. Marie would never live on the mainland. She loved the island too much. And though he’d never admit it, he didn’t want to leave her.

  He remained standing while he waited for David to call back, the tension mounting as the minutes passed. Fortunately, it didn’t take long. Ten minutes after he first called David, his phone rang with a return call.

  “Yes,” Lennox said, answering.

  “It’s a hot mess, boss.”

  Lennox closed his eyes as anger and rage pounded through his veins. “Tell me.”

  “I haven’t even gotten to the computer yet, but her desk is filled with photos and papers she shouldn’t have. And there’s a notebook that has a rough draft of an article as well as an outline.”

  Lennox looked over to Susan. She’d stopped bouncing her foot and was biting her lower lip.

  “Thank you, David.”

  He disconnected and leveled his gaze at Susan. “Oh, Miss Mims, you’re going to wish you hadn’t done that.”

  WINNIE’S JOURNAL

  I wonder if I should ask Marie to teach me how to be a submissive? Do people even do that? I should probably talk to her about it, maybe ask what she thinks Lennox would expect.

  But I saw the way she looked at him and I don’t know if it’d be asking too much. He asked me out, after all. And I don’t say that to be snotty or anything, but it’s the truth. I’d like to think that if he’d asked her out, I would step aside and wouldn’t interfere.

  Marie is like that. She’s so into making sure everyone is content and happy. At times I wish I could be more like her. I’m self aware enough to know that most of the time I’m only looking out for me.

  If the roles were reversed, Marie would never ask me to teach her. I should probably ask Lennox to do it anyway. Besides, that would be a lot more fun!

  CHAPTER

  Six

  With Susan out of the way and no longer causing trouble, life at the academy fell once more into a predictable schedule. Lennox sightings had been scarce—Mariela knew he’d been meeting with his lawyers about the entire Susan incident, and he rarely made it to the dining hall for meals.

  One Friday afternoon, about two weeks after Susan left, Andie dropped by her office.

  “Still not able to dance?” Andie asked, looking at the barre that was now a coat rack of sorts.

  Mariela shook her head. It had gotten to the point where most days she didn’t even try. The way she saw it, if she never tried, she would never fail. Of course, the flip side was she wouldn’t know if she was inspired to dance if she never tried.

  “No,” Mariela answered. “Not yet, but then again, I haven’t tried the last few days.”

  Andie nodded, but seemed distracted. Mariela wondered what was really on her mind and waved her to a chair.

  “So,” she said as Andie sat down. “What’s up with you?”

  “Not much, but I’ve been wondering what’s going on with Lennox?”

  Mariela laughed. “And here I was getting ready to ask you if you had seen him. I don’t even see him at meals.”

  “He comes to the kitchen early, gets a tray, and takes off.” Andie bit her lip. “I know he’s been busy with his lawyers since that whole Susan mess, but Fulton said all that was finished days ago. I don’t know what his problem is.”

  Mariela had a sinking suspicion she knew what his problem was. Her.

  You’re his problem. You know you are.

  “We should move forward with our plan,” Andie said, as if that would fix everything.

  “I don’t think so.”

  That obviously wasn’t the answer that Andie had expected. She wrinkled her forehead. “Why not?”

  “For several reasons, actually.” Mariela hoped she could remember them all. “The whole thing with Susan made me realize that I can’t watch him with another woman. And, since the next step would be him playing in a scene, I wouldn’t want it to be anybody except me. And trust me, that is not going to happen.” Andie looked as if she was going to interrupt, but Mariela kept talking. “Secondly, I don’t think I told you, but he knows I’m the one who pulled the alarm.”

  “How?”

  “Apparently, all the camera feeds are duplicated and files are left both on the hard drive and his personal computer. So while I was able to delete the hard drive videos, he still had them on his computer.”

  “Shit. Does he know that you know?”

  Mariela nodded. Though they had spoken several times, he had never brought up the fire alarm again. She knew there was a reason; he wouldn’t have mentioned it the first time otherwise. But she had to admit the not knowing and waiting was driving her batty. “Yes, he knows.”

  “Which is why you don’t think he’ll want to scene with you?”

  “I don’t think he’s ready. I’m not sure he’ll ever be ready. I think I need to accept the fact that he’s not going to be the Dominant he once was. Or at least he’s not going to act on it.”

  “I just can’t imagine giving that part of myself up.”

  Mariela knew Andie was early in her submissive journey. It was all exciting and new, especially since Fulton had collared her. In her mind, it would always be that way, and Mariela honestly hoped it was. Maybe for them, it would be.

  “I don’t get how he’s able to do it either. I know I could never be vanilla.” Mariela shuddered just thinking about it.

  “So what do we do?”

  “I think we let it rest for now. Maybe try again next year.”

  She could tell Andie didn’t want to give up. Her new friend wanted to help her get her man. The problem was, he wasn’t her man. He had neve
r been. And probably he never would be.

  “Okay,” Andie said. “I trust you. We have plenty of time.”

  They changed the subject then, moving on to the upcoming ball. This would be Andie’s first Holiday Ball, and she had already made several menu suggestions. Her excitement was contagious and within minutes they were both making plans and creating lists for everything that needed to be done.

  “There you are,” Lennox said sometime later, causing them both to look up in surprise at the man standing in her doorway. “Your Master has been looking for you,” he told Andie.

  Andie looked down at her watch. “Shit. I’m late.”

  Given that it was a long weekend, the students had left earlier in the day and most wouldn’t be back until Tuesday. There were no classes until Wednesday.

  “You guys going somewhere?” Mariela asked, doing her best not to look at Lennox.

  Of course, it didn’t work. Her body knew it had been a long time since they had been in a room together. She was acutely aware of his very presence, how he commanded the room, even with just three of them there. He was behind her, and she swore she could feel his presence.

  “We’re going to drive up and down the coast. No set schedule or anything. I haven’t done much exploring of the west coast since I’ve been here and have been looking forward to it.” Andie hurriedly picked up her papers, told them both good-bye, and left.

  She expected Lennox to leave after Andie did, so she was surprised when he stayed in her room. She still didn’t have the courage to look at him.

  “Any plans this weekend?” he asked.

  “No, nothing.”

  She was hoping with the island empty and no one around that she might find an interest in dancing again. She was going to try anyway, force herself if she had to.

  She turned to look at him. “I don’t have to ask where you’re going.”

  “Oh?”

  “I’m guessing you’re going to your normal Friday night hangout.” She wasn’t sure why she brought it up. Why now, after all these years of saying nothing?

  “You’re mistaken, Marie.” He sounded angry. “In fact, I haven’t gone to my normal Friday night hangout in weeks.”

  “Is that right? Do you expect a gold star?” She thought back and realized it was true—he hadn’t gone off the island for several weeks. Interesting.

  “No, but I do expect you to talk to me with respect.”

  She didn’t reply to that. She was curious about why he’d changed his routine. “Did you get tired of the anonymous thing?” She rolled her eyes at his glare. “Did you get tired of the anonymous thing, Sir?”

  She was being a huge brat, she knew she was. Probably because deep down, she wanted him to take charge and do something, damn it.

  “Did it ever once occur to you that Doms don’t like being with subs who are so blatantly disrespectful?” His voice was ice.

  “Let’s face it,” she said. “I work at a BDSM academy. Most scenes I’m in, I’m working with newbie Doms who wouldn’t know they were being topped from the bottom if I told them that’s what I was doing.”

  “I don’t doubt there’s truth to that. In fact, I believe a thorough session with a belt would do you good.”

  She cocked an eyebrow. “You volunteering? Because we just might be the only people left on the island.”

  “No, I’m not volunteering. Though I do think I’ll ask Master Nader to work on your lack of manners next week.”

  “Not man enough to do the job yourself?” She snorted. “Sort of makes me wish I’d let you try to lift a hand to Susan. You probably couldn’t do it.”

  “As fun as this is, I am leaving the island. I’m going to the cottage.” He turned to leave, but looked back over his shoulder. “I am man enough to do the job, but you aren’t worthy of my belt.”

  She sat with her mouth dropped open in shock. How dare he? How fucking dare he? The longer she sat there, the angrier she became. She moved to where she could see the boat dock, and twenty minutes after Lennox left, she decided to do the one thing she never thought she’d do again.

  She was going to go to Winnie’s cottage.

  WINNIE’S JOURNAL

  He’s going to do it! Lennox has agreed to train me as his submissive! He’s also taken to calling me “Winnie girl.” I don’t know why my stomach gets all tingly when he says it.

  One of my concerns was that he’d expect me to be submissive all the time. According to Marie, some couples are like that. But when I brought it up to him, he said he wasn’t into that. That he only wanted a submissive in the bedroom. I think I can do that!

  We’re not going to start training yet, though. He said he wanted to wait until we’d been dating for a few months before he introduced kink into our relationship.

  CHAPTER

  Seven

  Mariela’s anger hadn’t abated by the time she pulled into the driveway of Winnie’s old place. Especially when she spotted Lennox’s SUV parked outside.

  The wind from the approaching storm blew her hair into her face when she got out of the car. She paid it little attention. Even less attention than she paid the light rain that began to fall. Oh, yes, this storm was going to get worse, and not just the one outside.

  She didn’t knock. Winnie had given her a key years ago. As quietly as she could, she unlocked the door and stepped inside, wanting to surprise Lennox. She didn’t find him downstairs though. Which only left the room upstairs. Damn it.

  She didn’t want to go into Winnie’s old studio, but she took the stairs two at a time. The top landing opened into what had once been a beautiful studio but now looked more like a shrine.

  “I didn’t think you ever traveled off the island,” Lennox said, from a chair facing the window.

  Talking to his back only made her angrier. “What the hell is your problem?”

  “Right now my problem is an obnoxious submissive who won’t mind her own damn business.”

  She took a deep breath. “Mind my own business, how about you stay around to finish a conversation.”

  “You came all the way here so we could continue our argument?”

  She crossed her arms. “Yes.”

  “Liar.”

  “What?”

  He slowly stood up and turned around. She’d thought he might have been drinking and half expected him to be drunk, but the man looking back at her was completely sober. Yet there was a wildness in him. His hair was tousled and his normally perfect shirt and tie were both askew. But it was his eyes. His eyes were raw and hungry. “I said liar.” He took a step toward her, and she felt the heat radiating from him. “Tell me why you’re really here.”

  She would have taken a step back if she wasn’t afraid she’d fall backward down the stairs. “I told you, I wanted to finish our conversation.”

  “We weren’t having a conversation, you were insulting me. I want to know why you’re really here and you’re going to tell me. Now.”

  She had wanted to awaken the Dominant within him. She could see now she’d vastly underestimated what would happen when that beast
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