“This chair would be perfect in Bigfoot’s living room.” Sloan Gates ran her hand along the smooth wood and leaned in toward her husband’s ear. “If you were sitting here I would never be able to go down on you. I’d have to be kneeling on more than a few books to get to you properly, Master.”
She glanced at her husband, who was studying the chair as if measuring it for the space in their dungeon. She glanced at it again and cleared her throat. “Master Chad?”
“Yes, sweet Sloan?” he asked.
“You’re not serious about this chair, are you?” When he didn’t answer she continued, “I don’t even think your feet will reach the ground if you sit in it.”
“Are you trying to dictate my purchase?”
“No, Sir,” she said. “It just seems a bit… much.”
“Yeah, I think that’s why I like it,” he said. “It presents a challenge, and you know I love a challenge.”
Oh, yes she did. He’d told her she was a challenge when they first met at a party more than ten years ago. They’d been married for six years now, and had overcome many adversities.
But now they were facing a new one, and it was the hardest thing they’d ever gone through. Chad was bored. His job was not holding his attention, and as each day passed he grew more and more disgruntled.
So far it wasn’t affecting their relationship, but she worried that it was just a matter of time before it bled over into their marriage. There had been one fight about the possibility of him leaving his job as a realtor and trying something new, but he couldn’t figure out what he wanted to do.
Selling houses was all he knew, and he made good money at it. It wasn’t him leaving his job that they’d argued about, it was the lack of money that might come about because of it. They had a good nest egg built, but between house and car payments, it wouldn’t last long. Her job in a small bookstore off the plaza didn’t bring in enough money to do much good in the way of running a household.
They had argued long and hard about it, and in the end, Master Chad had told her that he knew it was a bad idea, he’d just wanted her to confirm it. That was one of the things that was perfect about their relationship. He treated her as an equal in every way, except the bedroom, and that’s the way she liked it.
“Earth to Sloan.” Master Chad’s voice broke into her thoughts.
“I’m sorry, Sir,” she said.
“Climb onto the chair and present your ass,” he said.
Her stomach did a few flips, and her mouth dropped open. “Excuse me?”
“Don’t make me repeat myself,” he said. “Do as I say.” He leaned closer and said, “Present. Your. Ass.”
“Yes, Sir,” she said. Sloan knew he didn’t want her naked, but telling her to get into position in the chair that was large enough for the both of them to sit might attract attention from their fellow shoppers.
She scrambled into the chair, grasping the back of the top rail and taking a deep breath as she put her knees on the edge of the seat and bent ever so slightly.
“I think this might do,” he said.
“I have a sub sized one, too,” a deep voice said. Sloan turned to look at the man who had just joined them. He was tall and dark headed, almost the same size as Master Chad.
“Eyes forward,” Chad said, and she turned her head to look at the wooden slats.
“Chad Gates,” she heard her Master say, and then she heard the slap of flesh against flesh and she imagined they were shaking hands.
“Ryan Halor,” the newcomer said. “Welcome to my little shop.”
Sloan let her gaze furtively dart to the right, and to the left. There were various pieces of furniture around the chair in his stall, which seemed to be larger than most of the ones she’d seen at the flea market.
It was their regular Saturday gig to visit outdoor markets between here and Albuquerque. This was the first time they’d been to this one, which was closer to Albuquerque than Santa Fe. She didn’t even remember what it was called.
“So you’re a carpenter?” Chad asked the man who had introduced himself as Ryan.
“Amongst other things,” he responded. “I build to order, if that’s what you’d like. I built this chair for a friend of mine’s dungeon, and then he and his sub split, so I’m trying to sell it here.”
“It’s great work,” Master Chad said. “I think it’s just the right size, too. How much are you asking?”
Before Ryan could answer, a woman’s voice joined the conversation. Sloan wanted to turn and look at her, but she knew better than to disobey.
“Such a large chair,” the woman said. “There wouldn’t be room for other furniture in a room if this was there.” She laughed, before she said, “You could put three of that woman in there.”
“Babe, come here, please,” Chad said.
Sloan climbed down off the chair.
“We were using my wife as a measuring tape,” Chad said with a laugh. “She’s quite a bit smaller than I am, as you can see, and I wanted to see if it would be comfortable for her to sit in it.”
“Maybe you should get two chairs,” the woman said.
Sloan watched as she moved off. Then she turned her attention to the new man. She pegged his age at about forty, or maybe a little younger. Chad was close to that age, and she was a little younger. He was a handsome man that was for sure. He had what her father always referred to as a military haircut, short and severe. Both his eyes and his hair were dark, and he was about Chad’s height, too, which put him at about six foot two. She herself was barely five-five. The similarities between the two men were striking, and just a little unnerving.
Sloan felt her nipples harden as she thought about kneeling between the two of them, taking first one cock and then the other in her mouth. She shook her head and turned back toward the chair.
“Are you okay, babe?” Chad asked.
“Yes, Sir,” she said. “I’m just wondering how this chair would fit in the playroom, and how we would get it down the hall.”
“You let me worry about that,” he said. “And maybe I should buy two chairs, one large, the other small. Do you have a card, Ryan?” Another couple came into the booth space and were looking at a chest. “I don’t want to interrupt your business. Do you have a shop?”
“No, just the weekend flea market thing,” Ryan said. He reached into his pocket and handed Chad a card. “If you’re still here around four, come back. I usually pay a few guys to help me load up, but I’ll offer you a discount if you’ll help.”
“We’ll be here,” Chad said. He took Sloan’s hand, and she nodded at their new acquaintance. It was strange to her that he pegged them as Master/sub so easily. She put her fingers on the thin, black leather choker that she wore around her neck when she was out in public. She supposed that could have been his main clue, but was there something else that he’d noticed? Maybe it was the fact that she’d presented her ass to her Master out in public.
“What’s on your mind, Sloan?”
“I’ve just never had anyone call us out like that,” she said.
“I don’t think he meant anything by it,” Chad said. “It’s obvious he’s a Dom, and he just saw the same thing in us. Does that upset you?”
“It just, well, it just sort of freaks me out,” she said. They headed toward the food trucks. He selected barbecue, and she choose pizza. Once they were seated at the picnic tables she stared at her food.
“Stop it,” he said. “I don’t understand why this bothers you.”
She wasn’t sure either. “It’s just that we don’t know that many Doms. Two, three? Knox, Vince and that other cop, the one that does undercover stuff. I can’t remember his name.”
“Pablo,” he said after he swallowed a bite of his sandwich. “There’s got to be other people in town who practice BDSM. They just do it in private.”
He ate with gusto while Sloan picked at the cheese on her pizza.
“Not any good?” he asked, right before he swallowed.
“It’s okay.” She took a bite, and when it was gone she said, “More than okay. May I ask a favor?”
“Of course.” He took a drink from his soda.
“When we go back to the stall, can I ask him how he knew?”
“If it will make you feel better, then yes.” Chad pointed a French fry in her direction. “You haven’t had a problem with your submissiveness in years. I don’t understand why it’s coming out now.”
“Neither do I,” she said. “It just seems so strange that he would bring it up. You’ve never met him?”
“Never seen him before,” he said. He picked up another fry, and then dropped it on his plate. “Are you attracted to him?”
“No,” she said. “I would never. You’re the only man I’m attracted to.”
He chuckled. “Sweetie, attraction does not equal love. I would think you would remember that.”
“I do,” she said. “It’s just that it’s so strange that—”
“That he made you wet so quickly?” he interrupted her. “Tell me, what were you fantasizing about when you saw him? Be truthful.”
“Nothing,” she said.
“Oh, Sloan, you disobeyed me. I’m not going to be angry. Tell me, now.”
“Sucking him off,” she whispered. “Sucking you both off.”
“Two cocks at once,” he said. “Naughty girl. I like it.”
He didn’t ask if she’d ever done anything like it before, because there was no need. Sloan was a late bloomer. She’d met Chad when she was twenty-three and she was still a virgin. He’d been the first, and only, man in her mouth, her pussy and her ass.
That’s why the scene she’d envisioned so quickly had freaked her out. She’d never once, in her life, thought about another man besides her husband.
“I’m being disloyal,” she said.
“You’re being human,” Chad said. “I rather like the idea of you sucking him off while I watch. After I redden your ass, of course. He’ll watch me do that.”
“I don’t know if I can,” she said. Her heart thumped loudly, and she put her hand on her chest.
“You let me decide what you can and can’t do, sexually,” he said. “How many times have I heard you say those very words?”
Sloan couldn’t help but laugh. “Lots of times.”
“And how many times have you done what I wanted, and loved it?”
She glanced at her plate, and then up at him. “All the time.”
“Every time,” he corrected.
“Yes,” she said. It had been hard at first, and she wanted to remind him of that. But she was afraid he would see it as criticism, and she didn’t want it to look that way.
“Sweetheart, we’ll discuss it all later, when we’re at home,” he said. “But I want to tell you right now that I don’t want you to feel guilty because another man caused your nipples to get hard.”
“As you say, Master,” she said.
“Say it like you mean it, or don’t say it at all,” he said. “You know the rule.”
Sloan nodded. As he had taught her to do so many years ago she closed her eyes and took several deep breaths and centered on her emotions. She knew she could trust her Master with her life, that he would never do anything that would cause her harm. He might push her past her pain limits while they were having sex, but he would never put her in danger, not any that would hurt her permanently.
She might be nervous about things, but she could trust him to lead her and help her discover herself. If that meant having sex with her Master, and another man, then she would be able to handle it, with him by her side.
“As you say, Master,” she said, keeping her voice soft. “I trust you in all ways.”
“Better,” he said. “I don’t want you to worry about this. I want you to follow my lead. It’s not like we’re going to invite this guy over to the house tonight for playtime. We’ll help him move furniture, and then sit and talk, maybe go and have a coffee, or even dinner.”
Sloan didn’t answer and he continued, “You know I like to push your buttons, but I would never make you do anything that would make you feel bad about yourself. I don’t believe in that type of thing, and you know it.”
“Yes, Master,” she said.
“Good. Now, let’s finish eating and go back and talk to him.” He picked up his fork. “This might be a more interesting afternoon than we originally thought.”
“They finished their meals and then started back down the lanes, stopping to look at the different vendor offerings. She purchased two pairs of earrings, and they found several books.
“My wife loves to collect books,” Chad said to one of the vendors as he paid for her purchases. She didn’t want to tell the man that she worked at Shelves, and after she read her new purchases they would end up for sale there.
They took the purchases to their car, and then made their way back to Ryan’s stall. When they were several steps away Chad put out his hand to stop her. The crowds had thinned, and the other vendors were packing up.
The clouds had darkened, and it looked to Sloan as if an afternoon thunderstorm would soon roll in from the mountains. She loved the way the dark clouds looked. It brought back memories. Chad loved having sex outdoors, and they had a cabin about an hour’s drive up into the Sandias.
They’d had many erotic encounters on the deck of the house when it was raining, or snowing. She was about to mention it to him when a loud, “Fuck you!” filled the air.
“What the hell?” Chad, who had been holding her hand, let it go. “Stay here.”
“Chad, wait,” she called out as he ran toward the sound, which was in the area of Ryan’s stall.
Another man ran past her, heading toward what was obviously a fight between two men. They were screaming at each other and Sloan heard the gist of the argument. The unknown man was calling Ryan a crook and demanding the return of money. Then Ryan said he would not pay anything back.
“This is not the time or place,” Ryan said as Sloan moved closer.
“Screw your time and place!” the man said.
“Hey, no!” Chad’s voice lifted above the others, and then there was the sound of an obvious physical struggle. Sloan hurried toward the stall, and arrived just in time to see Chad and another man holding Ryan back, while a third man lay on the ground. The unknown man got up and rubbed his jaw.
“You shouldn’t have done that,” he said.
“You threw the first punch,” Ryan said. “I have a right to defend myself. Now get the hell out and don’t come back, either here, or into the bank.”
“That’s my bank,” the man said.
“Try another branch,” Ryan said. Chad and the other man had let him go. Sloan watched as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a phone. “I’m making a report, which will include a restraining order. If you want to stick around and give your side of things that’s fine.”
Chad inclined his head in her direction, and then mouthed, “Call Vince.”
She nodded and pulled out her phone. Their detective friend answered on the second ring. She told him where they were, and what had happened.
“I’ll be there ASAP,” Vince said. “Tell Chad to keep his distance.”
“I will,” she said. She walked up to her husband and relayed the message. To her surprise, the man Ryan had been fighting with did not leave. A uniformed officer showed up about ten minutes later.
Chad came over and took her hand. “Don’t get too close to the other guy. He seems to have a lot of anger inside, and there is no telling what he’ll do.”
“But the cops are here, and Vince is on his way,” she said.
“Still, I don’t want you near him.”
“As you say, Master,” she whispered in his ear before she kissed him on the cheek.
“Don’t be cheeky,” he said.
“As you say, Master,” she whispered again.
“I think I need to find a woodshed for you,” he said.
She giggled, and he winked at her. They waited about twenty minutes before Vince showed up. A second officer had already joined the first and they were taking statements from Ryan and the other man.
“The uniforms won’t be happy to see me here,” he said as he shook Chad’s hand. “Give me a rundown on what happened. Did anyone threaten to kill anyone?”
“Nope, just kick some ass,” Chad said. “And it came from both of them.”
“What were they fighting about?” Vince asked.
“I’m not really sure,” Chad said. “It seemed to be something about money. Ryan said something about a restraining order to keep him out of the bank.”
“Interesting,” Vince said. “Well, I’m going to talk to the officers and then I’ll be back.”
The crowd had thinned out, with only the men who had worked to break up the fight staying. They left one by one until only Chad was left. Vince came over and shook his hand, and kissed Sloan on the cheek. “Don’t get into any more fights, Chad.”
“I didn’t throw one punch,” Chad said.
“That’s a good thing, because the one who was fighting with your new friend, his name is Sean Bolton. Well, he seems like the litigious type. I’m pretty sure he’ll be filing suit against Halor. Be careful. I’ll see y’all again.”
After Vince left, Ryan came over. “I’m sorry you had to get involved in this. May I buy the two of you dinner to say thank you for your help?”
Sloan wanted to say no, but she kept her mouth closed, waiting until Chad made the decision for them.
“Sure,” Chad said. “We were going to talk to you about other things, too, so this will give us a chance to do that.”
They loaded Ryan’s furniture into his trailer, and agreed to meet at a Mexican restaurant not far from where they were now. Once they were inside they ordered margaritas and several servings of fajitas. Once the waitress had delivered the drinks, Chad picked his up.
“You start this all by telling us who that guy was, and what that was all about,” Chad said.
“As I said before I’m sorry you had to be involved,” Ryan said. “That was Sean Bolton. I’ve had problems with him at the bank where I work.”
“What sort of problems?” Sloan asked. “He’s not a bank robber or anything, is he?”
Ryan snorted. “No, he is accusing us of robbing him. I don’t really want to go into the particulars of it, because that’s probably not a good thing. But suffice it to say he’s having financial troubles and he’s blaming the bank. He just happened to see me in my stall while he was looking around.”
“That stinks,” Chad said. “Is this the first time he’s thrown punches?”
The waitress arrived with their order, and the next few moments were silent as they fixed their fajitas and started to eat. When they’d finished their first round and before they started on the second, Chad held up a finger.
“You talked to my friend Vince, the detective?”
“I did,” Ryan said.
“He said this Sean guy could be dangerous. What do you think?”
“Well, this was the first time he’s thrown a punch.” Ryan took a bite from his fajita. After he’d swallowed he said, “Let’s change the subject. Tell me about you two. How long have you been married?”
“Six years,” Chad said. “But we were together four years before that. We took our time in making in legal. What about you, are you married?”
“Divorced,” Ryan said. “My wife and I gave it a good shot, but we just weren’t a good fit, really. We were married for ten years.”
“Do you have kids?” Sloan asked.
“Two, twin boys,” he said, his voice heavy with sadness. “My ex lives with them in New York with her new husband. I get to see them maybe six times a year. It’s sad, but I know I did what was best for them when I told her she could move. The best thing, to me, was staying friends with her. That means we all get along and my boys learn that if things don’t work out you don’t have to be an ass to your ex.”
“That’s very admirable,” Sloan said.
“You have kids?” Ryan asked.
“No,” Chad said.
Sloan didn’t add to his statement, and she was pretty sure the tone of his voice showed Ryan not to push the issue. Sloan was happy he didn’t. They’d tried, but they’d never been able to conceive, and they took it as a sign from above that it wasn’t meant to be.
When they were done with their meal, Chad ordered a round of flan for the table. When the waitress had cleared their plates, and while they waited for dessert, Chad leaned forward.
“My wife is concerned that you pegged our situation so easily.”
Sloan playfully slapped at Chad’s arm.
Ryan chuckled. “I could see it by the way you looked at each other,” he said. “I’ve been a Dom since my early twenties, and I’ve learned to see things for what they are.”
“Oh good heavens, I wonder who else knows,” Sloan said.
“Who cares?” Chad said. “Are you ashamed of serving me?”
“Of course not,” Sloan said. “It’s just when strangers notice…” She fingered the choker on her neck.
“Don’t worry about it,” Ryan said.
“So where do you play?” Chad asked. “I mean, do you have a sub?”
“Not right now,” Ryan responded. “My last lady friend wanted to get married, and I wasn’t ready for that. I’ve been divorced for three years, but it just didn’t seem right.”
The waitress delivered the flan. As they ate, Chad said, “So how do you find subs?”
“Well, it’s not easy,” Ryan said. “Every few months I go up to a club in Denver and find a sub who wants to play, someone who is not looking for a permanent relationship. Physically it’s nice, but emotionally it’s not.”
“I can imagine,” Chad said. “There is nothing like that around here.”
“You’re right, there’s not,” Ryan said. “It would be interesting to have one.”
“It would,” Chad said. “So, let’s change the subject to the chairs. I really like the chair you were selling, but I think it might be a little too large for our playroom. How about you design one for us? A little bit smaller, but not much, and then a second one for my babe.”
“I can do that,” Ryan said. “I live in Eastside. How about I make a few sketches and the two of you come and have dinner at my house on Friday evening, and we’ll take a look at them, and see what we can come up with. Tell me what you want the chair for, mostly.”
“I want a spanking chair,” Chad said, and Sloan felt herself blush. “And one that I can bind her to that won’t stretch her limbs too much.”
“I know just where to start,” Ryan said. “I’ll see you Friday, say around seven.” He rattled off an address, and then he and Chad traded phone numbers.
Something told Sloan that Ryan Halor was going to be a large part of their lives for a while.