It was a warehouse that just kind of blended in with everything else around. There was nothing on the outside, save for the company logo, and that wasn’t really descriptive enough to give anybody any indication of what went on inside.
Not that there was anything wrong with what went on inside: mostly it was used to store the pieces for auction, but there was also an area for photo shoots.
“Good to see you, boy. I’m glad you made it,” M said.
“Yes, Sir,” I replied, holding my arm awkwardly. “You said there was going to be a photo shoot?”
“Yes, boy,” M replied, cocking his head and looking at me. He grabbed a pair of chaps from a rack nearby and handed them to me. “Put these on, boy,” he instructed. “Take everything else off.”
“Yes, Sir,” I said. I looked around. “Um, where do I change, Sir?” I asked.
“Right there, boy. Nobody’s going to be offended,” M replied, chuckling. He did a double-take. “You’re not bashful, are you, boy?” he asked.
My reddening face must have given it away. He put a hand on my shoulder and said, “We’re all men here, boy. Think of it like the locker room.”
I gulped; my locker room experiences hadn’t been very positive ones.
“Minus the towel-slapping,” M replied knowingly with a grin and a wink.
Encouraged a little, I kicked off my shoes and took my shirt off, folding it and putting it on my shoes.
“It’s okay, boy,” M said with an easy smile, sensing my hesitation.
“But Sir, I’m not wearing any underwear,” I confessed.
“All the better, boy. You weren’t going to be wearing any with the chaps on anyway!”
My face burned with embarrassment; I’d never considered being a model, let alone one getting naked!
“Here, boy, let me help you,” M said, stepping up next to me. He put his hands on my waistband, deftly undid the button, and pulled the zipper down. He did it so easily, it made me gasp. “Up to you, now, boy,” he hinted.
I swallowed and ventured a glance at his face. He smiled encouragingly, and taking a deep breath, I dropped my pants down around my ankles, hastily stepped out of them, folded them, and stacked them on my shirt.
“There’s a good boy,” M said, patting my shoulder. I reached for the chaps, but M put his hand up and gave a twirling motion with his finger. I swallowed and did a slow spin for him.
M shook his head. “Mmm!” he said, adjusting himself—his pants had become visibly tighter—and gesturing for me to proceed. I donned the chaps and stood awkwardly.
The photographer came over and had me get into some poses, and I heard the click-click-click of the shutter as he took the pictures. It was over before I knew it.
“Go ahead and change,” M said. He’d been watching the whole time.
I moved over to where my clothes were and took the chaps off. As I was hanging them on the rack, M said, “Hey, boy, go and grab that canvas over there, please.” He gestured to one leaned against a rack some distance across the room.
“Um, yes, Sir,” I said, “just let me get my clothes on.”
“No, boy,” M said, shaking his head. “Do it now.”
I hesitated. It was a long way to walk without any clothes on, and there were other people moving things here and there. I glanced at M. He seemed pretty sure of what he was asking, so I swallowed hard and began walking briskly towards the canvas, trying to ignore the fact that I wasn’t wearing any clothes and that people could see me.
Fortunately, I made it to the canvas without incident, grabbed it, and brought it back, hiding behind it.
“Thanks, boy,” M said, “but I don’t need it anymore. Go put it back, please.”
My mouth must have hung open. “Get to it, boy,” M said, tipping his head towards where I’d gotten the canvas. I slowly took it back and then rushed back.
As I returned, M said, “I told you I could get him to do it,” and someone handed him a $50 bill.
My face and ears burned. It was all just to win a bet?
“Ah, boy,” M said, addressing me as I began to put my clothes on, “let’s go out to dinner. You just won a bet for me, and I’d like to share the winnings with you.”
Yup, just to win a bet. “Bet, Sir?”
“I just bet James here that I could get you to walk across the warehouse nude,” M replied, grinning. “When you did it, he wanted to do double-or-nothing that I couldn’t get you to do it twice. Well, you did, so I just won $50. I feel like celebrating. Where do you want to go eat? My treat.”
“Oh, uh,”—did I really want to celebrate being tricked into waling around the warehouse naked?—”n–no, Sir, thank you, but that’s all right.”
M gave me a look that I never expected to see but will never forget: he looked as if I’d genuinely hurt his feelings. Nowadays, when he’s being ornery or downright sadistic, I picture that face and remember that somewhere—deep down—there’s a human being with real emotions. I’ve never seen him make that face since, but it’s stuck with me.
Suffice to say, I went to dinner with him. It turns out he had an ulterior motive.
“Boy,” M said as we carved into our steaks, “I have been very impressed with you.”
Seriously, what do you say to that? I’ve been impressed with you, too, Sir? No, that doesn’t work. “Oh, well, um, thank you, Sir,” I replied.
“I’m serious, boy,” M said. I looked up from the steak. While his tone always sounded sincere, now he sounded very serious indeed. I frowned and leaned forward, curious to know what he had to say.
“I have been…considering…taking on a boy of my own,” he said, putting a bite of steak in to his mouth and chewing it thoughtfully. “Believe it or not, boy, dominance is new to me. I’ve been in the military long enough to expect my orders to be followed, but to enjoy giving them—that’s new. You showed me today that I could give frivolous orders just for the fun of it, and when you did what I told you to do—despite having clear reservations about it—I was delighted. I think, boy, that you’re the one I want.”
I quickly put a bite of food in my mouth to give me an excuse not to say anything. I don’t even know this guy. He’s never been dominant before? Could have fooled me! The bartender said he was good people—but does he know for sure? What does he want from me? Is he going to make me do things I might get in serious trouble for? Is he going to hurt me?
The questions piled up faster than I could even acknowledge them, let alone hope to answer them. My slow, deliberate chewing to try to buy myself some time quickly turned into furious chomping as I tried to process question after question.
“This seems to have taken you by surprise, boy,” M said, peering at me thoughtfully. “Did I misunderstand your body language when you seemed to reject all of the interlopers in our bar, when you came to me so readily, when you did what I asked when I asked?”
I sighed. Putting more food in my mouth now would be incredibly rude. “I—I don’t know, Sir,” I said truthfully. “I did want to find a Master, yes. I did want to find something more than the non-Leather people. And I was drawn to you, Sir, but…” I paused, unsure of how to put it.
“You speak in the past tense, boy,” M said. “Have you lost interest?”
“Well, no, Sir, but—”
“But you have reservations. You don’t know me, I don’t know you, am I going to chop you up and pickle you in Mason jars, all of that, right?”
“Well, except the last part, but now that you mention it…”
M laughed. “You wouldn’t be much good to me pickled, boy,” he said, wiping a tear from the corner of his eye.
“But you understand what I mean, Sir,” I protested. “I don’t know anything about you, and you only know what you’ve seen here and at the bar.”
“Just because you didn’t do your research doesn’t mean that I didn’t do mine, boy,” M replied, raising an eyebrow and grinning. “I know what clubs you’ve been in. I know that you’ve served briefly under a few Doms before, and I know that you’ve been out of the lifestyle for quite some time.”
I opened my mouth to protest, but he continued.
“I also know that you were well-respected while you were in the clubs. Nobody blamed you for leaving your former Doms; many were surprised that you let them take you at all.”
“Then you understand why I’m hesitant to get into it again, Sir,” I said slowly.
“Yes, boy,” M replied, “and I know I’m coming on hard and fast, like your previous Doms did. I know that I’m catching you completely unawares and making you feel like you need to answer right now. You don’t. In fact, I will not accept an answer right now,” he said with finality. “But, boy,” he said, pointing his fork at me, “I expect an answer two weeks from today. Not before, not after. I want you to do your homework, boy: find out who I am, find out what people know and think of me in the community. I assure you, I am well-known.” He leaned forward earnestly. “In my defense, I have not had a full-time slave before. There will be a learning curve for both of us.”
“But I can’t be a full-time—”
“Why not? Because of the job you hate? Quit.”
“What will you put on your resume should we ever part ways? ‘Personal assistant.’ Whether things go well or badly, I promise to give you a glowing review so that you can restart where you left off.”
“Your apartment? Leave it. I’ll pay the reletting fees.”
“Just take my word for it that I started my charity business because I have plenty of money and too much free time on my hands,” M said, giving me a significant look.
I closed my mouth and stopped trying to protest.
“I’m not going to say it’s going to be easy, boy,” M said. “I know you’re headstrong, and I know you’re all-too-willing to leave if things don’t go exactly the way you expected them to.” He smiled knowingly. “That’s why I’m going to offer you something that no Dom has been able to do: I’m offering to whisk you away from your current responsibilities. I’m offering to do all of those things for you that you would normally do yourself. I’m offering to give you the freedom not to go to work—at the expense of your independence.”
I swallowed. It was like he was in my head. It was scary to hear my thoughts repeated back to me, yet fascinating at the same time. I couldn’t turn away, couldn’t think about anything else.
“Make no mistake, boy,” M said gravely, “Once I do take you into my household, you will be dependent on me. You can keep your large possessions and whatever money you have in your bank account, but your clothes, phone, and anything else you can pick up and carry will belong to me. I’ll auction them for charity or give them away; you won’t need them anymore. You won’t have any clothes to wear unless I put them on you, no money to spend unless I give it to you, no roof over your head unless I provide it for you.”
“N–no, Sir,” I said, putting my fork down and shaking my head. “This is too much, Sir. I–I can’t just give up my independence. I’ve worked too hard for it, Sir.”
“I thought you might say that,” M said with a knowing grin. “And so I’m going to leave you with this: You cannot be in a working relationship without a level of dependency; otherwise, it’s too easy to leave it all behind. Is it better to be independent, free to move about, and forever alone, or is it better or to sacrifice some of your independence for a chance at something more? I won’t give you the answer, boy; that’s for you to decide. And you have two weeks.”
He put the last bite of steak in his mouth, savored the flavor as he chewed it, and wiped his goatee, checking his watch.
“I’m sorry, boy, but I have to leave for an important meeting.” He gestured to my steak. “Are you going to finish that?”
I shook my head. While it was delicious, I was in no mood to eat right now.
“All right, then I’ll take it,” he said, motioning the waiter over for a to-go box. “I hate wasting food, boy,” he mused. “When you are blessed to have so much, it seems like a slap in the face to the one who provided it to carelessly throw it away. I am thankful every day that I am not one of the ones I help, who sometimes don’t know when their next meal will be.”
He rose, and I stood slowly, stunned from what had been said. He took me back to the warehouse, and I got in my car and drove home.
I—I don’t even know what to say. I can’t think straight. It’s 4:00 AM; I have to get up in three hours, and I still can’t sleep. I don’t know how I’m going to make it through my job tomorrow. It’s so boring, but you just can’t shut your mind off and do it: you have to concentrate. Damn…I—I gotta get some sleep…or try…