The first time Kristin saw the man, she saw him through a window. She hadn’t meant to look, but something about the way the shapes of the two people inside the room moved, just as she glimpsed them in the cracks between the blinds, had made her body respond before her mind could register why, and she stepped forward without thinking about it.
Kristin approached the window knowing from those moving shapes, and from the dark fantasies that never left her, in a way that went deeper than words, that there was a girl getting a spanking over a man’s knee. One of the shapes looked tall, and the other looked shorter; the taller one had moved as if he were sitting down, and the shorter one had moved much more rapidly, in an angled, downward direction, as if the man had pulled her over his lap.
Kristin didn’t know whether she really wanted there to be some way to see what was going on in the living room of the little house in suburban Richmond or not, but there was a tiny opening between the left side of the blind and the frame of the window. Not caring—not even thinking to care—whether there was anyone on the quiet street who might call the police when they saw twenty-three-year-old Kristin Harper, 5′6″, brown hair, brown eyes, playing peeping Tom, she leaned forward. An instant later, her face burning with shame, Kristin walked away and didn’t look back.
Inside, seen through the reflection of her own eye, the man, naked, sat on a wooden chair. He was muscled like an action hero; he had brown hair and a chiseled face. A girl with blond hair, who had clearly been crying because of the flaming red bottom the man must have given her just a moment before, knelt in front of him, confronted by his cock. Her hands were bound behind her in leather cuffs.
The man had clearly commanded the girl to take him in her mouth, because on her face there was the same look Kristin had imagined so many times her own might wear: frightened arousal—the look of a girl whom a man had to tell what to do when it came to his cock, but who craved his cock, and his force, more than anything else in the world.
And the man’s cock… it was bigger than any other cock Kristin had ever seen, even in the porn videos she sometimes couldn’t stop herself from surfing to, when the night got long and even her own darkest fantasies began to seem boring.
What had happened? Had the girl earned the spanking, somehow? Did she… say she wouldn’t suck his big cock? Did she not get him a beer when he told her to? Somehow the man didn’t look boorish like that… maybe… maybe she wanted him to help her get on an exercise program, and she got spanked if she didn’t go running?
But the look on the girl’s face hadn’t been like that. It had been like she hadn’t wanted to be spanked, and she didn’t want to have to take that enormous cock in her mouth, but—just as it would have been for Kristin—she knew she had to, and that knowledge freed her body to want it, and to take dark pleasure in the punishment and the domination by a man who knew how to dominate a girl.
* * *
The second time Kristin saw the man, months later, he was on a different street, stepping out of a cable-company van. Even in his cable-company uniform, she knew in an instant that he was the same man she had seen naked—she thought she might have known it simply from his walk. As Kristin jogged by as slowly as she could, she watched him take a quick look at the wires atop a telephone pole, and then go to knock at the door of the house in front of which he had parked.
Kristin altered her route and jogged around the block, quicker this time, her heart pounding much faster than the running warranted. The cable guy who comes and spanks you and makes you suck his cock, she thought. She couldn’t believe that her brain really had allowed that train of thought, but she found herself thinking that she needed to have her cable service upgraded. He was gone, inside the house, but as she jogged by again, she looked for some kind of number on the van that she might remember, so that (she knew it was crazy, but it seemed she had lost her mind already anyway) she could request that he do her cable upgrade.
DF 87615. She memorized it. Her jogging route should have taken her three more miles, but instead she ran straight home.
“We don’t have a van with that designation,” said the puzzled operator over the bad connection that probably reached halfway around the world.
Shit, thought Kristin, I thought I remembered it right. “Alright,” she said. “I’ll, um, call back.”
A minute later, her phone rang. A different operator, a woman with a pleasant, mellifluous voice, over a much better connection, said, “Ms. Harper? I apologize for the mistake—we’ve located the service tech you were interested in having do your upgrade. Is tomorrow morning alright?”
“Y-yes,” Kristin said, blown away both by the apparent quality of the customer service and by the frightened arousal that coursed through her system. Tomorrow? She would be spanked by the cable guy tomorrow, for the first time? How would he do it? How could she ask, because she had to ask, right?
If she put her hairbrush out? Kristin shook her head. How had the girl asked for it? Or… did a man like that know, somehow?
Leo looked down at the text message Abigail Podret had just sent him.
Leo, we have a problem. Call me on the emergency line as soon as you can, and definitely no later than midnight GMT.
When he was out on a case, Leo Hastert checked his voicemail every two hours without fail, but in the seven years he had worked for the Institute, this was the very first time he had ever gotten a message. He left his regular work phone at home, of course, when he worked pick-ups, and it was always full of messages when he got back to his apartment, from various contractors hired to keep up the front of the psychology practice in the downtown skyscraper as well as from the assessors at the Institute itself with queries about cases he was working on or details about policy. These days, though, he mostly got email from the Institute, usually marked urgent but never requiring that he be contacted while he was conducting a pick-up.
Leo had no family. His parents had died in a car crash when he was in college, and his sister had died of an overdose a year after that. He drank very occasionally with college friends, but his line of work made even that quite difficult. His real social life, such as it was, happened when he visited the Institute, the three or four times a year when he delivered a pick-up, and when one of the assessors or directors came to debrief him here in his own city, and to conduct an audit of the office, once a year. The rest of the time Leo lived for his job.
It was a job that required that kind of dedication—or perhaps ‘isolation’ would be the more accurate word. When he went out on a pick-up like this one of Daria Cenci, to think of anything but how best to evoke her submission to the benefit of the man who had purchased her would invite disaster; Leo’s focus had to be total. Daria had signed the papers two weeks before, and had her memory of consent suppressed by the Institute’s psychologist while Leo watched, taking notes. Now he had to have everything he knew about her case instantly at his mental fingertips, as he began her training. It required every ounce of concentration he could muster. He had set his phone to flash if a message came in from the Institute, but without the mental alarm-clock that told him to check it every two hours he would never have noticed.
He had just finished fucking Daria for the first time, having tied her down over her piano bench and forced her to the first orgasm of her life, when he spared a moment to glance at the phone and found the message. He checked to be sure Daria’s breathing was clear through her nose and around the dishtowel he had seated firmly in her mouth, then he said, “Thank you, sweetie, that felt lovely,” and patted her bottom dismissively. Daria’s erotic repression focused on a feeling of powerlessness to please others, especially men. Leo’s most important task during her pick-up involved getting her mind to accept as a fundamental dynamic that her masters would take their pleasure from her casually and at their own whim; when she stopped worrying about whether she could please a man, she would be free to feel pleasure herself.
Leo dressed swiftly and went out the door wearing the cable-guy swagger like a familiar piece of clothing. He unlocked the back of the van, stepped in, and closed the door behind him. Then he called Abigail’s emergency number. She picked up almost immediately.
“Girl saw your van, got the number, requested you from the cable company.”
“Requested me?” Leo laughed. “Huh.”
“I know,” Abigail said, laughing as well. “Not something that’s ever happened before. We tap the cable company to deal with complaints about van parking or in case of accident, but I’m very glad we do, now.”
“So what do you think? Someone on the street who wants to spare the company the inconvenience? Looking for quick service or something?”
“I think she may be a volunteer. When I spoke to her on the phone she sounded nervous, and the voice analyzer, though as you know isn’t a fine-grained tool, read submissive.”
“Because I’m just that dominant? She can tell from my van?” Leo laughed again.
“You never know, but what I’m concerned about is that she saw part of a pick-up.”
“Ah. So we need to investigate.”
“Yes. What do you think about me dispatching Paul? I set up a cable appointment for her tomorrow, and if I’m right she’ll be expecting to see you. Paul can go and place devices and get some video and then we can talk when you bring Daria in Saturday night.”
* * *
“She’s definitely worth a spot, based on her looks at least,” Abigail said, after they had watched the video from the tiny camera Paul had worn. “We could place her in an hour.”
The video, three minutes compiled from an hour’s service call, showed Kristin Harper, long brown hair in a ponytail, brown eyes sparkling in her elegant, fine-featured face, opening the door of her duplex apartment and instantly registering dismay at the appearance of Paul Reese, Leo’s second-in-command, who was not an unattractive or undersized man. It was immediately apparent that she had been expecting someone else—there didn’t seem any reason to think that someone else could be anyone other than Leo.
“Oh,” Kristin said. “I… it’s your van?”
“Yup,” Paul’s voice said (Abigail and Leo couldn’t see his face on the video, since he wore the camera). “Sometimes one of my techs drives it, though.”
“Oh, the one… I…”
Paul pretended, as Leo would have, not to understand. “You wanted an upgrade, ma’am?”
“Oh,” Kristin said again, distractedly. “Yes. Um, come in.”
“She’s twenty-three,” Abigail said, giving the rundown. “Marketing exec at a downtown company. Lives alone.”
Paul did a nice job of surveying Kristin’s little house, focusing instantly on the coffee table, where Kristin had put a hairbrush. Leo laughed. “Seriously?”
“Hush, Leo,” Abigail said. “You’re thinking of her like a pick-up. Kristin here is desperate, and I’ve got a mansion full of subs who might well have been a lot less subtle if they wanted to invite the cable guy to play.”
In the bedroom, on the bed, lay a copy of Schoolgirl Tales. “Right on the bed,” Leo said. “Like your average hunky cable guy is going to get that signal.”
“This is her fantasy,” Abigail said. “She has no idea about the reading habits of cable guys. The fact that you would have known immediately what was up is just a coincidence. This girl has spent a large part of her life trying to figure out how to get a spanking, and now she thinks she may have a chance and she’s doing everything she can think of that doesn’t risk utter humiliation.”
“Of a kind different from what she’s looking for.”
“Exactly. If Paul were to say, ‘Looks like you’re a very naughty girl, Kristin,’ she would kneel at his feet. Classic volunteer.”
Paul installed the special modified cable boxes the Institute used when it was getting ready to pick girls up. “Gray area?” Leo asked. When they monitored pick-ups’ houses, they had signed assurances that the girl had asked for the monitoring.
“Well,” replied Abigail, “no. Not really. We could get into trouble, I suppose, just like we could with the cable vans. But remember that we can burn out the transmitters remotely if we have to. And you’re going to go in there and switch them out this week.”
“Ah,” said Leo. “So you’ve got a plan.”
“Leo, you know I always have a plan.”
* * *
Leo knocked on the door. Kristin must have been standing right behind it—many girls did. The door opened to reveal her looking adorable in a blue sundress. Leo smiled. So many girls had sundress spanking fantasies—something about how easily a man could bare their bottoms, maybe?
“It’s you,” she said, her eyes wide. “When the company called… I thought it would be… Paul, his name was?”
“Nope,” said Leo. “I’m driving the van today. Paul said that maybe you’d noticed me on another job?”
Kristin instantly turned bright red. “Yeah, I … think I must have. Well, um, come on in. The company said you needed to fix one of the boxes he installed?”
“First,” Leo said, once the door to her house had closed behind him. “I need to tell you that I don’t really work for the cable company.”
It was almost like a pick-up, for a moment, then. Kristin spun around, her eyes wide. Leo could see the panic taking hold, and with it the beginnings of her arousal—because of what she had seen, Leo imagined.
He followed that up. “I think when you saw me before, Kristin, you probably saw me doing my real job.”
“What? How could… I mean, you…” Standing there in the little front hall of her apartment, facing down a large man who had just told her that he had entered her home under false pretenses, Kristin seemed to Leo an adorable mix of defiance and submission. She had set her pretty mouth into a thin line, but she held her hands in front of her, clasped tightly, as if begging him to be gentle with her. Whatever she had seen had made a very deep impression on her, Leo realized—she had clearly built him up in her fantasies as the answer to her craving for domination.
“Can we have a seat, and talk about it?” Leo asked. “I need to tell you some pretty complicated things, and I also have a kind of offer for you.”
“Let’s sit,” Leo said firmly, nodding his head decisively. As he had suspected it would, the dominant note in his voice got Kristin moving backwards, and then turning around to walk into her little living room. She paused at the edge of the sitting area, where there were a couch and two chairs. Again Leo took over, enjoying as he always did the opportunity to tell a pretty girl what to do, when that pretty girl needed the guidance. “Why don’t you sit on the couch, Kristin, and I’ll sit in one of the chairs.”
Without a word, Kristin obeyed. Leo thought back to the first moments of his visit to Daria Cenci the week before: the terror in her eyes when Leo issued the command to kneel in front of him, the necessity of taking hold of her safely when she had tried to run away. Pick-ups were special—indeed, they were unlike any other experience either a dominant or a submissive could ever have—but they really took it out of you. In a certain sense, it was much nicer to be here with Kristin, knowing that even if she didn’t have a lot of skill yet, she knew her submissive mind, and would want to please Leo.
The thought made him hard as he took his seat. That surprised him slightly; something about Kristin appealed to him more than a girl, pick-up or volunteer, had in quite a while. He stole a glance at her face, and realized that along with her willingness to please, a strong, individual intelligence seemed to sit upon her brow, as a 19th-century novelist might put it.
She looked back at him, and that brow furrowed, which itself endeared her to Leo. Kristin, he could tell, didn’t just want to submit—she wanted to understand.
“Let me make this a little easier for you, Kristin. I need to know what you saw, but given what we’ve seen of your reactions to the cable-company cover, I’m pretty sure I already know the kind of thing you saw, and I’ll say a little bit about that, so that you’ll feel more comfortable telling me.”
“Okay,” Kristin replied uncertainly.
“I think you saw me with a woman, maybe in her house.”
“I think you saw me doing something sexual with her.”
“And I think the kind of sexual thing we were doing probably involved me dominating her in some way.”
“You spanked her,” Kristin whispered. “Or… well, I didn’t see the spanking, but her bottom was red, and she was kneeling… in front of you while you sat in a chair and…”
Leo waited patiently. Kristin’s face was bright red, and she had begun to breathe more quickly. Her arousal would come on faster if he forced her to describe what she’d seen at greater length.
“And what?” he asked, softly but also authoritatively, after a while.
Kristin gulped. “You were naked, and I saw…” Now she hid her face in her hands. “I can’t say it… please don’t make me…”
“I think you mean ‘Please do make me,’ Kristin.”
She lifted her face instantly to look into his eyes with a startled, guilty expression.
“Did I even suggest that I might make you?”
She turned her face slowly to the side as if to begin a shake of her head. Her face turned troubled as Leo watched her replay the conversation in her mind. “N-no,” she finally said.
Leo dropped the hammer of his dominance, with all his skill. “Tell me what you saw, naughty girl. Did you see my cock?”
Kristin gasped and recoiled.
“Answer me, Kristin.”
Now she did shake her head, wildly.
“Stand up,” Leo said. Kristin stood, as if Leo controlled her body like a puppeteer. “Come over here and stand between my knees.”
Kristin bit her upper lip, and her head kept shaking, now very slowly, but again she obeyed. She shuffled over, her eyes getting wider by the second, as if she couldn’t believe the strength of her own arousal. Her whole body trembled as she took her place a few inches from his face and from his hard cock, covered in denim. He closed his thighs gently around hers, and felt his own eyes widen for an instant. He could have sworn that even through the denim of his jeans and the cotton of her sundress some metaphysical current began to flow. The urge to take her, to possess her, and to teach her everything he wanted to teach her so that she could please him, rose very high inside Leo. His cock felt as hard as an iron bar at the idea of forcing her to her knees and ordering her to take out his cock and pleasure him for the next hour while he began instructing her in the ways of the concubine and her lord.
The part of Leo’s mind that always flew above his play scenes at 30,000 metaphorical feet or so noticed that he was having more fun improvising this scene than he’d had in quite a while. The more he got to know Kristin Harper, through her responses to this start of his domination of her, the better he liked her, and the 30,000-foot voice now issued a danger warning—the first such warning it had issued in years: This girl is special. Careful, or you’re going to end up entangled.
Leo lived his life above all to avoid entanglements. The last time the voice had given him that warning, six years before, he had ended up falling in love with a concubine in the process of breaking her. That feeling, kept to himself though it had been, had cost him his sleep for months. Only the strength of his intellect, telling him over and over that it would pass, kept him from quitting his job so that he would never feel such agony again as he felt just knowing that the girl he loved belonged—almost literally belonged, because of the Institute—to another man, whom she had ended up marrying at the end of her year of service.
But it had passed, indeed, and here he was, not entangled.
Kristin Harper, however, could well present an even greater danger; the metaphysical current that seemed to flow through his thighs and make his cock ache with desire wasn’t something he could remember ever having felt, even with the pick-up with whom he had fallen in love those years ago. Part of it was the way she looked at him, he realized. Every glance of her eye seemed to say “Please take me. I know what you are and what you do, and I want you to do that to me, even if it’s only for an hour, or a minute.”