“You guys have no idea how hard it is to find a decent Dom these days. No. Idea.” Celia threw back her gin and tonic in one fell swoop. She waved down the waitress as she clashed her glass on the table. “Get me another,” she said.
Maverick frowned at her. If ever a girl needed a Dom, it was Celia. She was a firecracker, that one, five foot two inches of pure fire, with flaming red hair to match her temper, and brown eyes that warmed and heated before one could finish taking a breath. She was rocking a kickass body she’d honed to perfection in the gym, and had just earned her double masters in business administration. The girl had her shit together.
She also swore like a truck driver, drove recklessly, drank too much when she was pissed, and was known to hit the carbs hard when she was moody. She was like a sister to Maverick and Rodney, who’d known her since they were teens. Still, it pained Maverick to see her so desperately in need of being taken in hand.
“Easy on that liquor, sweetheart,” Rodney murmured. “I can’t take you home tonight. And I think you’ve worn out your ‘free rides from Maverick’ card.”
Rodney, Maverick’s best friend, tall and lithe, put together but in a classy “boy next door” kind of way, was waiting for his fiancée Louanne, and wouldn’t be in the position of taking Celia home if she had too much to drink. Celia was normally careful with how she drank, but Maverick suspected this was one of those nights.
She hadn’t worn out her free ride card. She never would, Maverick knew, anymore than he’d stop holding the door in the supermarket for little old ladies, or stop shoveling his mom’s walkway when it snowed. Maverick would take Celia home come hell or high water. Still, he was in no mood to deal with her sass tonight either.
He wanted to hear her latest story, so he sat quietly, nursing his Guinness, enjoying the bitter, bold taste as he trained his eyes on Celia. Sitting back, Celia fingered the condensation on the outside of her glass.
“I met the latest one at a coffee shop in town,” she said. Maverick saw Celia’s eyes go to his before he realized he was growling low. He hated when she’d have a meet-up with Doms she met online, even if she did it in a public place, so she’d stopped telling Maverick until after the event. But she was a big girl, and he couldn’t control how she behaved.
“Down, boy.” She frowned. “It was a public place and we talked on the phone before we met.”
“You have no idea who half these bastards are,” Rodney countered. “Jesus, Celia.”
“Let her tell her story,” Maverick ordered. Rodney nodded and sat back.
Celia sighed with a grateful nod to Maverick.
“First, it was freezing cold. Like fah-reezing out.” Wintertime in upper state New York was no joke, and Maverick well knew how cold it was. He waited patiently for her to continue.
“And this dipshit meets me outside. In the cold,” she said again for emphasis. “I was coming home from work, so it was a long drive, and I’d taken my coat off and left it in the car. I came out, and he’s there, driving this beat-up hunk o’ junk, and he practically pounces on me. I tell him hi, and he takes my hand – I wasn’t even ready for him to touch me – and then I tell him, ‘I’m cold; I want to get my coat,’ and he gets all impatient and says, ‘Whatever. Fine, get your coat then.’” She took another sip from her glass. Maverick felt his hackles rise. On the one hand, he wanted Celia to tell him these stories, because he didn’t want her to hide from him. On the other, he wished she wouldn’t, as it inevitably left him with a desire to beat the losers to a pulp, and he rarely had the opportunity to satisfy his desires.
“Go on,” he encouraged.
She shook her head. “And it was all downhill from there. Before I’d even gotten my eggs, he practically had his tongue down my throat, and by the time my pancakes came, he was trying to get me back to his place. You guys tell me. Don’t you think a real Dom needs to establish trust first, before he jumps into bed?”
“Hell yeah,” Rodney said, his eyes narrowing. “Really, Celia, why do you even meet up with these losers?”
“And who told you to eat pancakes?” Maverick said. Celia was sensitive to wheat, and wasn’t supposed to eat that shit.
Her eyes flashed at him as she put her hands flat on the table.
“See? I. Want. A. Dom.” She leaned forward, her lips pursed together. “I’ve tasted vanilla, and to me? It’s bland. Blah. I don’t like it. I want someone strong enough to take me in hand, and put me in my place, and shit, Rodney, with all due respect to those who play at it in bed, I want a man who means what he says and backs it up. You guys have no idea,” she said, and to Maverick’s surprise, her voice caught at the end. “I fantasize about a man strong enough to take me on. When I lose my shit, he’d take me over his knee and set me to rights. When I get wrapped up in a client and I’m up ‘til the crack of dawn, I want him to come in and tell me to go to bed. I want to be stopped when I eat the entire carton of rocky road because I’ve got PMS. And I need a guy who will tell me no, don’t order the pancakes, just because they look good, because you know you’ll be sick all weekend over it! This isn’t about fucking kink or goddamned sex. I want the real deal.”
Maverick understood. She didn’t even need to explain to him. Still, he dropped his voice when he spoke to her. She was spiraling out of control.
“You do,” he said softly, but firmly. She watched him, as he continued. “You need someone to tell you you’re not having anymore to drink tonight, to watch your language and act like a lady.” There was steel in his words, and he knew she felt it. She merely nodded.
“Did you hear me, Cel?” he said. “You’ve had enough to drink tonight, and watch your language.”
“I know, I know,” she sighed wearily. She didn’t even protest as he took her nearly empty glass and pulled it away.
“But Maverick,” she said. “If they’re out there, I can’t find them. I’ve tried and tried, and it’s like finding a fu— a freaking needle in a haystack.”
Rodney’s hand waved as Louanne entered the room. Louanne was pleasantly plump, freckled, and sweet. She liked Celia, but the girls were like night and day. Whereas Celia liked dancing, and drinking, Louanne was quieter and domestic. Celia was all flash and glitter, but Louanne was cute and wholesome.
“Hi, guys,” she said in her soft voice. “What’s going on?”
Celia waved dismissively. “Oh, I’m just having my typical Monday Meltdown about my inability to find a Dom worth his salt,” she said.
Louanne giggled. Although she wasn’t interested in being a submissive, she well knew her friends’ proclivities, and happily played with Rodney on occasion.
“Did you meet another loser?” she asked sympathetically. When Celia nodded, Louanne reached out and squeezed her hand. “Aw, honey, I’m sorry,” she said. “I know the right guy’s out there for you.”
“Well, if you find him, point him my way.” Celia sighed. “I don’t think I have it in me to navigate the single sub waters anymore.”
“Good,” Maverick and Rodney said in unison.
Celia looked at them warily.
“Well, you don’t have to gang up on me,” she muttered. She reached for her glass to take another sip, but Maverick shook his head at her.
“You’re not the boss of me,” she grumbled. He sat up straighter and narrowed his eyes at her. She might not be his submissive, but she well knew he wouldn’t tolerate her lip.
“Nope,” he said. “I’m not. If I were, you’d have been over my knee three times already.”
Louanne blushed. “Really, Maverick!” she hissed. “People will hear.”
He looked at her incredulously. “Like I care?” he said. He turned back to Celia. “Keep it up, and you’ll walk home,” he said, “even if I won’t spank you.”
She frowned, though she knew she was defeated.
“Fine,” she sighed, mumbling under her breath. “No fair you guys know how to do this but nobody else does.” She crumpled into her chair and her shoulders drooped. Suddenly, she sat straight up and her eyes widened.
“You guys!” she said. Maverick grew wary. He could tell already she was getting one of her ideas.
“Yes?” he asked.
“I just had a brilliant idea!” she said. Her hands went flat out on the table in front of her and her eyes were glowing. “Brilliant!”
Rodney nodded. “Spill,” he said.
“You two can start a business!” she said. “You can teach guys how to be Doms!”
Rodney was already shaking his head. “Celia, I don’t think—”
“Hear me out!” she interrupted. He sighed, and nodded, but Maverick just listened. He was curious.
“You start with podcasts, a YouTube channel, stuff online,” she said. “I’m telling you guys, these losers think it’s all about smack, smack, smack and getting off. They don’t really know how to do it. It’s like there’s this gap between what girls want and what these guys are willing to do.” She paused and looked at Rodney. “Do you have any idea how much money you could make?”
His eyes gleamed. With a wedding to save for, he was very interested in knowing how much money he could make.
“You guys, it’s perfect!” she crooned. “With Rodney’s skills, and Maverick’s looks, you guys would be a huge hit! You can post links to your videos online, and charge guys by the hour, or session, or something.”
“Gee, thanks, Cel,” Rodney muttered.
Celia rolled her eyes. “I don’t mean you don’t look nice. You do. But you know that. I mean that Maverick is the one that looks like a Dom.”
“That was supposed to make me feel better?”
Maverick frowned at her.
“See?” Celia said to Rodney, as if Maverick’s reaction was proving her point. “Totally Dom.”
He shook his head. Yeah, he was tall, a big guy, and muscular, with longish dark hair graying at the temples, a heavy beard, and dark eyes. He was handsome in a rugged sort of way, and was a serious guy by nature.
“He frowns and scowls, and makes submissives go aquiver.”
He shook his head at her.
“You’re just proving my point,” she muttered, looking longingly at the drink glass he wouldn’t let her touch.
“I don’t know about this,” Maverick said. “It sounds weird. I mean, do guys who want to be Doms really want to learn how to dom, anyway? I wouldn’t want some asshole telling me how to pull hair, or use a paddle, or how to hold a girl over my knee. Uh uh. If I didn’t know how to do all that stuff, I’d figure it out on my own.”
“Give me my drink,” Celia said, glaring at him.
“No,” he said back, arms crossed on his chest.
“So I have to sit here and listen to you say paddle and over my knee and I can’t have a drink?”
“That’s right, princess.”
She hated when he called her princess, but she was pushing too far.
“I’m in,” Rodney said. “Totally. That would be a blast.”
Louanne giggled. “What kinds of things would you do?”
“Oh, the possibilities are endless!” Celia said, shooting one final glare at Maverick. Maybe she could use a spanking. He shook his head as she continued. “How to use restraints, and how to set rules. Things like that, you know? And even if the guys who want to Dom wouldn’t watch the videos, you can guarantee yourself the girls will.”
Rodney turned to Maverick. “You know you could use the extra income.”
Maverick sighed. He could. He’d recently moved back into his mother’s house. After a bout with a stroke and finally, a heart condition, his father had passed away quietly in the fall. Left alone with Maverick’s sister, Maverick’s mother couldn’t handle her. Marianna was mentally disabled, and at times very difficult to manage. It was at his dad’s funeral that Maverick decided he’d need to come home, at least at first, to help his mom with his sister. His mom was struggling paying off the medical bills, and though Maverick helped her a great deal, the extra income would come at a really good time.
“I don’t know anything about that stuff,” Maverick said. “How to shoot videos, or start a web page, or any of that shit.”
“Doesn’t matter,” Celia said. “You are the experienced Dom in the group. You know what to do.” She was right. He’d been a Dom for years, had played the scene for a while before he’d settled down with a long-term submissive. Though Crystal had been a wonderful submissive, the chemistry was off, and the two of them had mutually agreed to break up. Shortly after, his father passed away, and Maverick hadn’t taken the time to even begin to look for another submissive.
He did know the scene. He knew it well.
He grumbled. “I’ll think about it.”
Celia grinned. “I’ll write up a business plan. We meet at Rodney’s place tomorrow anyway, for the game. We can talk more then. And anyway, Maverick. Think about it this way.” She paused, and sobered. “You and Rodney, you two would be doing the whole community a service, improving things for the better for Doms and subs across the country. You’d be saving girls like me from ending up with losers.”
Rodney snorted. “Might be able to build a web page, but I’m not a magician, Celia,” he said.
She punched his arm, and Louanne giggled. But Maverick didn’t respond.
She had a point. Celia knew how to play her cards.
* * *
Maverick sat on a high stool in Rodney’s basement. It was what Louanne called the Man Cave, framed prints on the walls of the New York Giants, and the Yankees. Autographed baseballs stood in cases, and a large, leather, wraparound couch encircled one wall. It was dark, and casual, and perfect.
“Dungeon domming,” Celia crooned. “Love it.”
“Jesus,” Maverick muttered.
They practiced the filming, until they got it just right. Viewers would get a look at Maverick from the neck down.
“That way we get the yummy biceps and dommy posture, but no one knows who you are,” Celia said.
It had taken a solid week to get Maverick to agree to film, and another solid week until they got the set to his liking. He’d agreed to film half a dozen videos, and Celia came up with their tagline. Teaching Dominants: How-to from experienced Doms. They’d asked around with people they knew, and gotten a few people to come and pose as models.
“All right, so what’s the topic tonight?” Maverick asked.
“Implements!” Celia said with glee, as she produced a large canvas bag from behind her back and dumped the contents on the bar. “And I know you don’t spank your friend, but if you need to demonstrate the flogger, have at it, big boy.”
“The hell with the flogger. You’ve got a tawse in there?” Maverick quipped. The flogger Celia brought was soft, flexible suede and would be fun and sensual. The shorter, harsher leather tawse would have her begging for mercy. She sobered.
“No tawse,” she said.
“Shame,” he responded, staring her down. She grumbled under her breath, frowning as she assembled the implements on the bar next to him. He stifled a chuckle. Good.
Maverick looked at the assortment she’d laid out. Celia had somehow managed to pull strings, and the local BDSM club was sponsoring their filming. They’d donated new equipment, in exchange for their name being emblazoned at the top and bottom of each of the instructional videos. Maverick had agreed reluctantly, not having spent much time at the club, but Rodney and Louanne assured them it was fairly tame. And they had a good reputation.
“Quite the arsenal of ass destruction,” Rodney said, as he eyed the pile of implements atop the bar.
Louanne snorted. “Oh my gosh, Rodney,” she said, her cheeks flushing, as he picked up a wicked-looking cane.
He raised an eyebrow. “Do I need to bend you over the bar, little lady?” he asked with mock sternness. She flushed deeper.
Celia rolled her eyes. “Move along, you two. Go play somewhere else. We need to get this show moving.”
Louanne gratefully fled to the couch at the back of the room, and Rodney pretended to pocket the cane, but Celia snatched it from him.
Maverick picked up the oak fraternity paddle, twisting it in his hand appreciatively. It had good heft to it and would do well for a real discipline session. He put that down, and picked up the cane Rodney had been playing with. He frowned. Didn’t like canes, too easy to inflict unnecessary pain. Still, he knew they had their place, as he put it down next to a thick leather strap.
“We ready?” he asked Celia.
He’d been encouraged by the way their podcasts and videos had taken off, due in no small part, he surmised, to the club’s promotion. But he had to admit, the videos were well done. He’d watched them himself, and Celia filmed them expertly. Within the first week, their intro video on “Setting rules and expectations” topped the charts with hits, and Celia showed him how it had been posted on blogs and social media across the internet. Huh. Who knew? Maybe she was on to something.
“Ready,” he said. He’d already decided how he’d demonstrate the implement video.
A flicker of light, and she signaled for him to begin as Rodney sat on the bar stool next to him.
“Evening, ladies and gentlemen,” Maverick began. He intentionally used his lowest voice for these videos, as he felt it necessary to convey self control and authority, two trademarks of a man who dommed well. “In previous videos, we’ve discussed setting rules and expectations, and establishing roles. We hope the intro videos to this series have given those of you interested in the scene some food for thought. Now, as you all know, these series of videos are not BDSM intro videos. There are many resources out there for those of you into the BDSM scene. But we also know there is quite a bit of, shall we say…” he paused dramatically as his hands went out, palms up, “overlap when it comes to different scenes.” Rodney snorted at the obviously placed pun, and Celia shook her head, while Louanne covered her mouth and giggled. Maverick grinned, even though he knew he was only visible on camera from the neck down.
“But in most Dominant and submissive relationships, those that have established roles and rules, there comes a time to administer a punishment.” His voice dropped as he sobered. “Punishment can range from mild to severe, depending on a variety of criteria. What is the infraction? Is it a repeat offense? Has the submissive become disrespectful, or somehow compounded the punishment? And the list goes on. The length of time a couple has been doing this will also impact how punishment is meted out. For example, if I were just beginning, and my submissive talked back, I would probably only warn her initially what my expectations are.” He waved a warning finger in front of the camera. “But if I had a long-term submissive who had disrespected me, I wouldn’t warn but would administer a firm punishment.” He let his word settle, as he well knew submissives that watched him talking about punishment would be squirming in their seats by now. He wanted his audience’s rapt attention.
“You likely know that punishment can also vary quite a bit. And the depth with which a couple dabbles in the BDSM scene will also impact punishment greatly.” He paused. “However, for me, most punishment will involve a good spanking.” He’d lifted the fraternity paddle in his hand, and cracked it down on the palm of his hand for emphasis. He heard Louanne squeal, but Celia didn’t waver as she filmed.
“There are many different factors that determine the severity of a spanking,” he said. “And for the next segment, I’ll turn this over to my partner.” He motioned for Rodney to take over.
“Thanks,” Rodney said. “As my partner here said, there are many things to keep in mind before you spank, and the most basic is your submissive’s tolerance level. Why you’re giving a spanking is really important. For erotic spankings or something similar, it’s likely a good idea to spank on the lighter side.”
Maverick piped in. “But if you need to teach her a lesson, then it’s important that you take her just above her pain tolerance. We are, after all, talking about a spanking that’s meant to modify behavior.”
He smacked the paddle against his hand again.
“Always test your implements,” he said. “Looks can be deceiving.” He smacked his hand again. “This is a heavy, varnished paddle. A few well-aimed swats with this, and your submissive will remember her lesson well. A longer spanking with this paddle, and she won’t sit for a week.” He put it down and lifted the soft suede flogger. “This flogger, however, may fool you. It looks like a whip, and the word ‘flogger’ sounds intimidating. But this is a more sensual feel. He flicked it against his palm. “I can barely feel the sting. Some floggers are much more intense than this, but the novelty ones made of suede will not have much of an impact.” He put the flogger down and handed Rodney a lightweight wooden spoon.
Rodney held it in his hand. “The classic wooden spoon will get the job done, and it’s a perfect length for over the knee. But be careful of rounded handles, as they are more likely to slip. Flat handles will give you a better grip. Longer implements are awkward for over-the-knee spankings, and require you to lay your submissive over the bed, or couch, or kneeling on a chair. However, please remember that smaller implements like this concentrate impact in one spot, and are more likely to bruise than something like the paddle.”
Next, Maverick picked up the thick leather strap. He swung it hard against his hand. It whistled in the air and he flinched at the impact. “Leather straps are serious. The thicker ones like this will leave a lasting impression, and your girl will remember her place well.” He put it down and picked up a black implement that looked almost like a wire whisk, two oval-shaped loops that came together at a handle. “This is a loopy johnny, an implement that I would put into the ‘silent but deadly’ category. It will make almost no sound upon impact, but I can’t guarantee your submissive will do the same. They’re handy for situations that warrant discretion, but need to be wielded very cautiously.”
Rodney picked up a solid-looking hairbrush. “The hairbrush is also a classic implement, similar to its cousin, the bath brush. Depending on the thickness and density, hairbrushes and bath brushes can pack quite a sting. I like hairbrushes for a variety of reasons. If your girl is good, you can use it to brush her hair before she goes to sleep. And if she’s naughty, you can turn her over your knee. They’re innocuous and safe for travel.” He whammed the brush against his palm. He flinched and Maverick stifled a chuckle. That was one serious brush, varnished and nearly an inch thick. Rodney’s eyes watered from the impact and he bit his lip. Celia was trying her best not to laugh, but Louanne ran from the room, covering her mouth with her hand.
“Yeoowch,” Rodney said, panting a little. “Okay, yeah, that’s one helluva sting in that sucker. I’d save that for something serious.” He placed it back on the counter, trying to discreetly rub his stinging palm.
Maverick turned back to the camera. “The most important thing to do is to test your implements,” he said. “Most submissives are eager for a test run, and that will help you to understand his or her tolerance level. Try your tools on your own thigh or palm, keeping in mind that pain tolerance varies from person to person. And as always, listeners, please play safe.”
Celia stopped recording. “Hey, you two nailed it!” she said. Maverick nodded his thanks, as Rodney was eyeing the implements.
“We get to keep these?” he murmured.
“Yes,” Celia said warily. “But we’ll need them for future videos, so hands off!”
He picked up the flogger. “Relax, girl, I’ll replace them,” he said. He palmed the flogger and Maverick nodded. He wasn’t going to use that one for any future videos anyway. He kept the brush in his hand.
“You two saw Louanne laughing at me, didn’t you?”
Celia’s eyes widened, as Maverick nodded seriously. “Absolutely,” he said. “She thought it was hysterical that you nailed yourself. Go ahead, take the brush with you. I would.”
Celia snorted. “Of course you would.”
He waved a finger at her. “Don’t egg me on, girl,” he said. “Not when I’ve got an arsenal within arm’s reach. You may run, but you can’t hide.”
She swallowed. “Don’t tempt me, big boy,” she said, and her voice was strangely husky.
“Next time, we demonstrate a real spanking,” Maverick said, changing the subject. “You said you have models ready? Girls who can really take it?”
She nodded. “Yep. All set. You said we’re doing positions and warm-ups next time, right?” Her eyes gleamed, and he nodded.
“Yeah,” he said. “And you think we’re ready to go on Tuesday? I should be able to make it by six, so I – ”
His phone rang, two double beeps that meant it was his mother. He picked it up and lifted a finger for Celia to wait.
“Yeah,” he said. He sighed as his mom continued on the other end of the line. Another episode with his sister. He looked up at Celia. “Yeah, I’m on my way,” he said into the phone. She was looking at him, as he was her ride home that night. She nodded.
“I’ll go with you,” she whispered.
Oh, thank God. She always had a way with his sister that made the situation easier.
“Quick, Maverick,” his mom said, her voice strained and near tears on the other end. “She’s going to hurt herself. I can’t get the bathroom door unlocked, and I hear her breaking things in there.”
“On my way,” he said. Without thinking, he grabbed Celia’s hand and pulled her with him, waving to Rodney and Louanne over his shoulder as he jogged to the doorway. He well knew what five minutes of an episode with his sister could result in, and he was thankful Celia was going with him to whatever awaited him.