Publisher’s Note: This book, formerly “The Session” by Alexis Masters has been released with a new cover and under the author’s new penname. All Blushing Books’ customers who have already purchased this book can download the revised version to their libraries at no charge.
In the elite circle of professional domination, Jayson Greene was one of the best, but making his living spanking the women who came seeking his unique services has also made him cynical, tired of being a one-dimensional fantasy. There was just something about his new client, though, that made Jace think everything was about to change.
Allison Bowden would have never believed she was the sort of woman who would make an appointment for a spanking, but after so many years of reading, thinking, and dreaming about it, this was just something she had to know about herself. But it was too much, too new, too fast, and Jayson Green was too attractive.
Everything Jace was trained to do told him to let her go when she cut their session short, but Jace just couldn’t do it. When he gave Allie the discipline she needed-even as she said she didn’t want it after all-he felt alive again. He knew he could bring them closer together if only he could help Allie understand herself, and he could only do that if he could convince her to stay for The Session.
Jace sighed to himself as paused outside his office door to read the brief write-up on his new client and assume the dominant demeanor that would be expected of him. It was getting harder and harder to find the necessary “Master” mind-set these days, but it stung his pride to think that his clients were getting anything but the complete fantasy they had – let?s face it – paid for. But working just for pride and a paycheck was starting to sting too, and it made Jace wonder sometimes if the real problem was that he was getting bored with himself again. He hoped not. He kind of thought he liked it here.
Jayson Greene was not native to the West Coast area where he now lived and plied his increasingly lackluster trade. When he?d originally come here from Boston, it was supposed to only be long enough to sell the house and land he?d inherited from some obscure relative and go straight back home. Instead, Jace had fallen in love with the house, the ocean, and the easy rhythm of life out here and decided to stay. He?d transferred to the local branch of the same accounting firm he?d worked for back East, arranged to have his tearful mother ship him his belongings, and for a while, the transition alone had been all the stimulation he?d needed.
Then he?d gotten bored. The stable job of crunching numbers somehow lost its appeal when the hallway outside his cubicle came with an ocean view. And all the pretty girls he met out here in the California sunshine, however pleasant and unique, couldn?t fill the “missing place” he felt he had inside him. He realized he wanted more – more out of his job, more out of his relationships, and more out of life.
Ironically, it was his search for the Perfect Woman that led to his finding this job. Like a lot of single men, Jace was looking for a very specific quality in his future significant other, and it wasn?t something he could just up and ask a lady he met in the frozen foods aisle, at least not in this day and age. Because the woman that was going to share Jace?s life had to be willing to accept that there would be rules in their relationship?for both of them?but that, when she broke those rules, there would be definite consequences. Consequences in the form of spankings.
His so-far-unsuccessful quest to find that woman had led Jace through several local clubs and organizations catering to persons sharing his ideals, and had finally introduced him to Lady Samantha, his friend and employer.
Lady Samantha, whose handsome face and stunning figure were well-known in the discreet circles Jace was running in these days, had been very candid about her motivations when she?d first approached him that day in her club. He had the “look,” she?d said. He was handsome and well-built and he had an intensity and a certain hunger in his eyes. She was looking for new blood in the field of professional Domination and she wanted him. Jace had told her he would think about it. And he had, for about three hours.
It had seemed a perfect solution, in short, the perfect way to find the perfect woman. Looking back, he could see that Lady Samantha had tried to warn him, but at the time, he had the idea that he had only to open up his office door and there would be the woman of his dreams.
Of course, now he knew what Lady Samantha had been trying to tell him then: To his clients, Jayson Greene was just another piece of the scenery, a faceless construct designed to guide them through an illusion of submission while catering to their preferences. It wasn?t about discipline and it wasn?t about relationships. It was a fantasy. It was a daydream.
It was a job.
Jace sighed again, forcing his mind to return to the present. Yes, it was a job, and it was time to start the act. He could pick up feeling sorry for himself on his lunch break.
He scanned the client write-up sheet one more time before setting it in the plastic pocket next to his office door?a signal to other employees that he was on the clock and not to be disturbed?and put on his game face. The write-up had been too sketchy to form any kind of profile, just a safe-word, a client-identification number, a check beside the Given Consent box, and a signature he hadn?t been able to read at the bottom. He did a double take? not even her name or her implement preference was listed. Jace made a mental note to talk to Lady Samantha about whomever she?d hired to screen the applicants, and then he opened the door. He walked into the soundproofed room that was his office and looked at the naked woman bound over the spanking horse, testing and pulling against the restraints. It was something of a double surprise, first that she was strapped into the horse instead of sitting on the sofa, and second that she was struggling at all. Most of the people he saw that were into being tied up were rather blas? about being bound.
Jace looked at her again, realizing how petite she was. Standing, she?d probably not even come up to his shoulder. She was also, at least from what he could see, pretty, young, and in good shape. This was also unexpected; the majority of his clients weren?t young, nor were they in good shape. He was the one who got the workout while they were visiting him.
And speaking of workout, it was time for the warm-up.
?Stop that,? he said, listening to himself to make sure he got just the right amount of sharpness in his voice, and nodding when it was indeed. Then he went silkily firm. ?You won?t be able to get loose; those clasps are very strong. All you?ll manage to do is annoy me. Which, in your current position, you do not want to do. Now, before I start your discipline, I want you to tell me why you?ve earned it.?
Jace hated having to say that line. It didn?t fit, not in this room. This room, this office, was about nothing more than playing a role, and to mimic words of real discipline was, to him, almost an insult. But most of his clients really wanted the opportunity to playact confession, and besides, he knew so little about this client that flat-out asking her why she was here was the only way he had to give her the performance she wanted. ?Answer me, young lady!? he barked, hoping to surprise her.
?I don?t want this!? Her voice was a soft, apprehensive whisper. ?Gold. Okay? Gold!? She tossed out the safe-word as though she were dying and it had some magical property to keep her alive.
Jace started, recognizing the honest thread of fear in her voice and immediately, he dropped the act and crossed to her. ?Shhh,? he whispered, one hand stroking her dark chestnut curls back from her face while his other hand released the clasps. ?It?s okay.? He murmured nonsense to soothe her until she was free, but he saw that she was in full control of herself again once she stood up, and he backed away to give her space.
?More than you thought it would be?? he asked softly, a small, but not mocking smile on his lips.
?That wasn?t what I wanted!? she insisted, glaring at the spanking horse. Then the anger left her and she shook her head and sighed. ?I shouldn?t have come. I?m sorry to have wasted your time. Go ahead and bill me for the hour, we?ll call it a lesson learned.? She looked down at herself, one hand rising awkwardly to cover her nakedness. ?I need to go now.?
?Come with me, won’t you?? Jace said softly, actually requesting instead of commanding, which had to be a first in this room. She didn?t take the hand he held out to her, but she did walk beside him as he led her to the desk. ?Have a seat,? he suggested, pointing to one of the overstuffed chairs that faced it. When she ignored him, he raised an eyebrow. ?Have a seat, please??
?I?d like my clothes, ok?? she said firmly. ?I? I don?t want to finish the session.?
Jace had no intention of making her play out her hour if she didn?t want to, but he just couldn?t let her leave without first finding out why she?d come. Glitches in his routine weren?t usually something he welcomed, but he found himself fascinated by this one.
?You?ll get them back soon, I promise,? he said, wondering if the flash in her eyes was anger or fear. Blue eyes, he noticed. Very pretty ones at that, pretty enough to match the rest of her and that was saying something. Dropping into the chair behind the desk, Jace dialed out to his personal receptionist and asked for a robe, then put the phone back and looked at the woman before him. ?You?ll be comfortable in just a moment.?
?I don?t want to be comfortable, I want to leave!?
She might have said more, but there was a soft tap at the door, and she ducked awkwardly behind the overstuffed chair, hugging as much of herself as she could to cover up while Jace went to answer it. He took the robe from his receptionist, ignoring her questioning look, and turned back to hand it to the woman. ?Here you go.?
?I?d rather have my clothes,? she gritted out, taking the robe but not putting it on.
Jace again raised that single eyebrow, but this time there was a hint of challenge in the eyes and more than a hint of command in his voice when he said, ?That?s all you have for the moment, miss. Unless you want me to send the robe back??
There was no mistaking the baleful look she gave him this time as she slipped into the robe and sat demurely in the chair. She refused to look at him, however, glaring coldly at a spot on the wall just to the left of his head.
?You said that that wasn?t what you wanted,? Jace said gently, resuming his place behind the desk. ?What did you mean??
She refused to answer him and Jace couldn?t suppress his brief spurt of annoyance or the flash of a grin that followed it. ?I?m going to assume you didn?t mean a spanking… or whipping ? or thrashing.? He deliberately used different terms, watching her face to see if there was any reaction to them. It was a skill he?d perfected over the last year in this exclusive position of employment, and her reaction to spanking was very clear. ?I mean,? he said, continuing casually while watching her intently, ?You couldn?t have gotten very far through the application process without knowing that I?m in the business of delivering spankings.?
Yep, there it was again. That little tightening of her lips, the flaring of her nostrils, and the minute widening of her eyes. She?d come for a spanking, and unless he missed his guess, she still wanted it, but there was more to this than the physical apprehension of being spanked. ?So I?ve got to assume that what you meant was that you didn?t want to be bound for it. Is that what the problem was?? Jace gentled his voice, remembering how frightened she?d sounded as she stammered out the safe-word, but he was determined to wait for an answer.
And, as that wait drew out, her patience gave before his did. ?Yes, damn it!? she exploded. ?Okay, I?m a pervert! I wanted you to spank me. But I didn?t want to be tied down so you could do God knows what! But that?that weasel insisted it was the only way it was done. Now that you know, now that you can laugh at me once I?m gone, now can I have my clothes?? Finally, she was looking at him, and those blue eyes had turned the color of a stormy sky. She was angry, all right. But, more than that, she was embarrassed and nervous.
?Why?? Jace asked softly, ignoring her request again. There was something here ? he could feel it.
?So I can walk to the bus station without getting arrested for indecency!?
?Not until we?re finished here,? he said firmly. ?I want to know why you felt you needed a spanking. I?m not going to laugh at you and you?re no more a pervert than I am.? His voice softened again. ?Now tell me. Why did you need a spanking??
It was a risk to call it a need when she was still this upset, but Jace had to take that risk. If she left now, in the state she was in, she?d probably never work up the courage to go after a spanking again. Jace told himself it was his sense of professionalism that drove him to give her the experience she craved, refusing to admit to himself that his real fear was that she?d never come back to him if he let her go now.
But she wasn?t answering the question anyway. Jace sighed to himself, unsure for the first time in a long time how to proceed. He couldn?t just start dictating her answers, he couldn?t just take control; in the end, he knew she?d tell him whatever she thought he?d want to hear just to be allowed to leave, and he?d never know why she really came.
?What?s your name?? he asked finally.
Unsurprisingly, no answer came. She folded her arms across her chest and glared directly at him.
?What is your name?? Jace asked again, much more firmly. ?I can?t continue calling you ‘miss’.?
?You won?t have to call me anything if you?d just let me fucking go home,? she yelled.
Jace?s eyes narrowed and he leaned across the desk in a deliberate?and successful?attempt to intimidate her. ?I ignored your language before, young lady. But I won?t again. You will not curse in this office. Not unless you want me dragging you into that bathroom?? he pointed to a door she?d assumed led to a closet, ??and washing out your mouth with soap.?
Her eyes flew so wide he thought her forehead might disappear, and she swallowed hard. That wasn?t the reaction she?d expected from him, he guessed. But it was definitely the right one for him to take. She simply nodded at him, acknowledging his words.
?Now, I?ll ask you again,? Jace said, settling back into his chair. ?What is your name??
There was a long pause, long enough to make him debate upping the ante, when she finally gritted out in a mutinous whisper, ?Allison.?
?Thank you. Allison what??
That obstinate glare again. ?Allison Anne.?
Jace grinned, but didn?t back down. ?Allison Anne what??
Her eyes flew to his and her lips clamped together, but he?d already proved that he had more patience than she did, so she finally blurted, ?Allison Anne Bowden. Happy?? Sarcasm practically dripped from that last word.
?Immeasurably,? Jace drawled dryly. ?So, why did you come to visit me today, Allison??
?We?ve already settled this,? she snapped at him as she stood. ?I came for a spanking, not an interrogation. You are, apparently, incapable of getting my clothes, so I will find them on my own. Good day.? Allison turned and stalked toward the door, but got no more than a few steps before Jace?s voice stopped her.