Per Leif’s request I made sure I was wearing plenty of red. When I dressed, I dressed from the skin. That meant I was wearing red matching underthings under the red dress with white polka dots on it. I had a pair of five inch peep toe wedges that had a pattern matching the dress. I put on a pair of white owl earrings and a necklace that had belonged to my mother. The cross hanging from the chain had been a gift from her mother the day my parents got married.
My nails were also painted the precise shade of red that matched my dress and shoes. When I put on my makeup I did so with a lighter hand than I’d used on my first night at The Playground, and I left my hair down in loose waves that hung around my shoulders. Something in my gut told me that Leif was the kind of guy that preferred girls who wore less makeup, although I had no idea why I felt that way. One look at Madame Raven, his former trainee, and it was obvious if he had required her to wear less makeup she had abandoned the practice.
I wondered what that was like, working with a guy who had once been her Dom. After being so intimately linked to someone I wasn’t sure I would be able to shelve all of that history and just be friends or acquaintances. Was it awkward for Madame Raven to know Leif was taking on a new trainee? How did Leif feel about Madame Raven possibly having a new Dom in her life? What had caused them to part company anyway?
I was curious about all of those things but figured it wasn’t really my place to ask either of them about it. If they felt like sharing information they would do so in their own time. Until then, I would just keep my questions all to myself.
When I was ready I headed downstairs to find Gran kneading dough at the kitchen table, presumably for bread since she was still in the habit of making her own instead of buying it at the grocery store. Swear to God I’d never had store bought bread until I was in college, and it had nothing on Gran’s homemade stuff.
“You look nice, honey,” Gran said when she looked up. “Where are you off to?”
“Oh, I’m meeting a friend for coffee in Shreveport,” I told her.
“That’s nice,” Gran smiled. “Is this a gentleman friend?”
Gran’s eyes were hopeful, and I couldn’t say I blamed her. My brother was three years older than me and no closer to getting married than I was. Gran had been dropping hints for the last three years or so that she’s expecting to see some great grandbabies before she dies, and obviously she’s not getting any younger. I was in a relationship that lasted for almost four years before it all went in the tank. I’d thought maybe my ex was the one, and I knew Gran had approved of him but it just didn’t work out in the end.
“Yes, Gran, I’m meeting a man, but we’re not romantically involved.” I figured that was the best way to put it for the time being. I wasn’t sure how our relationship would evolve if Leif started training me. Obviously we would be getting to know each other very well, but I wasn’t sure if it would be a romantic relationship. The lines were a little blurry to me, but I was hoping that Leif would help me sort things out.
“Well if it becomes romantic you bring that young man around the house to meet me,” she said.
“Yes, ma’am,” I smiled and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “I don’t think I’ll be too late, but don’t wait up for me just in case.”
“Have fun, darlin’,” Gran said as I walked out the kitchen door.
My little yellow car was parked around the side of the house like usual, and I got in behind the wheel. The new Carrie Underwood song streamed out of my speakers as I backed away from the house, and then headed up the driveway. When I got to the end of it I saw my brother’s truck approaching so I turned out onto Hummingbird Road, and Jason’s truck slowed down.
“Hey, Sook, where you off to?” he asked.
“Going to meet a friend. Gran’s making bread in there right now,” I warned him.
“Oh, good! Think she’ll give me a loaf?”
My brother, the mooch.
“Probably. You going to Merlotte’s later?”
“Of course,” he said like I should know better. “Have fun doin’ whatever you’re doin’.”
“You do the same. Stay outta trouble,” I laughed, knowing Jason’s middle name should have been trouble.
Jason waved and then turned into Gran’s driveway. I, on the other hand, headed toward Shreveport.
When I got to the diner I’d suggested I parked on the street in front of it and then went inside to find a place to sit. I was ten minutes early, but that wasn’t unusual. I hated being late; it always threw me off. Even if I woke up just five minutes late in the morning it threw me off for the rest of the day. I was a creature of habit, which may or may not be a good thing when it came to being a sub.
A sign by the door told me to seat myself, so after I looked around to make sure Leif wasn’t waiting on me, I picked a booth that was a little further away from the door or the kitchen so we’d have a bit more privacy. There were a few other customers inside as well, but I assumed the crowd would thin down pretty significantly in the next few minutes. At precisely eight o’clock, Leif walked through the door and I raised a hand to wave to him.
He nodded when he saw me, and took a seat across from me in the booth. He was dressed similarly to the way he had been the other night in a perfectly tailored black suit, only this time he had a crimson handkerchief tucked into the breast pocket. The dark colors worked nicely against his golden hair, bright blue eyes and pale skin.
“Thank you for meeting with me,” I said as a waitress poured me a cup of coffee.
“Can I get you something to drink?” the waitress asked Leif.
“Coffee,” he said.
The waitress nodded and then flipped over his mug to pour him a cup as well. “Do you need a few minutes to look over your menus?”
“Oh, uh, yes, please,” I smiled up at her.
“Nothing else for me,” Leif said.
“If you’re in a rush I don’t need to order anything else,” I told him once the waitress was gone.
“No, it’s not that. I ate dinner already.”
“Ah,” I nodded.
“So, Scarlet,” he smirked a little bit. “Tell me what makes you want to be a sub.”
I was stuck for a moment while I considered my answer.
“Honestly, I think it’s just a curiosity. I think it would be a challenge for me since I’m notoriously stubborn and strong-willed. My Gran raised me to be independent and obviously being a sub would mean being a part of a team.”
“You realize that doing this means a lifestyle change,” he said. “There are rules that I do not bend on that wouldn’t interfere with your limits in any capacity. I’ve read in your profile that you’re okay with discipline and punishment.”
“Yes,” I nodded. “I don’t want to be marked where anyone can see it, and I definitely don’t want to be scarred because of those things.”
“That’s fine,” he assured me. “There are ways to correct behavior that don’t leave physical marks, and you may come to change your mind over time.”
I didn’t think I would, but six months ago if someone had suggested I would be meeting up with a guy to discuss how hard he could spank me (or with what) I would think their cheese slid off their cracker.
“What sort of rules are you referring to?” I asked him.
“If you agree to be mine I would require that you call me every day when you wake up. I understand that your schedule is flexible because of your work hours. I wouldn’t demand that you call me every morning at seven if there is a possibility that you might not be able to get home to bed until three. It is important that you be healthy, and that means being well-rested.”
I smiled at that. That right there was more considerate than some of my previous boyfriends had been, and I was drawn to the idea of someone looking out for me that way. Not that my Gran hadn’t done such things, but she had emphasized the importance of self-reliance. Getting involved with someone like Leif would mean learning to lean on him, too.
“I would ask that you inform me of your daily to-do list, and at the end of the day when you check-in with me, any tasks that aren’t completed will resort in a punishment. I would ask that you refrain from swearing. Above all, I demand that you are always honest with me, even if you are worried about offending me or hurting my feelings. You are still entitled to your own opinions, wants, dreams, feelings, etc. It is crucial that you be forthcoming with me about everything. If we’re going down a path that makes you uncomfortable, or if at any time there are limits that need to be reset it is imperative that you tell me about it,” Leif said.
“I can do that.”
“Are you sure?” he retorted. “Total honestly and full disclosure aren’t as easy as you think, Scarlet. If it was that easy everyone would do it. I’m talking about having absolutely no secrets from one another.”
“I can work on it, how’s that?” I offered a small smile.
“Spoken like a natural submissive,” he smiled back.
I took a drink of my coffee while Leif’s remained untouched. I tried not squirm under the weight of his stare, but it was difficult not to. I also wondered what he was thinking since he was very good at keeping his features locked down. For all I knew he was thinking of the fastest way to end our meeting so he could get back to The Playground where there were more interesting people to play with than some silly girl who didn’t know what she was interested in, or what she was capable of offering.
“Do you have any other questions?” Leif asked me after a few minutes of silence.
“I do,” I said, but I was nervous to spit it out.
“Scarlet, it’s okay. Whatever you have a mind to ask, you’re welcome to ask. Full disclosure, remember? This won’t work if we aren’t completely open and honest with each other.”
“Okay,” I nodded, and gathered up my courage. “Well, I was wondering if you training me is purely a sexual thing, or if it’s a regular relationship?”
“That depends on you, quite honestly, and what you’re looking to get from the experience. If all you want is the release of going into subspace, then it’s possible to meet up only for play. But if what you’re looking for is a bigger commitment then that is also something we can work on.”
“So does that mean we would go on dates like a normal couple?” I asked him.
“If that’s something we both agree that we would like, then yes. Is that something you’re interested in, Scarlet?”
My cheeks flushed which was probably answer enough for Leif. I would be insane not to be attracted to him. I had been thinking about him pretty much nonstop since we met, and I was insanely curious as to what it would be like to be His. Just thinking about it got my heart fluttering and my panties wet, not that I felt comfortable telling him either one of those things.
But this was about pushing my limits, wasn’t it?
“Full disclosure?” I asked, and Leif nodded. “Yes, it is.”
My cheeks felt like they were on fire, but all I got in response was more of Leif’s piercing stare. All of a sudden he reached into his pocket and pulled out a cell phone.
“What’s your cell number, Scarlet?” he asked me.
“Oh, I uh, I don’t have one,” I admitted.
“No cell phone?” he looked shocked, to say the least.
“Nope, no cell phone. It doesn’t exactly fit in my budget.”
He nodded and said, “Then I should warn you that if you agree to be Mine, I will add you to my plan and pay the bill. You should have a way to contact me at all times, as well as the phone is for your own safety. You work late hours and should something happen you should be able to call for help at any time.”
I opened my mouth to argue, but the look on Leif’s face stopped me from doing that.
“Scarlet, it is the job of a good Dom to see to it that His sub has everything she needs, and I do mean everything,” he said. “Whether it’s new clothes, assisting her with paying any bills she might be falling behind on, or even a cell phone that doesn’t fit in her regular budget.”
“Leif, I don’t know if I feel comfortable asking for—”
“You’re not asking,” he cut me off. “That’s just a part of being Mine.”
I nodded and wondered how I was going to explain it to Gran. Lying to her would be no good, but I was sure she’d flip out if I told her my new ‘boyfriend’ had insisted on getting me a cell phone so he could contact me at any time. She would probably assume Leif was a controlling jerk, but the phone wasn’t solely for the purpose of contacting him the way he put it. All the same, I worried Gran wouldn’t see it that way.
“After you send back the resume and your checklist to me I’ll forward you a copy of my rules. We’ll meet again to discuss them and we can negotiate on certain points. We’ll go over your limits and discuss safe words and the like, as well as what you can expect during play sessions so that you will be able to prepare yourself. We’ll take things slowly, Scarlet. You’re new to this, so I won’t give you more than I think you can handle,” he assured me.
I took a deep breath and said, “Okay.”
A moment later I excused myself to use the restroom. I didn’t really need to go, but being near Leif was overwhelming to me. If I hadn’t had mascara on I would have splashed some water on my face. Instead I settled for more of those deep breaths that Leif had instructed me to take before we entered the dungeon. When I was calm again I went back to the table I’d left Leif sitting at.
“So, Scarlet, did I mention how fuckable you look in red?” Leif asked.
So much for getting myself calmed down.