“You know, you look particularly masterful in that watch.”
“Yeah.” he sighs. “I’m going to want to wear it all the time.”
Oh really? Assignments 24/7? Hmmm…
“I didn’t mean…it’s a great watch. And it’s from you.” Is that a little bit of a blush, Edward Cullen?
“Oh,” I answer, not sure if I’m relieved or disappointed. “Wait, let me see it a sec…”
He lifts his wrist and I play with the bezel. “Maybe you can just set this outer piece when you’re bossing me around.”
He chuckles. “Bossing you around?”
“Yeah. Stealing body parts…” I wriggle my captured hand in his pocket, then drop my voice several tones. “Ordering me in front of mirrors, denying me…”
The taxi pulls into the circular drive. “Assignment’s over now, sweetheart; you can have your hand back.”
“What if I don’t want it back?”
“That suits me fine, too, but it’s your choice now.”
~- / -~
“I really have to finish this whole thing before you take me ice skating?”
“Yep. Now, your account is all set up here. Just go through and enter your responses—”
“My responses,” I echo childishly. I’m nervous.
“This last column to the right is for comments, so put down any conditions or reservations that you want to discuss.”
There should be plenty of those…
“And when you’re finished, hit the ‘submit’ button.”
“Submit.” Again, with the nerves. Luckily, he doesn’t engage.
“l’ll be in the bedroom if you need me. Remember, it’s just an outline for our conversation. Nothing you write is set in stone.”
“Another conversation?” The blood drains from my face. But it will certainly return in full force when I am made to discuss all measures of humiliating topics later on. Yay.
He turns the laptop toward me and kisses my nose playfully. “You’ll do great, Isabella. This is good for us. You’ll see.”
He snags the bookstore bag and enters the bedroom, leaving the door ajar.
Good for us. His words wrap themselves around me like a down comforter, embracing and warming me for the task ahead. You can do this, Isabella. You want this. With him.
I glance down at the bracelet beside me on the desk. He was adamant that I not be “under his spell” while I completed the questionnaire. As if I could separate myself from his voodoo by simply removing a piece of jewelry.
I sit up straighter and slide the chair closer. I crack my knuckles. I suck in a huge lungful of air and blow it out slowly. All those little cues I rely on to settle myself into a writing mode. But this isn’t writing. This is THE CHECKLIST.
Page 1. A. Sexual Orientation. Hetero, sub. Check, check. Okay, not so hard. Moving on.
B. Sexual Activities. Anal penetration. Done that? No. A solid no. Rating? Rating…
Well, shit. I’m stuck already. Before last night, I would’ve easily checked ‘Hard Limit’ and moved along. But then…he did that soft thing…with his finger…so gently…and it felt kind of…fuuuck. I leave that blank for now. In fact, I leave the whole anal family blank for now, well, except for fisting. That’s an easy hard limit.
Cock worship, cunnilingus (receiving, I’ll assume), cyber sex…easy “desirables.”
Double penetration…there IT is again. The elephant orifice in the room. Skip.
Fellatio…no brainer. Group shit, hard limit. Masturbation, oral, phone, rough…fine, fine, fine, please.
Same gender…hmmm? With Edward directing? With Edward involved? Wait…would Edward be involved with the other girl, too? That doesn’t sit well. I give it triple question marks in the comment field. Same for threesomes.
Vaginal fisting…ugh. Wait, open mind. Okay, I mean, ugh still, but maybe I’m neutral. What if he loves that? I bravely push neutral and move on to Section C—fetishes.
One glance at my new watch staring back at me accusingly from the nightstand tells me I’ve been rereading the same first paragraph of The Most Human Human for ten minutes. Sometimes even reading about computers just can’t hold my attention. My nerves are nearly as jangly as Isabella’s right now, my mind ticking down the checklist along with her. I admit defeat and close the book resting against my raised knees. The submissive’s checklist…I tackled it once myself.
Stomach, I swear if you do me a solid here and don’t bring up my lunch, I promise to lay off the Doritos and Slim Jims for a week. I lifted my head from the steering wheel and scrubbed my hands up and down my face one last time before grabbing the signed contract from the passenger seat and exiting the rental car. Walking up the pristine path to the ordinary house in the middle of a typical suburban street, I chuckled mirthlessly to imagine what the neighbors would think if they had any idea.
Calm the fuck down, I willed myself for the thousandth time since this morning. Riley knows I’m here, and this guy Marcus comes with the highest recommendations. I rang the bell two minutes early and unrolled and re-rolled my cuffs three times before he answered. I’d started to imagine he was observing me through the peephole.
“Edward?” he confirmed, a grin spreading across his face as he opened the door to greet me. He was easily fifteen to twenty years older, but handsome and sturdy. Dark straight hair, clear blue eyes, and an easy smile. He was dressed in black from head to toe, but nothing cheesy. I suppose a small part of me was expecting leather and chains, but Marcus was just, well, normal looking. And extremely sure of himself.
“Yes,” I choked out, my voice sounding foreign and small.
I stood perfectly still as he took his sweet time inspecting every last inch of me. “Day-ummm,” he announced finally, delivering his verdict and ushering me inside. “Come in, come in.”
Somehow, I put one foot in front of the other and followed him inside. He led me through his kitchen and into a small study. Besides the desk and leather chair, there was only one other piece of furniture, a classic wood chair with vertical slats. He rounded the desk and sank into his chair, offering me the other seat, which I took gratefully before my legs gave out from nerves. I sat up as tall as I was able and held down my knee to stop the bouncing.
“You signed the contract?” he asked, indicating the papers fluttering in my hand.
“Yes,” I said again, the only word I seemed to be able to produce.
He gestured for me to pass them across the desk, which I did promptly. He leafed through to my signature and then scanned the attached checklist.
“I presume this is the same submissive’s checklist you sent me on line?”
“Yes.” Fuck, I’m articulate. I was not about to add ‘sir’ before he demanded it.
He pushed the papers to the side of his desk, then folded his hands in a relaxed manner, in stark contrast to my anxious attempt to gather in my nerves. “Tell me more about why you’re here, Edward.”
We’d chatted on line for the past two weeks, during which time I’d also been checking his references diligently. And perhaps he’d done the same with me, not that there was anything to find. I was off the grid, trying my own thing with the girls who didn’t really mind that I didn’t quite know what the hell I was doing. But I minded plenty.
I cleared my throat. “I want to learn to be a good dom.”
He nods. “You do realize there are other ways of learning? Not everyone chooses this path.”
“So why did you?”
“I need to experience how it feels to submit, not just imagine or observe it.”
“Admirable. And you’re not attracted to men?”
“No,” I answered too quickly, drawing a low chuckle from Marcus.
“So why not submit to a woman?”
“I honestly don’t think I could. Not with any semblance of genuine emotions anyway.”
“And you feel you can to a man? To me?”
“Edward, you seem like a good guy, earnest and all. You need to know, I am not fucking around here.”
My heart jumped into my throat to hide. “I didn’t think you were. Neither am I,” I added with false bravado.
He hardened his gaze and measured me once more. “Your checklist was interesting.”
Not exactly what I was hoping to hear. “How so?”
“You hard limited kissing. I don’t get that a lot. Very ‘Pretty Woman’ of you.” He smirked.
“I knew I couldn’t go there.”
“Fair enough,” he said. “Despite that fact, there is a large list of activities you did NOT prohibit.”
Thanks for reminding me, dude. Why do you think I’m sitting here shitting bricks right now? “I know.”
Thanks for reminding me, dude. Why do you think I’m sitting here shitting bricks right now? “I know.”
“You honestly believe you’re not going to freak out when I put my mouth around your cock?”
Could I guarantee it? Hell no. “I understand that in order to learn, I need to put myself outside of my comfort zone. I’d like to think that I will be able to handle myself. If things get too crazy for me, I’ll use my safe word. And then, I suppose, I will have learned how that feels as well.”
The harsh look to his face softened, and I felt as though I’d aced the entry exam. “In that case, I’m impressed.”
If I thought I was off the hot seat, I may have celebrated just a bit prematurely. “Let me ask you something, Edward. Can you get hard and stay hard for me? Because I have to tell you, I can work with a female or a male sub, but I’m not interested in the least in a dry pussy or a flaccid penis inside the dungeon.”
Well, shit dude, tell me how you really feel, why don’t you?
“I don’t suppose I’ve given that very much thought,” I answered him truthfully.
“Let’s have a trial run then,” he responded, brushing two fingers across his lips in deep thought. “Stand up,” he commanded suddenly, in a strong voice I hadn’t yet been acquainted with.
I rose immediately to my feet.
“Kick off your shoes,” he ordered, and I did.
“Drop your pants.” Fuck. Okay. No needless foreplay then. I hastily opened the button and slid down the zipper of my khakis, helping them over my hips, down my legs, and around my heels and toes.
“Those, too,” he added, pointing to my black boxer briefs. “I hate those contraptions. They hide everything. Don’t wear those again when you come back here. In fact, don’t wear anything under your pants next time.”
During his little rant, the undergarment issue may have sidetracked him a bit, but not me. It didn’t escape me for one nanosecond that I was baring myself for another man with the sole purpose of sexual intent. This was no casual meet and greet at the urinal, with the occasional dropped gaze to check out the competition. Nor was it a post-workout romp through the locker room, letting the junk air out on the way to the shower. This was bona fide penis ogling, and mine was being put to the ultimate test.
“Your shirt’s in the way. Take it off.” I worked my buttons as efficiently as possible, and as I shook my shoulders free of the fabric, I felt a chill come over my body, naked except for my socks.
Marcus stood up and rounded his desk, advancing on me. I watched him warily as he regarded my cock.
“You have a beautiful cock there, Edward. But if you can’t get it up, we’re done here.”
I had come too far to be derailed by none other than my persnickety penis. I pushed the play button on my fantasy reel. Girls in cuffs, lips wrapped around my cock, soft pussies drawing me in…
“Better,” he said, both of us watching my erection spring to life. He stepped behind me and placed a hand on my shoulder. “Will it run and hide if I talk to you about how much I want to feel this hard body? What if I rub my hands along your shoulders and down your back? What if this hand slides over your ass…?”
Nipples and pussies, pussies and nipples…
“…how about if I do this?” Smack!
Holy shit! He spanked me! I snuck a one-eyed peek downward and was dismayed to see my enthusiasm waning.
“Use your hand, Edward,” he advised, watching my sad decline over my shoulder.
I slid my hand over my cock and began a motion as familiar as breathing to bring the erection back to life. At the same time, Marcus increased his presence in my consciousness, challenging me to overcome my reticence. I balanced his aggressive fondling of my ass with ever-increasing swift strokes up and down my shaft; his invasive banter with low grunts of my own.
I forgot myself in the stranger’s study, and succumbed to my basest desires. My need grew and loomed larger than everything else, and I prepared to step into the oblivion of my bliss.
“Enough!” Marcus exclaimed, pulling away from me, leaving me alone in this sordid activity, in the odd surroundings of the man’s office. I dropped my hand reluctantly, painfully, my abandoned cock protesting with a glistening drop of cum surfacing through the tip.
Marcus’s eyes gleamed with pleasure as he regarded my raging erection and my utter frustration. A wide grin came over his face and he announced, “You’ll do.”
Agalmatophilia—sex with statues, I mark yes in the Done that? column, but switch my response. There’s no room for sarcasm on a BDSM checklist. Hard limit? Snicker. The hardest.
Altocalciphilia, high heels? Yes, I confidently mark I’ve done that. Eye roll. I bounce back and forth between neutral and desirable. It’s hard to disentangle his…ahem, appreciation for me in the shoes with my own physical discomfort. I’m pretty sure he knows where I stand on this one anyway. Neutral it is.
Bathroom control…fuuck. Giving him control over the when, where, and how? That is…No, pussy, no! I shake my head at my shameful pussy and check desirable. I add a single question mark just to make sure we can get on the same page.
Bestiality, blood, and body modification are quick hard limits. Bondage is a done that (woot for me!) and a desirable. I know there’s a whole scary section on the specifics, so I don’t dally.
Corsetry…hmmm. I’ve never really thought about it before, but I suppose having those long gorgeous fingers threading through and pulling the laces taut wouldn’t be entirely unpleasant, another neutral. Cross dressing…does that even apply? What would he do, put me in a jock? Ick. Question mark.
Diapers, enemas…no, no, yuck. Oh holy shit…does the bathroom control topic cover diapers? No, no, this will close that door. Moving on…
Exhibitionism…oh shit. I can’t ignore the twitch in my panties just reading the word. Not to mention the rush from this morning’s nips-to-the-glass fuck fest. Edward’s unmistakable response in the car to this topic flashes before my eyes. Would this be one of those things I’d “give over to him”? Would he keep me safe? I go with a yes and desirable but leave a question mark. Great. We get to discuss this.
I hold to hard limit on most of the other fetishes. Well, not uniforms. That one gets a desirable. I love Edward’s costumes.
Okay…D/s Activities. Where the rubber meets the road.
Branding…hell no. Caging…caging. I can’t say it turns me on, but as long as I can breathe, I guess I could deal. Neutral. Cock worship, hells yeah. Domestic service, mmhmm. Foot worship, never really thought about it, except maybe as a tag-on to the crawling. My pussy rates it neutral. Forced nudity makes me roll my eyes. Do I like it? No. Does it turn me the fuck on? Shit.
Forced orgasm, seems like an oxymoron to me, desirable, check. Given away to others? No thanks.
Humiliation, private. Easy. Humiliation, public. Harder. Like its twin brother exhibitionism, it’s a huge trust issue. But do I feel a distinctive stirring down below? I absolutely do. I give this one five question marks and move on. Humiliation, verbal. I check desirable, but I type in, “Cunt=Hd Lim”.
I am cruising now…Section E, bondage.
Some of these are super scary, and I hard limit a bunch: body bag, hoods, mummification (!), and plastic wrapping. Most of the rest are desirable: restraints of all sorts, collar and leash, suspension, spreaders (gah—the word!). Neutral rating for gags; I just don’t know but the idea doesn’t scare me.
I pat myself metaphorically on the back as I turn to the next page, Section F, scenes.
Perhaps phoning my parents while my sub is in the next room completing her checklist is ill-advised. But it’s become our family tradition, and my book certainly isn’t doing its job distracting me. With my head propped up by two pillows, I have an unimpeded view of the door. Should Isabella need me, I can quickly end my call.
Dad answers on the second ring.
“Edward. How are you?”
“I’m well, Dad. How ‘bout you?”
“I’m well, Dad. How ‘bout you?”
“Good, we’re good, son. Big plans for tonight in the City?”
“Big plans out of the City, We decided to get away from the madness.”
“We? Isabella’s with you?” Dad’s use of my pet name is natural; I never told him anything different. Still, it reminds me how they used to hold out for my full name despite nicknames of Eddie and Ed, and even the occasional Ned. God, I hated being called Ned.
“Yes, she’s here. We’re in Montauk.”
“Give me the phone, Carlisle,” Mom fusses in the background, bringing a smile to my face.
“Happy New Year, sweetie.”
“Your father’s not asking enough questions.”
“I was doing fine,” he grumbles in the background. “I was easing into it.”
“Easing, shmeezing. Tell me all about how you and Isabella are doing.”
“We’re doing well, Mom. We’re great.”
In fact, she’s in the next room right now filling out her submissive checklist.
“Dad and I would like to make a plan to take the two of you out to dinner in the City.”
“That would be great, Mom. Actually, there’s something I wanted to ask you about that.”
“Sure, honey. What is it?”
“Well, Bella and I were talking about the opera…”
“She’s an opera aficionado?!” Mom becomes excited.
“Not exactly. We were talking about how we’d both like to broaden our horizons…”
“And I was hoping, maybe, that you could take a look at the MET schedule and pick something for the four of us?”
“Really? Wait a second, what’s the dog’s middle name?” she asks suspiciously. Like I said, CIA.
“Very funny, Mom. It’s Alloyssius. Did I get my security question correct?”
“Wow, it really is you!”
“You know, if you’re trying to encourage a behavior, you really shouldn’t make fun of a person when he exhibits that particular behavior.” Many of the sound guidelines for training subs apply equally well to good parenting.
“Oh, Edward. When did you become so sensitive?”
“Okay, okay, sorry. I would be delighted to pick an opera.”
“Good. And can you choose something with some meat to it? Bella and I are planning to do some advance research so we can appreciate the experience.”
“Wow, Edward, that’s…so enlightened,” she responds, projecting her smile through the phone. “I can happily direct you to some great websites, but…oh, what am I saying? I don’t need to tell you how to get information.”
Mom’s trying so hard to tamp down her enthusiasm. Truth is, it warms my heart to make her so happy. Speaking of happy, my focus slips to the girl on the other side of the wall and my concentration is shot. I realize Mom’s gone on for a bit and I have no idea what she’s said.
“…of course, there’s always Mozart …Edward, oh dear, have I lost you? Carlisle, I think the signal’s faded.”
“No, Mom. I’m here.’
“Okay, well this is all academic anyway. I’ll have to see when the hospital will let your father have some time off and I promise you I’ll select something impressive.”
“Thanks, Mom. I knew I could count on you.”
“Always. Okay, your father’s grabbing the phone…have a wonderful New Year’s, Edward. I’ll be in touch soon.”
“You too, Mom. All good things in the New Year.”
“All right, all right. Here’s your son back,” I hear, beyond the scuffle of the phone being passed. I can hear Dad’s eye roll as he says, “Your mother is such an Edward hog.”
I chuckle at the familiar argument. Poor Mom, she really wanted a litter of kids, but was unable to carry another baby to full-term after me. I suppose I really did break the mold. And though I suspect Dad would’ve been happier with his own little football team of Cullens, neither has made me feel as though I weren’t enough. Probably because I please them so.
“You and Mom doing the usual tonight?” I ask, though their New Year’s routine is as familiar to me as our Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions.
“Oh…you know, the ever-popular ‘Year in Review’ on the couch with Hunan chicken and Peking ravioli.”
“Dusting off the tux again?”
“Of course. It makes your mother light-headed.”
I chuckle. “Are you sure that’s not the half glass of Zinfandel?” Mom’s a cheap date; it’s part of her charm.
“The Zin never hurts,” Dad answers quietly. Mom’s still nearby, close enough to catch every single nugget.
“Well, good luck, old man.” And that’s enough of a surf on that particular brain wave.
“How about you, son? Have you done your soul-searching for the season?”
“I’m getting there, Dad.”
“Good for you. Sounds like you’ve got all the wagon wheels pointing in the right direction.”
“Good for you. Sounds like you’ve got all the wagon wheels pointing in the right direction.”
Corny much, Carlisle? “Yep. I’m ready for the dusty trail,” I drawl, then roll my eyes at myself.
I hear a hysterical, “clit clips?” and decide this phone call’s run its course.
“All right, Dad, well, Happy New Year.”
“You too, son. Enjoy yourself. Sounds like we’ll be seeing you before too long.”
“Don’t work too hard.”
He snorts, “I’d tell you the same, but you don’t want to make a bad impression on your girlfriend’s dad, now do you?”
“Don’t worry about him. We’re all good.”
“Hunh. That was fast.”
Does nobody understand that I’m a pleaser?
Scenes. Animal play. I search the wood beams above me for the correct answer. Scary stuff. No denying the leash and crawling turn me on. But bowl feeding, doggy walks? He wouldn’t! Would he?
He will if you let him, Bella warns OMK.
I’m confident that my five question marks in the public humiliation comment box will cover this topic sufficiently, and I rate the activity neutral.
Blood and breath play are easy hard limits, as is branding, thank you very kindly.
Interrogation scenes…hmmm. Damn the internet! I could’ve rated this neutral with good conscience had I not recently viewed one of the hottest airport interrogation scenes I’ve ever seen. A woman passes a duffle bag laden with all kinds of fetish toys through the x-ray machine. An over-zealous, not to mention phallically gifted, security agent brings her to the interrogation room, strip searches her, and uses every one of her toys on her with evil abandon. Definitely a desirable, with a side order of yes, please.
I definitely would’ve nixed the medical scene had Edward not mentioned the damn stethoscope yesterday. It’s impossible for me to judge, sitting here at this antique mahogany desk, in the middle of this opulent room, whether he’d conjure something cold and scary with hot lights and metal equipment. Or whether instead, it might be an erotic visit to Dr. McHotness, who could certainly cure me of all my woes. While the former is clearly neutral at best, the latter is most definitely desirable. So, desirable it is, and a comment of “anxious” to ease my nerves.
Role play is an enthusiastic desirable, along with spanking and tickling. Ahhh, spanking and tickling. Yes, pussy, thanks for reminding me how you feel about those.
Torture and vampire play don’t do it for me; outside of what I’ve already admitted to liking, it sounds like a whole lot of pain and gore. Videotaped scenes…let’s put a hard limit on that unless and until Edward could come up with a reason to convince me to try this.
I’m finally on the last page, thank God!
Toys. Much of this is repetitive, and I give consistent answers for blindfolds, branding irons, butt plugs, and canes.
“Clit clips?!!” Oops, did I just yell that?
Sure, I’ve read about them, but no, no, no. A thousand times no. Hard. Painful. Limit.
I ride down the list of whips, floggers, switches, violet wands, and nipple clamps and try to imagine each one in Edward’s hands. Tough job, but someone’s got to do it. I go neutral across the board, figuring if he decides to use any of those things, he will be appropriate. We’ve already talked about being on the same page about pain, and at some point, I just have to trust him. Besides, how is it fair to take away every tool in his arsenal if he decides he needs to correct me?
My pussy gulps.
Well, it’s true. Be good and you’ll never see the whip, I caution her.
But crops and paddles…those get a desirable. And vibrators? Um…yeah.
With one last hard limit to the overly generic weapons I give the final click, bringing me to the summary page. Now that I’ve established my comment system of question marks and “scary” marks, I go back and fill in what I’ve left blank. I reread everything one last time, finding it impossible to remain in my seat.
I need my Edward…bad. I submit my checklist with a huge, relieved, highly aroused grin on my face.