Inside Sophie there is a desire lurking, a deep and powerful longing for something she does not know what it is, something she cannot put her finger on. When her friend Samantha takes her to a restaurant to meet two men who are dedicated to what they call the Way, she begins to realise what this desire is about.
The Way is not a club, not an association. It is simply the coming together of people who enjoy female submission, and who find joy in living their dreams, of playing the game.
Why is it so easy to obey the gentle but demanding John? Why does she not object to being ‘trained’ by Stephen? Why does she submit herself to this harsh and humiliating treatment? Sophie is subjected to punishments that makes her cry in agony and tremble with humiliation. She finds herself naked and exposed in front of strangers, demanding her obedience.
All this suits Sophie better than she could ever have imagined, better than what she thinks it should. This is what she has been looking for, and when finding her dream, she finds something more. As she is surrendering to the demands of the Way she finds something else, something unexpected, something that is immensely precious to her.
This is a story of dreams and desires, of deep dedication, and of love. It is a story where the path to fulfilment sometimes may seem harsh, at times even too harsh, but at its core it is a story of mutual desire, of sharing a vision, of love, and living a dream.
What moves inside a person’s head is very different from what is going on outside it. It would clash and crash if it were let out. It will not fit in with life as it appears to us, as it is to us. And there is no comparison. Or maybe there is? Maybe it is just a mirror, a distorted or clearer image of the real. Maybe it is an image where everything is enhanced, twisted, and taken out of proportion?
It would be so easy to say that what is inside the head is just the animal within us, a wilder and more unrestrained version of ourselves. But that is not true. What is hidden inside is not primitive or simple. No, it is complex, sophisticated, and nothing like the raw emotions and desires of an animal. If it were, it would not shock us and disgust us as much, nor would it attract us as much as it does.
* * * *
“What makes you think it is just a male dream?” she asked, smiling at me.
“So you enjoy it, do you?”
“I’m not a prostitute; I’m not paid,” she said and took a sip of her wine.
“That’s what I don’t understand. It makes sense if you were paid, but not otherwise.”
I looked at her.
“For someone as clever as you, you are really quite thick,” she replied
“I’m trying to reason with myself, trying to understand.”
“I guess you have to enjoy it, somehow, or otherwise you wouldn’t do it.”
“My dear Sophie, you wouldn’t have this conversation with me, if you didn’t understand that, and if you weren’t drawn to it, or at least intrigued.”
“Of course I am. You know I am. But think of the embarrassment.”
“You don’t have to be embarrassed.”
“Not you, Sam,” I said, “but I would.”
“If that’s what’s holding you back ?”
“What do you mean?”
“If that’s what’s holding you back, you get plenty of help.”
“Do what you’re told, and you don’t have to worry about embarrassment.”
“Is that what it is for you? A way of tagging along, without having to think about it, or be embarrassed?”
“Part of it, yes, but not all.”
“What’s more, then?”
“I think you know, deep inside, you know.”
I sat in silence.
“But Sam, don’t you have to be good looking, confident, prepared for it all, wanting it all?”
“Are you worried they won’t like you?”
I stared at her. “Yes, I am.”
“Then you are interested?”
“You know, I am.”
“My sweet friend, you don’t have anything to worry about.” Samantha was smiling now. “You are young; you are slender and you have breasts. Someone will like you.”
“I’m not like you.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll tell them to be gentle with you.”
“Isn’t that the point, that they will not be?”
“In the beginning.”
“I won’t fit in. You are different. I bet the other women are glamorous and elegant. They will all be like you.”
“There are different tastes. And besides, in the right clothes, anyone can be glamorous. You’ll be a hit.”
“Don’t ask, just trust me.”
“Why would I trust you?”
“Because we are friends?”
“Sorry, Sam. I didn’t mean to ?”
“That’s all right.”
* * * *
When I finally went with Sam to a meeting with some of those people, I was nervous. I questioned my judgment, my motives, and my sanity. But at the same time, I was curious, and excited of course, but more than anything, curious. The curiosity, which drove me on, was almost completely overshadowed by a great fear and nervousness. My heart was banging in my chest, and my cheeks were hot.
Sam had dressed in a very short, sequined dress that looked very good on her, but was quite shocking in its vulgarity. It hugged her body, and made her look both glamorous and cheap at the same time. She walked with a swagger that was helped by her high heels.
She had convinced me to wear a black, short dress that hugged my body snugly. It was almost as short as Sam’s dress, and way too revealing for anything I was used to wearing. Sam said it was perfect, and I had accepted it because it was black, and still could be called elegant. Compared to Sam, I felt even shorter than usual, since I was wearing flat sandals. I was not ready for heels, yet.
She took me to a small Italian restaurant. The light was dim. In the basement, she led me to an alcove at the far end of the room where two men dressed in dark suits were sitting. One of them was a young man, in his mid twenties. He had dark, intense eyes, and black hair, a little longer than I would have expected, but short enough to still look good. The other man was in his forties, his hair already greying a little. His face was hard, and he had cold grey eyes.
“This is Sophie, gentlemen,” Sam said, as we stopped by their table.
“Hello,” I said, as I had been told to do.
“Sit down,” the older man said, and made a gesture with his hand.
“Thank you, Sir,” Sam said.
The two men sat on one side of the table, and we sat down facing them. Sam let me sit closest to the wall, as far away from the room as possible, as if she wanted to make sure I should not try to run away.
“You were right,” the older man said to Sam, “She’s pretty. Don’t you think?” he asked, turning to the younger man.
“Is she trained?”
“No, not at all, Sir,” Sam replied.
I felt my cheeks blush. Sam had prepared me for this, that they would talk about me, but I could not help feeling intimidated by it.
“We can do something about that. But more importantly,” he continued, “is she obedient?”
“I wouldn’t know, Sir.”
He turned to me, and looked me in the eyes.
“Are you obedient, girl?”
“I?I don’t know.”
“You do understand that you must be obedient? Don’t you?”
“Yes, I do,” I replied.
“Life is too short to bother with girls who aren’t obedient. Surely you understand that.”
I nodded, unable to speak.
“She’s not wearing a bra,” he said, turning to Sam, “That’s good. That’s promising.”
“It’s what you told me to tell her, Sir.”
“It’s a good sign, all the same.”
I felt how the younger man looked at me, felt how his eyes lingered on my bosom, as if he wanted to make sure that I was, indeed, not wearing a bra. I thought it would be obvious for anyone casting a glance at me, but he made no attempts to be polite. He kept staring at me.
“She’s sensitive,” the older man said.
“Indeed,” the younger man said.
Sam looked at me.
“You mean her nipples?” she said.
I felt how they had hardened under their scrutiny, and now they were straining against the fabric of my dress. I felt betrayed by my nipples.
“I have ordered for you,” the older man said, “but before the food arrives, we need to make something clear.” He turned to me. “I need to know exactly how obedient you are.”
He looked me in the eyes. Defiantly, I looked back.
“Take your knickers off,” he said.
“I don’t expect you to question my orders. Instead, I expect you to follow them.”
“Take your knickers off.”
I wondered if this was what Sam meant by tagging along, that it was a help being told to do things. It was, after all, I who had to do it, obey.
“Sam?” I said, looking at her. My intention was to make her move, to let me out.
She shook her head.
“No, my dear,” the older man said, “When I tell you to take your knickers off, I expect you to do it, not to rush away from the table.”
It was time to take the plunge. Or turn and run away. I took a deep breath, and wondered why I was not already halfway home. But, I was not running. Instead I moved my hands under my skirt. I looked around, scared that someone, who was not sitting at our table, might see me. Moving was awkward, but somehow I managed to get my fingers under my skirt, and take hold of my knickers. I looked up, and saw the two men staring at me. I looked at Sam, who smiled and nodded, as if to urge me on.
My cheeks were burning as I began working my knickers down my bottom. I had to move from side to side, to enable the thin fabric of my already tiny knickers to slip from me. It became easier as they were free from my bottom, and I started working them down my thighs.
“I?I have taken them down.”
“I told you to take them off.”
I nodded, and moved my knickers down my thighs. I felt the thin fabric slide over my skin, and the sensation reminded me that I was now quite naked underneath my skirt. It was awkward to move the knickers down my calves, and disentangle them from my feet. I sat back up, with my underwear crumpled in my fist.
“Are they off now?”
“It’s ‘yes, Sir’, from now on.”
“Give them to me.”
I handed him my knickers. He took them, and for a while I was scared he would hold them out, and show the other guests that I had just taken them off. He did not. He put them in his pocket. That gesture of taking my knickers and putting them in his pocket, was such a symbolic thing to do, as if he took something from me, or as if I gave him something, something he took possession of. As if I belonged to him, now.
“Don’t cross your legs.”
I uncrossed my legs.
“In fact,” he continued, “it’s not enough that you do not cross your legs. I expect you to part them, to make sure that the path to your sex is open. Even if we can’t use it, at the moment, it symbolizes the free entrance to it.”
I opened my legs, while my cheeks were burning.
The waiter came to our table, carrying two plates. He placed them in front of Sam and me. I had been given pasta with mushrooms, and Sam, pasta with crayfish. When the waiter went to get the other plates, the older man leaned forward.
“Pity they don’t understand that they should serve us men, first.”
The waiter came with the two remaining plates, and left with a bow.
“Now, eat, my girls.”
The pasta was nice, although a little bland.
“I’m not done with you, my dear,” the older man said. “I want you to pull your skirt up, so that you sit directly on the seat.”
I blushed as I put my cutlery down. I took a deep breath, and pulled at my dress, at the same time as I lifted myself from the seat. When my bottom was uncovered, I sat down again, sensing the rough fabric of the seat against my skin.
It felt like a bolt passed through my body, as I sensed how naked I was against the seat. It was as if a veil had been torn away, and unwillingly I had to admit how aroused I was, how aroused I had been already when slipping my knickers from me, and when parting my legs. Maybe it had even started when they were staring at my erect nipples, or even when I entered the restaurant. Undressing by the table had felt like a violation, but a violation that had lit a burning fire inside me, a fire I could not pretend was not there. I thought that this was the answer to my questions, the reply to my hesitation, to my second thoughts, and my misgivings. I had told Sam I was intrigued. I was more than intrigued, and the brutal truth of that hit me with the power of lightning.
I looked up and saw how the older man was looking at me. I saw in his smile, that he knew what I was thinking. He could see through me, and not only did my actions belonged to him, so did my arousal too. Nothing much was said, as we all ate our food. It seemed like no words were needed. I had been tested, and I had reacted. I wondered if I had had the right reaction, if I had passed the test.
I did not think about whether I wanted to pass the test; that seemed irrelevant. I wondered only if I would be accepted, and my worry was that if I would not, the shame and humiliation of my actions would be hard to endure. Somehow I thought I had passed, that I had done what was expected of me.
I looked at the younger man, wondering what it would be like if he touched me, if he reached out his hand, below the table, and touched the skin on my inner thighs, the thighs that were held apart. Or if he would even let his hand wander upwards, closer to my sex. With a flash, I realised that this could actually happen. If those men were true to their conviction, they would have no qualms about doing it. I wondered if I was going to be touched, later that evening. I did not know what the plans were for later. Sam had not told me. Maybe we were supposed to go somewhere, where the young man would get an opportunity to touch me? Or maybe the other one too? The thought was intimidating, as if the idea of being touched by men, whose names I did not know, was the most outrageous of outrages. Yet it was possible. The thought made me dizzy.
I looked at the hands of the older man, as he ate his pasta, and wondered what they would feel like against my skin. What would they feel like against the sensitive skin between my legs, or as they were prodding and caressing my breasts? I tried to drive those thoughts from my mind as I met his gaze, thinking that he was most likely looking through me, knowing exactly what was in my head.
When the dinner was over, and we had had our ice cream and panna cotta, it was time to leave. My heart was banging hard in my chest. I was thinking that I would tag along, come what may, regardless of the voice that was screaming in my ear that I was a fool to go along. But, we did not go anywhere. As I stood up, making sure that I pulled my skirt down at the same time, the older man said that they had to leave, and that he was glad to have met me. He did not shake my hand, but he smiled, and somehow I felt rewarded by that smile, thinking that I had come very far.
“That was John and Stephen,” Sam said, as we walked home together through the mild night.
“Which one was which?”
“John is older than Stephen.”
I thought of how I was still naked under my skirt. John had not given back my knickers. I thought of it as a silent bond between us, a bond that was not one of equality, but one of surrender.
“You did well,” Sam said.
“Couldn’t you see that for yourself? John really liked you.”
“I think I did see that.”
“But you have to stop hesitating.”
“I wasn’t prepared.”
“You know you can’t do that. You can’t hesitate, or question, or protest?”
“I think I understand.”
“You know what they will do to you, if you do?”
“What they will do to me?”
“They will punish you, you understand that?”
“It can’t be such a surprise.”
“I guess not. How will they do it?”
“Any way they see fit. They have the choice. But John likes spankings.”
“Surely you understand that?”
“Yes,” I said, “I do. I just wasn’t thinking of it. Not at the moment.”
I said goodbye to Samantha, and went home on my own. The night was warm, and I did not really mind being so lightly dressed. As I walked on, I could feel how scantily clad I was. The fabric of my dress hugged my body, and I wore nothing whatsoever underneath it. The hem of my skirt was less than halfway down my thighs, leaving my legs bare. The dress was kept in place by thin spaghetti straps, leaving my shoulders, back, and throat bare.
The soft summer night air gently caressed my body, and I smiled, allowing myself to enjoy the sensation of being touched by the dark night. Being naked, or lightly dressed, was not a bad thing. It was sensual and nice, and for a moment I relaxed in the bliss of it. I had always felt this delight when being naked or half clad, but it had been a very private experience, something I had allowed myself to guiltily enjoy, when no one else knew about it. Things were about to change. Or maybe they had already changed?
John had ordered me to take my knickers off, and I had obeyed. In that instance, my very private sense of my body had, somehow, become transferred to him, and to the others around the table.
I knew my body was never completely private. When I dressed I knew I was going to be looked at, my body was part of the deal, but I had always been in control, it had always been about what I wanted to show, what I wanted to do with it. Handing my knickers to John had signaled something different. I had handed over the control of my very private body to someone else. It was not done out of love. John was not my lover or even someone I wanted to give myself to. No, the first step of this handing over the control had already been taken before that.? Long before I knew of the existence of John, I had been determined to obey his order. And it was arbitrary that it was John I obeyed, and not Stephen. It was the obedience that was important.
The thought, that the sensation of walking through the night, almost undressed, was not a private matter anymore, filled me with a strange feeling, a thrill, a tingling that was unlike anything I had felt before. I felt, somehow, that I was being true to a part of me that I had always been ashamed of, a wilder, and more uncontrolled inner part, one I had learnt to deny. This inner world seemed to clash with the outer one, the real one, and I felt both proud and terrified, that I had now let it out and let the two worlds meet.
I thought about the evening, about the sense of fulfilling a fantasy, of being true to something that was hidden inside me, something I was ashamed of, but was true, all the same. I had been determined; I had even braced myself for going further, for being touched, and perhaps even more. Nothing had happened, and in my state of excitement, I almost felt a kind of disappointment, as if I had expected and wanted to be subjected to something even more intimidating than taking my knickers off in a restaurant. I was intrigued.