I flopped on my bed and started to read over the contract that Leif had sent me. There were spaces for me to fill in my real name, which I knew I was going to have to give him anyway. I was actually excited about giving him my real name. Even though I didn’t know if I needed to, I wrote in Sookie Stackhouse wherever it was supposed to go. I smiled when I saw Leif’s real name; it was Eric Northman.
I was so used to calling him Leif at that point that I wasn’t sure how I felt about calling him Eric. I supposed, most of the time, I would probably be calling him Sir, but when we were out in public together with straight friends or people who weren’t involved in ‘The Life,’ as everyone around the club called it, I was going to have to address him differently. He had yet to tell me how I would address him, but we would figure that out when we signed the contract.
Never in a million years would I have thought becoming someone’s pet would require so much conversation and negotiating. There were so many things to consider, and questions that needed to be asked in order for things to go smoothly. There were terms to agree on and ground rules to be laid down between us, and through it all we had to be completely honest with each other. I couldn’t hold back because I was worried about hurting his feelings or disappointing him because if I did that I would ultimately only be hurting myself, and I was starting to understand that by hurting myself I would be hurting him, too. It was so complicated, and a completely different way of thinking than what I was used to.
I was elated to see that Leif/Eric had included some of the rules I had suggested on Sunday night, and I was excited to see, at the very end, a vow of sorts that he had written in for me of what he promised to do for me as my Dom as long as I kept my end of the bargain as his sub. What I needed to remember is that while I was supposed to strive for perfection, it wasn’t possible for me to attain it. I would make mistakes, break rules and sometimes disappoint my Sir, but the important thing was that I learned from those things and I kept trying to be better.
In his promise to me, Eric (I needed to get used to calling him that) promised that he would teach me, help me explore and be patient with me. I was going to need all of those things, and I was thankful he recognized it. So far my experience was shaping up to be a positive one. Without even really looking for it the right person had been put in my path. I believed Eric was right when he said that I was a good match for him.
So far my lack of education and insecurity had kept me quiet and rather docile, but the girl with sass that he had seen on occasion was just under the surface. No doubt there would be times when I would rebel and directly violate the rule about being bratty. In straight life I would probably just be seen as being a little more stubborn than the average person, but my attitude would take on an entirely different connotation when I was with Eric. To him I would be seen as a brat, and someone who needed to be corrected and reminded of her place.
There was a part of me that got a naughty little thrill out of the idea of being punished. Of course that was because I had yet to experience one of Eric’s punishments. We were going to need to discuss what punishments were possible, although it would be up to Eric to decide them. The obvious punishment I assumed I would get for breaking the rules was a spanking. With what implement would be his choice, obviously. All of my reading had told me that punishment spankings were more likely to be done with something I didn’t enjoy, but since I was so new to all of this I didn’t yet know what I liked and what I didn’t.
Eric was very good at studying me, however, and I was certain he would figure out very quickly what would work and what wouldn’t. I also felt sure that he would explain things to me along the way. The contract, as I saw it, seemed good. He had drawn it up to include all of hard limits I had set so I knew for absolutely certain there were lines he would not cross.
I wasn’t willing to get into: abrasion, age play, large anal plugs, animal roles, being auctioned for charity, ball stretching (that didn’t sound like fun for anyone), bathroom use control, beastiality, hard beating, breast/chest bondage, branding, boot worship, heavy bondage, multi-day bondage, breast whipping, brown/golden showers, castration fantasies, catheterization, cattle prods, being locked in cells or closets, chamber pot use, cutting, diapers (wearing, wetting OR soiling), dilation, enemas for punishment purposes, rape fantasy, gang rape fantasy, fisting of any kind, flame play, foot worship (it just squicked me out too much), forced bedwetting, forced eating, forced homosexuality, forced heterosexuality, forced smoking, full head hoods, tape gags, gas masks, being given away to another Dom for any period of time, gun play, harems, high heel worship, hoods, hot oils on genitals, human puppy dog, infantilism, injections, kidnapping, knife play, medical scenes, mummification, having my nipples pierced, severe pain, personal modification, serving Dom’s friends with phone sex, commercial phone sex, piercing in any capacity, plastic surgery, prostitution (in a scene or actual), pony slave, rubber/latex clothing, rope body harness, saran wrap, scarification, getting/receiving scratches, serving as art, serving as an ashtray, serving as furniture, serving as a toilet, serving other Doms (supervised OR unsupervised), shaving my head, sleep deprivation, sleep sacks, speculums (vaginal or anal), stocks, straight jackets, strapping (full body beating), inverted suspension, supplying new partners for Dom, swallowing feces, swallowing urine, tampon training (in ass), thumb cuffs, urethral sounds, water torture, weight gain or weight loss.
It was a long list and I knew there was the possibility I might change my mind about some of those things as my views changed and I felt freer to explore but there were some things that nearly caused me a panic attack just to think about them. For instance, when I thought about combining age play and a rape fantasy? Dear God… I got the shakes and it was hard to breathe. Bad, bad triggers.
Eric and I hadn’t yet discussed the abuse I had endured as a child, but I knew that talk was coming. In some ways I wished we would just get it over with already. It was an uncomfortable conversation to have, and there was a part of me that was sick over the knowledge that Uncle Bartlett had essentially gotten away with what he’d done to me. His ‘punishment’ had been Gran running him off and cutting off all contact with him. She had opted not to call the police as a way of sparing me the interrogations and the embarrassment that would come with a trial.
If we went to court it meant that Uncle Bartlett would have the ability to confront me directly as his accuser, and all I wanted was for him to go away. I just wanted to forget what had happened to me. It didn’t work that way, of course, but as a child denial seemed like a much better way to go than facing what I had been through. Gran had taken me to see a counselor and I worked out most of my demons, but there were still certain things that got to me. I hated to hear stories on the news about other children that were subjected to that kind of abuse.
It made me absolutely sick that Uncle Bartlett was somewhere, not too far away, living his life as if he hadn’t done anything to me. He had stolen a part of my childhood from me, and because of him I had a hard time trusting boys. I didn’t lose my virginity until I was in college, and even then only after I had been dating my ex for more than a year. Trusting men, in general, was a difficult thing for me. Sometimes I suspected Jason knew what had happened to me even though Gran and I had never told him about it.
Jason and Uncle Bartlett were close when we were kids. Uncle Bartlett never touched my brother the way he touched me, after all. In some sick way I was thankful that I hadn’t been raped. The touching was bad enough. But we didn’t tell Jason because Gran thought it was better not to. Sometimes I got angry about it, like maybe Gran was trying to cover up for her brother out of shame that she hadn’t known what was going on under her own roof. Other times I believed that she was just doing what she thought was right to protect both of us kids.
When I was finished going over the contract I sent Eric an email to tell him that I’d read through the first draft and unless there were things he wanted to edit, I was satisfied with what he’d drawn up for us. Barring any changes, I was ready to sign the contract.
I was ready for Eric to be my Sir.
On my day off I slept in relatively late. When I got downstairs Gran was already gone to meet her garden club. There was a package for me on the kitchen table that had come via Federal Express, which I found odd since I hadn’t ordered anything off of the internet. I looked at the shipping label for clues, and gasped when I saw the name of a cell phone provider on the return address.
Eric had sent me a phone.
I got the box open and pulled a shiny new iPhone from the box, along with a note written by hand.
Here is the phone I promised you. Your plan is added to My own and includes unlimited talk time, data and text messages. My number is already programmed into the phone for you so that you can contact Me. The pin number for your phone is 7187. If you need help learning how to use the phone we’ll go over that when I see you later. In meantime, enjoy your new toy as much as I look forward to enjoying Mine.
The submissive in me squealed at him addressing me as his pet before the contract was even signed. Knowing he was serious about training me made me feel better. There was still a part of me that worried I would just be a huge disappointment to Eric. He had trained other girls before and I… I had to look up what ‘scat play’ is.
Using my birthday for the pin number on the phone was a smart move on his part since it would be easy for me to remember until I figured out how to change it to a different combination of numbers. I turned the phone on and smiled when the screensaver on the phone was a movie poster from Gone with the Wind that featured Scarlet and Rhett in a dramatic, romantic pose. In my resume I’d told him that Gone with the Wind was one of my favorite books and movies, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he had figured out where my alias had come from.
I entered the pin number and figured it was only right that my first phone call should be to Eric. His number was the only one in my contacts, so I it was easy enough to find him. The phone dialed and began to ring, but Eric didn’t pick up. I got his voicemail instead.
“Good morning, Sir,” I said, figuring it couldn’t hurt to address him the same way he did me. “Thank you very much for the phone. I’ll try to figure it out myself this morning. I’m excited to see you later. I hope you’re having a very good day. Thank you again.”
I hung up the phone immediately instead of replaying my message. If I did that I would just obsess over the wording or my tone of voice and I didn’t want it to sound too rehearsed or phony in its delivery. While I played around with the phone and started adding contacts to it, I whipped up a small breakfast for myself and sat down at the table to eat. My first text message was to Tara, letting her know that Leif had gotten me a phone.
Rather than texting me back, she called me.
“Girl, did you sign the contract already?” she asked in lieu of saying hello when I answered.
“Not yet. I think I’ll be signing it tonight unless there are changes he wants to make,” I told her.
“That didn’t take long.” I couldn’t tell if she was impressed or concerned.
“What, Tara?” I wanted to know how she felt.
“You’re sure you’re comfortable with him, that you don’t want to shop around a little more? I just don’t want you to regret this,” she said.
“Tara, it’s a contract that protects both of our boundaries and gives us the freedom to walk away from the arrangement at any time. It’s not like I’m marrying him.”
“I know that,” she said defensively. “It’s just… I’ve done my own reading on this lifestyle, Sookie, and it just doesn’t sound like you. I can’t imagine the girl I know letting a man silence her with a look.”
“It’s not like that all the time, Tara. I still get to have my thoughts and feelings. Being a sub doesn’t mean that I’m a robot or that I don’t get a say in things. We have normal conversations and talk about ordinary things,” I told her. Well, so far we hadn’t, but that was because we were doing the negotiations, but I fully intended on making sure the dating portion of the relationship happened as well.
“So you’re not going into this twenty-four-seven? This is just going to be restricted to weekends?” she asked incredulously.
I sighed and said, “Maybe at some point we’ll go that way, but for right now it isn’t exactly feasible. I have my weird hours I keep because of work, and I’m not sure what Er— Leif does during the day. The point is that even if we did upgrade to living a twenty-four-seven lifestyle together it’s not like I’d be chained up in the dungeon until he decided to take me down off the harness.”
Tara laughed, much to my surprise, and said, “I can’t wait until Gran finds out about this.”
“Why would she?” I retorted. “Gran doesn’t need to know a damn thing about my sexual practices or habits, Tara. What I do in the bedroom isn’t anyone’s business, least of all Gran’s. If she asks how we met I will tell her that I was introduced through a friend and leave it at that. Besides, we’re not supposed to talk about The Playground to anyone that we’re not considering extending an invitation to, and I sure as hell am not considering inviting my grandmother.”
“Geez, Sook, calm down,” Tara said. “See what I mean? You think you’re not going to get in trouble if you get mouthy with Leif like that during a session?”
She had a point.
“But it’s different when we’re in a session. I’m different.”
“So you’ve had a session?” she asked. “How’d that go?”
“Well, we haven’t had a session yet, exactly, but I know I’ll be different,” I insisted.
“Uh huh,” she didn’t sound like she had much faith in me.
I didn’t know if I should be annoyed or agree with her. Frankly, I was worried about that myself.
“Sook, you’ve got a temper on you—always have. It’s one of the best things about you. You don’t let anyone push you around. That’s why it’s hard to imagine you being so gungho about all of this, that’s all,” Tara explained.
I sighed and said, “It’s just different. Yes, of course it’s real life when I’m with Eric but… like, okay, do you tell people that you and Eggs get off on swapping partners on Saturday night?”
“Of course not,” Tara said quickly and in a hushed tone.
“And why not? Is it because you’re embarrassed of it, or because you only do it to please him, or because it’s no one else’s business what you do with your sex life?”
“There are a lot of reasons,” she answered. “But I don’t have to give up who I am on the street in order for us to have fun.”
“But you do! Tara, you’re not the same person either when you’re at The Playground. You’re Sindee while you’re there, right? Well, when I’m with him, in a scene, I’m Scarlet. Eventually there’s the likelihood that Scarlet and Sookie may become one and the same but for now…” I trailed off.
“I just don’t want you to lose yourself, Sook,” she said with genuine concern.
“I won’t,” I promised her. “Trust me, the last thing Leif wants is to squelch what makes me who I am. He wants to help me become a better version of myself.”
“I hope that’s true. I just want you to be happy.”
“I know you do, and I appreciate your concern. It’s good to know I’ll have someone keeping an eye out for me that I know I can trust.”
“Yeah, yeah,” she muttered. “I love you, too.”
“I have to go. I need to start getting ready for tonight. I’ll call you tomorrow,” I promised.
“You better,” she said. “Oh, and Sook?”
“Try and find out if Leif’s working with a pond prowler or a longboat,” she said, and I burst out laughing. “I’ve always wondered about that.”