Kismet of Submission: Episode 20

Don’t you love the expression “crack of dawn”? Or daybreak? There is something ancient in our DNA that longs for sunlight and celebrates each morning rise as if it was the first time. When the dark night—unless a full moon or for most of us, light pollution that washes out the stars—gradually gives way to pastel streamers racing with giddy abandon over the eastern horizon, our hearts beat a little quicker and our souls rejoice. There was however, no rejoicing in room 425, at least from Tamara’s side of the bed.

‘What time is it?’ comes a gruff growl from under the covers.

‘Quarter to five.’

‘In the morning?’ comes an incredulous query muffled by a pillow.

‘In my experience, Tamara, morning often follows night.’

‘It’s still dark outside!’ comes a petulant wail now unencumbered by fabric.

‘I know. I apologize. I neglected to tell you that I have to be at the venue by seven thirty to set up my meet-and-greet stall. It’s from nine until noon, and I have to stop for breakfast first. I’ve already showered again—sorry for waking you.’

‘You were going to leave me here?’ comes the upset voice in a face turned visible by the bedside lamp. ‘Just walk out on me without asking what I wanted?’

‘I—’

‘No! No, Sir.’ Tamara swings her legs out of bed and stands up, briefly forgetting that she’s naked. Reflexively she hunches, covering her chest and pubis, but dropping her arms when realizing she can’t argue without gesticulating. ‘Did you decide suddenly that I’m a liability: A whack job too unstable to trust? Was I going to at least get a parting gift? Maybe some cold, hard cash in a tidy envelope as thanks for services rendered? Well? Well?’ By this time, red-faced and strident, Tamara is right up in his business giving him what for.

Sir gently captures her accusatory fingers jabbing his chest and pulls her into a firm embrace. ‘Shhh… listen to me, Tamara. I was on my way to the lobby to get some coffee and pastries. I figured you’d need caffeine and sugar in order to get going this morning. After I got back—then I was going to explain the schedule and offer you the choice of helping me, or letting you have the car to spend some time on your own. Nothing nefarious nothing devious; I didn’t and don’t want you to feel coerced into staying with me, either today or next week.’

‘Oh.’ Tamara’s voice is remorseful and quickly turns tearful. ‘I’m sorry, Sir. I ruined everything… again. I’m hopeless and such a complete fuck-up. I don’t understand why you’re so patient with me, if I were you, I’d beat the crap out of me and toss me into the hallway on my ass. I don’t deserve you, Sir. I never will.’

‘Much as I’d like to discuss how very, very wrong you are, now is not the time for another lesson in submission.’ Kissing her forehead he orders her into the bathroom. ‘Go. Wash up. I’ll be back in a jiffy and I expect you to be on your best behavior. I’ll deal with your misconception before we leave… but, Tamara, we will leave… together… and I don’t want to hear anymore BS about what a horrible person you are. Clear?’

Very softly Tamara agrees. ‘Yes, Sir.’

SMACK! SMACK!

‘An infinitesimal down payment on the punishment you owe from last night and this morning. Be prepared for a very sore bottom, young lady, when Sir returns. Is that clear?’

‘YES, SIR!’ she barks out. Saluting, she marches towards the door, pivots on her heel and stomps into the bathroom. Standing at attention, two red handprints on her butt, she waits until Sir says, ‘at ease, soldier’ then bends over to turn on the taps.

She takes the faster shower in history—peeing in the tub to speed things along—and brushes her teeth like a weed-whacker gone berserk. Unsure if Sir wants her dressed, she snips the tags off the shortest skirt she bought yesterday, and pulls a plain black T-shirt over her damp hair. The dirty bra and panties she tosses in the bag. Going commando always revs her libido.

The cardkey clicks and the handle rotates. Without hesitation, Tamara sinks to her knees and bows her head.

What we see—and she can’t—is Sir’s expression of amazement. Whether it’s the fact that he’s only been gone ten minutes, or her submissive posture, we’re not sure. What is clear though, is the unsubtle change in his demeanor. Up until now, he’s been very gentle and accommodating with her foibles. It’s time for the Dom to take charge.

Sir collects his thoughts and rearranges the schedule. The tray with breakfast is set aside. The packed suitcase is unzipped, the paddle retrieved. ‘Stand up, Tamara.’

She complies, head still bowed.

‘Turn around, bend over the chair and place your palms flat on the seat.’

After she’s in position, Sir tells her to look up. ‘Do you see the coffee and pastries?’

‘Yes, Sir.’

‘Do you deserve them?’

‘No, Sir.’

‘Why not?’

Tamara’s throat swells with shame. ‘Because I’m a bad girl, Sir. I stole your car and yelled at you.’

‘So you deserve punishment for your actions?’

She can barely choke out the words. ‘Yes, Sir.’

‘I see.’ There is a long pause as he raises her skirt—and his eyebrows—revealing her bare bottom. ‘I see. It seems you wish forgiveness.’

Crying now, she manages to stammer, ‘Y-yes, Sir. Please forgive me.’

He notices her flinch when he rests the cool paddle on her backside. ‘Remember, Tamara, use the word red if it’s too difficult to take.’ He pulls back his arm, and before he strikes, adds an admonishment. ‘And, darling, it’s not me who needs to forgive, it’s you who needs to forgive yourself for believing you have no worth.’

To read all the Kismet of Submission episodes in order from the beginning, please go to this page for individual links. As an FYI, this series, Kismet of Submission, will conclude by the end of the year. I will be pulling the posts at that time, and then continuing to write a full-length novel starring Sir and Tamara for publication in either 2018 or 2019.

Kismet of Submission: Episode 19

Domestic rituals are so fascinating to observe. Electric or manual: Squeeze the toothpaste tube from the bottom or the top? Wash hands with liquid or bar soap: Toilet seat up or down? So many nuances; an anthropologist could spend a lifetime in the urban jungle decoding the strata of upbringing manifesting in the adult personal hygiene taboos. Advertisers would have you believe that civilization would collapse overnight without proper flossing or deodorizing our stinky bits with aromatic artificial scents. Yet somehow, human beings have survived and thrived not being overly obsessed with cleanliness until very recently. True, history is replete with descriptions of rancid unwashed masses and potpourri sachets liberally doused with floral perfumes, while bathing has waxed and waned depending on the level of cultural stigmas. But man and woman still managed to consummate and reproduce with alarming frequency. Not all olfactory experiences are horrific. For example: on a hot summer’s day, there is nothing sweeter than the smell of hot asphalt.

Tamara remains swaddled in the plush hotel towels, even though Sir is striding unabashedly naked in and out of the bathroom. She watches—out the corner of her eye—his flaccid cock and dangling balls swinging to some unheard show tune. When he glances in the mirror, she scowls and scrubs harder on her molars.

‘You know, you’ll wear away the enamel and gums if you scrub too hard.’

She spits in the sink. With foaming mouth she retorts, ‘Are you the fifth dentist?’

‘No. Just someone who has spent waaaay too much time and money reclined in the dental chair. I take care of my teeth now. It’s never too late to start.’

‘Well. I left my four-out-of five dentist recommended state-of-the-art combination electric toothbrush/juicer back at my apartment, so this manual brush you bought me, will have to suffice. I guess I don’t rate that highly after all.’

Rinsing out, she spits again, and flicks her tongue scraping the upper surface with her front teeth. ‘What?’ noticing his glare in the mirror. ‘Just saying, Sir, I’m fairly high maintenance. You’ll need to step up your game.’

‘Is that so?’ Sir drawls softly but with clear undertones of menace.

Coolly—even though her pulse is racing as if doing hot yoga or more aptly, as if being spanked again—Tamara sniffs haughtily and saunters past him towards the bed.

Sir watches her go. Her oiled behind twitches under the white towel. Excessively.

The hum of his sonic cleaner fills his mouth and digs out the bits of dinner lingering after the cinnamon flavored floss had passed through. Two minutes in total, thirty seconds per quadrant: a ritual that provided a clean separation between the working day, and bedtime.

I can’t believe it’s been that long since I last had a female companion at bedtime. The perils of wanting something more than quick rumpty-tumpty after drinks and a movie.

Rinsing the sink and wiping down the counter he tosses the soiled towels in the corner. His bath towel goes over the shower bar to dry by morning.

‘Where’re your towels, Tamara?’ he calls out from the bathroom.

‘I’m still drying off!’

‘Well, take them off and bring them in here so I can hang them up!’

She cringes at his exasperated tone. ‘But… what am I supposed to wear?’

‘Um… nothing?’

‘I always wear something to bed, Sir.’

‘Not tonight you’re not. I want you naked; in bed; in my arms; in that order.’

She shivers at his demanding tone. ‘You’re a hard master, Master.’

‘It’s about time you realized that, Tamara. About time.’

It’s fully dark and Sir rearranges the curtains so that minimal light seeps through from the parking lot lamps. Dragging a chair over to the wall, he climbs up and drapes a hand towel over the steady bright green glare of the smoke detector. Flicking off the switch, he waits for several minutes until his eyes adjust and grunts softly.

OCD much? We can’t see a blasted thing and can only listen to their banter.

‘Sir? Don’t take this the wrong way… but are you OCD?’ Tamara feels the mattress give slightly under his weight and tugs the sheet and blanket tighter around her neck. She shouldn’t feel embarrassed, not after showering together, but she doesn’t know what to do.

‘No, but I need a dark room in order to sleep as well as some white noise. Is the fan too loud?’

‘No. It’s okay.’

‘You’re not embarrassed, are you?’

‘A little.’

‘We’re not going to have sex tonight.’

‘We’re not? But—’

‘Being naked in bed doesn’t automatically equate to intercourse. Cuddling and touching will be sufficient for now.’

‘Cuddling? You want to cuddle? Isn’t that rather… teenageish?’

‘Roll on your side and face the door, Tamara.’

We hear the rustle of linen and soft slither of flesh. Vague shadows flap as the blanket and bedspread are maneuvered. Tamara giggles and for a brief moment, we are swept away to childhood and tents constructed of sheets flowing over the dining room table. Flashlights and picture books: Growly snuffles as Daddy Bear prowls: Mama Bear scolding and passing hot chocolate with marshmallows through the authorized entrance to the intrepid explorers. Innocence has a sound all to its own.

Tamara can’t help the tiniest of flinches when Sir’s long, nude torso snuggles up to her back. She feels tiny and vulnerable. His left arm wraps around her hip and his hand winds up at rest in her cleavage. When nothing else happens, no groping, no dry humping, just a soft kiss on her temple, she allows her breath out in a long controlled sigh.

‘Good night, Tamara.’

‘Good night, Sir.’

Somewhere down the hall, a door thuds. Footsteps tramp by. A car alarm sounds before being squashed mid-beep.

‘You’re very hot, Sir.’

‘Too hot?’

Tamara wiggles her bottom into his cock. ‘No, Sir, you’re just right.’

‘This isn’t a fairytale about porridge.’

‘I know… but to me, this all seems like a dream come true.’

‘I’m not perfect, Tamara. Don’t put me up on a pedestal.’

‘You mean you don’t want to be worshiped?’

‘Brat!’

‘You never did punish me, Sir, for running away.’

‘Do you need to be punished?’

We almost can’t hear her strained response.

‘Yes.’

To read all the Kismet of Submission episodes in order from the beginning, please go to this page for individual links.

In case you are not on the mailing list, Clarian Press is now live and will be publishing very soon. I have the honor and privilege of having a novella, The Spanking Misadventures of Stephanie, being published next month under my pen name Byron Cane. It will be the first of several novellas followed by at least one novel in 2018 to be published by Clarian Press. One of the things I am most excited about, is that there will be an option of printed copies available for selected titles. Stay tuned for more information including cover reveals and ordering information. As an FYI, this series, Kismet of Submission, will conclude by the end of the year. I will be pulling the posts at that time, and then continuing to write a full-length novel starring Sir and Tamara for publication in either 2018 or 2019.

Kismet of Submission: Episode 18

Despite the hot steam billowing the shower curtain, and water cascading down her back, Tamara’s body flashes with cold chills at the words “cavity search”. Her face must show her distress, because Sir pulls her into a comforting embrace.

‘I’m guessing I found a trigger.’ He feels her trembles. ‘We can try something else. There’s no rush.’

‘Ibecameaddicted,’ the words gush in a seamless confessional torrent, ‘toopioidsafterIwasinacaraccidentandhadbacksurgery.’

‘It’s an epidemic and unfortunately, there aren’t enough—or any—treatment facilities or political willingness to treat instead of incarcerate. Is that what happened to you?’

‘I spent ten months in jail. You never get over the dehumanization you’re subjected to by the system through strip and cavity searches. There’s a constant threat of violence from other inmates and exploitive guards offering preferential treatment for sex. I never hurt anybody, Sir. I wasn’t a threat. I was sick and in chronic pain, but once the insurance settlement money ran out, I started buying pills on the street.’

‘How old was your daughter?’

‘She was twelve. Luckily my brother and his wife agreed to take her in otherwise the state would have put her in foster care. I’ve been clean for six years, Sir.’

‘I understand the craving, Tamara. The only difference between us is that my drug of choice was marijuana, and I never got caught driving under the influence.’

‘Pretty ironic, Sir, that pot is now legal in some states and is prescribed for pain.’ Tamara’s sighs and looks up at his face. ‘Now that the mood is completely killed—and before the hot water runs out—do want to scrub me down?’

He squeezes her butt cheeks in response. ‘Actually… if you’re willing… I’d still like to… probe you—in a non-dehumanizing manner.’

A brief interruption: In case you haven’t noticed, Sir is very, very kinky and likes to role-play. Tamara is a creation of a lifetime of trauma and has never initiated a sexual encounter: until now.

‘Sir? Is that a choice? I mean, a real choice?’

‘Is that a no?’

‘Is it my choice?’

The steady splashing of water gurgling down the drain is the only sound for what seems an interminable moment. Neither looks away.

‘Yes.’

Tamara trades places and sets her palms flat against the slick plastic surface opposite the showerhead. In the cramped tub, there is insufficient room to “assume the position”, but she juts her bottom up to meet Sir’s questing hands.

‘That’s an interesting tattoo.’

‘You mean my tramp stamp?’

SMACK! SMACK! SMACK! SMACK!

Sir beats out a rapid tattoo on Tamara’s glistening bottom. ‘You’re not a tramp.’

‘But that’s what everyone calls it!’

SMACK! SMACK! SMACK! SMACK!

Tamara lifts on tiptoes as his fingers trace the outline of her colorful tattoo sliding down into her soapy crack and pressing lightly against her tight anus. ‘I assume there is a backstory ‘behind’ the eagle and rose?’

She squirms when the end of his thumb rubs harder against her virgin puckered rose. ‘Yes, Sir! I was young and dumb and hopelessly in love.’

Sir feels the rubbery orifice clamp hard around his thumb’s knuckle as it slides inward. ‘And the rest of your artistic decorations?’

She squeaks before answering. ‘Tattoos are like potato chips, Sir, you can’t stop at just one!’

‘You’re very tight back here.’

‘Thank you?’ she winces when he wiggles his thumb inside her rectum.

He chuckles. ‘No…thank you, it feels good.’

‘Glad you find my ass amusing.’ She hisses loudly. ‘OH! MY! I don’t have any contraband, Sir. I promise.’

‘Just making sure you’re paying attention.’

‘I am! I am!’

‘Good. Let me scrub my hands and I’ll spread the search a little wider.’

‘Not my pussy! I’ve been a model inmate, sir. You don’t need to search me.’

‘I’m only following procedures. Don’t make me spank you for disobeying orders. The more you cooperate with the guards, the quicker this will take. I don’t enjoy this anymore than you do, inmate.’

Tamara giggles at his obvious lie. Peeking at his erection tells the real story. She continues a pro-forma protest but offers no resistance. In fact, she expedites the procedure by raising her left leg and pushing the curtain back with her foot until her toes grasp the outer lip of the tub. ‘Is this okay, sir? Am I being helpful and docile?’

‘Yes, prisoner, you are being very obedient. Now hold still while I probe.’

The duality of abuse is that it runs on an endless loop of action and reaction without conscious input. Tamara can no more stop the onset of memory than halt the rising sun. But this time, the fingers are not gloved; this time, the motions are not impersonal and brusque: this time, it’s languid fondling as his fingers flutter firmly on her folds. This time, she feels not shame, but arousal. A glimmer of comprehension flashes across synapses before the message is overwhelmed by the sensation of slow, sensual penetration.

Her forehead thunks the wall and her arms drop to the side for balance. The third eye vision is gradually being overwritten with new information. Her invitation is non-verbal. Her hips open in desire instead of clenching with fear.

Sir’s “good girl” is less heard than felt through his steady thrusting of hand. It’s been a long, strange day; and Tamara has teetered on the edge of meltdown more than once. To be taken: To be forced. To be forcibly given an orgasm…

‘Oooooooh.’

‘Feels good?’

‘No—’

‘No?’

‘No! I mean yes… ooooooooh, don’t stop!’

‘Like this?’

‘Oh. My. God!’

Right before Tamara let the pulsing pleasure crash over her, she managed to stammer out what she meant to say. ‘This is what yo-you meant… by su-submission.’

Whatever Sir said was lost in the pounding surf as his four fingered fucking caused the most cataclysmic climax of her life.

We heard what he said though. “And I didn’t even touch your clit.”

To read all the Kismet of Submission episodes in order from the beginning, please go to this page for individual links.

The Eagle and the Rose

 

This week for Wicked Wednesday, the prompt is a word I have no experience with personally. I do not have a tattoo, have no wish to get a tattoo, and have never had a lover with a tattoo. There are of course, several meanings for the word.
ORIGIN mid 17th cent. (originally as tap-too): from Dutch taptoe!, literally ‘close the tap (of the cask)!’ Meaning a rhythmic tapping or drumming. Can also mean military recall or performance.
ORIGIN mid 18th cent.: from Tahitian, Tongan, and Samoan ta-tau or Marquesan ta-tu. Both a verb [to tattoo] or noun [a tattoo]. The word was brought to Europe in 1769 after Captain Cook’s first voyage to Tahiti. Tattoos have likely been part of human society from the very first shaman.

Tamara trades places and sets her palms flat against the slick plastic surface opposite the showerhead. In the cramped tub, there is insufficient room to ‘assume the position’, but she juts her bottom up to meet Sir’s questing hands.
‘That’s an interesting tattoo.’
‘You mean my tramp stamp?’
SMACK! SMACK! SMACK! SMACK!
Sir beats out a rapid tattoo on Tamara’s glistening bottom. ‘You’re not a tramp.’
‘But that’s what everyone calls it!’
SMACK! SMACK! SMACK! SMACK!
Tamara lifts on tiptoes as his fingers trace the outline of her colorful tattoo sliding down into her soapy crack, pressing lightly against her tight anus. ‘I assume there is a backstory ‘behind’ the eagle and rose?’
She squirms when the end of his thumb rubs harder against her virgin puckered rose. ‘Yes, Sir! I was young and dumb and hopelessly in love.’
Sir feels the rubbery orifice clamp hard around his thumb’s knuckle as it slides inward. ‘And the rest of your artistic decorations?’



This snippet today will be part of next Tuesday’s Kismet of Submission: Episode 18. If you want to read more of the before and after, or to read all the Kismet of Submission episodes in order from the beginning, please go to this page for individual links.

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Kismet of Submission: Episode 17

The default buzz: He reads the text. “im sorry”

Without hesitation he replies, “The door is still open.”

When Tamara locks the door behind her, cringing in the short foyer like a whipped cur expecting the worst, he rolls sideways propped on an elbow, and softly pats the bed—three times.

She sits down, back to him and slips off her flats. She shivers when his v-splayed pads trace her hunched vertebrae. There is no interrogation forthcoming so she surrenders to the inevitable. ‘It’s okay if you punish me, Sir. I deserve a good hard paddling for running off with your car.’

‘Turn around and face me, Tamara.’

‘I can’t.’ The pause is not lengthy. ‘Sir. You shouldn’t want me. I’m messed up… inside. I see other people—normal people—and I wonder why I had to suffer. Why does God hate me so much? Why did an eight-year old girl have to learn about sex through rape and abuse? I can’t do a relationship, Sir. I don’t know how. All I’ll ever be is a burden to you. A worthless sack you drag behind you.’

‘Tamara? There’s only one question I have for you at this time.’ Stoking her tense back, he sits up and swings around to her side. ‘Will you obey me?’

The pause—this time—is very lengthy.

The response is tremulous but clear. ‘Yes.’

‘Good girl.’ Hugging her with one arm, the other hand flicks the television off, tossing the remote aside as he stands. ‘Come on. We’re going to take a shower—together—and you’re going to receive your first lesson in obedient submission through pleasure and punishment.’

Finally! Some skin: hopefully, some sex. Voyeurs or not, as readers the question that always arises, is whether or not the sex is germane to the prose. Romance can be smooth as silk with metaphoric fireworks bursting in joyous wonder, as the happy virgin succumbs to the rampant rod of the virile, dark, dangerous (yet strangely tender and emphatic even though he’s just run through the dastardly villain with his mighty sword) hero who has rescued the fair maiden—of good breeding in disguise—from her impetuous and rash decisions to balance the scales of justice on her own. Such temerity shall not go unpunished. Erotic ravishing soon follows to restore the natural order of things. Erotica mixes clichés and metaphors with strategic clinical terminology; the plot serving as the device leaping between sensual encounters coming fast and furiously. Smut, aka porn, throws all pretense of style out the window and allows both the author and reader to shamelessly masturbate to outrageous scenarios. So what route will this story take? Pull back the heavy-duty vinyl commercial grade shower curtain and take a peek.

Expecting, at the very least, to be tossed out if not arrested for grand theft auto; the transition from fugitive, to romantic naked shower, is so disorientating Tamara can only flail for what she hopes is an appropriate response. ‘Oh! Sorry about the elbow, Sir.’

‘That’s okay. I didn’t actually need that rib. Hotel tubs aren’t built for two.’

‘Sir? Is it okay to say that you have a great body?’

‘Only if I get to tell you that your body is gorgeous.’

‘Pfft—’

He cuts off her self-disparaging onomatopoeia with a wet palm over her mouth. ‘Be silent, Tamara. Allow my hands to learn your past and show you a better future.’

The enclosure may be cramped, but there is ample space for Sir’s nimble firm fingers to go to work. Tamara flexes her shoulders as the pulsating pressure of the water beats the back of her neck.

‘It’s not the most profound philosophic ponderation,’ Sir apologizes as he massages her right hand, ‘but every woman I’ve ever had the pleasure of viewing nude has, at the ‘bare’ minimum, been dissatisfied with her body. Some even—as I suspect you do—feel outright hostility towards flesh in its natural exuberance. Men, on the other hand,’ switching to the knuckles of her left fingers kneading and pulling out the kinks, ‘are simple creatures. Ruled by our cocks, we have far less stringent standards for beauty.’

‘I can feel your ‘standard’ bumping against my tummy,’ Tamara murmurs as soapy hands stroke her lean arms.

He ignores her pun. ‘Your arms and fingers for instance, tell me you work hard for a living. A waitress? Or—in our PC world—a server of food. Your shoulders are strong; used to carrying burdens without any help. Your face is lined with life lived. Visible scars covered by foundation—here, and here—the secret invisible trauma flashes in your stormy eyes.’

Tamara makes a small sound of disappointment when he steps back. She watches his eyes move lower, lingering on her saggy breasts then burrowing between her thighs. The dampness she feels is not hot water. She clenches her fists and tries to relax. His scrutiny is thorough, but she senses—despite his erection—his lust is firmly under control. His next question reinforces her conviction that she’ll never be able guess his thoughts.

‘Did you breastfeed?’

Her mouth moves without volition. ‘I was fifteen, Sir! I didn’t even know I was pregnant!’ His touch is searing when palms cup and lift, thumbs rotating aureoles and strumming engorged nipples.

‘Your mother?’

‘Died when I was seven.’

‘The father of your daughter?’

‘A shotgun wedding.’

Your father?’

‘An abusive alcoholic.’

‘Sexual?’

‘Not him.’

Tamara gasps as his lips suckle and fingers palpitate.

“Pop”

‘Your husband?’

‘A fucking monster.’

Her eyes close with a primal moan when his tongue flickers and teeth nibble.

“Slurp”

‘Dead?’

‘Police.’

‘Assume the position!’

‘What?’

‘You heard me, Tamara. I’m sure you’ve watched enough cop shows to understand. Turn around, face the wall and assume the position.’

‘What are you going to do, Sir?’ Tamara is unable to keep the quaver from her tone. A potent mixture of arousal, confusion and fear, she needs to know what he plans to do first.

‘What else? It’s time for a cavity search.’

To read all the Kismet of Submission episodes in order from the beginning, please go to this page for individual links.

Kismet of Submission: Episode 16

‘That was good. I’m stuffed.’

Sir catches Cindy’s attention. ‘Could I get the rest of my pizza to go?’ Seeing Tamara’s expression, he shuffles the plates into a neat stack. ‘Cold pizza is one of the culinary highlights of life.’

She tilts her head and raises both palms in a silent ‘whatever’ gesture. All of her meal is gone and she sighs with contentment. ‘I’m going to be spoiled you know with all this rich food. That, plus gain a few sizes.’

Danger, Will Robinson! Sir wipes his greasy fingers and ponders his response. A. Say her current size is perfect. B. Say she could use a few pounds. C. Curves are sexy. D. Excuse yourself. ‘Excuse me, Tamara, but I need to wash my hands before we leave. Here’s my credit card if Cindy comes back with the bill first.’ Sliding out of the booth he scans the walls looking for the restrooms.

Watching him stride away with a casual lope, Tamara jabs the few remaining ice cubes with her straw. The sharp clinking noise triggers memories of cocktail shakers behind the bar, when she was younger and prettier, and men shoved tips in her jar quoting Billy Joel. Where did my life go?

‘Do you need to go?’

‘I should.’

Sir watches her carefully walk away, her head on a swivel and hands loosely clenched at her sides. He signs the bill with the house pen. Tucking the Visa back in his supple wallet triggers memories of corporate three-martini lunches back when he had money to burn.

‘Ready?’ Tamara slings her purse over her shoulder.

The night has settled in like an abstract painting; all jagged lines of garish colors splashed against a canvas of blackest thoughts. The headlights slash shadowed objects in two as he pulls back onto the thoroughfare, joining the teens cruising for dominance.

‘Do you ever check your phone, Sir?’

‘Why? Did you IM me?’

‘No, I don’t have your number. I was only wondering if your career meant being online a lot.’

‘That’s a fair question. I don’t like checking when I’m with someone. I think it’s rude. Calls? Sure, if it’s important, but I access my blog and business accounts at night via my laptop. Of course, I use a VPN when using public Wi-Fi.’

‘VPN?’

‘Virtual Private Network, it hides your IP address and allows private browsing when on an unencrypted public Wi-Fi. Otherwise, anybody can snoop on your activity and potentially steal your information.’

‘I did not know that.’

‘Nothing’s perfect, but going online without VPN is like having sex without a condom.’

‘Hmmmm.’ Tamara finally notices they aren’t back at the hotel. An instant flash of panic: She grabs the door handle without even noticing.

‘I need to take a stroll through the mall and settle my dinner; otherwise I get heartburn.’

Sir finds a spot near the multiplex entrance and unbuckles. Glancing over, he notices the tension in her arms. ‘Are you okay?’

Tamara shoots him a tight smile. ‘I’m fine.’

There are lies of omission, and lies of expedience. We sense Tamara’s “I’m fine” is both. Her mind is in turmoil. The instant reaction to being trapped in a vehicle with a male is something she can’t control. The garish marquee, featuring the latest cinematic blockbusters, casts red and yellow pools onto the pavement swirling with people choosing their entertainment. Through the windshield we peer in, Tamara’s face is washed out and pale; Sir’s is wary and concerned. He wonders what to say, what not to do. The choices seem to be bad and worse. He clenches the steering wheel and stares at the mall entrance. Would lying to her help?

‘I changed my mind. We can go back to the hotel.’

Like a robot in some dystopian future film, her head swivels forty-five degrees and locks on his face as if scanning into memory banks. Her voice is atonal, mechanical: ‘I said I’m fine. Go. Walk. I will wait here.’

Sir holds his breath as she pivots back and resumes her scrutiny, watchful as a sentry on duty. He pulls out his wallet, removes a card and sets it on the shifter console. The rental keys go on top. ‘I’ll be back, Tamara. My cell number is on the card. If you need to leave, for whatever reason, I’m leaving the car keys with you.’

Before he changes his mind, or gives her a chance to respond, he’s out the drivers’ door. It closes with a soft thud.

She watches, again, as he lopes away: A confident man in a dangerous world, who cuts through the crowd like a shark.

The locks engage with a beep. She jingles the keys in her hand. It’s an old-fashioned ignition switch. The temptation is strong.

I’m lying to myself. If I can’t control an innocent car ride, how am I going to stay calm when we sleep in the same bed? I can’t do this. Sir is too good for me. I don’t deserve his… anything. I’m worthless. Stupid. A fucked up whore who deserved every beating she got. I. AM. SO. FUCKING. PATHETIC! I can’t do this. I can’t. I bet he regrets ever meeting me. I bet he’s thinking he was so stupid to pay for my meals and invite me to the freak show because now he’s the one running away. He didn’t even ask me what was wrong! He just hopped out and left me all by myself in a fucking parking lot! How dare he! He left me the keys? FINE! If that’s what he wants, fine.

After his brisk walk around the mall concourse, Sir is feeling better. Until he notices that his car is missing: along with Tamara. He paces back and forth for a while wondering if she’s idling somewhere along the distant perimeter, watching and waiting. His phone is silent. No messages; no missed calls.

Summoning the nearest rideshare, the driver takes him back to the hotel. It’s a quiet trip.

He watches television and waits for her call.

To read all the Kismet of Submission episodes in order, please go to this page for individual links.

Kismet of Submission: Episode 15

The rental isn’t cozy either. Not with Sir suddenly silent. Tamara gnaws her lip and watches him from the corner of her eye. She hopes he’s not upset with her, but can’t figure out a way to ask without rehashing the entire scene. She shifts in her seat; the stiff padding’s not helping the soreness in her butt. With the afterglow fading, she feels shame—a familiar emotion—creeping back to the fore.

To cover her unease, she pretends to study the urban commercial sprawl passing by her side window. Block after block of businesses; pharmacies, gas stations, bank branches and fast food franchises as far as the eye can see. Interspersed are nail salons, tax offices and auto repair shops. The contrast between national chains and mom-and-pop storefronts struggling for attention is striking. The strip mall housing the pizza joint is typical: Vacant stores and rain-washed broken glass glinting under the lights.

‘Looks okay to me.’

Tamara glances at Sir. It’s the first words he’s spoken since the hotel. ‘I wouldn’t come here on my own.’

Sir reaches over and gives her hand a squeeze. ‘You’re not alone.’

‘For now.’

‘For as long as you like.’

She squeezes back and unbuckles her seatbelt. The opening his declaration provides is too tempting to pass up. ‘I thought maybe it was too much—earlier. You know. My emotional outburst.’

The look he gives her is what her daughter calls ‘crazy face’. ‘Emotional? Tamara, if you were any less emotional you’d be a statue. You’ve done nothing to make me consider rescinding my offer. In fact, I’ll tell you now, that I would like you to think about coming with me when I leave tomorrow after the luncheon.’

We watch as her mouth drops open and his smirks. Hopping out, he walks around the rear of the vehicle and helps her out. He locks the doors and taking her by the hand as if they’ve been together for years, guides her over the curb to the restaurant. It’s about half-full, but it’s still early: Mostly families with a few couples and even fewer singles scattered around. It smells Italian. Basal, oregano and tomato as the high notes: baked cheese and grease rumbling underneath. The hostess—obviously one of the family’s daughters—chirps politely, ‘booth or table?’ then leads them to a waiting booth with fresh carnations in a glass and a tea candle floating in a shallow bowl. The menu is basic: Small, medium and large pizzas, two toppings included with a list of thirty-odd additional possibilities. Spaghetti and homemade meatballs, calzones, various pastas with animal protein and sauces fill the center of the menu, with salads and children’s portions the rest. The back cover lists beverages—the footer is an advert for a local insurance agent. The waitress swings by with a tray of food and a stand; she calls out as she passes, ‘I’ll be right there’. Tamara feels like she should jump up and help serve. Waitressing is hard work for little pay: harassment is ever a possibility. At least tonight no one is going to slap her ass.

She laughs out loud as the incongruity strikes her funny bone. At his curious look, she mouths ‘later’ and smiles up at the waitress. ‘Hi, Cindy, I like your brooch.’

‘Thanks, honey. I made it myself.’

‘Really? That’s cool. Do you sell them?’

‘I do, but the owners don’t like it when I peddle my wares here.’

Sir interjects with a request that she slip her business card in with the bill. ‘I’m ready to order if you are, Tamara.’

‘I’d like the ziti carbonara and a side salad with ranch dressing. I’ll have water with lemon and a diet coke.’

‘And you, sir?’

Tamara can’t help giggling.

Sir shakes his head and sighs. ‘Sorry, Cindy, she’s being naughty tonight. I’ll have a medium pepperoni pizza with mushrooms and spinach. No salad, but I would like a side of the garlic knots. Oh, water for me as well with a ginger ale. Thanks.’

The chatter of customers punctuated with occasional clangs from the kitchen fills the spaces between their watchful stares. ‘This feels like a date, Sir.’

‘Not very glamorous in that case.’

‘That’s okay. The company makes up for it.’

‘I agree.’

‘Thanks.’

Cindy sets their drinks on the table. ‘Food will be up soon, folks.’

Popping the straw on the surface, Tamara plops the end in her soda, and takes a long pull of spicy cola. The bite soothes her throat. ‘What’s the schedule for tomorrow?’

He balls up his wrapper and takes a sip of dry ginger before speaking. ‘The author meet-and-greet is from 9 to 11, followed by the closing luncheon from 11:30 to 1 in the afternoon. I have some print-on-demand hardcopies, but I mostly rely on e-sales.’

‘What can I do?’

‘Oh. That’s easy. You’ll be my eye candy.’

Tamara excitedly claps her hands. ‘Maybe to boost sales even further, we can act out some scenes. I haven’t read any of your work, but I assume there’s lots of spanking involved.’

Sir chuckles as he spots Cindy bringing their dinner. He leans closer and whispers, ‘I don’t think they’ll allow a live model, but I’ll ask tomorrow.’

‘Here you are, dears. Zita and salad for you, pizza and knots for you and do you need refills?’ She hustles off at the affirmative nods and by the time they have taken the first mouthfuls, she brings another round along with some extra napkins. ‘Anything else, just flag me down.’

‘Thanks,’ Sir and Tamara mumble around the hot food.

Watching them eat isn’t very interesting; it only spurs us to set the book aside and head to the fridge. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been interested in food porn. The slick photos on social media feeds always seem to veer between desperation and gloating. Food is fuel: If it tastes good, that’s a bonus. A companion who shares your interests makes the meal satisfying.

 

To read all the Kismet of Submission episodes in order, please go to this page for individual links.