I pressed my thumb to the pad outside the hangar and waited for the door to open. When it did I stepped inside The Playground and was almost immediately greeted by Madame Raven.
“Welcome back, Scarlet,” she said without a hint of fang. It had been almost two weeks since my first visit.
“Madame,” I nodded respectfully.
“Leif is waiting for you upstairs in one of the private rooms. Go up the stairs to room number four. It will be the second door on the left,” she advised.
“Thank you,” I smiled at her and decided I would stop by the bar for a drink.
I didn’t even need to tell the bartender what I wanted before he was putting a gin and tonic down in front of me.
“Good memory,” I said.
“It’s my job to serve,” he said in a strange accent.
I smiled, picked up my drink and went up the stairs. As per usual, my nerves started to get the better of me, and when I reached the top of the stairs I paused to take a drink. If I was smarter I would have had one before leaving the house. I slowly walked down the hall to room number four, and knocked politely on the door.
“Enter!” Leif called from inside.
I opened the door and peeked inside so he would know it was me.
“Come in, Scarlet,” he waved me in. “Take off your shoes when you enter.”
I followed his instructions and took off my shoes. I set my drink and purse down on the small table near the door, and turned to point my shoes to the wall so they were lined up neatly. When I stood up again I reclaimed my drink but left my bag where it was.
“I like that you’re on time,” Leif said. He had a laptop with him along with a few manila folders and one red one.
“Thank you. I prefer it. Being tardy throws me off my schedule for the entire day,” I explained and remained standing.
“Have a seat. Make yourself comfortable,” he said casually, his eyes scanning up and down over the dress I was wearing. “Tell me about your day.”
His request surprised me in a good way, but it made me keenly aware of how little I’d done with my day.
“Well, I went to the late service at church this morning since I got home late from work, but it was a nice service and Gran was thrilled I could go with her. After church was over we went home and Gran made brunch for me and my brother, Jason. We ate together and Jason regaled us with tales of drunkenness from last night. Then after Jason went home I helped Gran clean up the kitchen and took a nap. After my nap I started to get ready for our meeting tonight,” I told him.
“Did you enjoy your day off?”
“I did. It was very much needed. I would have given anything for a back rub last night when I got home,” I confessed.
“Do you plan to wait tables in the long term?”
“I hope not. For now, with the economy being what it is, I consider myself to be lucky I have a job at all.”
Leif nodded and asked, “Have you applied elsewhere?”
“Not recently,” I admitted.
“Your resume said that you have a bachelor’s degree in English,” he said. “What did you plan to do with that?”
“I’ve always thought maybe I would be a writer,” I confessed with a slight blush. “I’ve always loved reading and expanding my vocabulary. In high school I was on my school’s newspaper and I’ve been good about journaling since I was a little girl.”
“What sort of things would you like to write?”
“Whatever inspires me at the moment, I guess. I haven’t had much in the way of inspiration lately.”
“Would you let me read what you write?”
“If you become my Sir,” I smiled, and the corner of Leif’s mouth lifted just a little.
“You’ve got spunk, Scarlet. I don’t want you to lose that,” he said.
“Good,” he nodded. “So, have you looked over the rules I sent you?”
“I have. I have some concerns about a couple of them, but I’m going to trust what you said about not giving me more than I can handle.”
“What are your concerns?” Leif asked gently.
“Rule number seven says that I’m not permitted to cum without permission. I don’t know how to control an orgasm,” I explained.
“We will work on that,” he assured me. “Eventually, with enough training, you will have complete control over them so that you will be able to cum when I tell you to.”
“You mean out of nowhere?” my eyes widened, and Leif nodded.
“It takes a great deal of training in order for you to master that, and I wouldn’t expect you to master it in a matter of weeks. Realistic expectations are important, Scarlet. There is a learning process here. I can be patient, but can you?”
“I can,” I nodded. “I just don’t want to disappoint you.”
Leif stood and crossed the room to stand over me. His right hand rose up and caressed my neck in that way of his that practically made me putty. I nuzzled into that touch. There was comfort there. It was something small but already it meant a great deal to me, and I had a feeling it would prove to be a great contrast to what his hands were capable of doing.
“Believe in yourself and trust in your abilities,” he said. “And don’t forget that you’re not alone on this journey, Scarlet. I will be right there with you every step of the way.”
I nodded again and wanted to turn my head to kiss the inside of his wrist, but wasn’t sure that was allowed.
“Thank you, Leif,” I smiled at him.
He released my neck and returned to his seat near the laptop. We talked a little more in depth about the rules he had sent me, and he explained why they were mostly nonnegotiable points. I understood and appreciated him taking time out to explain it to me. I produced the list I’d come up with and presented it to him.
“I did some more reading and research, and I thought maybe these things could be considered as well,” I said as he read over my list.
A small smile took hold of his lips and he said, “You are the first girl I have trained who has asked for more rules.”
“I want you to know that I take this seriously,” I said as I sat down again. “And I also want to have a strong set of guidelines to follow.”
“That’s reasonable,” Leif nodded. “I’ll take a closer look at these later on and add what I’m comfortable adding to your contract. What I don’t we can discuss again when you get further into your training.”
“Your checklist indicates that you have a slight interest in public humiliation or punishment,” Leif said, changing the subject. “That’s also something we can get into once we’re further into your training. For the time being I think it would be best if we did your training privately. I don’t want to push you too hard too fast.”
“I’m okay with that.”
Quite honestly I was worried enough about pleasing Leif without worrying that better trained subs or more experienced Doms would think I was a waste of time.
“I would, however, like for you to come down to the dungeon with me tonight,” he said. My eyes went wide and he continued, “Not to play. I’ve arranged with another Dom for a live show.”
“I want you to see that there is nothing to be afraid of,” Leif told me. “And I think if you can see how other subs are trained, you will have a better sense of my expectations. Plus, you may see some things you want to try.”
The idea of seeing a live sample of what was in store for me was both exciting and nerve wracking. I supposed it made sense for me to witness it firsthand, and it would also give me a goal of where Leif might want me to get to at some point. Seeing it with my own two eyes would give me an idea of whether or not I thought I could get there to that point.
“How do you feel about that?” Leif asked, breaking into my thoughts.
“Well I uh… I wasn’t expecting this,” I admitted, and he smiled a little bit.
“Good. It’s part of my job to keep you on your toes, to keep you emotionally off balance when it comes to your training,” he said. “But, we will do this together. I will be right there beside you. You won’t face it alone.”
I nodded, and it started to dawn on me that as much as this would be a journey I’d take on my own, it was also a team sport, of sorts. It also came to mind that maybe my realization was the whole point of going to watch another Dom and sub.
“We should head down,” Leif said, and stood up.
My heart leapt into my throat, but I stood as well. Leif opened the door for me and gestured for me to go ahead of him.
“You can leave your purse here, but I would take your shoes,” he said when I started to walk out of the room without them.
“Oh, right,” I laughed nervously, and turned back to slip my shoes on. “Sorry, I’m…”
“Overwhelmed?” he supplied for me.
“Exactly,” I smiled up at him. “Can I ask you something?”
“You can ask me anything. You don’t need to ask permission for that when we’re not in Dom/sub mode.”
That was good to know.
“Were you nervous when you first got started in all of this?” I asked as we left the room.
Leif locked the door behind us, ensuring that my bag and his laptop were perfectly secure. He offered me his arm, which I was more than happy to take.
“The role I have is one that came naturally to me,” he started as we walked toward the stairs. “As I’ve said there is a learning curve that comes along with living this sort of lifestyle, and that goes for Doms as well as subs. I had my own set of challenges to master in order to become a better Dominant for my pets. I have also made the mistake to selecting the wrong pet in the past, but I have learned the importance of patience and selecting the right match for me.”
“So you think I’m the right match for you?”
We stopped at the bottom of the stairs, and much to my surprise Leif lifted my chin so I had to look up at him. His fingers remained under my chin as he leaned down and kissed me softly on the mouth. It was sweet and reassuring, and I wanted more but didn’t dare move. Once again I got the feeling I was being shown one side of him, but knew there was definitely something darker or more aggressive under the surface that I would get to experience soon enough.
Leif broke the kiss and sweetly kissed my forehead before standing up straight. His fingers under my chin moved so he was back to caressing my neck, and I leaned into that touch as much as I could. It was incredibly settling for me and he seemed to know that.
“I think you are a wonderful match for me,” he said with confidence that helped to settle my nerves.
I told myself I was going to start putting my trust in him. I was going to follow his lead and I was going to do what I could to make him proud of me. I didn’t know why I felt that kind of need or even attachment to him. I really didn’t know anything about him, but still there was something bigger than both of us drawing me to him. My arm looped through his and together we walked toward the dungeon.
I caught a glimpse of Madame Raven as we passed by the desk in the lobby where she checked in the incoming members. There was something about the way she looked at me that made me wonder if maybe she was jealous. I was still curious about why she was no longer being trained by Leif, but I was going to have to keep my curiosity to myself for a while longer. Leif led me down the long corridor to the dungeon all the way at the far end.
“Are you ready?” he asked when we reached the door.
“As I’ll ever be,” I nodded.
“Then here we go,” he said, and pushed the door open for me.