Trying Something New

Trying Something New 011

Club night had become a fun routine for Nina and gave her something unique to look forward to. Maybe joining a garden club or a book club would’ve been more normal and closer to the kind of life she led, but Nina was kind of over normal. She lived her whole life trying to be normal and now she was realizing there was so much more out there.

She’d been shopping for new clothes she could wear at the club and today wore a deep green sheath dress with a lacy cutout top. It wasn’t the classic black leather and latex and zippers that were the most popular attire, but Nina liked her personal style. She got to be something beautiful and colorful and different.

Nina played her usual game of Russian Roulette at the bar in ordering a random drink and made herself comfortable.


The person that sidled up to the bar beside Nina was colorful, too. Not because of their clothing; that was very typically mostly black if a little more youthful than usual, with fishnet sleeves peeking out from a band t-shirt and skinny jeans. It was their hair that caught Nina’s attention, because the short and spiky cut was half electric blue and half cotton candy pink. Their ears were studded with piercings, including fancy gauges, and they had additional studs in one eyebrow.

She couldn’t tell what their gender was, and that was when she realized why they looked a little familiar. Scorn had dyed their hair, but it was the same tall, long-legged, lanky frame she’d seen across the club and tangled up with Tabby on a handful of occasions.

“Why the fuck is my girlfriend avoiding me?” Scorn asked flatly.

Tabby had said that Scorn wasn’t a guy, but their voice–while soft–wasn’t particularly high or feminine. Nina had not been wrong about them really nailing the whole “androgyny thing”. Flat chest, shirt long enough to almost be a very short dress, completely unisex clothing for the style, and features that were both pretty and handsome.

“I have no idea. Keeping tabs on Tabby is like trying to catch a Sasquatch.” There was something about Scorn that was just a bit intimidating, but then Nina tended to find most of Tabby’s paramores on the more intimidating side. It made revealing to jilted lovers looking for the girl that Tabby had moved on very stressful, because Nina never knew if they were going to be the crazy type or not.

In this case, Nina hadn’t seen Tabby this week herself, so she wasn’t sure what was going on just yet. She felt a little bad for Scorn, even if they did have the silliest name ever.

“I like the new hair? It’s very 2000s harlequin.”

Scorn sighed.

“Thanks. I think.”

They flagged down the bartender and ordered something dubiously named a “Snakebite”, then glanced at Nina with slightly narrowed eyes. “Make that two. If she doesn’t want it, I’ll drink it.”

Turning back to Nina, Scorn continued to stare for a moment before rolling their eyes. “I’m getting dumped, aren’t I? Goddammit. She’s such a friggin’ drama queen. I don’t know what I was thinking.”

“Oh no, do I have that face again? I’m sorry! I really don’t know if she’s bailing, but she does tend to ghost instead of trying to talk…” Nina wasn’t going to turn down a free drink, even one with a name like Snakebite, so she made herself comfortable and turned to Scorn. Commiserating about breakups was something Nina was pretty good at.

“There’s something kind of charismatic about Tabby, so it’s not your fault,” Nina admitted, resting her chin in her hands. “She has these moments of being an absolute genius, but then she gets you into the craziest situations and you wonder where all that genius went. Sometimes I wonder if she’s actually a fae changeling here to torment us or an alien in a human suit trying to blend in.”

Nina’s actual order arrived, and then two shots were set down on the bar in front of them as well. Literally just shots, pale gold in color and looking surprisingly innocent for something with such an intimidating name.

Scorn downed theirs immediately.

“Fuck it,” they said. “I think you might be right. I kind of love that little shit but she drives me insane. I guess she doesn’t really know what she wants, and I probably knew that when I got into this, so I’m going to get really drunk and hit on cute girls and just let her do whatever the fuck she’s doing.”

Nina followed by example, because that’s just what you did with shots, and found herself immediately coughing and waving her hand at her mouth. It wasn’t spicy or anything like that, but it was harsh and sour and Nina could feel it burning all the way down her esophagus. How much alcohol was in that?

“That-” she coughed again, sticking out her tongue. “That was… interesting.”

More interesting that that, though, was Scorn’s mention of loving that girl. Tabby had spent more time with Scorn than her usual hookups, but Nina hadn’t thought it had grown that far yet. But then one sided affection seemed to be the common trend in Tabby’s relationships.

“Feral Tabbys have to roam, I guess,” she agreed, reaching for her original drink and praying it tasted better. “Well, I hope you have good luck hitting on cute girls and that Tabby doesn’t twist you up too badly. I’ve met a bunch of nice people here so far myself.”

“Yeah? I know Tabby set you up with a guy once, but you’ve mostly been hanging around with Jay, right?” Scorn held up their fingers to the bartender, who gave them a surly look and returned with two more shots.

“No more,” he told them. “Order something else next time.”

“Yeah, okay buddy.” Scorn snorted and tossed back their second Snakebite. “Jay’s a good dude. Nice to see he’s finally coming to the club when it’s not an obligation again.”

“I’m afraid I’m not quite what Marcus is looking for in a companion,” Nina responded with a laugh. She eyed the second shot and decided she’d like to avoid having alcohol poisoning. When the bartender wasn’t looking she slid it over to Scorn, mouthing a thank you but shaking her head.

Speaking of Jay, Nina gave a casual glance over her shoulder to see if he was lurking about before she turned back to her drinking companion.

“Obligations, you mean as the dungeon dad?” she asked, though it wasn’t what she was actually curious about. Mostly, Nina was just surprised that Scorn seemed to be familiar with Jay outside of just knowing who he was. “Almost everyone I’ve talked to now that knows Jay gets this look on their face when he comes up. Did something happen?”

Scorn gave Nina a measuring look.

“No one’s said anything, huh?” they asked, tapping their fingers against the bar top.

“What a bunch of horseshit. If I were you, I’d be ticked. You don’t seem like a delicate little flower, you don’t need them tiptoeing around you.” Third shot went down. “Look. Jay might be a little pissed that someone told you, but it’s not exactly a secret and he has to know you’ll find out eventually. He’ll get over it.”

They ran a hand through their colorful hair, sighing again. “A couple years back, Jay’s girl killed herself. It was all pretty fucked up.”

“Fuck!” Nina slapped her hand over her mouth and blamed that Snakebite for that one. She understood immediately why no one actually mentioned it, though. It was something immensely personal and not exactly the kind of topic you would bring up in casual conversation or should gossip about. For most people just talking about death itself was hard, but someone you care about committing suicide, that was on a different level.

Once she moved her hand, rested her arms on the bar and twisted in her chair. Nina finally understood why Jay always seemed to keep that barrier up between them, and why it always seemed like it was holding something back.

“And I thought my ex-husband situation was a mess,” she admitted grimly. “Do you know what happened with her?”

“Amber was a sweet girl, but really not right, you know?” Scorn grimaced. “You know Jay, you know his kinks. He and Amber met at the club and they got into their DD/lg thing. They were together… fuck, three years? Something like that. In the last year she kept pushing and pushing Jay for more intense scenes. Risky pain play, non-con roleplay, and that’s just what I know about. Nothing wrong with that, but… I guess everyone kind of just missed the signs that something was up, even though it all seems so obvious looking back.

“Anyway, she hanged herself in their apartment. There was a note. Apparently she actually got abused by her father for years and never told Jay. Or anyone.” They frowned, looking away. “The cops actually came here and interviewed people, it was this whole big thing. Some people were kinda pissed about it.”

“God, that’s a long time to be with someone and not know.” How heartbreaking. And trust destroying! This was the sort of thing that really damaged people on the inside in ways they probably didn’t even realize. Coming back to the scene had to have been so hard, and no wonder he hadn’t been able to get involved with anyone seriously. Nina wasn’t sure if she would’ve been able to come back had something like that happened to her.

“Thanks for telling me,” she confessed, twisting her glass on the bar top. “I would’ve felt really bad if I said something insensitive or asked the wrong question at the wrong time.”

“He’s doing better now, do you think?” Nina finally asked after a long moment of silence. “You’re the second person to tell me that you’re glad to see him out and about. Has it been that long since he’s been here regularly?”

“Keeping secrets isn’t good for anyone.” Scorn shook their head. “Yeah, it really has. Pretty much since everything went down. Like I said, some people were dicks about it because… well, some of them just because cops, and some because they think Jay should have known what was going on. Doms are supposed to know if their subs aren’t in a good headspace, and a Daddy? They’re caretakers, right, that’s their whole thing. But what the fuck ever, some people just need someone to blame or like being self-righteous.”

They crossed their arms, leaning more heavily on the bar. “Thankfully, my uncle had Jay’s back. They couldn’t keep Jay from DMing if Tom had anything to say about it, no one’s gonna argue with Tom. He earned his leathers back when that meant something. Besides, his partner owns the place.”

“You can only observe and see so much on your own, even if you’re the most insightful person on the planet. A person has to want to communicate with you and even then you don’t always know what’s really wrong until the worst happens.”

Nina nursed her drink slowly. That shot had did a good number on getting her loose, and she didn’t want to tip it so far that she started giggling awkwardly at things she shouldn’t. Still, she was thankful for it at the moment cause it kept her from fidgeting and fretting. Nina had a bad habit of being a caretaker to the extremes herself, and the last thing Jay needed was her jumping up and trying to rescue him from his pain by being a fussy overbearing mother. Clearly he was already starting to heal without her getting involved.

“I’m glad there’s people here that support him! I don’t know if I would’ve kept coming back here myself if he hadn’t been so helpful in showing me around. Jay’s got a way with helping people feel safe here, so it’s pretty special.”

“Also it’s really fun to know Tom is your uncle! He’s the sweetest cherub in leather I have ever met,” she grinned. “You know, I think I can see the resemblance now. Tabby is really shooting herself in the foot ignoring you like this. You deserve better.”

“Ha, I know I do.” Scorn glanced around. “Do you want to dance or what? Or are you meeting someone?”

The clunky boots Scorn was wearing seemed about as practical for dancing as the Snakebite shots did for staying sober, but Scorn seemed equally unworried about both. Nina guessed they knew what they were doing. There was an aura of effortless confidence about them, and maybe that was something else they’d inherited from Tom.

Scorn still seemed like a prickly person, but they weren’t quite the kind of moody that Tabby had described. Of course, Tabby was known to exaggerate.

“I’m here for me, and don’t mind me dancing,” she answered, taking a moment to polish off the rest of her drink before she slid out of her chair.

“Why the name Scorn?” Nina finally asked the burning questions that’d been on the back of mind ever since she heard it. Now even more so getting to talking to them longer then two words and finding the person Nina had been imagining wasn’t the reality.

“Why not?” They shrugged, but when they grabbed Nina’s hand they gave her something that almost looked like a smile. “It’s the name of a character in my favorite book from when I was a kid. It always stuck with me. It tells people what they’re gonna get, you know?”

Making a beeline for the other side of the stage, Scorn tugged Nina toward the small spiral stairs up to an empty cage. “Come on. Up here you don’t have to worry about drunk asshats bumping into you.”

Nina laughed outright. She supposed that was as good of a reason to have a nickname than any, and pretty darn adorable on top of it, for someone that looked like they carried at least three knives at all times. She had nothing but giggles for the cage, as well. Drunk asshats weren’t much of a concern for Nina (if she wasn’t one of them, she was pretty good about being aware of her space and dodging them), but she appreciated the tip.

“Hey! Did you know that the sixties popularized dancing in cages to the mainstream, and that go-go was inspired by French phrases and alluded to being joyfully extra? I never would’ve thought you’d be the cage dancing type!”

“I didn’t.” They took Nina’s other hand to help her up the last steep step into the cage, then pulled her into a spin. “I dunno about ‘joyfully extra’, but I like to dance.”

The music playing at the moment was the typical industrial, electronic sound that Nina had gotten used to by now. Something dark with repetitive beats, dissonant sounds, and ambient echoes that only belonged in a nightclub or a horror movie. It had a certain slick vibe that was equal parts sexy and dangerous, she reckoned–but it was also really easy to dance to without looking stupid, especially in the pulsing lights of the club.

Or maybe Scorn just used that same confidence to their advantage again. They certainly seemed to move pretty fluidly, despite the confines of the cage and close proximity to Nina. It wasn’t joyful exactly, but they had an energy that was infectious as they swayed to the beat. It definitely wasn’t the awkward toe-tapping or shuffling most guys seemed to prefer, nor was it the provocative wriggling girls tended to favor–or even the intimate grinding typical for couples; Scorn mostly moved their limbs and their neck, but it was weirdly sensual all the same.

“It doesn’t matter what you do,” they told Nina over the music, like they knew what she was thinking. Their hands dropped to Nina’s waist and turned her around with them as they leaned in to speak into her ear. “The cage makes it look good.”

Nina could see what was so enticing about Scorn and why Tabby had actually stuck with this one longer than most of her hookups. Scorn had the it factor. That magical thing that made them so confident, so flawless that they were magnetic. And because Scorn was so naturally broody, they had the extra bonus of being that edgy dangerous personality, without actually being an edgy asshole about. There was a big difference between the Antons and the Scorns of the world.

Nina found herself laughing again and was more than happy to dance along. She wasn’t anything to brag about, but she knew how to follow a beat and how to play off a dance partner.

“I’m glad, because I don’t think I’ve drank enough yet to really put on a good show!”

“Doesn’t look so bad to me.” Scorn’s hands flirted up and across Nina’s arms without actually touching. “Don’t get too drunk. Then I’ll feel like a fucking creep.”

Their hair was getting wilder, messy from moving around so much. It just made them look a little more like some kind of rockstar.

“So you come from like. Jesusville, basically. Right?”

Nina groaned and tilted her head back, but it was that self deprecating laughter sort.

“Yeah, pretty much! My parents were the black sheep of their families, but like we were still going to church for big holidays. There’s not even a regular night club in my home town. It’s either college sports bars or country bars!”

She’d picked the right dress for the evening. Nina probably looked like seventies business man asked his secretary to get into the gogo-cage during a shady business dealing, but she felt cute dancing around in their private space bubble. Nina did, however, pause long enough to kick off her heels and slid them out of the way. Dancing was always better without her shoes on.

“That sounds like ass,” Scorn pronounced flatly. “My parents were Bible-thumping Fundies. If it weren’t for Uncle Tom and Mal I’d probably have stuck my head in an oven before I was out of school.”

They danced farther away and then closer, deftly avoiding Nina’s discarded heels. “The queer thing went over about as well as you’d expect. The best thing about my relationship with my parents is that they’ve stopped calling. Sometimes though, I think about their faces if they found out I take after Uncle Tom a lot. BDSM is even more of a perv lifestyle.”

“My ex’s family is like that. All I asked for was a divorce and his sister said I was going to hell for breaking the sanctity of marriage! They’d all be having heart attacks if they knew what I was up to now.”

Nina took Scorn’s hand and twirled herself under their arm.

“You know who can go to hell? Her. And your parents! I think you and your uncle are perfectly lovely and we can all just be filthy happy pervs together.”

A few songs later (Nina thought. It was hard to tell sometimes when songs ended and started), Nina and Scorn were back at the bar for another round. Scorn ordered them both tequila shooters, which the bartender delivered with a lime wedge apiece and a shaker of salt.

Scorn caught Nina’s eye and licked the wedge of skin between their thumb and forefinger on the back of their left hand, then shook salt over the damp skin. The crystals stuck, shining in the lights. Then they knocked back the shot, and bit down into the lime wedge. There was a sucking sound as they drained the juice.

“Just like that,” they told her, dropping the husk of the lime into the shot glass. They picked up the salt shaker again. “Go on, lick.”

“This is going to taste horrible, I just know it,” exclaimed Nina, but she went ahead and licked her hand as instructed and held it out for Scorn to do the dusting.

“Okay, salt, shot, lime?” she confirmed one more time. Nina looked so serious about it, as if she were about to be graded on a test, but she mimicked just the way Scorn did it. A quick lick of the salt, swallowed her shot in one fast gulp and in her mouth went the lime.

“Yep, it’s bad!” she croaked, stopping her foot on the floor to push past the taste. This time she remembered to get her shoes back on, as Tabby had never given back her last pair.

“You like that sugary fruity shit that doesn’t taste like alcohol, don’t you?” Scorn rolled their eyes. “Gross. At least you followed through with it.”

“I do,” admitted Nina with absolutely no shame at all. “I’ll try almost anything once though.”

She smiled, wide and cheeky. “It’s better than the Snakebite, at least. It doesn’t make my throat feel like it’s on fire and it’s more fun.”

“Never say anything. I might make you do sugar shots.” There was that almost-smile again. “Which are even grosser, by the way. You take a half-and-half single, peel it back, dump in sugar packets until it’s thick. Take a shot.”

Scorn leaned across the bar. “Yo, Raooooul. You still got those coffee creamers in the back?”

The bartender shot them an annoyed glance from down the bar, where he was serving a girl in a dress that seemed to be made entirely from zippers.

“You say that like I don’t naturally just drink creamer and sugar packets on my own instead of normal coffee!”

Nina burst into laughter, both because of sugar shots, but also because the bartender (named Raoul apparently) was so completely done with the pair of them.

“Dooon’t,” she insisted, grabbing the edge of Scorn’s sleeve to tug gently as she giggled. “Leave the poor man alone, we’re too much. He won’t recommend me good drinks anymore!”

“Well what are we gonna do instead then?” They turned back to Nina, which resulted in them halfway sitting on the bar, their long legs stretching out in front of them. “Back to the cage already?”

“You just like having me all to yourself,” teased Nina. That last shot had settled in nicely, giving her a nice warm glow and making her a smidgen more touchy-feely than normal. She tucked her hair behind her ears to glance around, then she turned back to Scorn holding two fingers up.

“We should do a walk about,” Nina suggested. “I need to find new things to add to my checklist anyway and I bet you know all the best secrets.”

“I know all my favorites.” They pushed themselves up off the bar and took Nina’s hand, leading her toward the playspace. “Not sure we have the same tastes. But shit, let’s give it a whirl.”

Tugging Nina closer, they gave her another narrow-eyed glance. “You switchy at all? Because you scream ‘dominate me’, frankly, but some people are stealth.”

“Do I really scream dominate me? How!” Nina didn’t realize that was the vibe she was putting in the world. It’s not like it was wrong (Nina loved letter someone else have all the control for once), but she though she was more of an independent, get stuff done sort of lady. She never did anything she didn’t want to do.

“I don’t really know, I haven’t tested it out yet? I do think about tying Jay up sometimes and bossing him around, because turnabout is fair play and it’d serve him right, but I’m not so sure he’d like that.”

“Holy fuck, really,” Scorn said, entirely dryly. “I mean, he might let you, but I don’t think you’d be in charge like you think.”

They tapped Nina on the nose. “You do. You vibe subby as fuck, Nina. I’m more of a switch myself. Service Top is my comfort zone, I guess you’d say.”

“Oh I would definitely be in charge,” Nina insisted. She already had all kinds of scenarios in mind, even if she wasn’t sure how she’d pull any of them off. But she rubbed her nose and gave Scorn a curious examining squint of her eyes.

“I didn’t see Service Top on my checklist of things? What’s that supposed to be?” Just from the title Nina could infer an idea, but a lot of these things tended to have a lot of subtle nuances you could miss if someone didn’t explain it to you.

“Well. Some people consider them Doms, but…” Scorn’s nose wrinkled. “I mean, they can be. For a scene. But mostly they’re tops–you know, the ones doing the fucking–who get off on their partner getting off. That’s not really domination, that’s worship, which is usually considered a sub thing. Especially if the bottom is bossing you around, you’re not really Domming them. I say I’m a service top because I’m not really into bottoming but I do like the rest.”

Nina nodded. As expected there were a lot of layers to it, just like everything else in the culture. She leaned in with a grin, bumping against Scorn’s arm.

“You know, now you and Tabby make a lot more sense. I was having a hard time picturing you being dommed around by Tabby and at her mercy when you’re so you.”

“You spending a lot of time picturing me fucking?” Scorn wanted to know. “Shit.”

Ducking through the curtain with Nina in tow, Scorn led the way through the crowd. Tonight, the playspace was packed. There was clearly some kind of event going on, because there was a large group at the center of the room. Nina caught a glimpse of a kneeling woman in fetish gear having a thick leather dog collar fastened around her neck.

“…Tabby’s not really a Domme, you know.” That was muttered into Nina’s ear, Scorn’s lips close enough to brush against the shell. “She’s like. The pushiest power bottom ever.”

Nina hadn’t technically thought about Scorn actually in the act of banging somebody, but now it was there and swirling around. It was probably the first time Nina had ever met someone of Tabby’s that Nina actually liked as a person, so that wasn’t helping at all. Now her face was all red.

“Not- Not you specifically in any detail,” Nina defended. “I didn’t even know you yet.”

“See, this.” Fingers seized Nina’s flushed cheeks and pinched gently, squishing her face. “This is that Sub Energy I’m talkin’ about.”

Before Nina could protest, Scorn let go of her face and tugged her past the crowd. They wound up heading down a short hallway Nina hadn’t seen before. It turned out there was another section of the playspace, and it was filled with more equipment–some of which were currently in use, but most empty. Nina’s eyes were immediately drawn to what looked like a St. Andrew’s Cross, except it was attached to a wheel that appeared fully capable of rotating 360 degrees.

Also in the room was something that looked like a mechanical bull, but with a large and very obvious extra attachment on the seat, and a wooden chair with holes cut into the bottom and straps attached to the sides and arms. There was a table in the corner that looked uncomfortably like something used in an autopsy or gynecological exam. A woman lay across an oddly shaped, curvy piece of furniture, her wrists and ankles tied to what looked like giant bolts, while her partner teased her through her panties; another sat astride a wooden wedge, the point at the top digging into her folds, her hands cuffed behind her back and a ball gag secure in her mouth.

“I like the swing,” Scorn told Nina, pointing to a leather hammock with stirrups suspended from the ceiling. “And the queening stools are Tabby’s favorite.”

Nina recognized those from her Google searches. The padded seat with the headrest underneath for the sub’s head was a lot less scary-looking than the ones she’d found, which had looked a lot more like toilet seats than she’d been comfortable with.

Nina wasn’t sure how she felt about having ‘sub energy’ and that people would look at her and just want to dominate her. Her first thought always went to murder, like she was the perfect bait to get kidnapped and murdered by some crazy psycho, but that was mostly from growing up as a girl and being conditioned to make sure she didn’t put herself into positions for that to happen.

Her second thought had her flushing even more, because apparently there was a part of her that liked that thrill of danger. Maybe not to the extremes where it felt more like violence and terror than kink. There was such a big difference from being tied up and feeling vulnerable compared to being strapped down to a medical table and feeling like she was in a horror movie (which Nina just realized that was definitely going to be on the no-no list).

Nina wasn’t sure about these more advanced mechanisms (some just looked a little too much like torture devices), but others had her curious enough that she might revisit the ideas later. For now, Nina was pressing her hands against her cheeks trying to will that redness to go away as she turned back to Scorn.

“I have the queening stool on my list of maybe things, but I’m actually more curious about how the swing works, because it looks like a hanging death trap.”

“It’s pretty straight-forward really. You lay back or forward here–” Scorn’s hand ran across the seat, “–and put your feet in the stirrups or just hold on to them. You can add restraints in if that’s your thing. It’s mostly to make all kinds of fun angles and positions possible that just don’t work without suspension. Makes it easier for the top too if they don’t have to lift your weight the whole time, and then there’s the rocking motions…”

“So like aerial sex!” Nina did some safety investigating of her own through checking where the mounts were, tugging on it gently to test the weight, and then examining the stirrups and straps to see how they worked. Once that was satisfied she took a look around to make sure no one was waiting around to use the thing, then hopped herself up into the seat. She made a startled squeak when she tipped, but she didn’t go slipping out or falling.

“There’s all kinds of potential with this thing, isn’t there,” she exclaimed, kicking her feet a little to get the rocking motion. “I really do need to start taking yoga classes for this stuff. There’d be a lot of stretching involved even with the swing doing all the work.”

“It’s pretty legit. I want to save up and get one for my room.” Scorn reached over to grab the straps holding up the swing, stilling it as they leaned in to keep Nina from tipping again. “First time I ever made out was in a hammock, you know. Good times. Up until we got caught, anyways.”

“The first time I made out with someone was on a dryer. It was supposed to be this big epic party, but only a dozen or so of us showed up so we just played truth or dare in the basement.”

Nina grinned at Scorn, still kicking her feet slightly. No one ever really grew out of swings, did they? And now that she was certain it was sturdy enough, Nina stopped holding on so she could fish her phone out of her purse.

“This thing is so going on my list!”

“What are you, taking a selfie?” Snorting, Scorn gave the swing a little push. “Glad you like it. Although, you know, dryers can be fun too. Usually you wanna have them running, but.”

“I suppose I could give running dryers a try too,” Nina laughed. She brought up her checklist to add a few notes. This wasn’t quite the toy Nina was thinking of when she agreed that she needed one, but it seemed like a lot of fun. And it didn’t matter who she tried it with, because she was fairly certain both Jay and Dane would find aspects entertaining.

“Look, it’s my list.” Once Nina had everything updated she held it out for Scorn to take a look. “Thanks for adding to it!”

They gave Nina’s list a scroll-through, raising their eyebrow.

“Wow. Detailed.” Glancing back up at Nina, they handed the phone back over, their fingers brushing hers. “You know, I could take you for a spin sometime.”

Nina laughed, tilting dangerously back in the swing and nearly startling herself again. She almost dropped her phone in the process too and had to stuff it back into her purse.

“Scorn, are you flirting with me?” she asked, not sounding at all upset by it, even smiling wider. “If you hadn’t drank a dozen of those Snakebites I might think you’re serious!”

“I’ve been flirting with you all night, dumbass.” Their hands settled to either side of Nina, holding the seat still. “And I’m not drunk.”

They leaned in again, speaking into Nina’s ear. “Hey. I’ve got something else I can show you. I can sneak you somewhere not open to the public.”

“Oh,” she mumbled, a little dumbfounded. Nina thought that was just the way Scorn was. Some people just naturally had those flirty vibes, though Scorn was a lot more subtle than most people. She also didn’t think Scorn would flirt with someone like Nina when people like Tabby seemed to be more their type. Quirky weirdos with an obscene amount of love for getting into trouble.

Nina was probably flushing again and was just going to have to accept the fact she was a blusher. She tucked her hair behind her ears.

“How man secret rooms are in this place?” she finally asked. “I’m a little tipsy, but if I drank as much as you did I think I’d be on the floor right now.”

“Not sure I’d call the playspace or the ‘gym’ secret,” said Scorn, snorting. “Neither is where I wanna show you, it’s just… not strictly supposed to be used by guests. But I can get in.”

They grabbed Nina by the waist and lifted her down from the swing, keeping their hands in place when they set her on her feet. “C’mon. I know how to show a girl a good time.”

“You’re almost irresistible, you know that?” laughed Nina. Now that she’d spent some actual time with Scorn and gotten to know them past all her misconceptions and first impressions, Nina felt pretty secure in letting them lead to anywhere. This wasn’t going to be a kidnapping. However, Nina didn’t want Scorn doing something they regretted either. Those Snakebites were really strong and they had tequila shots on top of it.

So Nina took one of Scorn’s hands and held up a finger, giving her serious squinty eyed stare.

“Okay, but listen. You have to promise me you’re not drunk and that you’re not doing anything extreme because of or in spite of Tabby. I don’t want you to get in trouble later.”

“Ugh. Yes. I’m not drunk.” Scorn rolled their eyes, pulling Nina by the hand back out of the so-called “gym” and into the hallway. “This is nothing to do with Tabby. And anyway, Nina, what are you thinking’s gonna happen?”

It looked like they were going back into the playroom, but Scorn stopped by a section of the wall and peeled back another curtain to reveal what looked like a service door. They fished a keyring from their jeans pocket–which, incidentally, flashed Nina a glimpse of denim-clad hip and pockets that looked way too tight to hold keys–and used a cheaply cut key to turn the lock.

Nina was tugged inside after them into a red-walled room. It was furnished with a comfortable-looking leather couch, another of those wheels with the St. Andrew’s Cross on it, and an absolutely enormous bed that was made from black wrought iron and looked like a furniture designer had been inspired by the dancing cages out by the stage. A set of black sheets was folded up in a square at the center of the mattress, and leather straps were affixed to the sides of the frame along the top and bottom.

“Pretty cool, huh?” Scorn leaned back against the door as they shut it behind them. “A little gross, since I know my uncle’s fucked in here, but it’s also totally private for when you don’t want to give the rest of the crowd a show.”

“Rooms like this are always in red, aren’t they. Red and black. Lustful Gothic, that’s what the style should be called.” Nina took a slow turn about the room, running her fingers over everything just to get a feel for all the different textures and materials. She was making fun of it, but really she kind of loved how beautifully extra it was. The room had an aura of filthy romance, and since it was a private room, Nina suspected the owner and possibly Tom had decided to make themselves a special love nest.

Nina finally turned back to Scorn and lifted her hands up in a shrug.

“I was just thinking, if I were mad at my girlfriend for ignoring me I might try to make her jealous by escorting another girl somewhere scandalous because I know she lurks around in hidey holes like some kind of gremlin and would see. Which, I don’t mind at all if that’s the case because I’ve seen her do the exact same thing to other people, but I also don’t want to ruin something for you if you really care about her?”

“I don’t play games.”

Scorn looked at her, mouth twisting.

“I do care about her, okay? But I’m obviously barking up the wrong tree for more from Tabby; she’s gotta grow her ass up. I don’t want to wait around for that because fuck only knows if or when that’s going to happen. I’d rather move on and have some fun and not keep dwelling on my shitty girlfriend right now. You’re not ruining anything she’s not ruining for herself.”

They stepped closer, reaching out to tip her chin up. “Now shut up. I’m trying to kiss you.”

Before she could say anything else, Nina was tugged forward and Scorn’s lips were on hers. Warm hands slid down over her back, tracing the open V between her shoulder blades.

Nina froze and a dozen thoughts flittered through her head at lightspeed. Was this gay? Probably. Scorn fell somewhere on the queer spectrum, and Nina never had a chance to ask specifics.

Did it bother Nina?

After a moment of being locked in place, Nina softened and made a tentative attempt at kissing back. Once she was actively leaning in, Nina found that kissing was still just kissing, and feelings of warm fuzziness because it was nice and you enjoyed the company of the person you were with were all the same.

The only weird feeling left was Nina’s fretting about Tabby. But Tabby herself was poly and so were most of her partners. Technically, she wasn’t doing anything wrong,

“Are you sure you’re not drunk?” Nina finally whispered when pulled away to take a breath. “I’m not- I didn’t think I was your type!”

“Not that drunk. And you’re judging that based on all of, oh… one person?” Scorn scoffed. They framed Nina’s face in their hands and set their forehead against hers. “Or are you trying to protest on grounds of being distressingly hetero? ‘Cause I’m about to call bullshit if so.”

They tucked Nina’s hair behind her ear, and then their teeth nipped at her earlobe. “We can do as much or as little as you like, you know, it doesn’t have to get weird. I’m good with just making out like kids.”

“I’ve never kissed someone like you before…” she admitted. “Someone with neon cotton candy hair.”

The teasing was a delay tactic while Nina processed, not that there was much for her to dwell on beyond Tabby. If she took that out of the equation, this was just another opportunity to explore the things on her list and to test where her limits might be.

“There’s nothing wrong with making out like kids.” she agreed. Nina reached out to pluck nervously at the edge of Scorn’s long t-shirt. “Honestly, though? I don’t know how to behave with you. I’ve only ever dated certain kinds of guys, and I know I shouldn’t have to be any different with you but I keep thinking I’m not going to do anything right? I’m not sure that even makes sense.”

“You’re trying to figure out what’s in my pants and if you’re going to upset me by asking or having a reaction.” Scorn didn’t look upset–not any more than usual, anyway. “Luckily for you, you’re actually allowed to ask the first, since you’ve had an invitation into my pants. The second is a no. I’m only upset when people are dickheads, and then they get an invitation to my boot up their ass.”

Picking up Nina’s hand, Scorn pulled her over to the couch and sat her down. A minute later, Scorn clambered up onto her lap, knees falling on either side of Nina’s hips.

“Enby,” Scorn said. “It’s kind of too cutesy in my opinion, but it’s easier to say than nonbinary. Fucking mouthful. I’m not a guy, not a girl. I thought maybe I was a transdude for a while, but that’s not me either; I just kinda wish I had a dick. I have the same plumbing you do and I’m not gonna freak out if you want to touch it.”

Aside from the deep crimson of embarrassment to have someone on her lap, Nina visibly relaxed and was able to rest her hands comfortably on Scorn’s outer thighs without fretting over whether or not she could. It was all still a little weird, but now that they walked through all the intimidating parts, all that was left was two people getting touchy feely.

“Okay,” Nina finally declared as she settled all the way back against the sofa, that wide-eyed expression plastered all over her face. Though she was still a bit awkward about it, curiosity and that need to touch had taken over, especially now that she was given permission and reassurance. Having someone on her lap was a different experience in and of itself. She ended up tugging gently at the edge of Scorn’s shirt and then pointing at her mouth.

“I’m all on board for the kissing!”

“You’re a dork.” That didn’t stop Scorn from leaning in to kiss her though, coaxing at Nina’s bottom lip with their tongue until she opened up. The kiss was… slightly different from what Nina was used to. Scorn still took the lead and was aggressive about exploring Nina’s mouth, but it was less rushed–the edge was still there, but it danced in and out of sight. Their fingers ran through Nina’s hair, tilting her head back against the couch.

All at once, while Scorn nipped at Nina’s mouth, they wound their fingers in her hair and gave a firm tug.

“Thanks for showing me your list, babe,” they purred. “Gonna make this more fun.”

“That list has changed my whole life,” giggled Nina against Scorn’s mouth. Making out with Scorn was different, but then everyone Nina had an experience with at the club had been different. It wasn’t like her Tinder dates, who might’ve all seemed different on the surface but all had intimate relationships with their trucks for some reason.

Nina, for her part, was enjoying the slow ride and had finally dug up the courage to move her hands from Scorn’s legs to wrap around their waist.

“I have to tell you, though,” she confessed. “I’m doing a thing with Jay so I can only have a moderate amount of fun.”

“Aw, what? Lame,” groaned Scorn. “What’s ‘moderate’? I don’t want to be a clit tease. …Unless that’s the point?”

Nina was now being eyed with consideration.

“If that’s how you get your kicks… I’m happy to help.” They trailed a finger down Nina’s neck, over the sheer lace that covered her decolletage, and kept right on going until they found the dip of her navel. Their teeth grazed the arch of Nina’s throat.

Nina giggled and tapped her heels on the floor, as there wasn’t much room to squirm anywhere with Scorn on her lap. Not that she was trying to escape at all. In fact Nina went ahead and kicked off her shoes again because such a lush room and plush sofa called for optimal comfort.

“I just can’t… um… finish?” Nina really needed to get over the dirty word embarrassment! It’d been almost a month since she’d started showing up at the club and it was ridiculous. “Jay said he’d give me a date if I could do it for a month, probably thinking I’d cave quickly.”

While she spoke, Nina moved her hands from around Scorn’s waist to their arms and over their shoulders. They were broader than most girls, which was half the reason she mistook them for a guy in the first place. Then Nina was grinning wide.

“He didn’t account for me being way, way more stubborn than he is. Um. And maybe I’m addicted to being filthy. It’s like going your whole life without a dishwasher, and then you get one, and you have to see how much you can cram in there.”

“So you’re saying I could edge you for hours if I want?” they asked. “I’m good with that.”

Tilting their head, they gave Nina a once-over, biting their lip and letting out a soft hum. “You know you have a bad habit of saying like the worst possible things? You’re basically catnip.”

They leaned in to capture her mouth again, their hands skimming Nina’s ribs. Short, blunt fingernails dug into her sides, then slid around between Nina and the couch to hook into the V line.

Everyone kept saying things like, always resulting in Nina flushing red. Nina had a hard time seeing it, or believing it, but here she was again wondering why she’d never been told these things before. (Well. She knew why, but disbelief was such a hard habit to break.)

She wasn’t going to complain about it though. This new lifestyle and never ending supply of affection and attention suited Nina just fine.

Her giggling had ceased into light shivers at the brush of fingers against her exposed back. Scorn kissed so differently from Dane, who always felt like a feral werewolf about to have a snack. It wasn’t delicate soft, either though. It seriously was just like that deep dive make out kissing Nina remembered from high school, which brought up all those fun feelings of trying naughty things she probably shouldn’t have.

After toying with the zipper for what felt like ages, Scorn pulled it down just enough to loosen Nina’s dress. Not enough that it would fall down past her shoulders, but enough to make it brush against her body when she moved and for a hand to fit between the fabric and her skin.

Shifting their weight, they nudged Nina’s hips and rolled to ease her back onto the couch.

“Nervous?” Scorn asked, finally coming up for air again. Their nails ran down Nina’s bare arms.

“A little bit,” confessed Nina, hoping she didn’t have that doe-eyed look again. “I’m always nervous though.”

She had goosebumps all up and down her arms now and it was almost bordering on being ticklish. Nina squirmed a bit to readjust herself to the new position and to reach up to pull her hair out of the way so she wasn’t laying on it. Then she was free to run her hands through Scorn’s mess of short cotton candy hair and grin, because it was so outrageously silly.

The pink and blue strands felt silky soft under her touch. The spiky appearance wasn’t from gel or any other hair product Nina knew about. Maybe the cowlicks were natural.

“You probably should be nervous.” There was that almost-smile again. “I kinda have you all vulnerable right now.”

They bit Nina’s jaw, a bit rougher than they’d bitten before, and brushed the back of their hand across the underside of her right breast. Scorn was settled over her, not quite sitting. With another guy, Nina could have easily ground against their erection, but that wasn’t an option here, was it?

“Which is just fine by me,” Scorn told her. Their other hand reached down to trail the outside of Nina’s thigh, incidentally causing her skirt to drag up higher on her leg.

“I like to think that I’m dangerous,” answered Nina. Though she felt much closer to the vulnerable side than the dangerous one. All of the touching was driving her crazy. It was so slow and almost felt accidental, except it wasn’t. Nothing about it was overtly sexual beyond the nipping, yet Nina’s heartbeat was picking up fast.

Turnabout was fair play though, and Nina was just as interested in exploring with touch. Sinking her teeth into her bottom lip and looking too much like she was trying not to let it all get her flustered, Nina dropped her hands down to Scorn’s sides, almost tentatively sneaking her way under the hem of their shirt.

At first, due to the length of the shirt, she encountered denim jeans over very slight hips. Once Nina got above the waistband, where she expected to hit bare skin, she instead found some kind of skintight, polyester material that conformed to Scorn’s shape. It took her a minute to find the hem because it was partially tucked into Scorn’s pants. The seam curled up slightly where her fingers found the edge, like it was trying to roll up from the bottom. There wasn’t a lot of give or room to sneak a finger under it.

While Nina explored, Scorn shifted, their knee slipping in between Nina’s. With another deep kiss, they stroked their fingertips up along Nina’s thigh and hip, while their other fingers traced up between her breasts and then in a slow circle around the outlines of just the left side.

Nina made a soft sound and she couldn’t help but slink her arms around Scorn’s waist to draw them against her body. She even draw her hands up Scorn’d back, testing her fingers against the taut fabric as high as it went. And Nina absolutely couldn’t keep still as she twist her legs this way and that, rubbing her feet against the soft leather of the couch.

What Scorn was wearing under their shirt seemed to be some kind of tank top, going all the way up to the neckline of their t-shirt; her thumbs found skin finally–almost by accident–at Scorn’s shoulders where the sleeveless garment ended. It was tight all the way up.

“It’s called a binder,” Scorn explained half into Nina’s mouth, their pointer finger circling ever closer and in tighter circles to the peak forming on Nina’s breast. “I’m not a big fan of these on myself, so it makes me feel more comfortable to bind.”

Meanwhile, their other hand had snuck under Nina’s skirt. Snaking up to grab Nina’s hip, Scorn lifted her from the cushion to meet the top of their thigh, rubbing insistently. It was a totally different sort of grinding than Nina was used to, but it still hit at the right angle. She didn’t need to spread her legs wide to get enough friction.

“You’re cute as fuck,” Scorn told her, and licked a line from Nina’s collarbone to her ear.

Nina wondered if you could get drunk off of languid touching and quiet muttering, because it all had her deliciously warm and hazy. Nothing about Scorn was what Nina expected, and it was a pleasant surprise. She giggled again, flinching when Scorn licked over a ticklish spot, and comfortably rested her arms around them with just her fingertips grazing that peek of skin under their shirt.

“I think you’re going to get me in trouble,” she mumbled, turning her head to bury her face in Scorn’s neck. She took in a deep breath, getting the scent of alcohol and some deodorant she didn’t recognize before she pressed her lips softly to their neck and then nipped sharply with her teeth.

Nina’s reward was a soft hiss and Scorn wriggling against her leg.

“Trouble is my middle name.” It was hard to tell if they were joking. Scorn had a talent for deadpan delivery–or maybe it was just that everything they said sounded just a little bit sarcastic. Either way, with a name like Scorn, it wasn’t exactly clear cut.

Their fingers found the waistband of Nina’s panties and skimmed along the edge. At the same time, their other hand had narrowed its concentric circles to the area just around Nina’s nipple. They teased and flirted but never quite brushed the right spot, and it was definitely on purpose because there were occasional ghosts of a touch over the hardened nub.

“Did you know it’s possible to cum just from having your tits played with?” Scorn breathed. “I shit you not. You ever get off that way, Nina?”

“Really?” she asked, though she wasn’t surprised. This place had basically turned sex into an art and all kinds of things were possible. Nina had long since figured out she was sensitive to touching, and it was already difficult for her to just stay still in one place. Her breast was almost thrumming from the attention, which really shouldn’t have been a new sensation for Nina who was a divorcee (and lately a huge slut).

“I think that- that maybe we should avoid getting me off until after… after a week or so!” she whispered with a giggle, her breath falling warm against Scorn’s neck. Nina was actually quite happy where she was positioned as it made it all the easier to lave her tongue at their pulse point and kiss hard enough to leave a hickey.

“You want me to keep this up for a whole week?” teased Scorn. “Damn. I mean, I can try.”

They ground down against Nina’s leg again, moving their thigh against her in tandem. Scorn’s hand abandoned Nina’s aching breast to steal around behind her and pull her zipper the rest of the way open. No sooner had they loosened the dress than they switched sides to begin tracing the same slowly narrowing path around her other breast. The fabric slid slightly under Scorn’s touch.

“Get this fucking thing outta my way.” Scorn tugged at the inside of Nina’s skirt, the dress pulling but blocked from much progress by Nina’s arms and where she lay atop it. “You look good in it but I bet you’ll look better out of it.”

Nina wasn’t so sure about that, but that was all her baseless insecurities talking. People liked to see her naked, at some point she was going to have to stop doubting it. At least she was glad they were squirreled away in the secret romance room, so she didn’t have to worry about the world having a look. Not to mention, she was so over-heated by now that having cool air against her bare skin was going to be a blessing!

She wiggled her arms free to reveal a fairly simple strapless black bra. Nina really hadn’t expected to fall into another clandestine moment with a random patron or she might’ve worn her bustier just for the bit of excitement. At this point, she was really going to have to go shopping for some fancy show off panties.

Scorn’s hands moved to cup Nina’s breasts through her bra, kneading gently before both thumbs grazed her nipples. They kissed her, tongue lapping at the roof of Nina’s mouth. With a breathy hum that reverberated against Nina’s palate, they rocked on top of her, then unhooked Nina’s bra.

Nina made a soft little squeak and even tensed up a little, though she didn’t try to stop them. It was actually kind of embarrassing because she’d slept around with all of these people, but couldn’t think of a one that’d seen her topless. Dane had likely gotten her the least dressed, but none of them had gotten a full view of the ladies. And of course her country bumpkin self had to go and think of them as ladies, so Nina was eternally grateful no one could read her mind.

The important thing was to push all of that out of her head and focus on the most important task at hand, which was not focusing on the way Scorn’s leg was grinding up against her in all the right ways and how those goosebumps had never gone away so she was both shiver and too warm.

“You good?” Scorn asked, biting Nina’s bottom lip and raking their nails tentatively down Nina’s abdomen. Her bra slipped down as they did, exposing Nina’s nipples; after half a beat, Scorn ducked down and blew across the pebbling flesh. Their lips peppered soft kisses slowly along Nina’s collar bone and over the top of her cleavage.

Yep,” she squeaked again at an ever higher pitch. Nina was afraid to breathe, if only because her breath kept hitching every time she shivered. She squirmed again too, pulling her hands away to tap against her own shoulders, as she couldn’t decide if she wanted to grab Scorn’s soft hair or simply lay back and soak up all the attention.

“This is the- um- the how the service and worship and such comes into play?” she asked in that same breathless voice. Nina supposed a power bottom would do some ordering around, and she kind of liked the idea, but Nina also couldn’t think of a thing that wasn’t going to immediately get her all fired up way too much.

And now it was too late, because the thoughts of asking Scorn to do all kinds of things were dancing around in her imagination and they were absolutely filthy. Nina tried to temper the flushing in her cheeks as she brushed her hand against her forehead.

“Mmhmm,” hummed Scorn, as they bit down and sucked on the flesh at the top of Nina’s breast. They ducked down further to lick a line through her cleavage, fingernails doodling idly on Nina’s stomach. “Your tits are worthy of worship, let me tell you.”

Scorn’s hands came up to cup her chest again, this time skin-to-skin, and very lightly began to tweak her nipples. Every so often they would give a firm pinch and tug only to go back to the torturous crawl of soft brushes and flicks.

Then they surged forward to take one between their teeth, immediately soothing with a swirl of tongue and hot breath.

Nina slapped her hand over her mouth to muffle any further squeaking. She’d always thought the phrase aching with need was sich a ridiculous way to describe breasts, but she was starting to understand why it was so common. She ached. Her nipples were hard and something about the teasing was vibrating all the way down her chest, through her stomach, deep between her legs. Only Scorn’s frank way of speaking was keeping her from getting too tense, as Nina just couldn’t help but giggle.

Making a muffled sound around Nina’s nipple, Scorn gave a parting lick and sat back. They pulled their t-shirt up and over their head, revealing the binder tank top and the top of their jeans, ruffling their hair. It fell to the floor beside the couch as they rolled and shifted their hips against Nina again.

“You wanna try something else fun?” they asked, voice husky. They raked their nails down over Nina’s sides. Their right hand kept going, stopping just before tracing her clit and instead slipping under her hip to knead her ass. “Ever rode someone’s face?”

“Like, ride ride? In which way?” Nina knew it was a silly questions, but there were a lot of different positions popping into her head, all fueled by their tour through the gym. The few times she’d had someone’s mouth down there were few and far between and none of them Nina would have considering riding. She pressed her hands against her cheeks.

“I don’t- don’t know if I trust my knees to hold up while I’m all- um. Stimulated?”

“That’s why you hang onto the back of the couch.” Scorn slid down off of Nina, pressing biting kisses to her stomach and upper thigh. “C’mon. Sit up.”

They pulled Nina up onto her knees, then slipped down onto the floor and settled their head against the couch cushion.

“Hands on the back of the couch, then just sit down over me,” they told her, smirking. “You can keep your panties on if it’ll make you feel better.”

It was crazy for Nina to think she could accidentally smother someone with her vagina, and it was probably the fault of all her creepy books. Even if Nina did collapse into a puddle of jelly, it’d be easy for Scorn to just roll her out of the way. Which left her with the burning embarrassment that seemed to be so hard for her to shake. Nina liked feeling powerful, didn’t she? This was such a power move!

Nina did decide to keep her panties on to make sure things didn’t get too intense and risk her challenge, then she delicately shifted into position over Scorn. She brushed her hair over her shoulders and rest her hands on the back of the couch. It did feel all kinds of spicy like this, being topless and practically sitting on someone’s face, despite being intimidating as well.

Scorn snorted. Their hands smoothed up along Nina’s thighs and settled on her ass.

“Not what I meant, but we’ll ease you into it I guess,” they said, and then Nina felt a tongue sweep over the crotch of her panties, hot and wet and conforming to her folds. After outlining Nina’s clit, Scorn gave another long lick and then latched their mouth around it, just barely sucking through the fabric.

At least this time Nina didn’t mouse-squeak, but the sound she made was just as terrible. A low and breathy sigh she tried to muffle with her hand. The thin fabric was absolutely useless as a shield, for Nina could feel every bit of the warmth and wetness of Scorn’s tongue. She couldn’t help but rock into it, finding it way too easy to do sitting up like this.

With an encouraging hum, Scorn guided Nina’s hips down against their mouth. They continued to lap at her slowly, with only as much room as Nina gave them; while Scorn could drag her closer easily, their head was hemmed in against the couch by Nina’s body. If Nina wanted, she could take full control.

One of their hands slipped between Nina’s legs, a fingertip rubbing into her damp panties over her entrance.

Nina had thought that getting to cum a few days ago would’ve calmed down her urges and make it easier to get back to all her filthy deeds without losing herself so quickly. But something about the slow build up from soft touches, sharp nips, to sizzling tongue had her whole body feeling heavy and Nina couldn’t help but think how nice it would be to let someone just fuck her until she passed out.

She could already feel herself clenching in anticipation, drawing out a faint groan and causing her to reach down and thread her fingers through Scorn’s hair.

Scorn’s tongue stilled almost entirely. They slowed to long, languid licks, while their hands skimmed up Nina’s sides in a steadying motion. Fingernails bit into Nina’s skin, scraping the underside of her breasts before Scorn’s fingertips found Nina’s nipples and began to tease with soft, unhurried brushes and flicks.

“Oh my god,” she hissed. “Do they give awards for this- they should.”

It was almost painful trying to hold herself together. Whenever she relaxed, she was flooded with warm and goosebumps everywhere Scorn’s hands and tongue would go. When she tensed, she could could her stomach twisting up and all the muscles in her body just begging for her to let go. Every part was delicious torture and Nina was definitely, definitely going to do this again in the future.

Scorn’s chuckle reverberated against her clit.

With one last suckle and lick, they roughly tweaked Nina’s nipples, then dropped their hands to her thighs to hoist her away from their lingering tongue.

“Can’t have you losing your game,” they said in a thick voice, and pulled her down onto their lap. Scorn’s chin was slick with moisture, hair tousled. They reached up to wipe their face with the back of one hand.

Nina helped as best she could, wiping at Scorn’s cheeks with her hands and her thumbs and trying to smooth their hair back to, well, back to a slightly less messy. It was over way too soon, but probably for the best. Much more and Nina would be going into work a total wreck again. Right now Nina felt sensational, not entirely satisfied, but definitely pleased.

“You’re a nice surprise,” Nina admitted with a grin. “I wouldn’t mind a next time.”

“Doesn’t have to be over yet.” Scorn leaned in to kiss Nina, deep but soft. “Wanna have a slumber party?”

Their fingertips crept along Nina’s sides again before flirting with her shoulder blades and the arch of her spine.

“There’s a nice big bed in here. I can make sure you get a good night’s sleep.”

Nina giggled, taking the opportunity to get as many post-spicy snuggles as she could get. She curled her arms around Scorn’s torso and rest her head against their shoulder.

“That’s tempting,” mused Nina out loud. “Tom’s romance nest does look very comfortable.”

She gave it some serious consideration. Spending more time with Scorn would be great, but there was the Tabby situation too. Nina had already kind of skipped over the line and set it on fire and poured some gasoline on top, so spending the night together really wouldn’t make much of a difference at this point, but Nina figured she should at least try to show some restraint and be more respectful, even if Tabby wasn’t always known for that herself.

“Hm, maybe after the Tabby has been sorted out,” she admitted. “That way when I can have all the fun we want, I won’t have anything to worry about?”

Trying Something New

Trying Something New 010


Why am I sitting at the club by myself?

Was your date that bad? Or that good?

my date was a m a z i n g

he is amazing

and because of that YOU can sit there and suffer as i now suffer

because like hell am i leaving this house and looking at any more spicy scenes

what is the equivalent of blueballs for girls


One simple text probably would’ve answered him just fine, but Nina was curled up in bed and covered in a mix of peppermint oil and lavender for her aching muscles and still so horny that she’d spent the entire day fumbling things, dropping stuff, and mixing up words in her head. Thank god it wasn’t a work day, she’d be a monster.

And all of this was Jay’s fault, because otherwise she could’ve spent all night riding Dane like a rodeo pony. There was no way she could go out to the club and hold herself together. In fact, Nina was thinking about avoiding all men in the world until her time ran out, as she wasn’t so sure she wouldn’t jump some poor random guy on the street.

I’m surprised you haven’t broken down and gotten yourself off by now.

I know you wanted to try orgasm denial, but this is pretty extreme.

you said no cumming and that is usually all encompassing

i wouldnt even know what to do with myself

When Nina put orgasm denial on her list, she was expecting a couple hours, not a month. And honestly, she could’ve gone the whole month had Jay not repeatedly teased her. Or brought a gem of a professor into the mix.

Granted, Dane had shifted from being Jay’s fault to her own dang fault, but she was going to blame him anyway. Dane could ask the world of her and she’d be happy to give it, just to see him getting wild and filthy. Jay was going to get the brunt of every bit of her sexual frustration, though, because he’d been the one to issue the challenge in the first place.

i’m prolly going to die but i’ll die winning this dumb challenge and haunt you specifically

It took longer than usual for Jay to text her back.

What do you mean, you wouldn’t know what to do with yourself?

You do know how to masturbate, right?

“Jay, seriously,” she muttered at the phone.

i KNOW how masturbation works jay. i’m not 12

Admitting that she never really touches herself was a lot less embarrassing over texts. He didn’t have to be there to see her flushing or the way she squirmed deeper into her nest.

i’m not into myself so i’m just gonna what? grope my own boobs and stick my fingers up there and pretend like i don’t feel weird?

it never worked anyway

Okay, time out.

I’m not judging you, Nina. I’m upset that you’ve been missing out. You skipped right to kink first?

Before she could protest or argue, another text followed.

I’ll let you cum this once. I can help. If it doesn’t work, you never have to try it again.

It had to be pretty sad that out of all the kinky things she was down to trying, even the embarrassing ones, it was touching herself for herself alone in her room that seemed the most daunting. She wasn’t sure if Jay understood why it was such an odd thing. Honestly she wasn’t sure herself half the time. Having sex for the first time had been easier than her fumbled attempts at getting off alone.

On the other hand, she didn’t doubt Jay would have some useful advice. He always did. Nina could already picture him at the club glaring down at his phone wondering why she was taking so long to answer and fretting about it. It seemed to kill him a little bit anytime Nina had one of these confessions. And it seemed silly to deny him the chance to help just because she was mad at him, especially when it’d be so freaking great if she could get past her mental block.

do you promise you’re not being sneaky and that I won’t get in trouble for saying okay?


And he’d proven he kept his promises, hadn’t he?

Serious question, not a line. What are you wearing?

Nina grinned at the phone and thought about telling some bold lies, but for once she didn’t feel the need to be a little punk. She glanced down at herself the nightgown she’d been in all day because she hadn’t even felt chill enough to leave the house for errands.

just a nightgown, nothing foxy

And because she couldn’t think of anything more descriptive than “blue” Nina just kicked her blanket out of the way and took a selfie. Complete with her patented squinty, dubious stare.

You don’t feel foxy in that?

I think you look hot as shit, but this is about you. If you don’t like it, put something sexy on. And clean up your room.

What Nina saw and what Jay saw had to be two vastly different things, because all she saw was a bed lump in blue covered in peppermint essential oils. Her room was also fine. Well, she still had her clothes from last night tossed around, and work clothes for the week. But she was too sore to bother with laundry today.

Grumbling to herself, she rolled out of bed and quickly picked up all her clothes to toss in the hamper. Nina found her shoes and tucked them away in the closet, straightened up her books, and watered one of her poor plants because it looked thirstier than she did.

As for what she should wear, that turned out tricky. Nina pushed around some stuff in her closet and then went foraging around in her dresser. She ended up rediscovering a black lacy bustier she’d bought once because she needed something strapless to wear under an evening dress. That would definitely fall in the sexy category! Nina put it on and found a nice pair of undies to match, then checked herself out in her standing mirror.

She could work with this. Nina ran her fingers through her hair a few times before grabbing her phone. She took a full mirror selfie this time so he could see her perfectly clean room too.

i made the bed too, dungeon daddy, are you proud of me?

He couldn’t see the way she was smirking, but it was there.

Good girl. I definitely like this look too.

Lock your bedroom. Doesn’t matter that you’re alone, just do it. Then get on the bed.

If you’re on your back you have more room for your hands. If you’re on your stomach your clit can rub against the sheets. Go with whatever feels right.

“This is absolutely stupid,” she spoke to the room. Nina locked the bedroom door though, and launched herself immediately onto the bed with a bounce.

Nina rolled back and both testing each position and decided on her stomach just wasn’t going to work. It just felt too silly and it reminded her that all her muscles were still a little sore. So Nina got comfortable on her back, crossed one leg over the other to bounce her foot and texted him again.

back it is. now what?

What’s a part of your body you like? Something you feel good about and like to show off.

Nina grimaced and dropped the phone down against her stomach. That was such a hard question to answer without doing that self-deprecating thing about fussing how she’s not attractive. Like realistically she knew it wasn’t true. She was pretty and got plenty of compliments too. Nina just never felt it very often when she looked in the mirror. She had too many random moles on her body and thought her face was too round.

“This was such a bad idea,” she complained up at the ceiling, throwing her arms over her head.

After a few moments of sulking, she gave it another consideration. Nina did really like wearing off the shoulder tops and ones with back cut-outs or wide and low necklines. She always felt more elegant and a little taller. It was the whole reason she ended up with her bustier in the first place, because she’d gone for one of those sleeveless gowns and spent the night feeling like an A-list actress.

Nina still felt silly about this, but she texted him the answer anyway.

Good. Focus on that feeling and run your fingers over your neck and shoulders. Touch where Dane gave you that hickey. Where your scarf was before I tied you up with it. Don’t rush. Close your eyes and pretend it’s someone else’s hands on you.

Nina huffed and set her phone aside, then squeezed her eyes shut and bent her arms until she could tap her fingers along both her shoulders. She found the spot where Dane had sucked and nipped her hard enough to leave a mark too dark to hide well enough with makeup. She mimic the pressure Jay had applied to the spot, somehow knowing exactly where it’d been and remember the wicked look on his face when he did it. Or how he pushed down on her shoulder until she was on her knees.

It felt a lot like cheating, thinking about these men and the things they did to her. Of course that’d get her heartbeat racing. There was a new bruise or two from yesterday she could feel under her fingertips that Jay didn’t even know about yet. She could almost still feel Dane’s hot breath on her neck, and Nina really would’ve loved to see Jay’s expression had he watched all of that.

Nina shivered dragging her hands up to her face now that it was burning warm. She snatched up the phone again.

okay maybe i can now see the merits of using imagination

Were you thinking about me?

Time to move lower. Move your hands to your breasts and down over your stomach where that lacy little panel is. Remember, go slow. Think about the picture you sent me. That thing you’re wearing looks so easy to slip right off of you, you know that?

A minute or so later, her text notification went off again, and when she looked…

Find your nipples. Are they getting hard?

“Such a cheeky bastard,” Nina muttered. She followed the instructions, though, strumming her fingers over the lacy bit of her bustier, almost kind of lazily. Lace was always something she really like the texture and look of, she realized. It was probably why most of the underwear in her drawers had lace detailing on some sort.

Once she picked up the phone again to read the new instruction, she pulled her left hand back up to cup her breast. The bra cups were were of a stiffer fabric, but she could still feel her thumb sliding over the satin and it didn’t take long to feel that tingle in the nub spread out and wash through the rest of her. It still felt a little weird because it was just her alone, yet all too familiar to being with Dane while he ran his rough hands over her.

Nina bit into her lip, uncrossing her legs just so she could press her knees together and rub her feet against the bedspread. With her other hand she typed out a text, hesitating only a second before she giggled to herself and sent it anyway.

are YOU getting hard? thinking about me?

Sweetheart, I’ve BEEN hard since I realized I was going to be teaching you how to fuck yourself.

Maybe if you’re good I’ll send you a picture.

Lower. Over the panties for now. Rub your clit. Not too hard. Like you’re teasing yourself.

The inescure feelings started to creep in again, so while she cradled the phone against her chest and moved her hand down over her stomach, she got a little stuck there. Her ears were burning and she didn’t even know what she was embarrassed by. It’s not like anyone was there to see her or could walk in. She wasn’t being graded on how good she was and no one was going to complain if it wasn’t amazing.

Nina crept her hand down lower, moving her legs apart just enough so she could stroke her fingers over the silk and lace of her panties. She followed the patterns in the lace at first, until some of that burning doubt faded off and she was a little more comfortable. Spreading her legs a little wider, Nina brushed the pads of her fingers over her clit, and pressed downwards gently.

She shivered. Digging her teeth into her bottom lip, she tested a circular motion and made a soft sound. There was something nice about taking a slow eternity with no one else involved and just feeling her way through it. Nina closed her eyes, brows furrowed and she forgot about her phone for a minute.

After a few minutes of stroking herself, though, it buzzed against her chest again.

How are you doing? Feeling good?

Feel between your legs. Are you wet?

Her panties were definitely damp and Nina hadn’t even introduced some fun thoughts yet. Like Dane’s liberal use of his tongue or Jay’s fingers coming dangerously close to her panty line.

what do you think?

She stopped her touching just long enough to make an okay gesture with her hand and snap a picture, and sent it away with another soft giggle.

kind of relaxing like this

no stress no expectations

Good. It should be relaxing. It’s a great way to relieve stress.

We’re going to have to get you a vibrator, Nina.

i have some

but they’re gifts from tabby

and probably cursed

Nina rolled over to her nightstand and reached down to open up the bottom drawer, kicking her feet all the while and still giggling to herself. She sent him a pic of the contents. There were a couple of unopened boxes that we’re obviously toys from Tabby, a couple of unassuming books, an emergency box of condoms, and what had to be a pair of handcuffs peeking out from under it all.

now you know why i call them ducklings

Jesus Christ. Shut that drawer before you kill the mood.

You need a real one, not something sold by the makers of Hello Kitty.


get me a real one

Nina closed up the drawer, rolled back into her spot, and laughed. Funnily enough, her mood wasn’t even close to ruined. She was having fun with her new experiment now and was more than ready for the next step.

when do I get that picture? i’ve been pretty good. 100% nina approved so far

That’s true.

It was over a minute before she received anything else, but then a photo attachment came through. It was a little dark, but when she opened the full image, she got a much clearer picture. Jay was definitely somewhere in the club, though Nina couldn’t pinpoint exactly where, his long legs spread and his jeans unzipped to give her a good view of his hand stroking his erection. Because of the angle, his face wasn’t in the frame, but she recognized his broad chest and the edge of his tattoo curling out from under his sleeve.

All for you, sweetheart. Thinking about you. You thinking of me?

She couldn’t believe he actually sent her a picture. Of course it wasn’t ting first time she’d gotten a dick pic, (it was basically currency on Tinder) but Jay sitting alone in the club stroking himself to her? That was kind of amazing.

i like to think about you all the time.

Nina nestled back into her comfortable spot, chewing her bottom lip again as she texted away.

what should i do next?

Hand inside your panties.

If you move your hips you can control the pressure better. Just like when you’re fucking.

Nina took her time and wiggled her hand into her panties, finding herself still damp with moisture. Without a barrier of lace in the way, her middle finger dipped between the folds of her labia easily and she got a faint little jolt from skimming her clit with her fingertip. Nina explored with different motions, pressing, rubbing, and circling to see what made her squirm and what send flashes of heat up her spine.

And to make sure he knew how the progress was going, Nina snapped him another picture with her hand buried between her thighs.

Not so bad, is it?

Fingers. One at a time. Show me how many you can fit.

Already slick, it was nothing to dip her first finger inside. Nina squirmed a bit at the clipping of her fingernail, but it wasn’t so much that it was uncomfortable. She pushed in as far as her knuckle, hooking her finger a little before sliding back out again. Heat bloomed at the back of her neck and Nina tried a second finger.

“Hrmf,” she sighed, pushing in deep again and grazing her clit when she pulled out. Sexual meditation is what it was. Without the anticipation of what could come next, Nina relaxed into it, her body melting into a warm languid puddle as she massaged her inner walls and pumped her fingers. Pushing in a third wasn’t quite as easy to find a comfortable position with her wrist, but she didn’t care so much about following instructions now and was focused more on how it just felt good.

She wasn’t sure exactly how long it had been when her phone started ringing. Jay was calling.

“Hey,” he greeted her, and if Nina hadn’t already known he was turned on, she would have now. “Put me on speaker. You can forget I’m here, I just… want to hear you.”

“Going to be hard to forget about you,” Nina mumbled. She had the tone of someone who’d spent an hour in a nice hot bath mixed with something a little breathless. Once she switched over to speaker, she dropped the phone next to her head and settled back in. There was the faintest sound of club music in the background and it made her laugh.

“Are you having fun at the club without me, Jay?” she asked cheekily.

“I’d rather be there.” She could hear him grinning, even if she couldn’t see it. “But that would be too much of a distraction from Nina Time.”

He took a deep breath. “How about you? Getting to know yourself a little better?”

“I was. You’re still distracting, you know.”

Nina might’ve liked having him there too, but decided she’d much rather have it this way. No temptations to frustrate her or urge her along. In fact, the one that sounded on the edge of his seat was Jay and that filled Nina with a sense of wicked power. She actually felt like the spicy fox. As if she had someone wrapped around her finger.

“What are you up to, Jay? I found I have a thing for lace.”

“Oh yeah? I’ll have to remember that.” There was a pause. “I already told you. I’m thinking about you. Wondering if you like someone listening as much as you like to be watched.”

“Who says I like to be watched?” Nina was betrayed by her own breathless voice. There wasn’t any lying about it, though. Knowing he was on the other end of the phone having to listen to her but not being able to touch or interact had a heady effect. She found herself chewing into her lip and giggling softly to herself

“Do you have any more instructions for me or are you preoccupied now?”

“Do you need more instructions? I’d thought you’d have figured things out by now,” he said slyly. “Unless… you want me to tell you what to do next?”

And then, “What’s your hand doing right now, Nina?”

Nina hadn’t done much since she answered the phone, but her hand was still in her panties and she gave her fingers a little wiggle. Her breath hitched a bit both from the reminder of what she was supposed to be doing, and because speaking it out loud was so much harder than writing it in a text. Nina could barely say curse words sometimes, getting specific about dirty details always had her blushing.

“Touching things…” she started slowly. That wasn’t spicy enough for a foxy temptress to say though, so Nina went silent for a second pondering something better. Once she had an idea or two, there was a slight twist of a smile on her face and her tone had shifted.

“There’s no sense in me keeping these panties on though, they’re soaking wet.”

“Well that depends,” replied Jay, slowly. “There’s the sensation of the fabric. Do you like feeling it rubbing you? The way it restricts your hand movements? Or would you rather be exposed?”

He laughed, low and a little breathless. “Are you trying to be coy? Touching where?

Nina huffed. He was really going to make her say it out loud! She couldn’t even think of a delicate way to phrase things without blushing. Even sending him pictures was easier.

“I’ve got my hand between my thighs, lazing about with two fingers in me and my thumb brushing my-” she couldn’t even say it straight. There was a soft giggle followed by a few unintelligible words. After a moment she stopped her giggling and muttered with a low voice.

“The only thing I like restricting me is you.”

“You horrible little suck-up,” he breathed. “I know for a fact that isn’t true. Remind me again how amazing your date was. Just for that… I ought to make you pinch your clit, but I’ve got a better idea. Do you have a hairbrush or anything with a long, rounded handle?”

Nina started laughing. He couldn’t possibly be jealous could he? He set her up with Dane to begin with, and she was sure by now he liked watching just as much as she liked being watched.

“I do,” she confirmed once her giggling stopped. “You sound a little frustrated, are you mad you weren’t invited too?”

“I’ll be less frustrated if you hurry up and get that for me,” he replied.

She had to fetch the hairbrush from the dresser, so it took her a moment to climb to her feet, cross the room, and scurry back; but Jay clearly heard the mattress springs depress when she hopped back on the bed.

“Good. Now get a condom,” he told her, “because you’re going to be putting that inside you in a minute.”

Nina glanced wide-eyed at her brush and then shot glance at the phone. She was going to do what now? That was just- Nina was very glad he couldn’t see her face, because she’d caught a glance of herself in the mirror and she looked all disheveled.

She leaned to open up her nightstand drawer to grab one of the condoms out of the box, then she scooted back on the bed to tear open the wrapper.

“This is not a smooth handle,” she mumbled to herself. The brush had those ribbed rubber handles that kept it from slipping out of your hands. Well. Now it had an extra layer of rubber.

“This seems a little odd, are you sure you don’t want me to grab the duckling?” she teased.

“If you could fit a rubber duck inside of you, I’d be impressed.” Jay snorted. “Take your panties off and get comfortable again. Run the handle over yourself until it’s wet. Use your fingers to help if you need to.”

Nina was starting to figure out the more clipped and professionally bossy he got, the more worked up he was. Which meant he was probably sitting there at the club with that dead serious, intense look on his face. Grinning to herself, she wiggled out of panties and tossed them to the side, then she laid back down in her cozy spot.

She was a little more wary about testing out a hairbrush on herself, and the ribbing turned out to have an interesting effect, drawing out a whispered oh, okay when she rubbed it over her clit. Nina was still pretty wet, and with a few slow, well placed strokes and a little unintentional squirming it was practically dripping.

“..okay… okay we’re definitely going to get me a toy.”

“Yes. We are.” He took a deep breath, then told her, “I want you to imagine that’s my cock while you fuck yourself on that brush. Don’t stop until you cum.”

“So you want me to think about you screwing me,” she laughed softly. “Are you thinking about it too?”

Nina took it painfully slow. It was one thing to push in her fingers and another to use a hair brush, but she was so slick the tip of handle just slid right on in without any resistance. She gasped and froze in place, counting to ten before she pushed it in farther. Her thighs and her inner muscles all clenched up and she shivered. Fingers were fine for shallow touches, but having something more solid buried deeper inside her had her sizzling.

And she was supposed to imagine it was Jay. What would that even be like? He always seemed to sneak something new in on her.

But Nina knew what he looked like when he came, and that thought had her legs shifting as she let out a long sigh.

“I’m doing more than thinking.” His voice had dropped lower, tighter. “What do you think about me doing to you, Nina? What do you want?”

Was he jacking off right there in the club? Nina slapped her hand over her mouth, muffling another sound before she pulled them away just enough so he could hear her clearly.

“I’d rather it be you right now than this dang brush,” she squeaked. That much was obvious though. Nina readjusted her grip on the hair brush, cause slow and steady was driving her nuts, and her heart was beginning to pound against her chest.

“When I’m in the shower, I think about letting you tie me up there,” she admitted, straining to keep her volume even. “You and hot water and cold tiles and fucking me so hard-“

A muffled sound cut her off. She’d given the so hard bit a try and now every part of her was throbbing.

“Do that again,” he growled, though he couldn’t possibly know exactly what she’d done.

“I’d fuck you until you’re raw,” Jay bit out. “Tease your clit until you came, over and over–“

Nina never had a chance. Even over the phone, something about him growling out what was surely promises made her stomach twist. There was no one for her to grab and cling onto, all Nina could do was slap her other hand down against her inner thigh and squeeze as if she could hold her own rolling hips while she kept pumping that brush until her wrist hurt.

And when she rubbed her thumb over her clit imagining Jay whispering in her ear, it was Nina who was coming, and coming, and coming. Too fast for her to have covered her mouth before she yelped, and too far gone to even care about who else on the other end of the phone could hear all the sounds she was making.

Fuck,” she heard Jay hiss in the background. His breath juddered along with her body.

As Nina lay panting, trying to recover, she heard a shaky chuckle. “I want another picture. I need to know what you look like right now.”

“Really,” she complained half-heartedly. She’d laid there for a few moments, not even pulling the brush out until every last shiver and convulsion stopped. Then, quite slowly, and murmuring a soft hrmph, out it came and the condom went into the wastebasket next to her nightstand.

The brush she gave a frown. How was she supposed to brush her hair now and not think about this? Nina opened up what was now dubbed the dirty duckling drawer and dropped it inside.

Rolling back over to the phone, she snapped a quick picture of her on her back and flipping him the finger with a cheeky grin.

“There. Now where’s mine?”

“What, you need something to look at later when you’re not allowed to get off?” he laughed. A moment later though, she got a message alert, and when she pulled up the photo she was greeted by Jay smirking at the camera.

“Game’s back on now,” he reminded her. “Think you can last now you actually know what to do with yourself?”

“I think you made a terrible mistake in giving me a night’s reprieve because now I’m fiiiiiine.” Even the way she said it, Nina sounded like a pleased purring house cat. All the tension she’d been building up over the past few weeks had been effectively erased with one lovely night of filthy relaxation.

“You know, I might not even need guy anymore. Maybe all I need is me.”

“You’re the one who was pushing for the date.”

There was a pause, and then he added, “It’s never been about winning for me, Nina.”

Click. The line went dead.

It was an abrupt hangup, but Jay hadn’t sounded upset. They usually texted, or talked in person, so maybe she just wasn’t used to his phone habits. Still, it was an odd thing to say and leave off on.

Trying Something New

Trying Something New 009

Nina’s revelation left her lighter than she had been in a long time. Though she’d worked through most of her ill feelings about her marriage, realizing the piece that’d been missing all along went a lot deeper than just boring sex and that she wasn’t crazy for thinking she was invisible in her relationship. It finally gave her a sense of closure. All those nights she feel guilty about her divorce were unnecessary, Nina deserved better and now she could recognize what she really needed in a relationship.

So when her casual texts with Dane turned into a date proposal, Nina was happy to accept. The unassuming professor had a lot of qualities she liked and Nina really wanted to get to know him better. As for Jay, she was still just as determined to finish the challenge and get him on a date too, but she also wasn’t beholden to him either. For now she was content to let things play out as they would and just enjoy the ride along the way.

“How were your students this week, Professor?” she asked, tugging lightly at Dane’s hand as they strolled down the sidewalk. Nina didn’t know where they were going yet, but they’d agree this was a date-date and they weren’t likely to hit the club unless they wanted to end the night there. She’d dressed for the occasion in a rich plum sweater with a velvet tie in the back, a pair of black jeans, and some lacy booted heels. It wasn’t club fancy, but it was upscale enough for a nice evening.

“Much the same as usual,” he answered, giving her a lopsided grin. He’d also dressed nicely, with the crisp waistcoat and tie look making a return, under a long wool coat to fend off the cool fall night air. “Most of the students who end up in my classes are set on going into either research or forensics, so I don’t have to deal with too much trouble. Especially at the beginning of the semester when they’re all trying to get on my good side.”

He glanced away and rubbed the back of his neck. “Still, they’re not always as attentive as I’d like. At some point I want to get a position at the university, you know. Work with grad students. Not to mention have access to the archives; you must get to see some fascinating material.”

“I do end up with all kinds of weird things in my hands,” she admitted. “The teaching staff get to put in requests for materials, so over the years the archive has ended up with everything from automobile catalogs from the 1930s to what I am pretty sure is a satanic bible because no one but the Occults professor wants to touch it.”

“They’d like you there,” she surmised with a laugh. “Maybe even a little too much. Most of the faculty seem to be older generations, so some young hot professor coming in would really shake things up for everyone.”

“Maybe you could introduce me sometime. But enough about that. I don’t want you to think I’m only after you for your connections.” Dane gave Nina a once-over, frowning. “You’re not cold, are you? Sorry, I should have told you we’d be walking.”

He lifted her hand up, rubbing her fingers between his, and breathed out a puff of visible steam against her skin. “Here, give me your other hand.”

Nina giggled softly and offered him her other hand by way of switching the side she walked on to make it easier. The man had this endearing awkwardness to him that somehow always made her feel less weird and awkward herself. It gave her the freedom to relax and not fret so much about impressing him or disappointing him.

“I’ll tell you a secret,” she lowered her voice and leaned in to whisper in his ear. “Girls don’t bring jackets on purpose so they can takes yours at the end of the night.”

“Oh. I see.” He laughed against her knuckles. “That’s good to know.”

Their destination, it turned out, was a small but cozy coffeehouse and cafe. The furniture was eclectic, apparently reclaimed from different sources–including old church pews that had been refurbished–and Dane grabbed them a table in the far corner with a set of comfy armchairs for seating. There was a bookshelf that formed a makeshift privacy screen, creating a secluded feeling without it being a proper booth.

“I know it’s nothing fancy,” he hedged, fiddling with a menu. “But I like this place. The food is quite good, and they have homemade ice cream if you’d rather just have dessert.”

“Icecream for dinner sounds really tempting,” she agreed, and it ended up being the first thing she looked over. There was a molten lava cake that sounded especially good, but hot soup on a chilly fall night also seemed appealing. Nina ended up leaning into Dane’s space and taking a glance at what he was checking out.

“What are your three favorite things? Hm. Three favorite things that are peanut free. I’m not allergic, mind you, but I can definitely do without.”

“Mine? Ah…” Dane’s long finger tapped against the menu’s surface. “I like their bagel and lox, or the grilled pastrami, but all the sandwiches are good. So is the Cajun chicken pasta.”

In the end Nina couldn’t resist a good pasta and wound up ordering a spiced iced tea to go along with it. She even happily explained why an icy spiced tea went so well with a Cajun dish and morphed into how she’d eventually like to take a vacation and see the Mardi Gras parades.

It didn’t take long for her to steer back to him though. Nina reached out to pull a little fuzzy off his sleeve.

“So I know that you aim to have tenure at the university and that you’d like a nice girl to tie up at home, what else do you like? What do you think you’re looking for in the rest of your life?” It was a big open ended question, and she seemed to know as much with the way she grinned and rest her chin in her hand.

He turned a little red, but he grinned back.

“I like to read. Both print and online. I also really like to meet new people and go new places, believe it or not.” Dane laughed and settled back in his chair, glancing off to the side. “I’d like to travel. There are so many fascinating places and cultures out there and I want to experience as much as I can. Another reason to get that university paycheck, I suppose.”

“You should see my books,” she exclaimed suddenly when she remembered. “I have so many old books! They’re all still packed away in boxes, but I bet you’d appreciate some of the first editions.” Somehow every time he blushed she just wanted to flirt a little harder to make him do it again. Did people do that to her when she got flustered? Now she understood why. It didn’t help that he was also kind of perfect in every where. Enough that it made her wonder if Jay had some sort of power to pluck just the right people out of the ether or if he were cloning then in a secret science lab.

“Everything I find out about you makes me like you more, but it also makes me curious about your hidden dark secrets,” she teased with a grin. “You can’t really be this so nice. Do you hate kittens? Did you kill someone when you were a teenager?”

“I’m not that nice.” He looked even more flustered than before, but there was also something slightly off in his expression. “You should know.”

Before she could question him further, their drinks arrived. Dane took a sip of his cappuccino and sighed. “I need to just buy an espresso machine. I spend too much money on coffee, but once you try the good stuff, the cheap instant kind just isn’t the same.”

“I don’t really do coffee,” Nina admitted with a smile. “Unless it’s mostly sugar and cream. Bonus if there’s chocolate and caramel too.”

He changed the subject so quickly that Nina just couldn’t let it go now. Guilt and shame was something she could recognize. When she first started dating again she basically felt like whore and took awhile for her to accept the fact that it was okay for a girl to enjoy sex and want to seek it out from someone other than their forever-husband.

Nina reached out with both her hands, laying them softly on his arm and tapping her fingers. There was nothing suggestive about the way she smile, just a little bit of light teasing.

“Are you still all shaken up by your first night in the den of wonders? I hope you’re not feeling guilty, because I still think you’re pretty nice…”

The look he gave her was a ghost of the Dane who’d pinned her neatly against the wall.

“I might be a little,” he admitted in a low tone, but then he exhaled shakily. “I confess I didn’t expect to get so, uh… aggressive. I think I’m supposed to have better control of myself, if what I’ve researched is to be believed. I’m glad I didn’t scare you off.”

“I loved it,” she confessed freely, her eyes a little wide and her smile just getting wider. “You didn’t hurt me at all. You even told me to tell you when I needed to stop and that’s a million times better than the first guy I met at the club. I had to pop that guy in the nose and I was so scared I was gonna get kicked out for it.”

Nina let go of his arm just long enough to dig in her purse and pull out her phone. She thumbed around until she found her checklist and then she slid it across the table to him.

“Look! You can see all the things I like and what I’m not sure about. It takes some of the uncertainty away about how much is too much, and really just asking your partner here and there if they’re still okay will make a world of difference too. All you ever have to do is ask.”

“Jay said something about checklists but I found the length intimidating,” said Dane. “Which is a bit silly, isn’t it, considering the kind of texts I’ve had to read.”

He tilted his head as he read through her checklist. “This is… thorough. You’re a very organized person, aren’t you? I unfortunately am not so good with things like charts or filing systems. I think the absentminded professor stereotype unfortunately holds up.”

His eyes lifted to hers and he gave her a tentative smile. “Maybe you could help me with that.”

Her face went a little red.

“I kind of went overboard on the organizing. I just- I can’t seem to answer things yes or no, but for you, we can definitely make it much simpler. You seem to know what you like much more decisively than I do.” Nina laughed, placing her hands against her warm cheeks to soothe some of the color away.

“We’ll make it easy. Green yes, red no, and yellow maybe. And you won’t have to look anything up and get increasing insane ads popping up on your google, because I’ll save you the trouble. All the googling was the hardest part anyway, but once it’s done it’s easy to change if you ever need to.”

Nina reached out again, tapping her fingers gently over his knuckles.

“I promise next time you try something you won’t regret it at all.”

It actually didn’t take that long to fill out Dane’s checklist, with her help, although he did blush furiously and freeze up when the server brought their food in the middle of a discussion about sensation play. It turned out he was in fact pretty sure of what he did and didn’t like, and was open to trying most of the rest.

A lot of what he liked matched pretty well with Nina’s checklist, as it happened.

“Thank you again,” he told her, setting down the phone in favor of his sandwich. “I was making this into more work than it really was, I guess.”

“If you weren’t at least a little bit scared about it, then I’d be worried.” Nina had met plenty of people that liked to think themselves as badass doms, and most of them freaked her out. She wouldn’t dare trust someone to tie her up if they seemed way too eager to make her suffer. That’s how people ended up murdered!

Pasta had been a great choice and after a few bites she let out of a happy sigh. The man had good taste in a lot of things, it turned out.

“Hm. Um! I meant to ask before where you learned how to tie multiple kinds of knots, but I supposed random knowledge like that probably comes from being an anthropology professor, the same weird way I somehow know that magicians love using shibari rope for their more complicated tricks thanks to the archives.”

Dane laughed and nearly choked on his sandwich. He took a large swallow of his cappuccino.

“Actually,” he managed, once he’d recovered, “I learned from my father. He was a Navy SEAL and he thought it was the sort of thing a boy should know. I… don’t think he would approve of the application, but…”

He gave a little shrug.

“That’s kind of amazing,” she laughed, but that did remind her of her own parents which went her hands up to her cheeks again. “Dang, I don’t think my parents would appreciate knowing what I’ve been up to either. They’re kind of sheltered, like I was too growing up, but they’re more so. My dad thinks he’s enlightened, but I’m sure he’d have a heart attack.”

Nina pushed that out of her head though, returning her attention to her plate and her very attractive date.

“We’ll just not tell our families what we’re up to. Especially since I’d like to see what you can do with a rope at least once,” she’d slipped it in so casually that her wicked smile was almost missed when she picked up her glass for a drink.

“Ah. Well.” Dane seemed suddenly very interested in his food. “…I can show you sometime. If you like.”

Somehow she had gotten away with it so smoothly and he seemed so flabbergasted, that it sent Nina into a fit of blushing laughter. He really was all kind of adorable and charming, and it was so different from the aggressively spicy person that he kept buried under his snazzy professor clothes. Nina couldn’t wait to see that again.

“I’d like to, yes,” she admitted once she tamped down her giggling. “I can trust you to take care of me? Since I’ve never really tried ropes with anyone before, it does make me a little nervous.”

“I definitely know what I’m doing, if that helps you feel better?” He grinned. “I mean, I haven’t actually tried it on anyone, but. I’ve had a lot of practice with tying the knots, and I know what is and isn’t safe.”

Clearing his throat, Dane reached across the table to take her hand.

“I wouldn’t let you get hurt,” he told her sincerely. “I promise.”

“Okay,” she agreed with a smile. Then she had to pause, biting into her lip as she tilted her head in thought.

“I do have one confession and caveat, though, and it’s going to sound weird and maybe be a deal breaker for you?” Nina glanced up at the ceiling, taking in a deep breath and hopefully not breaking out into flushing all over again. She ought to have brought it up at some point a little sooner, just to be fair, but there hadn’t been a good segue into the topic. She just wanted to make sure Dane didn’t get any surprises.

“You absolutely can’t get me hot and bothered,” she tried to explain delicately, but that wasn’t quite enough. “I mean, I can’t really- Um.” She finally just dropped her voice to a whisper. “No orgasms, Dane. Not a one.”

There was no escaping the red face, so Nina just barreled through.

“Jay gave me a frustrating challenge and we could wait until after I win it, but just in case, because I kind of really want to kiss you and it’s going to be hard to stop, I wanted you to know.”

“Oh. Uh.” He stared, green eyes widening for a moment, and then blinked. “I… Er. What–Okay?”

Dane started to pick up his sandwich again, and then stopped, his hands dropping back to the plate. He shook his head slowly.

“…Why is Jay–?” he began, but broke off before he finished the question. A strange expression crept across his face.

Nina realized very quickly that she handled this badly. She’d never actually had the discussion of dating multiple people with someone before. It had always been assumed in all her Tinder dates and technically she wasn’t even dating Jay, so she wasn’t exactly sure what to call him at the moment.

“I’m sorry,” she apologized first and foremost. “I guess I should’ve brought it up sometime before you even asked me out, it just didn’t occur to me.”

Her hands went under the table so she could fret and pull at her sweater’s sleeve cuffs without looking like a crazy person. But Nina supposed crazy might not be the words he was thinking of at the moment. She still tried to explain though, because he deserved the honesty.

“I’m dating. And that’s going to include doing spicy stuff if I meet someone I like. I’m not technically dating Jay at the moment, though. He’s my friend and kind of a mentor but we’ve got something weird going on? But he’s also a busybody that wants to see all his ducklings happy, so he’s introduced us. And I’m so glad he did because you’re wonderful and I didn’t think someone like you existed, so I do really want to keep seeing you? I understand if this is too complicated, though. I really, really should’ve talked about it sooner.”

“No. No, no, you’re fine,” Dane told her, waving off her apology. He was still making a strange face, but he didn’t seem angry, at least. “I–Honestly I feel a bit stupid, I should have realized when he talked to me about you, but this isn’t your fault. It isn’t–“

He took a deep breath.

“I’m not…” He faltered, but soon started back up again. “I like you, Nina. A lot. I just am not sure how I feel about, well… Right now we’re just starting out, and I have no expectations of exclusivity, but later on… And it’s not anyone, it’s Jay. He’s my friend, and I don’t want to cause problems in our friendship.”

“Jay should’ve thought about that himself before introducing us,” she grumbled. But then on considering it a little, differently, crossed her arms on the table and leaned on them. “Although, he had to have known we’d- well..! He’s knows us both, I don’t think he’d have introduced us at all if he wasn’t ready for the consequences.”

Nina also had to admit that Jay liked to throw curveballs, and she could only predict why he did the things he did up to a certain level. Everything else came at her sideways and she was constantly being surprised.

“We could always tie him up. I don’t think he’d appreciate it, though.”

Dane’s mouth twisted up. “That’s… not really my thing, Nina.”

He laughed, though, and it felt like a little of the tension eased out of the air. “God only knows what he had in mind. He’s overly meddlesome sometimes, isn’t he? You’re right that he must have known we’d click, but I also worry about getting in the way of the first girl since… well. At any rate. It might be a bit weird if we keep dating but… Just promise me you’ll tell me if something serious is going on, alright?”

“So I’m not going to get a filthy threesome,” she teased, returning his laugh with a cheeky grin.

He let an interesting tidbit slip out though. Nina always had a feeling there was something more to Jay’s reluctance to deal with her, especially when Tabby mentioned he hadn’t had a partner for a really long time. Now it was getting confirmed again, and Nina was pretty sure he was scared of her. Not necessarily of her personally, but of whatever she reminded him of.

“I promise,” she confirmed easily. “At the end of the day we all want the same thing, so I won’t be anything other than honest!”

After they left the coffeehouse and walked back to the car (Nina wrapped in Dane’s coat, as he’d remembered what she said before), the drive back to Nina’s place passed in comfortable silence. It was only when Dane pulled up in front of Nina’s apartment building and didn’t immediately kill the engine that she noticed he was maybe not quite as comfortable as she thought.

“…I had wanted to ask if I could come in,” he finally confessed, tapping his fingers against the steering wheel, “but then you had to go and tell me that I can’t–That you don’t want to–“

She laughed out loud again, having to quickly cover her mouth with her hands.

“Oh, I wan’t to,” she reaffirmed. “I just can’t. I’m going to win this challenge if it kills me.”

Nina shifted in her seat to face a little more towards him, that mischievous wicked look crossing her features again.

“Although, there is only the one thing I can’t do, and there really isn’t any reason why I can’t enjoy doing all kinds of other things. Pretty sure you haven’t been banned from anything, either…”

“Other things?” he asked, his tone dropping lower, and gave Nina a look. She was pretty sure Dane could pin someone with his eyes alone, when he looked at them like that. “Nina, I want–Fuck, I want to make you lose.”

That statement had her freezing and her breath hitching in her throat. Even her mouth went dry so it took a moment for her to find her senses again. Nina tucked her hair behind her ears before she thoughtfully tapped her fingers against her mouth.

“You could try,” she tested the words. Apparently she was a glutton for punishment and incapable of taking the easy road. Nina was just so interested in seeing what Dane could do. “Maybe if there were some rules…”

He killed the engine like it was reflex.

“Whatever you want,” he breathed. “Name your rules. Just let me come upstairs with you.”

This was a terrible idea and the more she thought about it the more fun it sounded. Nina would be really pushing her limits and risking her win on something she really didn’t need to be doing. But that was kind of what made it so appealing.

Nina grinned wide.

“Okay. Game rules. No orgasms for Nina, but you still can. And if you do it’s game over. And if I howl about tow trucks you have to stop. Is this good?”

Dane half-dragged her out of the car and up the stairs to her apartment. They didn’t even make it inside before he pressed her face-first against her own front door, his large hands running over her stomach.

“I’ve been wanting to touch you again,” he growled into her hair. “I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.”

Nina might’ve bitten off more than she could chew. There was a rawness to his voice that she hadn’t been expecting, nor was she expecting the way it’d make her shudder.

“You haven’t been the only one,” she muttered. She fumbled at getting to her purse with the awkward position, at least pushing off from the door just enough to get the key in the knob.

They practically fell through the door when it opened, but Dane caught her around the waist and managed to keep them both upright. He kicked the door closed and turned Nina around to face him.

“I can’t get you out of my head,” he told her, and pulled her into a bruising kiss. Just his arms were enough to restrict her movements, keeping her close to his body; he was stronger than he looked. It felt like he was meticulously mapping every inch of her mouth with his tongue.

Nina laughed into his mouth, though that didn’t last long. Once Dane got going he just sort of radiated sex. She didn’t know if it was pheromones or auras or what, but it was intoxicating and had her giving back just as much as she was getting. Her arms didn’t have anywhere to go but around his body, with her fingers digging into his waistcoat.

He held her so tight she could kick her feet up off the ground, but found that her lacy boots were just a little too snug for her to get off without help. And she was way too busy gentle scraping her teeth along his tongue and getting her own involved to even bother trying to ask.

e made a low, rumbling sound from deep in his chest and backed Nina against the nearest vertical surface, nearly upsetting a pile of her boxes. His hands dropped down to the backs of her thighs, guiding her legs up around his waist.

When he finally broke away from the kiss, he glanced around wildly. His normally straight-laced appearance was wrecked, his waistcoat and tie tugged out of place by Nina’s fingers and his hair mussed, his pupils blown.

“God. Shit. Which way’s your bed?” he asked shakily, his breath hitching as he rolled his hips against hers.

The professor had gone feral, which left Nina feeling light headed and delighted. She was giggling again, but now that her arms were temporarily free, she shrugged out of his wool jacket and tossed somewhere on the stack of moving boxes. Then she slid her arms around his neck to hold tight and test her grip.

He was strong. Dane didn’t look it at all, but underneath her fingertips she could feel it. Nina knew a few valuable self defense moves, but she didn’t have any sort of muscle or strength in her limbs. He made her feel tiny and vulnerable and it was scary in the best ways.

She finally tilted her head back and pulled an arm away to point towards the tiny cut out “hall” and the one ajar door that led to her room.

He kissed her again. More accurately, he bit her mouth and then licked his way inside.

Somehow they made it to Nina’s room–surprising, considering that he never once set her down and that he stopped twice to slam her against the wall again and kiss her until she was a limp mess. When they finally did hit the bed, Dane set her down with an incongruous gentleness even as he settled his knees onto her mattress, her thighs still gripping his waist.

His hands rose to rip his tie loose. For a long moment, he stared down at her, breathing ragged.

“Tell me again that you want this,” he growled, seizing her wrists and yanking them up over her head.

Nina had to take in a few slow, deep breaths and count in her head. If she got swept up in it too fast, there was no way she was going to be able to control her feelings, let alone her body. She needed to think of this like… like… doing the laundry! There was nothing hot or sexy about laundry.

Dang, he looked so good all disheveled and wild.

“I definitely want this,” she agree with a breathy whisper and a nod of her head.

Without further prompting, he knotted his tie around her wrists with practiced ease. Leaning forward, he looped the other end of the tie around the bar at the top of her headboard, just high enough that her arms felt stretched out from her current prone position.

He slid down, pushing her sweater up to expose her breasts, and tugged the underwire of her bra with his teeth before running his tongue along the dip of her cleavage.

This wasn’t what Nina had in mind when she decided to go for a little bit of industrial vibes for her new bedroom furniture, but it was a pleasant bonus. She wiggled her fingers making sure she still had proper blood flow, and then she relaxed into being at the mercy of a very worked up professor.

Well, maybe not relax. Her breath caught the second wet tongue touched her skin and she found herself squirming just a bit when his warm breath fell over a ticklish spot. Nina moistened her lips, where she was still a little puffy from fervent kissing and tried to keep taking in slow breaths.

His mouth continued to pepper her breasts with kisses and small nips and rough scrapes of his teeth. Meanwhile his hands slipped down to yank at her jeans button. Her pants were peeled down right along with her underwear–as far as the top of her lacy boots.

“Nina,” he panted, pushing her knees even wider, and sank his teeth into the top of her thigh. “You’re so–you’re perfect.”

Nina was used to moving fast, jumping on somebody and banging it out. The fact she couldn’t speed things along by getting her hands on him and getting him out of that waistcoat and shirt was both frustrating and exciting. All she had to do was endure a little delicious torture until he wore himself out, right? She hadn’t accounted for her awful insecurities and how simple compliments in the moment would turn her stomach upside down, though.

“You really shouldn’t say stuff like that right now,” she whispered, somewhere in the statement her breath hitched again when she felt teeth on the delicate skin of her thigh. Nina wriggled again, finding there wasn’t much room for moving her legs when she couldn’t she the fabric past her boots.

“I’m stuck!” she stated with a squeak, knowing he likely did it on purpose, but also knowing he’d enjoy having that confirmed.

Judging by the muffled sound Dane made into her skin, Nina was right. The next moment, she was rewarded with a hot wash of his breath over her folds, followed by his tongue working inside of her.

She heard the tell-tale metallic teeth of a zipper. Dane fumbled with something out of her line of sight, and then there was a crinkling sound. He let out a low hiss.

“Need to do this again,” he bit out, the words vibrating straight through her clit. “I want to make you come so hard you scream.”

Sitting up, he licked a path up her stomach and then steadily began to push his length into her, his hands on her hips bearing her down around him. He shuddered as she reflexively clenched.

“Don’t you dare, Dane,” she croaked out. Nina did not need his help getting any wetter and she almost made a muffled complaint when he stopped laving his tongue on her. But then he pushed his cock inside her and she gasped, rolling her hips up to meet him out of reflex and having to mentally tell herself to stop it.

“Do you love plants, Dane, because I love plants!” Her voice was absolutely cracked and high pitched, but she had to do something to distract herself from the way every single one of her muscles were coiled up so tight. Nina was so afraid to move, yet she still wound up hugging his hips with her knees.

“I’ve got you,” he breathed, which didn’t answer her question but still felt reassuring. For a few moments he was perfectly still, the tendons in his neck and shoulders straining with the effort as he gave her time to wind down a little.

It wasn’t a long reprieve. He started to move inside of her and wound up growling, slamming his hips forward. He thrust into her hard, over and over, his forehead dropping against the bedspread beside Nina’s head. The way he fucked her was the exact opposite of the careful, sweet, hesitant Dane who’d taken her to dinner. The noises he made barely even sounded human.

She could feel how close he was, but he just seemed to keep on going.

What a nightmare not being able to move! Nina tugged once or twice on the tie binding her wrists, turning her head towards her arm to muffle the loud, plaintive groan that escape. She didn’t doubt for a second that he’d be able to make her scream, as the heavy gasps she made and the sudden frustrated exclamations were all she could do to send that energy somewhere.

Even then sometimes she’d forget, and the scrape of buttons against the bare skin of her stomach would make her tense and her stomach dip and the small rock of her hips would have him landing in just the right spot to have her tilting her head back and sighing soft curses.

The louder Nina got, the more Dane tensed up and the rougher he grew with her. When she made a particularly high noise, he slid one hand higher up her body to knead her breast through her bra, making a wrecked noise of his own.

“Say my name,” he rasped, the rocking of his hips stuttering to a crawl.

Nina shivered and gave a soft staggering laugh that turned into another one of those pained, frustrated sounds. She couldn’t be sure if slower was better or worse. It did, however give her a chance to catch her breath and attempt to slow her pounding heartbeat before it burst right out of her chest. Trying to keep herself from letting go, and keeping her body so taut, had her skin feeling shiny and her muscles quivering.

Dane.” She said his name like he was killing her. “God, I wish I could come right now..!”

He gave a strangled answer, and then surged forward to kiss her so hard that she felt raw. Shuddering, he pumped rapidly, and then she could feel him twitch inside her too.

“Fuck,” he gasped into her mouth, sounding almost defeated. He groaned as the aftershocks rolled over him, unable to completely stop his hips until he rode it out.

So hot,” she squeaked through her clenched teeth. “Oh my god, I’m going to die.”

Nina was being a little dramatic but she felt like her muscles were on fire, and she hadn’t suffered through anything so sweet and spicy sexy in her whole life. She squeezed him with her legs again because she couldn’t kick her feet and glanced up where her hands were bound to see if she could weasel her way out of it with a little bending.

“I need a cold shower right now and oh my god, I want to see you naked, but I can’t- I can’t. Ice water now, naked later. Naked during! I can’t stand up!”

Dane groaned again, but he slipped the knot loose from her wrists and brushed her hair away from her face.

“You’re sure?” he tried one last time, though he’d clearly accepted that she was going to insist.

Immediately her arms went around his neck and she kissed him like she’d been starving for affection her entire life. For a moment it seemed like she might’ve changed her mind, as she slipped her hands into his hair to hold him tight while she ravished his mouth and even went as far as trying to pop the first few buttons of his shirt.

Finally she was giving an anguished moan and pulling away to shake her head, and didn’t look a bit happy about it.

“Shower. Icy shower.”

Trying Something New

Trying Something New 008

A paper takeout bag crinkled as it settled onto her desk.

“As requested,” Jay told her as his shadow fell across her. When she looked up he was leaning casually against the edge of her workspace, a to-go cup in his hand until that too was set in front of her. “Don’t worry, it’s not coffee. Chai latte.”

He looked good, as per usual. The leather jacket, the v-neck sweater and dark jeans, his hair slightly wind-tousled but otherwise well-kept. His blue eyes scanned her face and then moved downward.

“Nice scarf,” he said. It sounded perfectly innocent, but Nina could tell that he knew.

“Oh, you like it? They come in handy when you don’t want coworkers to gossip too much,” There was some sass to her tone, but not overly much. Nina was frustrated with him, not actually angry. Jay basically embodied the term playing hard to get, and she enjoyed the game. …most of the time.

Before she started in on a lecture he well deserved she had a swallow of the chai and immediately felt the tiniest bit better. She was always starving by lunch time, since she never bothered with breakfast. Nina went rummaging through the paper bag.

“Why on earth would you send me a rope tying professor? Are you really that afraid of going on a date with me yourself?”

“I thought you’d like him,” Jay said. “Looks like I was right.”

She hadn’t even told him her favorite sandwich, but somehow he’d managed to hit the nail on the head on that, too. There was a half cup of butternut squash soup to go with it, and a small bag of potato chips.

“Do you ever properly feed yourself?” he wanted to know, watching her tear open her food. “I get that you don’t want to cook for one person, but that’s no excuse to skip meals.”

“I can sleep more if I skip breakfast,” she defended after swallowing a bite of sandwich. There was no doubt that she could pack it all away in the span of five minutes, but it seemed she’d be too busy fussing at him.

“This is not about me!” she wagged a finger at him. “This about you going out of your way to find me someone I’d genuinely want to see again. Were you hoping I’d get bedazzled by him and forget that I like you? Because I can like two people at once. And I have all kinds of new ideas now. Filthy ideas, Jay!”

Suddenly Nina realized her volume was way too high for the office and she quickly slapped her hand over her mouth. She leaned in her chair to peer around at the other desks and off to where the rows of shelves stood. Most all of her coworkers had left for lunch. They tended to head off to one of the student cafeterias, or out somewhere fancy instead of eating in the office. Nina herself was only there for lunch because it was a convenient place to yell at Jay.

Despite her shouting, Jay was grinning at her when she turned back around.

“You say that like it’s a bad thing.” He leaned across the desk to brush a crumb off of her cheek with his thumb. “Are you sure you’re not mad because you think you can’t have what you want?”

Before she could answer, he straightened up again, crossing his arms over his chest.

“Dane’s my friend,” he explained patiently. “You’re also my friend. I thought you two had potential. And I thought it would be good for both of you to meet. He needed someone to give him a push to actually join the scene, and you… You needed to see a newbie get hooked by their first point of contact in the lifestyle.”

“I am definitely mad because I’m not getting what I want,” she grumbled back. And what a revelation to have. What a bratty little punk way for her to feel! When did she go from never asking, to now demanding and expecting things to go her way? Not only was she a nymphomaniac, she was turning into Tabby. Nina had officially lost her mind somewhere.

Several more bites of her sandwich disappear while she tried to dissect the rest of his statement.

“Why?” she finally asked, sighing as she leaned back in her chair. “What do you mean by me needing to see? Because if you’re going to tell me that people are easily caught up and swept away by their first experiences, I know. Boy, do I know.”

“Do you?” Jay’s eyes were piercing. “Then you should know why I wanted to make a point.”

“Did you ask me here for any other reason than to pout at me?” he asked, circling around her desk and taking a seat on the edge. There was an amused little smile on his face as he reached out and toyed with the end of her scarf. “Or was that about it?”

“Hrm,” was her simply huffy reply. Nina finished off her sandwich and licked the salt and little bit of mayo from her fingers before she was after the soup. She would’ve been happy with just the sandwich alone, but butternut squash was such the perfect companion to turkey on rye and she drank it straight from the cup.

Despite all of her fussing, Nina understood why Jay was being difficult. He wasn’t actually being difficult, really. He was a natural caretaker sort of person who also was such a Daddy, that it wouldn’t have mattered if she was the most well rounded, smartest, capable, or experienced person in the world. Jay would probably still make a fuss about being sure she knew what she was doing and knew all her options. Even though she was incredibly frustrated by it, she still respected it.

“I’m not pouting,” she finally said, twisting her chair away from him once she’d set down the empty soup container. “I’m expressing my frustrations in a constructive way! Thank you for the free lunch,” Now that’d fussed at him, the humor in her voice had crept back in.

“Who said it was free?” He hadn’t let go of her scarf even when she’d turned away, and now she felt a short, firm tug around her neck. “I didn’t come all the way down here for nothing.”

A little jolt of elation flipped in her stomach and it took everything in her to not let that show on her face or in her movements. Nina leaned all the way back in her chair, lifting her arm up to look at the gold chain bracelet on her wrist as if it were a watch.

“I don’t know, Jay. My colleagues will be back in half and hour and I’m just not sure I have enough time. I have a ten in my wallet though, is that good?”

“Get your ass out of that chair right now.” Jay yanked on the scarf again, harder this time, and it tightened briefly around Nina’s throat. “As much as I’d be fine doing this right here… I think you’d be mad about the security cameras.”

He stood up off of her desk, smiling down at her. “If you’ve only got thirty minutes, I guess you’ll have to hop to it.”

“You have such a beautiful way with words,” she commented. Why did she enjoy sassing at him so much? Nina had rarely ever done it to Shaun. Although, that might’ve been because Shaun always seemed to think she was insulting him or being rude, even when it was clearly exaggerated teasing. Actually getting to say all those snappy comebacks that first come to mind was a refreshing change.

Casting only a brief look up at the ceiling towards the nearest security camera, Nina twisted up her mouth in a thoughtful frown. Jay wouldn’t get her into any serious trouble at work, she was pretty sure, even if he was plotting something new to thwart her challenge win. So whatever he was up to wouldn’t be too much for her to handle.

Nina stood up, smoothing her hands down her sides so the skirt of her striped sweater dress would fall back to it’s proper length, then pointed towards the small hall that led off to the private archives.

“Did you want to see the university’s private collection?”

The moment the door shut behind them, Jay put his hands on Nina’s hips and walked her back against a bookcase. He glanced around, probably checking to make sure they were actually out of clear view, and then reached up to run a finger over the scarf. His thumb managed to find the exact spot where it obscured her hickey and dig in gently.

“You’ve been bad,” he told her, though he didn’t actually sound upset. If anything, he was fighting a laugh. “Getting marked by someone else isn’t going to convince me to date you. Are you sure you really like me that much?”

Nina was starting to wonder if Jay had been lurking at the club and spying the entire time she was on her date. That filthy thought sent flushing heat down the back of her neck and she had to bite into her lip. She couldn’t recall if that were a thing on his list, but she was quickly realizing that it needed to be a greenlit one on hers.

She was itching to put her hands on his jacket and after a moment of debating went ahead and gripped the open edges just to see if it was that nice soft leather or something stiffer.

“I asked you if there were any rules or caveats for that date and you didn’t give me any, in fact, you said I should enjoy myself and I did. So that is all definitely all your fault.”

His jacket was firm but yielding in her grip. Sturdy, but well worn and soft material.

“Is that so?” Jay asked, grinning. “I don’t know, Nina. I think you need to prove it to me.”

Pulling the scarf free slowly, he took a moment to inspect her bruise. The pads of his fingers smoothed over it like it might rub off. Then, in a matter of seconds, Jay had taken her wrists and twisted them behind her back.

“Here’s a rule. No hands.” The scarf looped expertly and securely around her wrists, knotting tight.

“That- Hm.” Could they do this at work? It was all well and fun to daydream about it, but being tied up in the archives was a few steps above making out in one of the janitor closets. What if someone came back from lunch early? What if one of the professors decided they needed a particular book about medieval tapestry and couldn’t wait for a sign in? Her heart was already thumping several beats faster.

Nina didn’t stop him, though. But her voice did drop to a high pitched whisper.

“What exactly did you want me to prove without my hands? I’m not going to let you get away with sneaky things to ruin my challenge!”

Jay raised an eyebrow.

“Use your imagination.” His fingers slid into her hair, combing across her scalp. “I know you’re not this innocent, Nina. Do I have to spell it out for you?”

Nina’s imagination certainly had a few ideas, maybe even too many ideas. Unfortunately what she wanted to go down didn’t necessarily line up with her bigger pictures plans, as enjoyable as it might be.

“I can’t read your mind,” she responded, wide-eyed. Though she was playing it coy, it was still an honest statement. Nina could think of all kinds of suggestions, but she had no intention of making it easier for him to torment her. “What would you like me to do? It’ll be awfully hard to text Dane and tell him I can’t get spicy anymore if I can’t use my hands.”

Jay leaned in, his lips ghosting across hers.

“Get on your knees and suck my cock,” he said, shoving down on her shoulder and pressing his thumb into the hickey at the same time. His other hand skimmed down across the front of her dress, stroking her abdomen. “Is that clear enough for you?”

What!” Immediately she burst into laughter, her head tilting back against the bookshelf. It’s not like the thought hadn’t rattled around in her dozens of ideas, but actually hearing it out loud in that soft suggestive voice of his was almost too much.

Her teeth dug into her bottom lip again. This one required a little bit of thought. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d done it by far, nor was it something she had an issue with. But at work? Without her hands? Nina didn’t tend to have any confidence in her skills in a private setting, being in a risky setting like this was a little nerve wracking. She could legitimately get fired if the wrong person walked in. Still, there was a little thrill in the demand and being asked to do something outside of her comfort zone.

Nina also really, really like the idea of seeing if she could get him to lose his cool.

“Okay,” she finally answered with a whisper, already sliding down against the bookcase. “If that’s all you want.”

“For now.” There was definitely a promise in the words.

Jay reached down to undo the button of his jeans for her, but that was all the help she got. He was already visibly half-hard as she sank to her knees.

“That’s all you, you know,” he told her, his fingers slipping into her hair again. His thumb brushed her bruise. “This too. I almost feel a little bad for Dane.”

Being someone who was sensual and sexual didn’t come natural to Nina, at least, she didn’t believe it did. What she felt was shy and awkward, and like she looked completely ridiculous. A little bit of encouragement went a long way though, and she always seemed to have that tiny spark of something that made her want to prove herself despite it. Once she was comfortably on her knees, she she had to remind herself she was on a time limit too. There wasn’t any time for her to be insecure.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she denied with a soft breath. She then caught the fabric of his jeans with her teeth and gave a sharp tug, finding herself trying to stifle her giggling. The least he could have done was pull down the zipper too! Nina didn’t balk, though. She flicked the zipper up with her tongue, high enough so she could snag it with her teeth and then it was just a matter of bending until she pulled it all the way down.

His fingers petted the nape of her neck.

“Of course not. Your moron of an ex-husband didn’t appreciate what he had.” Jay let out a small huff of laughter. “It’d be really funny if it didn’t piss me off.”

Nina had to pause for a moment, resting her forehead against his stomach while she tamped down that sudden flush of embarrassment and pleasure. Even if she did have her face in his crotch, him being pissed off about her ex was nice to know. Oh, plenty of people had told her that her ex was a moron, most of which just being happy to get laid, but from Jay it was just a little bit more believable. He didn’t have the same kind of agenda.

Well. He had an agenda, but apparently it was making things as difficult for Nina as possible. She had to swallow more of her giggling until she finally got his pants undone and tugged out of the way, only to find there were boxers for her to deal with too. At least she knew now, for sure, Jay definitely enjoyed her company.

“Jaaaay,” she tilted her head back to complain, simply for the sake of being dramatic, but refused to ask him for any help. In fact, after an annoyed huff, she applied a very liberally amount of pressure with her tongue in trying to get a hold of that tiny little button on his boxers.

He laughed again, louder this time, and moved to tug his underwear out of the way for her.

“Is that better, sweetheart?” he teased. His thumb ran over Nina’s lips, and then both of his hands were curled tightly in her hair. He gave a gentle tug. “Come on. We don’t have all day.”

“You’re real bossy for someone in such a vulnerable position,” she muttered, already breathless and her face no doubt in three shades of red. She almost shushed him too for being so loud, but she had a much more effective way to do that.

Nina licked the length of him before anything else, taking delight in the twitch and way he swelled even harder. She was deliberately ginger about guiding his tip into her mouth, restricting her tongue’s attention to just the head before Nina bent forward and tested just how far she could slide him into her mouth.

Her hands clenched tight behind her, among other things.

“Who’s vulnerable?” he breathed, rolling his hips to push further into her mouth. She felt him bump the back of her throat. “You’re the one tied up and kneeling.”

As if to prove a point, he yanked on her hair again, his fingertips digging into her scalp. Nina could hear a different note creeping into his voice, though, something raw and low that reminded her of the way he’d looked at her that night at the club.

Nina made a quick surprised squeak and even had to readjust herself on the floor, but she didn’t make a move to pull away. To answer the question, she gave the very softest graze of her teeth against his delicate skin, soothing immediately with a swirl of her tongue.

She certainly wasn’t giggling now. The look he gave her was dangerous in all the best kind of ways and Nina had to remind herself she actually needed to breathe. When she did it came out as a humming sigh.

“Nina,” he said, warning. He stroked a finger along her jawline. “If you don’t keep your teeth to yourself I’ll leave you hogtied on your desk.”

Nina didn’t doubt for a second that he would after their last exchange, and wisely chose not to test it. Didn’t stop her from giggling, though, what little bit of giggling that could slip through with her mouth occupied. From there she was much more well behaved, even finding a comfortable rhythm of bobbing her head as she sucked and licked every inch she could fit in her mouth.

That was about the only thing that was comfortable though, because between her thighs was throbbing almost in time with her heartbeat. With her squirming she could already feel the damp fabric of her panties shifting against her skin.

“Sit still,” he growled, when she wriggled a little too much. “Don’t you dare.”

Jay’s hips moved to meet her mouth again, fingers tightening.

“You do not get to come,” he told her in a voice that cut straight through her. “You’re going to sit here and take this like a good girl. I know you can take this, Nina, you’re doing so good.”

Nina made a very loud plaintive sound that might’ve been something akin to Then shut up Jay!, because now that he’d practically snarled at her not to, she couldn’t stop thinking about it and really wanted to. She dug her fingernails into her palms, hoping that’d help her focus on anything beyond his face where he was giving the sort of expression that sent shivers down her spine.

She’d quit her squirming, though the cost was her ever increasing staggered breathing and the faint breathy groans she’d make every time she shifted and had to stop herself.

“Jesus,” he swore, pressing his face against the stacks. Her hair was tangled around his fingers, his shallow thrusts timed with her bobbing rhythm. When she whined around him he made an answering noise in the back of his throat and pumped harder.

She felt him pulse on her tongue.

“You have about three seconds to decide if you’re going to swallow,” Jay said tightly.

That was barely enough of a warning, but Nina wasn’t about to hold anything in her mouth long enough to go running to spit it out nor was she she going to let him leave any evidence while she was at work. Didn’t stop her from making a surprised cry when he finally came or the way she jumped. Nor did it prevent the agonized sigh that escape after she’d swallowed. It was more painful staying still and staving off that warm flush of heat in her skin that any of his hair pulling. Nina was pretty sure she was going to pass out and Jay’d have a hell of a hard time explaining to her coworkers what happened without scandalizing the lot of them.

The way he was cupping her face as he shuddered through it was unmistakably affectionate. He pulled away from her and then crouched down to kiss her forehead.

“You okay, sweetheart?” he asked softly, still petting her cheeks and smoothing down her hair. His eyes scanned her face. “Gonna make it? Tell me what you need.”

Nina did not expect to suddenly start crying.

“No, no, I’m okay!” She had to gasp out, before he got the wrong idea and thought she was hurt or regretted any part of it. All of her feelings were a complicated jumble of sexual tension, an intense high from risky excitement, and his soft affection. Then the simple thing of asking her what she needed, somehow just sort of tipped her over the edge. A year of exploring different partners and positions and styles of spicy sex had all be amazing, but apparently the thing that was missing from her sex life was having someone ask her if she was okay.

And she still hadn’t come and it was freaking killing her.

She sucked in a breath and tried to let it out slowly, but just ended up with a hiccuped laugh.

“I’m okay, I just- Can you untie me so I can actually touch you, please.”

Without hesitation, he pulled the knots loose and slipped her wrists free of the scarf, then gathered her into his arms.

“Shh,” he told her, pressing a kiss to her forehead. With one hand, he tucked himself back into his pants and zipped himself up, but the other continued to stroke soothing circles against her back and wrists. His knuckles brushed at her tears. “It’s okay, Nina. I’ve got you.”

Nina squeezed her eyes shut and buried her face at his neck, slipping one of her arms around him under his jacket while her other hand rotated between tapping a palm lightly against his shoulder and balling up into a fist. It took her a few moments of sucking in a breath, counting to ten, and then letting it out slowly before her body eased off from it’s coiled tension and melted back to normal.

“God, I’m so glad I didn’t end up crying on somebody else, that would’ve been so mortifying,” she whispered, finally shifting to unhide her face. “I’m sorry! That really wasn’t about you, or any of this, I really liked this. I just-” Nina groaned and tilted her head back. She didn’t even know how to explain it.

“I know. It’s okay.” Jay just continued to hold her until she calmed, brushing her hair back out of her face. There was a small frown tugging at the corner of his mouth as he studied her, and Nina could hear the wheels turning. “I pushed too much. You need to take the rest of the day off if you can manage.”

“No, nope, you have to listen,” she protested, grabbing his head to keep it still and make sure she caught his eye. Nina gave him her best wide-eyed earnest stare. “Don’t start thinking you’re a Bad Daddy. It’s not about you and it’s not what we did. Please trust me, I promise it’s not.”

Nina pulled her hands away, but didn’t move from her comfortable little nook. She was going to take advantage of the moment for as long as she was allowed to, and if someone walked in and found them, well, that was fine. She’d have plenty of good reasons for why she looked a mess!

“I just realized no one had ever actually asked me if I was okay after or if I needed anything. Not before I got to the club. None of my dates had, not even in Shaun, and I was so worked up already it just kinda got me at a really weird moment! Okay? I swear I’m good. I’m- I’m probably better than I’ve been, really.”

That was good for her to know, because now, even if she and Jay never dated for real, Nina finally knew what she actually needed and was looking for and everything from there would be icing on the cake.

“I told you this would be intense,” he reminded her. His hands moved down her back, kneading out the knots. “You need to listen to me, too. You’re not going back to work today.”

Jay wasn’t pushing her away, either. He seemed perfectly content to let her hang all over him as long as she wanted to, while he soothed her with soft words and calming touches and just his solid, warm frame supporting hers.

“Let’s get you up off the floor,” he told her. “I’m taking you home.”

Trying Something New

Trying Something New 007

A few days later, Nina was at her cousin’s, because he’d called and asked her to come keep Tabby company while he was at work.

“I just don’t know what’s going on with Scorn!” Tabby was lamenting, flopping around on Cameron’s bed like a fidgety cat. “There’s just too much drama! I think I’ll stay here with Cameron for a while. Cam’s so great, he always has time to listen. No one understands me like he does, Nina. I just wish he’d stop making a big deal out of the fact we used to date.”

She eyed Nina curiously. “Are you okay? You keep looking at your phone all twitchy-like.”

Nina knew for a fact that Cameron didn’t understand Tabby at all and that was half the problem, but the girl caught her fidgeting with her phone again. Texting with Jay was a daily habit now and she’d been too busy at work today to send him any cute selfies, and now that she wanted to sulk about being a babysitter he wasn’t texting her back fast enough.

“I’m not being twitchy. And the guy’s name is Scorn, really what do you expect out of him besides drama?” she countered back. “He’s probably out menacing the streets of Gotham or something.”

“Nina,” Tabby said slowly, as if she were speaking to a five-year-old, “Scorn isn’t a guy.”

She made a dive suddenly for Nina’s phone. Snatching it up, she made a face when she saw Nina’s current window. “Ugh, not Jay again! Are you banging him yet or what? Is he why you blew off poor Marcus?”

“Well you can let Scorn know they’re doing androgynous really well!” Nina shouted back. She almost tackled Tabby for the phone, but the girl would only think there was something even more juicy on it. It was easier to just let her have it.

“I didn’t blow off Marcus, you know. We actually had a nice conversation over drinks and he understood I wasn’t ready for a vampire’s lifestyle.”

She hesitated answering about Jay, though. She never really had anything useful to say about him and Nina didn’t feel like he needed her to defend his honor either. But Tabby was already scrolling her her messages, and Nina had to admit it all looked pretty salacious.

“We’re not banging but if you have to know, we might be involved in a tiny challenge that I am sure to win, which is why I said no more blind dates for a couple weeks.”

Then she couldn’t help it, she pounced to rescue her phone.

“Noooo,” wailed Tabby, squirming as she tried to hold onto her prize. “At least tell me some details! Does he make you call him Daddy? Give me something!”

As she tried to keep the phone from Nina, it buzzed in her grasp.

“Did you tell him no blind dates?” Tabby asked, holding the phone above her head and peering at the screen. “He wants you to see some dude named Dane on Friday.”

The only time Nina ever called Jay Daddy was when she was being a facetious little punk. But before she could say as much, she was thrown.

What. Give me it!”

Now with questions on the line, Nina was a little more determined to wrestle Tabby still, finally just flat out sitting on her to pry the phone out of her hands. Having the height and weight advantage really came in handy sometimes.

Tabby made an indignant noise as Nina wrested the phone back. Sure enough, Nina had a new message from Jay.

Friday, 9PM. Dress up. You’re meeting Dane at the club.

Who is Dane and why am I wearing my cute clothes for him?

She texted immediately, scowling with confusion down at her phone. Nina also stayed right where she was sitting, because sometimes Tabby needed to be reminded that Nina wasn’t Cameron and unlike him, Nina could beat her up if she ever had to.

Dane’s a friend. I think you’ll like him.

“Don’t pick on me because you’re not getting laid,” Tabby sulked. “Do you even think you two would really work out? I mean, don’t you think that stuff’s kind of silly?”

You know I’m trying not to date this month. You’re being sneaky again.

“Not getting laid by choice. And what do you mean silly? Which stuff is silly?” she asked offhand, still thumbing another text.

Did you want me to try anything special on this date, or do I just get to do my Nina things?

Just be your cute self and have fun.

Tabby made an exaggerated sighing noise. “The whole Daddy Dom, baby girl thing! I mean you’re not exactly the type! If someone bought you a stuffed animal you’d laugh so hard you cried.”

Nina didn’t know how Tabby could be so perceptive about some things and clueless about others. It really wasn’t a surprise that Cameron wasn’t constantly in knots about her. She did finally slide off the girl though, taking refuge on the corner of the bed to send her last text.

Okay, but only because YOU picked him out so I know he’s not going to be a weirdo.

“I’d definitely laugh myself to tears. It’s not been like that, though? I don’t call him Daddy, not ever in a real way, and he’s never made me feel like a little girl. Not that we’re actually partners or anything. I have to defeat him in a combat of wills first because he’s being difficult.”

“Are you sure that’s not the problem?” Tabby eyed her, sitting up and straightening out her skirt. “What if that’s what he wants? At least, the Daddy part. Maybe if you called him Daddy you two would be hooking up already.”

Nina frowned as she considered it. Daddy Dom was one of his big top listed things. There was no way she was ever going to be able to call someone Daddy in earnest, it just felt too weird. She’d also told him she wasn’t sure about being called girl. Though, that didn’t feel nearly so weird, she just liked other things better.

But Nina had also done enough research by now to know that the whole daddy/babygirl thing was just a title for a dynamic and didn’t necessarily mean that was the only aspect. Even the Master/Slave and the Owner/Pet categories seemed to be a lot more nuanced than their names suggested, and Nina figured that out just by watching different couples at the club.

Dang it, Tabby had sent her into a spiral. Nina huffed and turned to the girl.

“I’m pretty sure if that’s what he needed, he would’ve told me when we talked about it. He’s mostly worried I’m going to try and morph into his perfect sub just because I’m new and might still have issues about Shaun without thinking about what I actually like and want. And I get it. It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and addicted to the high feelings. That’s probably why this jerk has set me up with someone else for a date too! So I don’t think he’s the only guy in the world!”

“I mean… Honestly, Nina? That’s kinda smart. Everyone falls in love with their first.” Tabby frowned. “Seriously. It’s always super intense with your first Dom, and a DD/lg dynamic is more emotionally involved than others. Plus I’m pretty sure Jay’s not had a new sub in like, forever. You should probably listen to him.”

“The crazy part is that I like him, and it didn’t even start from all of the dommy stuff. He likes books as much as I do, he’s so wickedly sarcastic when he wants to be, and he actively listens when people talk to him. Everything else has just been a bonus.” Nina explained with a huff. She did not need Tabby suddenly saying responsible, intelligent things right now. The world was weird enough as it was!

“I am listening to him too, though, which is the only reason I’m going on this silly date. Ignoring the fact I’d like him to stop being paranoid and take a chance with me, if I were to trust anyone to find me the love of my life or even just a serious partner, it’d be Jay.”

“Hi. You must be Nina.”

Just like Jay had said he would be, Dane was waiting in Jay’s favorite booth. Nina had to hand it to Jay; the guy was good-looking, and he was dressed smart. Waistcoat and tie smart. He had short dark hair and green eyes, and he stood up to meet her when she walked over.

“And here I was thinking he was just talking you up.” He offered his hand. “Can I buy you a drink?”

Nina found herself feeling the same way she always did when something was a date: shy and awkward and a little out of her element, despite the fact she’d dated so much in the past year that she ought to have been an expert by now. She shook his hand and held up a finger.

“One drink,” she confirmed with a nod. “I don’t think Jay knows how to exaggerate. He kinda just says stuff so plainly and matter-of-fact.”

Like for any date, Nina dressed to impress, just in her own comfortable style. A nice little sweater number in a warm maple brown, where the top was mostly modest with it’s baggy sleeves and subtle v-neckline, with the skirt being considered a mini and clinging tight to her hips. The sleeves were a little too short for her to nervous pluck at, so instead she was turning her purse in her hands.

“Um. So what do you do for work and fun?” she asked, because it was always a good place to start.

“Relax,” Dane told her. “I don’t bite on the first date.”

He led her over to the bar and flagged down the bartender, ordering something fancy-sounding.

“I teach anthropology at the community college. For fun, well…” He smiled. “I like studying people. This place is as good as any, and it’s got a few perks.”

“I guess that means you’re not a vampire. I met one of those recently,” Nina grinned. Relaxing wasn’t quite as easy, but she did try to breathe a little more often and not stand so stiff. She ended up scooting onto a nearby stool, giving it a few testing twists before she settled.

“I’m over at the university myself. I don’t study people, but I do spend a lot of time studying for people. Do you come here very often?”

“Not so much.” Looking a little rueful, he rubbed the back of his neck. “I’ve been… interested. But I’m more comfortable with more conventional dating, even though my tastes fit right in here. I guess part of it is I’m half afraid I’ll run into one of my students.”

The drink was delivered. It was some kind of bright, fruity affair in a martini glass.

“Non-alcoholic,” Dane confessed. “I’d rather you stay sober. Do you mind?”

“Hm. No, I don’t mind.” There it was. Nina had found Jay’s angle with this particular date. He went and found her someone just like herself, new and inexperienced and probably a little bit awkward with the whole overwhelmingness of everything.

Immediately it changed her whole outlook on this date from anxiousness, to curious amusement, because she knew exactly how this guy felt and there was no reason for her to be on guard.

“I get it. If I saw one of my coworkers here I’d probably freak out a little. I don’t really look or act like the dungeon type, right? And people get so weird if you mention any sort of interest in BDSM culture. Like you’re a nymphomaniac or a serial killer!”

“It’s true. You know, studies have shown that BDSM lifestyle participants show no particular tendencies toward mental illness? In fact, dominant partners tend to be much more comfortable and adept at social interactions than the average person.” Dane grinned. “Not sure that extends to me, but I did say tend, didn’t I.”

He glanced at her with interest. “Well. What do you think? Should we have a nice, normal date at this dungeon?”

“I don’t know about normal, but I can show you around and we can ooh and aah at all of the things,” she agreed with a soft laugh. Nina took a quick sip of her drink as she slid out of her chair, glad to find it was another good-tasting choice. She then held out her hand for him to take.

“Do you think of yourself as a dominant person?” she asked curiously. “Like what attracts you to it? What are you looking for?”

“I know I lean that way.” He took her hand. “Not to be too blunt about it, but I’ve seen my fair share of porn and I’m fairly certain of what I like. I’d be willing to try other things, but… I like the idea of someone trusting me enough to do as I say. Having her tied up and exposed is pretty appealing, too. I’m not sure about the whole… Master, slave, that sort of thing. But the basics? Yes.”

As they slipped through the curtain into the back room, he leaned in to speak in her ear. “What about you? What got you interested in all this? Are you here for anything special?”

The playspace wasn’t as packed as it had been last time Nina visited, but it was still crowded enough. The first scene to catch Nina’s eye was the St. Andrew’s Cross again. There was a woman strapped to it, fully nude and blindfolded, while her Dom teased her body with a feather.

“Funnily enough, I wanted to fall in love with someone who feels a spicy sex life is just as important as other things, and I figured what better place to look than somewhere extra spicy where everyone understands trust and communication is important.”

Nina paused for a moment to watch the woman, feeling that familiar burn in her face. She tugged his hand and gestured at the scene.

“I want to try something like that. Maybe not the entire thing all at once or in public, but it’s exciting. You can’t really ask people on Tinder dates to tie you up because you never really know who might be crazy.”

“That is a little advanced, I think,” laughed Dane, a little breathless. “I know how to tie a knot, though. A few different kinds, actually.”

He pulled Nina around to face him. “You’ve never been tied up, then?”

She shook her head.

“Nope, no ropes, or scarves, or handcuff. Nothing. My ex was never interested and since then there’s just not been a line up of the right person and opportunity. I really haven’t tried much of anything beyond a few little things here and there.”

“Well.” He flashed a grin. “I’m interested, for the record.”

Looking around, Dane took in the scene. People half-dressed, people not dressed at all, people in fetish gear. There was a woman giving what looked like a flogging lesson in the middle of the room.

“It’s all… a bit much at once, isn’t it.” Swallowing, he turned back to Nina. “I feel like I don’t know where to put my hands. Do you know what I mean?”

Nina grinned, eyes going wide as she nodded quickly again. Then she stepped close cause it was easier for him to hear when she dropped the volume of her voice in an excited whisper.

“I do! It was so much at first, but every time I come back I feel a little but more- Um. Powerful? Like all pretense and expectation of what I’m supposed to be is gone. There’s this honesty here that you just are who you are and everyone can see and it’s kind of refreshing.”

She paused, second thinking her words and looking a little embarrassed by it.

“Well, I mean, not everyone is honest and there are the weird ones who get way too into roleplaying and of course some people it’s only ever about kinky sex, but I guess- It’s just how I feel about it.”

His hands settled on her waist as she stepped closer. Nina got the feeling it was reflexive, but he didn’t pull them away.

“It seems like this has been really positive for you. If this is Jay’s attempt to hook me into coming out more, I think he picked the right person to sell it.”

They wandered around for a while longer, Nina acting as excited tour guide as they checked out all the active scenes. A woman using a man as a living chair; a pair of men enjoying the spanking bench; a woman lying in a bathtub as her Dom dripped colorful hot wax onto her skin.

Nina had just stopped to watch a woman being slowly wrapped in emerald green rope, resting facedown on a stool as the bindings drew taut between her spread legs, when Dane made a noise in the back of his throat and squeezed Nina’s hand.

“Tell me there’s somewhere we can be alone.” His voice had gone low and rough. “I feel like if I don’t kiss you I’ll go insane.”

There was a feeling Nina was completely familiar with. Even being used to seeing all the salacious things, sometimes a particular scene would just creep up and hit all the right buttons. She pressed the back of her hand to her mouth and laughed softly, but did nod and tug him to follow her.

There were all kinds of little places and cubbies to go for a sense of privacy and Nina found a nook behind a foundation pillar where there was just enough mood lighting to make it feel cozy, but not so much that it felt exposed.

“It’s hard to resist, isn’t it? Even when it’s intimidating.”

“No kidding.” He laughed shakily, his hands flat against the wall to either side of her. “Fuck, Nina. Tell me if you want me to stop.”

Dane leaned down to crush his lips against hers, all the tension in his shoulders pouring straight into the kiss. He stepped closer and she could feel the whole length of his body pressing her against the wall, his hands slipping down to grab her wrists. With a growl, he pinned them tight.

Nina had taken a bit to warm up to Dane– it was so weird seeing a reflection of herself in someone else– and because of it she didn’t really think there was any real chemistry there. Of course then he kissed her and it was like he had a whole different hidden personality.

She’d made a soft sound of surprise, but he was kind of infectious and Nina just melted into the kiss. She flexed her fingers a bit and then tested the strength of his grip, not so much because she wanted to escape, but just to see how much wiggle room he’d actually give her.

Somewhere in the back of her head her there was a little voice complaining that she needed to take it slow, but they’d stumbled into one of Nina’s buttons and the electric shiver that ran down her spine was too much to resist.

The answer to “how much room” was not much, as it turned out. He wasn’t hurting her, but he had her secured–at least for now.

It was definitely like a switch had been flipped for him. Slightly awkward, nerdy professor Dane had been swapped out for someone else and now she could see where his confidence that he was dominant was coming from. Dane had taken the lead in kissing her like it was second nature.

As the kiss deepened, his thigh settled between her legs.

Nina gasped into his mouth and it was reflex to push again his grip again, her back arcing closer to his body. She was so used to being able to put her hands on somebody, to grab or tug or touch and it was almost frustrating not being able to now. Having someone actually being aggressive with her was breathtaking. Soft touches were nice for sure, but there was no question here that he actually wanted her.

“Come home with me,” he breathed, turning his face toward her throat. He ground against her roughly, his teeth sinking into a soft spot above her collarbone.

Nina was going to have one hell of a hickey.

Nina almost said yes. But that was the horny little goblin living in her head talking, not the more sensible Nina. She was really hating sensible Nina right now. But it wasn’t smart to go home with a guy she just met, not matter how gorgeous, how sexy, or how nice he actually was.

She made a sound that was nothing but pure anguish.

“I am so, so tempted,” she admited. “But never go- go to a second unknown location, y’know?”

Nina had all kinds of other fun ideas though just in staying right where they were and she nearly offered up the suggestion. Sensible Nina had to go chirping again though, because she really did want to avoid sleeping with people the same night she met them. …and the challenge she’d nearly forgotten about!

“We should- We should get some water maybe,” she suggested, but didn’t sound too invested in the idea.

“Right.” Dane made a frustrated sound against her skin. “You’re right.”

He didn’t immediately back off, though, instead leaning his forehead against the wall and taking a deep breath. His hips shifted in just the right way, his breath hitching, and he finally let go of her wrists in order to grab her around the waist with equal firmness.

“I’m going to need a moment,” he said tightly. “Hold still. God, I’m about ready to fuck you right here against this wall.”

She shivered again and she really did try to stay still at first, but quickly gave up to circle her arms around his neck now that she was free to do so. A real life spicy professor, was she really going to skip on that just for her already-broke-once rules and besting Jay in a battle of wills?

Though the tempting thought of winning the challenge and then making Jay watch her bang the professor’s brains out was so very appealing.

“Ask me again in three weeks and I might just let you,” she mumbled into his ear.

Trying Something New

Trying Something New 006

Speaking of reading material. Email me your list. It’ll help me think of ways to reward you if you’re good.

You know, you never did tell me what you wanted me to do the other night. What kind of reward were you picturing, Nina?

Nina was right in the middle of the Farmer’s Market when she burst into a round of raucous laughter loud enough to draw several curious glances. None of that seemed to phase her as she shifted her bags to one arm, stepped out of the walkway and thumbed out a text back.

I bet a full body massage from a physical therapist is pretty nice.

It wasn’t the first of the texts she’d exchanged with Jay during the week. He seemed to think that sending her increasingly steamy texts was going to get her to crack, which just amused Nina to death. She’d taken the opportunity to have a little fun with it, with teasing flirts and the occasional innocent selfies of her doing completely normal non-sexy things like lunch at work or her bedtime book. This challenge was turning out quite relaxing.

Once she’d sent him an updated version of her list (she liked his highlighting style, but went several steps further with multiple colors, a chart, and a few starred notes because could never seem to answer things with a simple yes or no), she resumed her leisurely stroll through the market, even pausing for a moment to send him a cheeky selfie in front of a candle vendor.

Hey. Do you like hot wax?

You know, just because I won’t date you doesn’t mean I won’t spank you.

Don’t make promises you won’t keep, Jay, that’s so rude!

Giggling to herself, she went ahead and picked out a couple of candles for her apartment. Not everything in her shopping bags were for Jay, but he didn’t need to know that.

If you think I don’t keep my promises, you don’t know me very well.

I’m glad because I’m looking forward to that d a t e.

Now stop distracting me or I’m never gonna make it there!

wait do you have good kitchen knives?

Nina completely forget to ask what was in his kitchen. She tapped her fingers to her chin plotting how best adapt, just in case the man had one of those empty college student style kitchens. She could at least grab a basic knife here at the market.

The answer was yes, as it turned out, and once Nina got to Jay’s place she had a feeling he was a lot more put together in general when it came to his home than she was.

First, he had an actual house. It wasn’t large–only one story–but it had a small yard with a privacy fence and a shed out back. When he answered the door, he was wearing the button-down again, and he ushered her in to a cozy, comfortable front room with a leather couch and rows of bookshelves around a generously-sized TV.

“Kitchen’s through here,” he told her, motioning her straight back. Once again, the kitchen was a bit cramped, but the fixtures were in good shape and he had an actual knife block with a full set, as well as a nice wooden cutting board on the counter.

“You definitely do know how to cook, right?” he teased, peering into her shopping bags once she set them down. “Will I have to use my first aid training?”

“Not for me, but if you fuss about my cooking you might need it for yourself.” She gave him a pointed look along with a wag of her finger before she shooed him away from her bags. The kitchen had more counter space than her apartment which was quite nice for Nina. Cooking was something she really enjoyed and in the past year it was something that had fell to the wayside as she worked on other areas of her life.

“This is a very cute house,” she remarked while pulling out bundles of herbs, leeks, among other veggies, and some fresh spiral pasta noodles. “I’ve been looking for something kinda like this, but maybe a little bit bigger. Or at least a lot more yard space so I can have a big garden.”

Out of another bag came a simple apron with a faded rooster print and she pulled it on to cover up the peach wide neck sweater and brown suede skirt she’d chosen to wear. Nina had thought about trying something overtly sexy just to be a pain, but she ended up opting for comfort since she actually wanted to enjoy cooking. Even her boots were flat instead of the fancy heels she’d been sporting at the club.

“Can you tie me up?” she asked, somehow managing a completely straight face as she held up an apron tie and pointed behind her.

“It was affordable and doesn’t require a lot of upkeep.” He shrugged. “I’m too busy for a large yard.”

Jay gave her a raised eyebrow, clearly not impressed with her joke, and stepped in close. Gripping her shoulder, he turned her slowly, then slid his finger down her spine to where the ties settled. He crossed them, then pulled them snug–a little snugger than was comfortable, though not enough to hurt.

“Good?” he asked casually.

Nina cleared her throat, bracing her hand against her stomach and basically pretending that her ears didn’t feel warm. She’d forgotten that there was a huge difference between Jay’s flirty texts and the way he’d sneak up on her in person. Nina was just going to have to be wary. Obviously he couldn’t drive her to some sort of sex-crazed bender, but still!

“That’s not too bad,” she answered, successfully keeping her tone nice and even. “But don’t forget I might have to do some bending, though.”

“You’ll manage.” He smiled. “Now, what are we having for dinner?”

There wasn’t a lot of room in the kitchen, as she’d noted, and with him standing behind her, Nina was hemmed in fairly neatly between Jay and the counter. She had room to move around, but not without nearly brushing against him.

She wasn’t used to having someone in the kitchen with her, which was a little nerve-wracking with him so close and watching everything that she was doing, but kind of neat also because she got to share all the little details that went into what she was cooking. Nina pulled knives until she found the one she liked working with the best, and then she got to portioning out the vegetables that she needed for cooking with.

“All of the fall stuff is at the market now, so I have leeks and cabbage and red pepper and cremini mushrooms and these little tiny baby broccolinis that are super cute. Um. Hm, I need a broth pot and a big saute pan and–” She snapped her fingers suddenly and huffed. “I should’ve brought white wine.”

Nina leaned back, tilting her head until she bumped into him and could catch his eye.

“Pleeeease tell me you have white wine? I don’t need it, but it would be so much better!”

His lips twitched and she felt a playful tug on her apron strings.

“Lucky for you I don’t throw anything away,” he told her. Pulling away from her, Jay went to the fridge–which, unlike Nina’s, actually seemed stocked, from her quick glimpse–and pulled out a bottle of Chardonnay. Nina didn’t recognize the label but it looked nice.

“I don’t drink white wine so this has been sitting in here.”

“That’s because white wine tastes terrible all by itself,” she exclaimed. As if to prove it, she opened up the bottle and took a small swig, resulting in her making the most awful of faces, but nodding her approval when she set it aside.

When it came to putting things together, Nina was very methodical about arranging her work space. She made sure she had every pan she wanted, every utensil needed, even the dish to serve it in before she even started working with the vegetables. Her knife skills were on point and she tasted everything as she finished chopping it up, even offering Jay pieces as she went.

And because she’d never had someone in the kitchen with her before, she was a little too excited to explain all the details about why she cut the cabbage the way she did, how the red pepper was going to add this sweet savory taste, and how making a vegetable broth with her herbs and the left over mushrooms stems and leeks was going to be an awesome sauce base.

Once she had it all on the stove simmering, there wasn’t much else for her to do but keep an eye on it. Nina clasped her hands together, more than pleased with herself, and rocked on her heels.

“It smells good already, doesn’t it? Do you have any Nina drinks hiding around here somewhere?”

“I don’t have an open bar, sorry.”

Jay slipped past her to open a cabinet and take down a bottle of Kahlua along with a fifth of vodka, setting them down on the empty counter by the fridge. He shot Nina a considering look.

“I do have the ingredients for White Russians, but you might want to save that for later. As I recall you’re not the best at holding your liquor. How about tea?”

Nina laughed, leaning against the counter and crossing her arms.

“I don’t always have to drink things with weird names. Tea is good, I like tea.” Probably for the best too, Nina thought. One or two drinks, she’d be fine, but to be safe it was better not to have any liquor in her if she wanted to avoid that flip-switch that turned her into a randy dancing stripper.

“Can I take off my shoes, too?” she asked, looking down at her feet. They were comfortable enough, but if Nina could get away with not wearing shoes at all, she was happier for it.

Jay let out a huff of laughter.

“Are you more comfortable barefoot?” he asked, sounding like he already knew the answer, and for some reason it amused him. He was already grabbing a kettle and setting it on to boil. “Yes. Take your shoes off.”

“Shoes are just really cute torture devices, most of the time,” she insisted. Nina checked on her simmering food real quick, before she flounced out of the kitchen to the living room. If it were her apartment, she would’ve tossed her shoes and socks in any old direction, but here she set them neatly by the front door so she’d know exactly where they were.

When Nina returned she rinsed her hands in the sink, and flicked just a little bit of the excess water at Jay and giggled just for the fun of it.

“Trying to get my attention?” He leaned against the counter, watching her. “You know if you want something, you can ask. Use your words.”

“I could use that massage,” she pretended to ponder, tapping her chin with her fingers. “But that feels like a dessert kind of thing.”

After a quick grin, she pushed off from her spot to give her sauteing vegetables a stir. Satisfied that everything had browned up nicely, she went for the fresh pasta to dump in the pan and added a generous amount of the broth she’d been stewing. Once she tossed it all together, she held up both hands and all ten fingers towards Jay.

“Ten minutes,” she exclaimed. “What can we do with ten minutes?”

The kettle was just starting to whistle, and he took his time about turning to pour her cup of tea. When he finished, he set a saucer on top of the cup to keep the steam in while it steeped, and then moved to the doorway.

“Come here,” Jay told her, and led her through the house back into the living room, then down a short hallway. He opened the door at the end of the hall and showed Nina into a bedroom. There were more shelves along one wall, a large and neatly-made bed in the middle of the room, and a wooden trunk at the foot of the bed that was covered by a blanket.

“Skirt up or off,” he told her, going to sit on the edge of the bed. His elbows rested on his knees as he looked at Nina, waiting. “Your choice.”

The kettle was just starting to whistle, and he took his time about turning to pour her cup of tea. When he finished, he set a saucer on top of the cup to keep the steam in while it steeped, and then moved to the doorway.

“Come here,” Jay told her, and led her through the house back into the living room, then down a short hallway. He opened the door at the end of the hall and showed Nina into a bedroom. There were more shelves along one wall, a large and neatly-made bed in the middle of the room, and a wooden trunk at the foot of the bed that was covered by a blanket.

“Skirt up or off,” he told her, going to sit on the edge of the bed. His elbows rested on his knees as he looked at Nina, waiting. “Your choice.”

“Over here,” he told her, taking her hands once she got close enough.

“I told you I don’t make empty promises,” Jay said softly, running his thumbs over her wrists. He let go of her hands to cup her face, eyes holding hers. “You aren’t going to get away with being a brat, Nina. Better pick a safeword fast. Clock is ticking and you don’t want me to have to wait until after dinner.”

“Tow truck?”

For some reason it was the first thing to blip into her head while she was busy blinking wide-eyed at him and realizing her sassy texts had been a lot more effective than she’d thought. Not that she minded – Nina actually loved that she could have that influence on him – but now she was faced with that anxious curl in her stomach. She wasn’t about to balk now, though. It was on her list and she was way more curious than dubious.

“Make sure you remember that.” That was all the warning she got before Nina was seized about the waist and thrown over his knee like a naughty child, her face pressing against his bedspread and her apron bunching between her legs and his jeans. She felt his palm smooth across the curve of her ass over the fabric of her underwear.

“Do you know what you did?” he asked patiently. His fingers traced the leg of her panties, playing with the elastic. Jay gave a little tug and immediately let go; it snapped back against her skin, stinging the inside of her thigh.

Nina made a tiny little huff, mostly from having to catch her breath again and a little bit from wriggling her arms to a good position so she could lift her head. This was kind of embarrassing, but she was already there and was too interested to see where it was going.

“Well, I’m guessing you don’t like water being tossed on your one nice shirt,” she taunted, just to test the waters a little. Nina was probably going to regret it, but it seemed when she took risks, she went all in even though it kind of scared her to death.

is hand came down hard in answer, enough to make a cracking sound against the back of her thighs.

“What was that, now?” Jay pressed. His fingertips trailed gently over her still-stinging flesh. She wasn’t sure if the touch was meant to be soothing or teasing.

Nina yelped out an ow!, her hands shooting up to cover her mouth where a moment later a staggered giggle slipped out. The suddenness is what surprised her the most, and the ow was more of an automatic cry than an acknowledgement of pain. It did hurt a little though, not enough to hate it, but just enough to make her consider whether or not she still wanted to test the limits.

“You don’t like tie-up jokes?” she tried with a questioning hitch in her voice. It wasn’t quite clever, but that was hard to do when you were bent over someone’s knees.

“You’re getting warmer.” His knuckles brushed the inside of her thigh, nudging her legs just slightly further apart. “Still remember your safeword?”

For a moment, Jay waited, his hand rubbing a slow and feather-light circle across her backside.

“Still looking for an answer, Nina,” he said finally. “Are you going to admit you’ve been bratty all week?”

The worst part was not knowing if he was going to do it again and she was slowly kicking her feet back and forth waiting for it. No, she was wrong. The soft touches on the inside of her thigh were the worst, because it sent this warm feeling up her spine and making her toes curl up. Nina could think of a whole bunch of better places he could be putting his hands right now and it was sucking all the air right out of her lungs.

“I do remember and maybe I’ve been a little tiny bit bratty because you were asking for it,” she finally mumbled out.

Smack! His hand struck her again, this time higher up. His fingers caught the curve of her upper thigh, dangerously close to her pantyline.

“Apologize nicely and I’ll stop.” His fingernails clipped a slow trail across her raw skin. Jay’s other hand slipped into her hair at the nape of her neck, winding the strands around his fingers. “Unless you don’t want me to stop?”

This time she made a little umf sound and there was no giggling involved, though she did kick her feet a little bit and bury her face in the bedspread. She liked this. It was hard to pinpoint exactly why with the flurry of things going on in her head, but stubbornness wanted her to refuse to apologize (because she definitely wasn’t sorry) and kick up a fuss.

Practicality, though, still lingered in the back of her mind, chirping about a burned dinner and if she let it go too far, Nina was going to pounce on this man in his own bedroom and lose her challenge.

She made a soft annoyed sound into the blanket when she realized she didn’t need any fancy drinks to help make her slutty. Apparently she was just a closet tart.

Nina finally lifted her head and spoke, not any less breathless than before and just went with the honest truth.

“I’m not sorry and I don’t want to stop but I don’t wanna burn dinner either!”

“Well then you know what you’ve got to do, don’t you?” Jay ran a teasing hand between her legs, not touching anything important in the process but flirting close enough to cause sparks. “Because I’m not letting you up until you say it.”

Jay.” she warned, though it probably wasn’t all that effective considering she was over his lap with nowhere to go and couldn’t even turn enough to glare at him. Nina could practically feel him grinning too. She was so sure he was delighted with himself and she mentally cursed his uncanny ability to always keep her unbalanced.

Of course, she could easily tap out with the safe word, or even just roll off him right onto the floor if she wanted, but that wasn’t the point.

“I’m not gonna lie, Jay! I am definitely, certainly, absolutely not sorry!”

“No lying? Fine.” The fingers in her hair yanked experimentally, just hard enough for her to feel it. His other hand brushed a warning over her ass. “I’ll also accept begging, if you can’t apologize.”

Now Nina knew she was in trouble, because she felt it all the way down between her legs enough to squirm and though she was stubborn, she wasn’t too proud for begging. She just couldn’t decide if it were to beg him to stop or to beg him to to do more.

“Holding dinner hostage is really unfair,” she complained first and foremost, if only because she knew she had just a little time left. “I think you ought to know that.”

“I know. I really don’t want to have to let it burn.” But I will, she could hear the silent threat. He tugged again on her hair, a little firmer this time, his other hand stroking down the back of her thigh. “Come on, Nina. What do you say, sweetheart?”

Nina made a pained sort of sound, both her hands moving to cover her mouth as she kicked her feet again. She’d circled back to embarrassed again, giggling to herself and being frustrated all at the same time. Finally with a rush of breath she gave up, because damned if she’d let a good meal go to waste just because she was a filthy monster that liked poking bears.

“Just one more, please, and then can I go save dinner!” she squeaked through her fingers.

He huffed in amusement, and then his palm struck her again–and if she thought he’d hit her hard before, she’d been mistaken about how much he’d been holding back. His hand lingered where he’d spanked her, rubbing, and then he pulled her upright on his lap.

“Good job,” he told her, pressing a kiss to the tip of her nose and tucking her mussed hair behind her ear. She could feel his grin more than see it. “Skirt stays off until after dinner.”

“Oh my god,” she hissed through her teeth. That one had hurt but he went and kissed her on the nose and all worry about it had been obliterated. Her head was flying and she could’ve used a lot more of the holding, but dinner was in peril. Nina gave him a quick peck on the cheek and scrambled out of his lap for the door, nearly toppling in the threshold because her knees felt like jelly, but inevitably making if safely to the kitchen.

Nina plucked a hot noodle out of the skillet and popped it directly into her mouth, shaking her burning fingers and sucking in some air over her singed tongue as she turned off the stove. It was a quick fluid motion of giving everything in the pan a toss with some grated cheese and sliding it into the serving platter. Then with her only real concern taken care of Nina could process.

She bounced softly on her toes, her arms straight at her sides where her fingers were wiggling. She was still tingling where he’d smacked her and her knees were still wobbly but she felt so light and floaty and warm. Nina hadn’t thought she’d really enjoy anything that involved pain, despite being willing to try it, but she hadn’t expected the mix of different feelings to be so… invigorating? Nina was jazzed up in all the ways she really wanted to avoid right now!

“Do you need help getting that to the table?” Jay asked as he entered the kitchen behind her. She’d expected smugness, but he looked for all the world like they hadn’t been up to anything naughty at all and this was a perfectly normal dinner. “It looks good. Thanks again for cooking.”

“I’m so mad!” she declared, though it was easy to tell that she really wasn’t and that Nina was just fussing out loud to herself. She did nod and gesture to the food, stepping out of the way still with that wide-eyed bewildered look on her face. When she remember her tea, she paused her bouncing to claim the cup and swallow the entire thing in four gulps. Normally she would’ve added a ton of sugar but Nina just needed something so her mouth wouldn’t be so dry.

How hard would it be to convince him to have sex with her right now on the kitchen floor? What did she even need to prove with this challenge anyway! That was her libido talking, though. Nina was certain they could have something special, she just needed to ride it out.

When she finally got her heart to stop thumping against her chest, she took herself a seat at the table. It was only a little awkward sitting, more mental than physical and since she made dinner so Jay could handle everything else.

“I underestimated you,” she did remark giving him that squinty stare again. “You’re sneaky. These better be amazing books.”

“You’re the one who decided to come cook at my house,” Jay reminded her, serving her a helping of pasta. “You could have just let me lend you the books.”

He disappeared to the kitchen and returned with a glass of ice water in each hand. Taking a seat across from her, he handed her one of the glasses and then tipped a portion of the food onto his own plate.

“Let me know if the seat’s too rough,” he said, eyeing her carefully. “…How are you feeling?”

That warmth in her skin never left, so when she lift her hands to press against her cheeks she could still feel it burning.

“Not what I expected,” she admitted. “I thought it might be humiliating or feel kind of mean, but it’s not like that at all.” Nina tilted in her seat this way and that and didn’t find herself too uncomfortable. It still stung, but it wasn’t any worse than her scalded tongue and it’d fade pretty quickly.

Now that she wasn’t mad anymore (and all the spiciest feelings had tapered off enough) Nina was pretty excited to talk about it.

“I want to do things now. It’s like- It’s scary waiting for that pop but then it’s this sharp thrill and now I feel like I’ve had three cups of coffee and I am definitely putting it on the green list.”

“Yeah, that’s subspace for you.” Jay took a large swallow of his water. “I hope you don’t need to rush home, because I can’t let you leave now. Driving like this is like driving drunk.”

“Subspace?” There was a new word for Nina. She could understand the drunk feeling, though. Of course she wasn’t mentally impaired or anything, but she did nearly fall on her face in the hall after what was probably some pretty tame spanking. It’d take her a little bit to come down from her pleased little bubble, no doubt for the more intense sessions it’d be so much worse. Or better, depending on the perspective.

Of course that meant spending more time in the danger zone with Jay, but now that she’d gotten past the time to sex now moment, she’d be alright for the day.

“I guess that means more Versace for us,” she shrugged. Nina finally took a bite of her food and had to cover her mouth when she sighed. Yeah, she was definitely on a high. Even food tasted better than usual!

After dinner, they cuddled in the living room and watched Netflix. Jay insisted she spend the night on the couch–it was a sleeper–because of something called a “sub drop”, and in the morning he was already gone to work but he’d left a note telling her where to find the spare key, and breakfast for her on the kitchen table.

Trying Something New

Trying Something New 005

Nina arrived to the club feeling pretty good about her day so far. Marcus’ whole vampire shtick was a little outrageous for Nina’s taste, but he was actually a nice dude. It kind of made Nina wonder if she should put a little more faith in Tabby’s advice. But once she remembered most of Tabby’s suggestions were less like Marcus, and more like that guy she stashed in the back of a van, Nina figured she should keep playing it safe.

This time on entering the club, Nina felt so much more relaxed. It helped that she had two drinks in her already, but more than that, she now knew a couple of people and what to expect. She was still a baby duckling for sure, but hew new outfit had grown on her, her ambush date hadn’t been terrible, and she had a nice boost of confidence that she hadn’t felt for a long time.

“Hey there, Nina Harker,” Jay’s familiar voice spoke up from her left as she headed for the bar.

He was sitting in the same booth as before, grinning at her playfully. He’d actually dressed up a little tonight, compared to last time anyways; rather than the black t-shirt, he’d chosen a button-down with the sleeves rolled up past his elbows–this time fully obscuring his tattoo (which she still hadn’t gotten a good look at). He had a rocks glass in front of him, which she knew probably meant whiskey, but Nina wasn’t that well-versed about drinks other than crazy cocktails.

Grabbing his drink, he slid out of the booth and walked over to meet her, tilting his head as he took in her new look. “You know what? I like it.”

“You are kind of a monster,” she laughed, but for his benefit she did a little turn on her heels so he could get the full picture of her outfit. “I guess I am vampire bait today. I don’t know if I should lean into it, or call it a night before I get hit on by a Cullens.”

Nina reached out to smooth wrinkle at his shoulder and then plucked at one of his buttons.

“You look nice too, though. Are you Dungeon Dad tonight or do I get your undivided attention? Oh, and full disclosure I have had two drinks already. One called Vampire Kiss and if vampire kisses actually tasted like that, I’d be into vampires.”

“I’m off-duty,” he answered. “I don’t drink when I’m the DM. Or much at all, really.”

His fingers settled at the small of her back, just barely there as he endured her picking at him.

“Is two your limit? I’d hate to have to send you home when you just got here.”

“I don’t know? Well, I’m sure I could drink more, but I don’t want to get sent home early either,” she confessed with a grin. Nina felt good at the moment, but she was definitely trying to be aware if that high feeling was leading her into making questionable choices. She didn’t make out with Marcus, so that was a good sign.

“I can skip drinks until later,” she suggested. In the mean time she did a quick look around for Tabby to make sure the girl was out of sight or too busy elsewhere to come hassle her about turning down Marcus. Once she was satisfied, Nina took a deep breath and let it go, along with some of that nervous bouncy energy. Now she could relax and actually enjoy herself.

“He might have actually thought he was a real vampire,” she exclaimed with her eyes wide. “Roleplay seems so fun, but I’m not sure I can dive that deep. If he had tried to pass it off as a religious experience, I might have died, Jay. I would’ve started laughing and not been able to stop, and ruined that poor guy’s night.”

“So you didn’t promise to go home to his lair later for a little taste?” Jay was stifling laughter of his own. “I thought you were all for trying new things.”

He glanced around too, a considering look in his eyes. “Speaking of which. You said you had some things you wanted to talk about from your list. Let’s go sit down.”

“Oh my god, I wonder if he decorates his home the same way he dresses,” she pondered, pressing her hands against her cheeks where her ridiculous grinning and constant laughing were making her jaw hurt. Nina hadn’t had so much fun in a long time.

She pointed where she wanted to sit, then led the way, all the while being just a little bit mad that she finally understood the worth of having the silly sheer duster part of her outfit. It made her feel like she was a super model every time she walked.

Once she slid into her seat, Nina immediately pulled her phone out of her purse and went scrolling for her list.

“I didn’t really finish looking over everything, since there’s so many things, but there’s little things and feelings I like and that’s easy enough to notice even just, you know, walking around and talking to people.”

“I know it’s a lot, but it’s really worth it to go over the whole thing.” Jay settled in across from her, taking a swallow from his glass. “You’ll need to get in the habit of it if you’re going to be in the scene. Most of us rely on checklists.”

“I will,” she assured him with a wide smile. “I um- I’m trying not to rush through it since everything new and different sounds exciting right now, and I maybe have a tendency to go from zero to three thousand because I over compensate and I think you’ve maybe already figured that out.” She gave him a squinting examining gaze, because if Jay was one thing, it was someone who was a very quick study.

Nina set her phone down on the table, turned it around and then pushed it toward him. Then she took in another deep breath. Most of the time it was easy to talk about everything in the abstract but once it got down to details and specifics, Nina still found herself flustered and embarrassed. It should’ve been easy to say hey, I like this thing with someone seasoned and as chill as Jay. But it was still nerve-wracking. Maybe because she still couldn’t say simple things like fingering or doggy-style without giggling like a teenager.

It didn’t help that one of the things on her list had involved Jay.

“So. Last weekend’s unplanned sneaky sex was thrilling but specifically- Hmm. You were-” Nope, she couldn’t say it. Her fingers from both hands went over her mouth as she rested her elbows on the table. Nina was a grown woman, why couldn’t she just tell this man that it was hot as hell and all she’d thought about this week.

“Close your eyes. Deep breath.” His hands lifted to hover at either side of her head. “I’m going to put my hands over your ears, and then you’re going to tell me. Got it?”

She barely had time to close her eyes and nod before his palms pressed flat against her ears, reducing the background noise of the club to a murky droning.

Nina wasn’t sure how this was supposed to help, but she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. His hands were warm and maybe having the sound dulled out did help her slow her thumping heartbeat down a little. Mostly, it just seemed easier to tell him filthy things when blue eyes weren’t staring back at her.

“I liked you watching,” she mumbled through her fingers. “I might have even liked it better if you weren’t just watching.” The statement went from an almost whisper to ending with a squeak. Nina was definitely never going to open her eyes again, but now that she got the scariest part out, she could breathe again.

His hands lingered for a moment, his thumbs brushing her cheeks.

“See, the sky didn’t fall,” he told her in a low, even voice. “I’m never going to judge you. You can tell me anything.”

Then his hands drew back. “Even if you tell me you’re becoming the new Queen of the Damned.”

Nina’s arms dropped to the tables with a thump and the look she gave him was absolutely scathing. There was still a hint of flustered pink in her cheeks, but she ignored that as she pointed a finger at him.

“You better watch it. I’d make an amazing Queen and you’d be the very first one I sacrificed.”

She folded her arms on the table, tapping her fingers on her elbows. Nina briefly wondered why she didn’t paint her nails a bright red to match her lipstick, because that was easier to think about than the fact she just admitted right to his face that she was down for a Nina + Jay situation. She couldn’t understand why it was so easy to jump on the lap of some guy she didn’t even know the name of, but she couldn’t do the same with the guy she very genuinely liked.

Or maybe that was the problem. She really liked this one. Which meant she was probably the one that was going to make a mess of it.

“Now what do we do,” she asked, finding everything on the table to look at but Jay directly. “Making out in a closet seems kind of tame after being offered a vampire’s affections.”

“Honestly, Nina, if you’re this flustered about liking a little exhibitionism, you need to relax.” He picked up her phone and started to scroll through her incomplete checklist. “Let’s see. Biting is a yes, and you’ve marked down a few things in the bondage category. You’ve also mentioned you’d be up for trying roleplay. Anything specific there?”

She finally stopped looking at everything else in the club to give him that squinty stare again.

“I am relaxed,” she tried to insist, but knowing it wasn’t true. Nina finally huffed and tried that deep breath again, then let all that tension out of her shoulders. She was still probably blushing, but she could deal with that. The only one freaking out was her, and she realized very quickly that it was probably left over hurt feelings about Shaun and rejection and it was something she was going to have to work through.

“Nothing specific, really. Sometimes it’s just daydreaming on a whim, or- well. I guess I’ve thought about the young hot professor scenario more than once. But it’s mostly just that I like to play around.”

“Sure.” Jay ran one hand through his hair. “So the teacher/student dynamic. That appeals to you?”

Her phone settled back onto the table and he slid it back across to her. Leaning back in his seat, he tossed back the rest of his whiskey.

“What was it you wanted to run by me specifically?”

“I have been known to crush on a teacher or two,” she admitted. Mostly just to delay answering anymore questions about what she wanted while she tried to figure out exactly what that was.

Nina rest her chin on her hands and watched him for a moment. She knew he didn’t jumped on her confession because he was being kind. After all, she’d told him right at the beginning she had some issues because of her ex, and it was pretty obvious she could barely keep it together over even the smallest things. Still, there was a tiny part of her that wanted to know what he was thinking. He was turning out to be such a good friend, what if she made it awkward? Nina was just too afraid to ask.

She finally picked up her phone and took a look at her list, scrolling up and down with her thumb.

“I was going to ask if you’d try something small and unintimidating with me here, but I don’t know what that would be so, I also want to know what are good first tiny steps for dungeon ducklings?”

“If play isn’t a little intimidating, you’re not doing it right.” He shook his head. “There are a lot of things you can try starting out. It all depends on what you’re interested in. Roleplay… spanking… light bondage… mental restraint… even a little edgeplay.”

His eyes flicked to meet hers. “That’s giving up control over when you’re allowed to cum.”

All of which sounded like a fun starting pointing, Nina already knew she wanted to try a little bondage and spanking she was still considering, but then he’d hooked her with something interesting.

“What,” she remarked leaning forward on her arms. “That’s impossible.” Thinking on it, she’d already seen hints of here in scenes. The part that seemed so impossible was how could you not? Nina could imagine trying to resist for as long as possible just to extend something especially good. But someone else deciding when you were allowed to? They’d probably be up to all kinds of tricks and torture to get you to break.

It sounded like a wicked sort of challenge. Nina did like to play.

“Yes. That. I want to try that. Top of the list!”

“Alright,” Jay said simply.

He pulled out his phone and shifted in his seat, apparently ignoring Nina.

“Work on your list,” he told her, after a long moment. He didn’t glance up. “I want to see it filled out.”

That’s it? They weren’t even going to talk about how? About the rules or finding a partner? He knew she liked having the details! Nina sat there giving him her best squinty-eyed stare until she finally huffed, snatched up her phone and leaned back in her seat.

“Only because I know I need to,” she acquiesced. It was true, too. She’d just admitted that she tended to speed through things, and the checklist was something necessary if she honestly wanted to start participating in the culture. Even if she intended to get up and go looking for a partner on her own, she’d need it. Moments like last weekend weren’t something she wanted to keep risking, not if she wanted to stay safe.

So if Jay wanted her list, she’d finish her list. Most things were a question mark for her, but she was able to mark off the stuff she knew for a fact she didn’t like. There were also things she needed to lookup, and before long she was forgetting all about shooting Jay wicked looks because she was too busy creating the craziest browser history ever on Google.

“How are we doing, Nina?” he asked, just when she’d almost zoned him out entirely.

Before she could answer, Jay had pushed himself up from his side of the booth and circled around to stand behind her. He leaned over, his breath tickling her ear as he rested his elbows on the seat back above her.

“Any questions?”

“I just figured out what figging is and I’m pretty sure one of my coworkers wrote this article,” she marveled, zooming in on the article and holding out her phone so he could see. She ignored the little shiver that went down the back of her neck, and tilted just enough so she could turn her head and spy at him.

“No questions yet. Well. None that aren’t anything more than curiousness. It’s just taking forever.” Nina wanted to sulk about it, but she wanted this and there was no sense in complaining about putting the time in. Really, she would’ve been done by now if she’d stop falling down Google rabbit holes and reading all kinds of articles and extra information. She couldn’t help it, she was a researcher.

“Stay focused,” he told her. His fingers dipped to skim lazily along the top of her shoulder blades. “The sooner you finish, the sooner you get to play.”

Nina was surprised she didn’t drop her phone. Not even because he touched her, because Nina was used to the casual way he’d lean in or touch her here or there. It was something about the way he spoke and the words he chose, and now her heart was thumping and her mouth was dry.

“I suppose I could do a little less research,” she mumbled just barely over a whisper. There was probably a bewildered look on her face, but she was too busy swapping her tabs back to the checklist. Of course now instead of rabbit holes to distract her focus, all sorts of ideas about what sort of play were getting in the way.

“That’s my girl,” said Jay. She felt his fingers playing with her ponytail. “You’re almost done.”

He stayed there, hovering behind her and just barely touching her. Nothing overtly sexual; just affectionate little touches, on her shoulders or her neck or toying with her hair. Every time she started to lose focus, his hands would go still, but as soon as she was back to work he was brushing against her somewhere new.

Nina was right. Torture was involved. But what wonderful torture it was! Soothing in the same way it was maddening, she could easily imagine taking him with her to work and getting so much reading time. At the same time all kinds of salacious ideas popped up and she’d daydream about those only for his attentions to stop and she’d have to refocus on her blasted checklist all over again.

What surprised her was that she didn’t start giggling like a crazy person the moment she figured out what he was doing. He snuck it up on her so subtly, that Nina didn’t have the chance to overthink it. There was that flush of warmth in her cheeks for sure, and she’d probably chewed through most of her lipstick, but it was all so tingly pleasant.

It did take her a bit longer to get through the last items, (another round of Googling and now she knew what Tabby was talking about when she mentioned a queening stool), but as soon as she was done she saved it and set the phone down then slapped her fingers softly on the table.

“Done!” she sounded breathless and way too pleased about such a simple accomplishment.

“Good girl,” he told her, stroking his thumb along the nape of her neck. “That wasn’t so hard, was it?”

And then all at once he withdrew, sliding back into his seat across from her. He was watching her with a closed-off expression, his eyes on her face. After a moment he picked up her phone and began to scroll through her list again.

“There’s your sample,” said Jay. “If you liked that… you’ll enjoy edging.”

“Sample!” Nina squinted at him again, leaning on her elbows across the table. “Sooner I finish, the sooner I get to play. That’s what you said. So,” with both of her hands she beckoned with a finger. Nina didn’t know what she expected, but he wasn’t going to get away with teasing her without her taunting back. “Reward, please.”

After a beat (and because she didn’t actually expect a reward), she rest her chin on her hands and grinned.

“I did like it. I’m not sure how I feel being called a girl, but that’s just because I like hearing my name. Unless I go for drama and choose myself a cool scene name like Bellacroix or Lady Vixengale.”

“I didn’t say you’d be playing with me.” His lips twitched. “I told you before that having a list would make it easier to find a Dom.”

Jay paused in the middle of scrolling, staring into the screen, and then put her phone back on the table.

“Nina,” he began. “I don’t think this is a good idea.”

That’s true, he didn’t say anything about playing with her himself, which was the only reason she didn’t get mad or put up a fuss about it. What did get her was his sudden pausing and announcing ‘this’ was a bad idea.

She straightened up in her seat, giving him a curious questioning look.

“What’s not a good idea? Unless you mean a new name, because of course that’s not a good idea.”

“You and me crossing any more lines.” Jay looked away, brow furrowed. “I don’t really do casual. You’re too new to all this for an intense dynamic.”

He slid his own phone across the table to her. He had the same checklist pulled up, but this one was filled out already. Unlike Nina’s, it looked like he’d used a highlight function to outline his “hard yes” items in green and hard limits in red.

“Here. I’ve seen yours; it’s only fair.”

Nina gave him a bit of a dubious stare before she started scrolling through his list. Nothing on it was all that unexpected for someone who had been in the scene for a long while. The surprise was that many things he enjoyed were things she was also very interested in. Sure, there was some stuff Nina wasn’t sure about, but nothing that would be a big deal breaker. It was like checking an astrology chart and finding out you were a great match.

Quickly Nina realized what the real problem was. Nothing on their checklists was an issue. Jay didn’t do casual. The issue was that he liked her. Nina hadn’t been the only one feeling chemistry and holding back because she didn’t want to jump in and ruin something.

What was she supposed to do about this! Should she call him out? Confess herself? There was a little thrill in the pit of her stomach, but right along side it Nina was afraid that maybe he was right and it was too soon for them cross boundaries, so to speak.

Well. Nina hadn’t spent the past year learning how to ask for what she wanted for nothing.

“What if,” she started slowly, setting his phone back on the table. “What if I liked you. You you, not just potential dom partner you. And thought that we should go on a date or two and try some other things with the promise that if either of us didn’t like it we could go back to being friends again?”

“I like you too,” he told her with a wry smile, “and that’s exactly why I think you should shop around first. Jumping into bed with the first person you have chemistry with isn’t a great idea when you’re getting into the scene, let alone when you’re freshly out of a long-term relationship. I’d be keeping you from what you need right now, which is figuring out what you like. Not getting hung up on what I like.”

“Freshly out nothing, Jay! Did I not tell you how many guys I slept with before landing here?”

Okay, that made her sound like the biggest slut on the planet, but it’s been a year since her divorce. Nina got past her rebound phase months ago. The only thing new and fresh was her coming on to the bdsm scene and actually taking her personal opinion into consideration for the first time and–

And now she was mad, because his reasons made sense and it was awfully inconvenient.

Nina leaned back in her seat, crossing her arms and her legs and she must’ve looked ready to lay down one hell of a lecture, but she couldn’t seem to get past twisting up her mouth and glaring at the table.

“I hate it when you’re reasonable. You know, what I need might not be the responsible thing this time? Maybe this time the right thing is taking a big risk and going against the rules and the plan and trusting our instincts instead.”

“I thought you liked rules.” He stared at her. “Wasn’t that why you said you were drawn to this? Rules, boundaries, things that made you feel safe?”

Taking a deep breath, he ran a hand through his hair again. “I’m not sure you know the difference between need and want right now. I’m not sure I do either–and that’s the whole problem. My judgment’s been fucked since the moment I saw what you look like when you get off.”

That statement had sent her flushing and she covered her mouth with the back of her hand. It may have looked as if she were about to cry, but Nina was trying to swallow a sudden round of laughter. He was afraid that she wasn’t thinking clearly, when the for the first time in her life Nina felt she was, and somehow this was the most hilariously terrible situation.

You make me feel safe,” she finally managed to answer seriously, once she tamped out as much of her amusement as she could. “Immediately. The day I met you. And that’s kind of a big deal to me since I tend to not trust anybody ever. So it kinda warrants a bending of my rules just a little.”

Nina situated herself in her seat, uncrossing her legs and letting all that sudden tenseness melt away with a deep breath. She leaned on her arms again and gave him a serious stare.

“But okay. If you’re not ready for a Nina and Jay thing, I can wait. It’s going to be mutual needless torture, though.”

“You can wait, can you?” He raised an eyebrow, looking unimpressed. “Okay, little miss certainty. Prove it.”

Reaching across the table, Jay picked up one of her wrists. His thumbnail traced lightly over the vein on the inside.

“Go one month without coming,” he told her, pressing down on her pulse point. “I’ll know if you do. One month, one date.”

“I know exactly what you’re doing,” she accused, even pointing a finger right at his nose with her other hand. No doubt he could feel her pulse picking up.

“That’s going to be easy. I won’t even have to do anything different beyond turning down dates.” Nina didn’t even have to worry about what she did at home. She was still ridiculous about feeling herself up. A month without sex was going to be a breeze.

“If you say so.” He smiled. “I guess it’s a good deal then, isn’t it?”

“I accept your silly challenge!” That smile of his made her suspicious for sure, but she still couldn’t fathom how it was going to be a problem for her. Though she did side-eye him just a bit.

Trying Something New

Trying Something New 004

“Nina! Drop everything you’re doing. We need to get you dressed up now.” Tabby was so loud every one of Nina’s neighbors must have been able to hear her shouting and banging on Nina’s door. “I got you a date!”

Nina seriously thought about pretending she wasn’t home and just lurking in the apartment until Tabby finally left. If it weren’t for the fact she could actually hear the girl screaming over her hairdryer, she might have. Shaking her hair out on the way, and still wearing her shower towel, Nina went to let Tabby in.

“First of all, no. Whatever this date is, forget it! We’re not going to have a repeat of the van incident. Second– Tabby are you listening-“

“Great! You’re already showered.” Tabby seized Nina by the arm and hauled her toward the bedroom, shaking a large black shopping bag at her. Her booted heel kicked the door shut behind her. “One of these should fit you unless your dress size has changed recently. I can just return the others. Look, I promise this will be fine! He’s a really nice guy. I’ve known him for years.”

“I really appreciate you thinking about me, but I actually can’t tonight. I’m going to meet Jay at the club tonight to hang out.” They were also going to talk about some of the things on her checklist, but Nina didn’t want to get into that with Tabby.

Since Tabby did go through all the trouble, Nina dug into the bag to see if anything was actually salvageable. They had very different ideas of what looked good, but ever so often there would be a gem. Tabby had been right about the club, after all.

“You’re not trying to re-conciliate me with that Anton jerk, are you? Because that’s not happening. I’ll pop him in the nose again, Tabby, I don’t like him.”

“No, no, I get it. You don’t get along.” She sighed in exaggerated exasperation. “But come on! You can hang out with Jay later! Marcus is a member too, I’m sure he’ll be down to go to the club after you have drinks. Just don’t tell him you’re meeting Jay of all people.”

The dresses in the bag looked like Tabby had bought them from whatever specialty shop she bought her own wardrobe from–at least, Nina assumed it had to be a specialty store. Or one very interesting thrift shop. All four dresses were black and admittedly did look like the sort of thing people wore to the club. There was one with a jagged, lacy trim and grommets across the neckline all the way to a second pair of off-shoulder straps; one insanely short minidress with extra belts that didn’t seem to serve any purpose and a mesh piece which covered the shoulders and throat but had a large hollow right over the cleavage area; a backless mini that was fairly plain other than decorative angel wings outlining the open back; and a spaghetti-strap romper with embroidered roses on the bust and a chiffon duster skirt.

“Since when are you and Jay all chummy anyway?” Tabby demanded. “I didn’t think you’d be into him.”

Nina laid the dresses out on the bed so she could get a good look at her options and her hopes were not high. Immediately, the one with the belts and the mesh was tossed over to Tabby. Not even teen Nina on Halloween would’ve been caught in that, it was ridiculous. She went ahead and discounted the one with angel wings. It wasn’t awful, but the skirt was so short and the style too young. Nina would’ve felt like one of those middle-aged women trying to desperately recapture their high school years.

“Into him? He’s my friend, which is kind of refreshing after the Tinder marathon.” Nina rest her hands on her hips, debating between the last two. The long dress with lace was pretty, but it was also the safe choice and didn’t really have that spicy vibe she wanted to live up to. The romper, on the other hand, was perfect- if it weren’t for the silly duster. It was so unnecessary!

“What kind of guy is this Marcus, anyway, and what’s so wrong about Jay? You didn’t already tell him I’d meet him did you?”

“At least try that one on before you look at it like that! You will look so good in it.”

Tabby crossed her arms, making a face. “It’s not that there’s anything wrong with Jay, I guess. If you’re into that sorta thing. I just didn’t figure you for being all Daddy’s little princess.”

She moved around to sit on the bed, playing with her hair. “Okay, yes, I told him you’d meet him already. But Marcus is a good guy, I swear. Unlike Anton he’s been part of the scene for years. He’s looking for a new sub and he’s not bothered by you being a newbie at all. And he’s good at bondage. You like bondage, right?”

Whoops. Nina had been talking with her face again. Squinting her eyes at Tabby, Nina went ahead and snatched up the romper along with a pair of underwear from her dresser and disappeared into the bathroom.

“I want to try bondage, I guess, yes…” she sounded reluctant, but only because now she was trapped in this blind date. Bondage was one of the first things put on her checklist, at least in terms of being tied up in one fashion or another, but Nina wasn’t keen on trying that with someone she didn’t know yet. Of course, she could easily just blow it off, but that seemed so impolite the dude who probably already set aside his night. There wasn’t any reason Nina couldn’t at least have a drink and talk to him for a bit.

Once dressed, Nina excited the bathroom and went straight for her standing mirror. She turned a little to the left, and a little to the right… Okay, she had to hand it to Tabby. Nina didn’t know how she could go through life making so many questionable decisions, but somehow accidentally still stumble over the perfect things. The sheer duster still felt a bit dramatic for Nina’s tastes, but she had just the right strappy heels to go with it. And if she put up her hair into a long pony tail and maybe some red lipstick…

“Fine, you win, I like it. And I guess I can meet Marcus, just for his sake, but this is the last time, Tabby, I mean it! I can find my own dates.”

“Your own dates are accountants,” scoffed Tabby, rolling her eyes. She looked pleased though when Nina started to fix up her hair. “Seriously, it’s just drinks. I’ll drop you there and we can all meet up at the club after if you want! I was gonna go tonight anyway. Things are getting serious with me and Scorn.”

It didn’t matter how many times she heard the name, Nina was always instantly smiling when Scorn came up. There was no way she could take that guy seriously.

“One accountant. Only one was an accountant!”

It only took her a moment to pull her hair up into a high pony that could rival Ariana Grande’s. As for her makeup, she skipped everything but the red lipstick. Now if she got to dancing or over-heated she wasn’t going to look like a hot mess, and the lipstick would be a good excuse not to kiss any strangers.

Once she was done and had on her heels, she did a little turn for Tabby.

“There! I don’t look like a princess now, do I?” One last thing was missing, though. She snapped her fingers and went digging in her jewelry box for a necklace. “But seriously, you’re making it sound like Jay’s into something weird like… dragon dildos or something.”

“Dragon dildos aren’t even weird, you giant prude!” Tabby seized her arm again, jumping up. “You look great. Marcus isn’t going to know what hit him. Come on, you’re meeting him in like, thirty minutes.”

She glanced up at Nina, squinting. “It’s not that what he’s into is weird, but why do you even care if you’re not into him?

Nina wanted to pinch the bridge of her nose, first because of course dragon dildos were weird, but mostly because Nina wasn’t the one that cared about Jay was into, it was Tabby that kept making the big deal about it!

“I was just- ugh! Friends! We’re just friends! Maybe I just want to know I’m not friends with a serial killer,” Nina mumbled. Before Tabby got over eager and started dragging her out, Nina found her purse and her phone. “Let’s gooo, then. Wait, where am I even meeting this guy?”

It turned out she was meeting Marcus at a bar called Last Drop. Tabby had told her they made amazing cocktails. What she hadn’t told her was that it was going to be vampire-themed.

After introducing Nina to Marcus, the little traitor had downed her drink and split. Now Nina was sitting alone in a red velvet booth with the guy, sipping on a fizzy red martini with a cherry sugar rim and a ridiculous name.

“So Tabby tells me you’re interested in exploring new interests,” Marcus was saying. His own drink was a glass of Merlot. “I’d like to hear a little more about what you’re looking for.”

The guy was cute, at least. Athletic, dusky-skinned, killer smile. He was wearing a red silk dress shirt with a black brocade waistcoat and ascot, and making even Nina feel under-dressed, but he was cute.

Nina had no idea where Tabby was finding all of these good looking men, and it felt so wrong to be inwardly complaining about it. But half the people in this bar were dressed like they walked off the set of an Anne Rice movie and Nina didn’t know if she could play this straight. At least at the club the people there understood it was all a roleplay. Here, Nina was a little scared to admit that biting was on her list. You couldn’t say that in a room full of vampires!

“Um! Hm. Well, I’m open to exploring a different kind of lifestyle I guess? In my dating life, I mean. Mostly, I’m dating and looking to date people that are open to trying things outside of the traditional bedroom stuff…”

This was so awkward. How could someone so gorgeous pull off an ascot like that. Somehow it worked on him. She was trying not to swallow her drink too fast and have a repeat of last weekend, but this one was actually pretty good, so every time she fell into a silence she ended up taking a drink to hide it.

“What about you? I didn’t get to hear much about you.”

“I’m looking for something new myself,” he told her. “I have had my share of playmates, but I’d like to spend time with someone less… jaded by the world. Someone who isn’t scared away by my particular tastes would be ideal, but a little companionship is all I really want right now.”

Nina’s phone buzzed in her purse.

“I’m a lawyer,” Marcus went on. “And a very private person. I work odd hours. It makes meeting compatible people difficult.”

“I can absolutely understand that,” Nina replied. She was honestly surprised to know he was a lawyer, considering the usual suspects in Tabby’s circles. Then again, some of Tabby’s friends needed lawyers. She suppressed the urge to laugh at her own wicked joke.

The phone she tried to ignore, since it’d be rude to be texting away right in the middle of a conversation.

“I’m actually looking for a more sincere relationship myself. I mean, I don’t want to jump into something serious right away, but I’m kinda hoping along the way I fall in love? Meeting new people has been tricky for me too, since I’m not really a bar and clubbing person and there’s only so many ways to meet new people outside of internet apps.”

Dang, she was such a phone addict. Knowing she had a text and not looking at it was driving her nuts. She snapped open her purse and pulled out her phone.

“Sorry, I’m just gonna take a peek at this real quick in case it’s important. But, um, tell me what you’re looking for in a companion? I’m personally not all that experience with, well, just about everything so it’d be nice to find someone that can be patient with it. Or even explore things with me.”

His lips pursed slightly when she went for her phone, but he waved off her apology regardless.

“I’m looking for someone who will accept me for who I am. Love is something I can’t hope for until then. For the rest… yes, I can be patient.”

The text was the latest in her conversation with Jay. It was a little surprising how easy it had been to text him off and on all week, but they’d just naturally fallen into it. This one was in reply to her frantic text letting him know Tabby had ruined their plans.

Tabby’s here. Where are you?

Nina smiled at Marcus and gave a little shrug of her shoulders.

“Tabby said you were a dom, and I know there’s a lot of bad perception about that. It’s gotta be difficult slipping it into conversations without your date thinking you’re some kind of serial killer– Which-” Nina pointed to herself with a wry twist to her smile, “Guilty. And I’m trying to get into the scene. Oh, but you go to the same club Tabby does, yeah? It’s been a good experience with meeting people?”

While she was talking, Nina thumbed out a quick response for Jay.

ambush date. didnt want to be rude

Then set her phone aside on the table.

“For the most part, yes. I belong to a particular subset that some in the scene find off-putting.” He frowned, toying with the stem of his wineglass. “Apologies if I seem to be dancing around the subject, Nina, but I’m used to poor reactions. While I would classify myself as a Dom and do favor some of the more widely accepted kinks–bondage, for instance, is a favorite of mine–I have a greater need than that. Some might dismiss it as bloodplay, but for me, it’s part of my identity.”

Nina’s phone buzzed against the table, much louder this time thanks to the hard surface on which it rested.

Nina slapped her hand over the phone to stop it’s racket and then just held it in her lap.

By now Nina had picked up that he liked to talk fancy, and that wasn’t so unusual since a few of the professors at the univeristy sometimes fell into the habit, whether they were English profressors, or teaching medeival history. But once he’d brought up bloodplay, it all started to click. Vampire club, dramatic clothes, glass of merlot, fancy language, blood.

Before she burst into laughter, Nina grabbed her drink and finished it off.

“Oh? Hm. Since I’m so new to everything, I’m trying not to judge anyone’s interests. Especially since I’m not even sure what I’m into myself, and it’s so much easier to try and discover things when you can trust your partner to be open to listening.”

A little more subtly this time she read her new message.

A date Tabby picked? Yikes. What’s wrong with him?

“It’s refreshing to meet someone so open-minded,” Marcus was saying. “I assure you, it’s a lot safer than it sounds. I don’t play with anyone who hasn’t been tested recently, and I get monthly testing myself. I also don’t take much. Feeding is more… symbolic. Spiritual. A way to be close to my partner.”

omg he’s a vampire

“I can respect that,” she replied honestly, but was still finding it difficult not to start giggling. At best Nina was able to temper her smile. It’s not like she thought roleplaying was dumb. There was a lot of fun to stepping into a different life and playing around with it. Even the vampire thing by itself wasn’t so weird – she did like biting after all. There was just a line for Nina where it was just too much.

“I do have to admit that this- um. All of this doesn’t really feel like me. Not that I’m scared or anything! Hm. But, it’s- I feel like I might not live up to your, uh… expectations?”

“I see.” From his tone, it was fairly clear that he did see, despite Nina’s best efforts. “I think you might be surprised if you give yourself the chance, but of course I won’t pressure you. Might I at least buy you another drink? As I said, companionship itself is quite nice, and it’s been a while since I met someone at least polite enough to listen.”

Has he tried to sell you on drinking blood being a religious experience yet?

Jay was a monster. Swallowing another giggle, she set the phone on her lap to give Marcus her full attention. Nina did feel a little bad to shoot him down, especially since she knew what it felt like to have someone just flat out not be interested or even want to listen. Hanging out for a few minutes was the least she could do.

“One drink,” she held up a finger. “And don’t get me wrong, I might eventually dabble in the art of vampirism. There’s plenty intriguing parts about it, but I’m not sure I’m ready for something like that yet? I also appreciate that you’re not trying to seduce me. I am- hm. I get nervous and then weird.”

“I think I might find your nervousness charming.” Marcus smiled. “But as you wish. No seduction, I promise.”

Trying Something New

Trying Something New 003

It was 10:13am and Nina’s alarm had been going off for two hours. She was going to turn it off, truly, but when she rolled over the first time there was an earthquake and she’d suffered a concussion. At least, that’s what it felt like. She slipped out of bed and crawled into the bathroom where she threw up some interesting colors and then laid there on the deliciously cool tile floor until all the nausea passed and she couldn’t stand to hear the bee-beep. bee-beep. bee-beep. any longer.

Once she got to her feet and rinsed her mouth out with some Listerine, Nina grimaced at her reflection in the mirror. Her makeup held on better than expected, save for the dark smudged circles under her eyes- wait, nope. That was just legit her own haggard skin. She was even still wearing her dress and–

Dang. Tabby still had her shoes.

Groaning, Nina shuffled all the way back to her bed, turned off her alarm, and face-planted onto the mattress. What was she thinking? Why hadn’t she counted her drinks? Why didn’t anyone stop her! Uugh, she was just going to die like this, it was fine.

It was only a minute later that her text alert went off.

When she managed to convince herself to actually look at it, she found a message from an unknown number. Whoever was texting clearly knew her though.

Have coffee with me.

“Who is this,” she mumbled to the empty room.

Before she considered or even wondered who the text was from she replied with the honest truth.

cant coffee busy dying rn

Once she hit send, Nina fought her brain fog and tried to remember if she gave out her number to anyone last night. It wasn’t something she made a habit of doing, and Nina hadn’t drank so much that she blackout. In fact, as she threw an arm over her eyes to block out the light, she very clearly remembered breaking her resolution of not banging someone on the first date. She did one worse, because she hadn’t been on a date at all!

It was fun though. Maybe even more so because Jay had been wat-

“Ooooh noooo,” Nina sat up quickly, glancing down wide eyed at her phone. She hadn’t given out her number, but she had used Jay’s phone to text herself a questionnaire. This had to be him. But now she was too afraid to text and ask. Was she in trouble? She couldn’t be! She hadn’t broken any rules, right? Dang, she probably seemed like the biggest hot mess, breaking noses, being a newbie, getting drunk and screwing some stranger like that.

She tossed the phone over to her pillow like it was a snake. Maybe she should ignore it!

As if it knew what she was thinking, her phone went off again.

Stop that. You’re not allowed.

As she watched, another message followed.

I could bring you coffee.

“If I don’t pick it up, I’m not in trouble,” she exclaimed, to absolutely no one.

Once she realized she was behaving like an absolute lunatic, Nina huffed and reached to snatch the phone again.

This was definitely Jay. Nina sighed and flopped back down again. She’d already sent one text, so ignoring him would be stupid now. What was she so embarrassed about anyway? Nina went there specifically looking for potential future lovers, and he knew that. So she stared him in the eyes while she fucked a guy, big deal.

“Oh my god, what is wrong with meeeee,” she groaned. She quickly thumbed another reply.

i haven’t even showered! the illusion of cuteness will be b r o k e n

You’re still in your dress from last night, aren’t you?

You’d look cute in a burlap sack, Nina. Let me bring you the damn coffee.

Text me your address. You can shower while I’m on the way.

Nina’s arms fell limp at her sides as she frowned up at the ceiling. How did he even know? She was probably a textbook case of repressed divorcee goes wild. Nina would’ve only had to show up in latex and zippers to be the ultimate of basic losers.

Coffee sounded really good, though. And Jay was a cool dude. It’d be nice to talk to someone that wasn’t family or Tabby.

okay dungeon daddy you win

Nina texted her address along with the reply and then dragged herself off to the shower.

When she came back to her room, she found another message waiting for her.

You have fifteen minutes.

It had already been about that long since he’d sent the text.

“Aw, jeeze.” Nina dropped the phone again and tossed her damp towel to the floor. If he was as punctual as he was serious about his caretaker duties, then he likely meant exactly fifteen minutes. Nina scrambled to comb through her still-wet hair and snatched up a robe to throw on. She cinched it tight around her waist, grumbling to herself about headaches, and guys, and coffee then padded her way across her tiny apartment to the front door.

Nina peered out the peep hole and made a startled yelp when dark hair suddenly came into view. She leaned her shoulder against the door, debating for a second time on whether or not she would open it.

She was being absolutely mental. Nina was a grown woman, nothing about this should be intimidating or awkward in the slightest. Sucking it up, she unlocked the door and pulled it open.

“Goooood morning,” she chirped a little bit higher pitched than was normal.

“Morning.” He was fighting a smile, his eyes flicking up and down over her once. In contrast to Nina, he looked perfectly put together in a flattering grey sweater and dark jeans, with a black leather jacket to combat the fall morning air. There was a to-go cup in each of his hands and a plastic bag slung over one arm.

“Here. Carefully,” he said, pressing a coffee into Nina’s hand. It was hot, but the cardboard grip and his heads-up kept her from burning her fingers. “I have cream and sugar in the bag.”

“That sounds really good right now,” she muttered, stepping aside so he could walk in and then closing the door behind him. Nina wasn’t a coffee person; all she knew was that it could wake her up and it only tasted good with copious amounts of cream and sugar. And today it smelled better than anything in the world.

She led the way across the small studio space, and unlike Jay it did not look polished or put together. The apartment itself wasn’t in top condition when she moved in, and it was pretty obvious by the amount of boxes stacked around and the limited amount of items pulled out that Nina didn’t think of it as a permanent residence either. The only personal touch visible (besides the apparent habit of her tossing off her shoes and stockings in any direction when she got home) were dozens of plants and succulents in ideal sun-catching places.

Nina at least had a big sofa and coffee table and that is where she sat down, pulling the lid off her cup and taking a sip of the scalding liquid despite the warning that it was hot and unsweetened. She covered her mouth with her hand for a split second while she made a face at it.

“Thank you,” she finally said. “Also I think I owe you an apology too. At least for running off with Tabby and forgetting about our tour.”

“It’s alright,” said Jay, settling next to her on the sofa and setting the shopping bag down on her coffee table. He pulled out a handful of sugar packets and half-and-half, and pushed the lot of them to a spot in front of Nina. “I was a little concerned until I saw you two at the bar. Figured you were done for the night.”

He sat back, taking a sip of his undoctored coffee, and looked at her. Really looked, holding her gaze for a long moment and then moving on to the rest of her, from head to toe.

“Did I screw up?” he asked finally. “Should I have stopped that?”

Nina froze like a deer in headlights, wondering what warranted such an examination until common sense struck her. He’d been worried about her. She was the dungeon newbie and could’ve gotten herself into all kinds of disasters. Of course, it wasn’t about her personally, but it felt good to have someone actually take the time to check on her and see if she was still alive.

“I was a little drunk,” admitted Nina as she ripped open about four sugar packets to dump in her coffee. “But not so drunk that I didn’t know what I was agreeing to. I maaaybe wouldn’t have done it without knowing his name first, but I don’t regret it. Definitely don’t regret it.”

Once she’d added several of the creamers, Nina leaned back on the sofa to make herself comfortable, looking much like someone who’d just discovered a revelation. A few swallows of coffee helped that lingering churning in her stomach.

“Never, ever going to get drunk again though. Still not convinced I won’t drop dead later.”

“I told you that you’re not allowed,” Jay reminded her, grinning.

“You know, going forward, it’s generally not a good idea to drink if you’re going to do a scene anyway. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into ahead of time.” He looked around at her apartment and Nina felt like he was sizing it up the same way he always seemed to be doing to her, but he didn’t say anything–at least, not about her place.

“You need to eat something. Is there food in your fridge?”

“There’s food,” she defended. Actually, now that she thought about it, there probably wasn’t much beyond orange juice and some breakfast burritos in the freezer. Maybe some leftover Chinese takeout if she was lucky. Nina hadn’t really spend a lot of time at home in the past few months between work and her new exciting dating life. And really, it seemed pointless to go through all the trouble of cooking something nice just for herself.

“Well, maybe not. But that’s fine, I can just crawl back into bed and sleep.” Or sleep on the couch, she thought. Now that she was comfortable, Nina was hesitant to move and start her head throbbing again. She didn’t have to work tomorrow either, so she was free to be a useless lump all she wanted.

“I normally don’t drink at all,” she mumbled in continuance of their conversation. “A glass of wine at most, but I’m usually the designated driver or the one getting called in the middle of the night to pick someone up. And this-” she paused to point at all the packed boxes, “is temporary. I didn’t have a lot of money left after the divorce, so I am um… in transition, I guess? I’m saving a down payment for something nicer. I am much, much more put together than this, I swear.”

“You’re really cute when you’re embarrassed, you know that?” Laughing, Jay pulled out his phone. “I get it, Nina. I’ve been through my share of breakups. Stop explaining yourself and help me pick some breakfast.”

He shifted closer to her on the couch, angling his phone screen so she had a clear view. He’d pulled up Grubhub and was scrolling through the nearby options for delivery.

“This place has good sandwiches,” he told her, his thumb hovering over one item in the list. “Looks like there’s also a waffle place. Thoughts?”

She was not cute when she was embarrassed, but once she’d realized she was sitting there flushing and twisting up her mouth like she was sixteen and some boy she liked had paid her a compliment, Nina had to give it to him. Jay was the first person to step foot in her apartment beside her cousin and Tabby, and it did’t help he’d seen her make a fool of herself last night. But the only one being ridiculous about it was herself.

“It’s a hard habit to break,” she admitted, scooting closer so she could poke at his phone and do a little scrolling of her own. It was hard to think about food at all, but she knew she’d need to eat something if she wanted to survive.

“What about just a pillow case full of bacon and some fries?”

He let out a huff of laughter and scrolled back up. “I can find the next best thing.”

In the end, Jay just ordered for her, and then they were left waiting for the food to arrive. Nina’s guest seemed perfectly content to sit in silence and sip his coffee, and for a few long moments she thought he wouldn’t say anything again.

Then, he glanced at her. “I expected more books.”

Nina had down her coffee in four large swallows and curled up with one of the sofa throw pillows. Sitting in silence suited her just as much as talking about any little thing that popped into her head. For the moment she was just glad to let her swimming head have a break, and it helped that Jay had one of those easy auras about him. Nina didn’t feel like she had to be on guard or entertaining or anything more than existing, which was a stark contrast to people like Tabby or even her ex, where Nina was always hyper-aware of what they were up to.

When he finally brought up books, Nina grinned wide, almost proud of herself.

“What do you think is in all of these boxes?” She leaned to point to one stack in particular. “I have encyclopedia sets from three different decades. And every novel Stephen King has published so far. He’s not even my favorite author, but he’s written so many it’s kinda fun having the collection.”

“All of the new ones are in my room,” she pointed over her shoulder at the wall behind them. “Nothing as impressive as the encyclopedias, but I’m reading that kinda stuff at work all day anyway.”

“Can I take a look?”

There had to be some irony in the fact her favorite genre was psychological suspense thrillers and here she was eagerly slipping off the couch to take a man she just met yesterday to see her bedroom. But so few people ever asked about Nina’s reading that she was delighted to actually show them off.

Nina’s bedroom was much more put together than the rest of the apartment and it was obvious that’s where she spent most of her time. Aside from her bed not being made and a few days worth of clothes scattered on the floor, everything else was neatly put away. Her books were in tidy stacks or on shelves and her most recent reading material sitting on her nightstand. There were several plants in here too, all in lovely pots and well taken care of.

Nina kicked some of the clothes over towards the closet, but aside from twisting her mouth up, she didn’t apologize or make a fuss about her mess again.

“All of my furniture is new. Well, not new new, I like going to flea markets for old books anyway, and there’s always some neat piece of furniture if you look hard enough.” She took a seat on the corner of the bed, rubbing her temple with the heel of her palm.

“I like flea markets too. And thrift stores.” Jay gave the shelves a quick glance, but then skipped right past them to Nina’s nightstand and plucked up her current read, flipping directly to her bookmark.

“You’re reading those next?” he asked, nodding to the short stack that still sat on her nightstand.

Nina felt a little bit like she was being investigated, which was mildly entertaining as Jay seemed to be one of those people who just did it naturally whether it was on purpose or not. She’d watched him yesterday keeping a hawk-eyed on every detail going on in the club, and now here he was sussing out whatever secrets she might be hiding. Nina tended to offer up information about herself even when people didn’t ask, but she was curious to see what he’d conjure up.

“Yeah. It’s hard to go somewhere and only get one book, so I always end up with a bunch.” She lift her arm and pointed over to the sliding door behind her. “That’s my closet,” Nina threw out there, just to see if he’d go look through there too. It was kind of hard to swallow the mischievous smile that wanted to creep up.

He looked at her, lips twitching.

“I’m nosy,” he admitted readily. “Does it bother you?”

Sitting down next to her on the bed, Jay continued to read the first page or two where Nina had left off, then shut the book and turned to the back cover copy.

“A little morbid,” he teased her. He set it back down next to her to-read pile. “Are you into true crime too, or just the fiction?”

Nina shrugged her shoulders and couldn’t help but smile at him.

“True crime is fun too, but I’d rather watch that than read it. Um- also in smaller doses because then I start looking around me trying to guess who might be a murderer and get a little carried away.” It was particularly easy to get all worked up and paranoid now that she lived by herself and there wasn’t someone to wake up when she heard weird noises, but Nina kept that tidbit to herself.

“You like to know people,” Nina observed out loud. “A details person. So why physical therapy instead of something like psychology or being a cop?”

“Who’s the psychologist now?” He shrugged. “Physical therapy is rewarding. I actually see results. And I’d rather help people get better than lock them up.”

Nina laughed, leaning over to bump against his shoulder.

“When do you ever take a break? You’re improving lives during the day and keeping an eye out for hot messes like me at night. I feel like someone should be bringing you coffee and breakfast.”

“Are you volunteering?” His smile widened. “I like taking care of people. For me, being able to make people feel happy or safe, or pushing them to accomplish what they need… That’s what makes me feel good. I do read or go running in my downtime, though.”

He turned his head back towards her bookshelf, though he remained seated. “I have different tastes than you do, but I have a few thrillers you might like. I tend to read nonfiction for the most part. That and hard sci-fi.”

“You should really be careful making offers like that to a desperate divorcee looking for friends and a good time.” she teased. “But if you’ve got books for me, I’ll bring you dinner. It’s been a while, but you never really forget how to cook.”

“Sounds like a plan to me.”

Once the food came, they curled up on the couch and squabbled over what to watch on Netflix before settling on The Assassination of Gianni Versaci. At some point, full of bacon cheese fries and dozy from the painkillers Jay insisted she take, Nina drifted off. Jay shook her awake some time later long enough to lock up behind him, and then she crawled back into bed.

Trying Something New

Trying Something New 002

“Nina! Nina, what’s this I hear about you punching Anton in the dick?!” Tabby demanded, the tiny blonde looping an arm around Nina’s middle and pulling her away from the scene. “Oh my God, I was so sure you’d been kicked out!”

One would think her whole self defense instincts would’ve kicked in when Tabby grabbed her, but Nina ended up stumbling to the side along with Tabby and then swatting her arm and hands away once they stopped.

“I didn’t punch him, I kicked him and he righteously deserved it,” Nina corrected. She was all flustered again for a dozen different reasons, none of which she wanted to discuss with Tabby. The fact the girl was even still here was a surprise.

Nina smoothed her hands over her dress and tucked her dark hair behind her ears.

“And where did you run off to, anyway? Hasn’t anyone ever told you that girls are supposed to stick together in clubs? That weasel could’ve tried to kidnap and no one would’ve known what happened!”

“What? No, Anton’s harmless, he’s just a little dumb.” Tabby scoffed. “Look, you can’t just attack people here, you’re going to get in trouble!”

The woman planted her hands on her hips, huffing. Including the full height of her spiky platform heels, Tabby was no more than five and a half feet tall. She was the same age as Nina–a year or two younger at most–but had the sort of baby face that made her look eternally youthful, with wide eyes and pouty lips. If it hadn’t been for her generous bosom and the curves of her hips, she could have been mistaken for a kid. Her naughty punk schoolgirl getup didn’t help matters.

“Sorry. Scorn took me to check out the new swing and I lost track of time. You’re safe here, everyone’s really cool! Don’t be so dramatic. Now tell me what you think, do you love this or what?”

There was no sense in arguing with Tabby about Tony. As far as Nina was concerned as long as the jerked stayed away from her (and she supposed she should include Tabby in that too), there wouldn’t be a problem. She’d hit him again in a heartbeat, but she’d not start something in the club if she could help it.

It also took a lot of self control not to comment on the name Scorn. Or laugh. The corners of her mouth were already twitching and Nina really didn’t want to encourage that sort of thing.

“Luckily for you I did meet a couple of really nice people and it’s not a murdery like I was expecting. I’m definitely going to come back again to meet more people, though. I mean it’s a lot to take in and kind of overwhelming, but I do like some things. Some things,” she had to clarify before Tabby started thinking she was down for anything crazy.

Tabby squealed softly despite Nina’s attempts to mitigate, her face lighting up like Christmas had come early. “What. Things?

Before Nina could reply, she was being hauled by the little blonde back towards the bar area. “Who did you meet? Anyone cute? I can totally set you up with a couple guys. I know all the single Doms who come regularly.”

The only good guy Tabby had ever dated was Nina’s cousin, and even that had been a dubious choice. The last thing she needed was one of Tabby’s Eligible Bachelors.

“I don’t- Hm. I don’t need help meeting guys, I think I’ll be okay in that department.” she insisted, wondering how the shorter girl had such a strong grip of steel. She really didn’t look that strong! Nina completely avoided answering about who she met. Though she was sure Jay could handle Tabby just fine, she didn’t want to disrupt the cherub-faced older Tom with a Tabby in his life. He had a sick Mal and a puppy to worry about.

“Well, I got to see a new application for the saltire cross today, so that was something and a woman as a rope bound chandelier pretzel, which was actually kind of beautiful but definitely not something I’ll be attempting anytime soon. I think I might have to go shopping though, I don’t have the accessories to linger here all day and then be able to go home and sleep.”

“God, Nina, what’s even the point if you’re not talking to the guys here?” complained Tabby, apparently assuming that Nina’s reticence was due to lack of trying. “The cross IS pretty nice, huh? Really easy to set up at home, too. Man, I need to show you something better like the queening stools next time though. Though I guess if you’re all subby that might not be your thing.”

As they slipped back out of the playspace, Tabby beelined for the bar.

“Two Necromancers, please!” she ordered, wiggling onto a barstool. “Okay. So. When are we going shopping?”

We? Nina imagined walking into a sex store with Tabby and somehow that was actually worse than a sex club. They’d end up getting matching vibrators or something, and then Nina would always get reminded of Tabby every time she used it just– She didn’t need that kind of trauma!

Pretending she couldn’t feel that rush of heat back in her cheeks again, Nina slipped onto a bar stool, frowning at Tabby all the while.

We aren’t shopping. I’m going to check out some reviews online first.” She almost asked what a ‘queening stool’, but decided against opening that can of worms. Nina could look that up later too without Tabby giving her show. Because she had the feeling Tabby would love to demonstrate and again– trauma.

“Anyway, you can’t say I’m too subby when I don’t even know what I like yet. The whole reason I agreed to this in the first place was to try a whole bunch of new things! I mean, I’m not sure I want to seduce some guy into submission, but I’m not saying I wouldn’t. I’m just- I just don’t want to do have to do everything, that’s all.”

“Ugh! Well you’re definitely not a Domme if that’s how you feel about it!” exclaimed Tabby, pulling a face. The bartender set down two very, very pale cocktails in front of her, and she immediately slid one over to Nina. It smelled almost medicinal; the only thing Nina could immediately identify was lemon, but there was definitely something bitter in there.

Throwing back a large gulp of her own drink, Tabby kicked her feet. “You’re totally overthinking this. All of it will come naturally to you once you find a playmate. Isn’t careful planning and being sensible what kept you with What’s-His-Fuck so long in the first place?”

Nina wasn’t too sure about this drink but took a swallow anyway. There was something flowery and grassy about the flavor that wasn’t unpleasant, but it also wasn’t exactly her taste. This one ranked under the Old Fashion.

While she nursed it, Tabby’s criticisms sank in. She was kind of right, as much as Nina didn’t want to admit it. Her entire marriage had been Nina doing the responsible thing, the right thing, the thing that made Shaun happy. It wasn’t even just school, work, or what was for dinner. There were so many times Nina tried to suggest something spicy in the bedroom and Shaun was never interested. How do you live through that many years and not try handcuffs at least once?

That drink was gone in three swallows.

“You’re right. You’re right! I have to chill out and stop trying to over do everything. But-” she held up a finger pointedly at Tabby. “I am not making the same mistake as the Tinder fiasco. I shouldn’t have slept with half those dudes, Tabby. I’m not going to do that here, I want something better than that.”

“Okay, okay! Jeez! Just come on and dance with me.”

Several songs and another round of drinks later, Tabby was itching to return to the playspace.

“All the good stuff’s back there, Nina! This is just stuff we can do anywhere. Let’s goooooooooo,” she complained, picking Nina’s hand up and pulling her towards the curtain once more. “Practically no one is out here!”

“Fiiiiine,” complained Nina when her bare feet weren’t giving her any traction against Tabby’s tiny-human super strength. It only took a song or two for Nina to discover her favorite heels weren’t great for dancing, so she pulled them off and stuffed them into Tabby’s bag, since her own wasn’t big enough to hold them.

Now, though, she supposed a break would be good. Nina was so warm she could’ve used a few minutes to sit down, or better yet to get her dress off. No one there would mind, she was sure, and the thought alone had her giggling to herself. She wasn’t going to, of course, but it was amusing. And Tabby had no idea what she was laughing about, which just made her laugh more.

“Are you going to get yourself into another swing, Tabby, I don’t wanna see that! My cousin kisses you!”

“There’s probably a bunch going on right now! We can just watch!”

Tabby wasn’t wrong. It felt like most of the party had relocated to the back room by now. There was some kind of scene going on in the middle of the room with a man in a kilt and two kneeling nude women, and another further back where a man lay facedown on the floor while a woman in heels like Tabby’s walked across his back. The suspension beam on the ceiling was being used again, too, this time by a lesbian couple. The suspended girl’s partner was lacing her slowly into an elaborate corset.

“See, nothing’s even free to use anyway.”

“It’s so warm in here, no wonder everyone ends up undressed,” she remarked to herself, but then she snapped her fingers. “I should get a corset!”

Nina managed to shake herself loose from Tabby to pull out her phone and bring up her notes. Quickly she thumbed out corsets, kilts, are lesbians hot?, and some things even her spellcheck couldn’t figure out.

“This place really is great,” she talked while she input her thoughts. “It’s like going to a small convention and getting to see a sample of everything before you- Hm.” Nina found herself completely derailed, watching the man in the kilt and being too curious not to stay and see what would happen.

Due to the low lighting, it took her a moment to see the leashes he was holding: one in each hand, attached respectively to collars around the necks of the naked subs. He was pacing around them in a slow circle, giving them a wide berth; finally he stopped and pulled hard on the leash in his right hand. The woman crawled forward across the floor toward him on her hands and knees as he slowly began to wind the leash around and around his palm, choking up the lead until she had only a few inches of movement remaining.

As he began to repeat the process with the lefthand lead, the first sub buried her face against the front of his kilt and gripped the edge of the material to lift it up.

Nina burst into loud nervous laughter and slapped her hand over her mouth so hard it made a sound. She turned slowly on the ball of her foot until she had a route to tiptoe out of the way of serious spectators. Once she was at a safe distance that same hand fanned her face and neck. They were just going to get right down to it weren’t they? Nina wish she could just be nervously mute, instead of cackling like a crazy person every time she got flustered. She was going to try this herself one day and end up laughing some poor man into a penis complex without even meaning to.

And she did want to try, too. Maybe not the dog collar and leashes and crawling on the ground like animal, but wouldn’t it be so awesome to be with a man that actually told her exactly what he wanted and what to do without her having to strip naked in the living room to Bruno Mars just to get his attention.

“Tabby, I’m dizzy. I should go back to the quiet side before I take all the spice out of someone’s- You awful little gremlin, where did you go.”

As Nina spun this way and that, trying to pick out Tabby’s blonde hair and plaid skirt in the crowd, she suddenly turned just in time to smack face-first against a solid chest.

“Whoa,” a voice laughed. “Are you okay?”

When she looked up, the first thing she saw were intense blue eyes, and for a moment she thought Jay had found her again. But then she saw spiky black hair and dimples and all the differences in their features that made her wonder why she’d thought of Jay at all.

“Are you here by yourself? I don’t want you to get in trouble for talking to me.”

Without her shoes she was a good two inches shorter and a little embarrassing that she was having a harder time walking on bare feet than heels. Her hands went up to brush her hair back behind her ears. Jeeze, he was cute. Nina definitely had a type. There was just something wonderful about dark hair and light eyes and being so tall certainly helped too.

Nope. No, she needed to keep an eye on Tabby right now. That girl was bound to get in trouble.

“I- No. Well, actually I’m here with someone but not with someone. I am a free agent.”

“Do you need to get back to them, or…” He tilted his head. “To be totally honest, my date bailed on me and I’m just trying to salvage my evening. You’re cute. Can I buy you a drink?”

“You think I’m cute?” Nina laughed. Why did it always feel like she’d never been complimented before. It always had that same rush of warm fuzzy pleased feelings. But it was definitely nice to hear when so many ladies here were in different levels of being undressed and all looked stunning.

“I think that gremlin abandoned me again. I don’t know how she disappears so fast.” she muttered with surprise, giving one last look over to see if she could spot the girl nearby. Nina finally just shrugged. Tabby had been there dozens of times before, she was probably more likely to cause trouble than get into it.

“You know what, yes! I would love to sit and have a drink!”

“Wait, so you’ve never tried anything?

They were sitting together on one of the small leather couches in the back of the playspace, halfway through their drinks. He’d disappeared to the bar and come straight back with a rum and coke for himself and a fruity martini for Nina that actually glowed in the dark, thanks to the glowstick garnish that doubled as a swizzle stick. He’d told her he’d been coming to the club for about a year now, having been introduced to the scene by his ex, and now she was confessing how she’d gotten here herself.

“Not even fuzzy handcuffs or a little spanking?” He didn’t sound judgmental, just curious and a little surprised. “Maybe asked your boyfriend to play professor to your naughty schoolgirl?”

Nothing,” she confirmed, her eyes wide with equal surprise. “I thought at first that maybe I was just bad at sex, you know, so why not try something spicy? But I couldn’t even get him to watch porn with me. That has to be the easiest thing, right? He just wasn’t interested.”

The glowstick she was twizzling in her fingers and occasionally using to accent a point. The drink was now tied with the other blue drink for her favorites, though it did make her briefly wonder if she just like blue things. When she wasn’t playing with the glowstick she was using a napkin to fan herself, because it seemed as the night went on the place just got stuffier and warmer.

“I wish it hadn’t taken me years to realize I wasn’t happy. Of course, now I’m the bad guy, because apparently he was happy, but that’s all over now.” she leaned close to whisper, as if she were telling him the greatest secret in the world. “I’ve had more fun tonight than I have in years and I haven’t even started attempted the fun stuff yet. How crazy is that?”

“Are we sure he wasn’t gay or asexual?” Nina’s new friend asked. “I can’t imagine turning you down for anything. At the very least I can say he was an idiot.”

When she leaned into his personal space, he shifted to plant his hand against the back of the couch to her other side, loosely hemming her in. He gave her a playful grin, eyes sparkling.

“That’s not crazy. But why aren’t you trying something? There are things you can try that don’t require you to know anything about BDSM, you know.”

“I thought he might be gay too! But I guess he just didn’t have an adventurous bone in his body.”

Speaking of adventure, Nina couldn’t help but grin back at her new companion and slip into a fit of giggling. He’d been so easy to sit and chat with, even for a casual flirt or two, and it felt good to have someone treat her like she was enjoyable to be around. Aside from that one jerk, Nina really liked the people here.

“I’ve only been here a day, you know!” she laughed. “Isn’t it impolite to show up and demand a stranger to show me a good time? What would you suggest, then? Keep in mind, I’m not letting anybody tie me up today and I’m definitely not calling anyone Master.”

“Nothing that wild. Just sex in public.”

He glanced around at the dimly-lit room, then looked back at Nina through lowered lashes. “It’s a rush. Trying to see what you can get away with, how much you can do without anyone knowing. Sometimes getting caught and knowing you’re being watched is just as fun. If you want… I’m game.”

Nina laughed out loud again, then quickly had to cover her mouth because this was definitely one of those clandestine conversations where you didn’t want the whole world to know what you were plotting. She finished her drink and leaned to set the glass aside, then she turned towards him, hands in her lap, giving him a considering look.

“So what you’re suggesting,” she whispered softly, all kinds of amusement in her voice, “is a game of sex chicken.”

Why did that sound like so much fun? She hadn’t had sex in two whole months, and honestly who could possibly spend an entire evening watching other people do it and not end up frustrated. Nina was just going to end up going home to her crappy apartment and be too awkward to feel up herself.

And he was so good looking.

“Okay but,” she lift a finger to her mouth whispering a soft shhhh and a giggle. “Don’t tell my gremlin friend.”

His eyes lit up. Mirroring her own actions, he downed the remainder of his rum and coke, then slid closer on the couch until his thigh was resting solidly alongside hers.

“Can I kiss you?” he asked, tilting his head. His voice had dropped to a lower, softer tone. One of his hands reached up to tuck a piece of hair behind her ear. “Anything you don’t want me to do?”

“Yeah, you can kiss me,” she replied. Nina was trying to taper off her giggling, but it was kind of hard to take anything seriously and that was just the way she was.

She shifted close enough to whisper in his ear, her fingers reaching out to delicately pluck at his shirt.

“You could probably talk a lot less,” she mumbled with a laugh. “But if I don’t like something I’d definitely tell you.”

“Noted,” he said, and moved to cover her mouth with his.

It started off almost sweet. Maybe he was going slow just for her, making sure she was relaxed. Just when that started to feel frustrating, though, he introduced his tongue and there was suddenly nothing sweet or chaste about it. He was clearly a very practiced kisser, that much was clear, and he was kissing Nina like he wanted to taste every inch of her from the inside out.

She felt his hand on her knee, fingers teasing small circles against her bare skin. He was barely moving his hand so that it couldn’t have been noticeable unless you were up close, but the tiny motions were still enough to light up her nerves.

Nina savored every bit of the attention, humming into his mouth and not even being the slightest bit shy about kissing him back. The hard part was trying to keep to a slower pace when she had a couple hours of pent up energy that dancing around barefoot hadn’t diffused.

e came up for air at last, his nose brushing hers as he continued to doodle subtly against her knee. His other hand skimmed her exposed back. The backless cut she’d chosen allowed him to trace nearly the entire length of Nina’s spine.

Around them, the party was continuing on just as before, no one seeming to pay any mind to the two of them on their little couch. But people were milling past them by only a few feet away. It wouldn’t take much to turn heads, would it? The dull bass of the music and the murmur of the crowd weren’t loud enough to drown sounds at close range. There wasn’t any real cover, either, except for the back of the couch to one side and the low lighting and their own bodies.

The hand on her knee carefully re-positioned her leg ever so slightly while the other drew back around to her front, his thumb grazing one hard nipple as if by accident, before dropping out of view between them to the inside of her thigh.

Nina couldn’t breathe. Somewhere she’d sucked in a breath and never let it out again, and now her head was spinning and it was wonderful. That giggling was threatening to bubble up, and she quickly covered her mouth with a curl of her fingers to stifle the sound.

Since turnabout was fair play, she pressed her free hand to his chest, drawing her fingers down his abdomen until she hooked them into his belt. Nina used her eyes to pose the question instead of her words. Eyes and ridiculous quite giggling.

He grinned and raised an eyebrow in answer. A moment later he leaned as if to whisper into her ear, only to nip her earlobe instead. His tongue swiped and soothed where his teeth had left a small indent in her skin.

Meanwhile, his fingers moved up the inside of her thigh at a slow crawling pace until they reached the lacy fabric of her panties. One knuckle teased at the flimsy scrap where it covered her clit, rolling in a tantalizing and feather-light circle. The pad of another finger slid against the damp spot between her thighs.

“Fuck, you’re wet,” he hissed in surprise, but he didn’t stop.

“Told you I liked the place,” she laughed, almost too loud and had to bury her face at his neck. He smelled way too good, like some breezy unfamiliar cologne.

And she just added biting to her good-things check list.

Nina shivered, which seemed to be impossible when the room was boiling. She nuzzled into his neck, pressing her mouth against the spot where his pulse beat the strongest, then laving her tongue over his skin. Then with both her hands she gently pulled the leather from it’s buckle, only going slow enough so it wouldn’t make a sound or be too obvious.

Meanwhile, his fingers hooked in the crotch of her panties and slid the soaked lace to one side. A fingertip probed shallowly into her entrance. His other hand left her knee to cup her chin, forcing her face back up until she met his eyes–and held her gaze as he worked his finger inside her to the hilt.

“What’s the most fingers you’ve ever taken at once?” he asked in a husky whisper. His thumb petted her newly-bared clit.

Nina could feel all kinds of things tightening up, and dang did he have such pretty blue eyes. Blue was definitely her new favorite color.

“That’s a very specific question that I don’t have an answer too,” she responded with a breathy murmur. It wasn’t as if it hadn’t happened before, but she didn’t exactly remember all the specific times it did or make a finger count. As it were, all this teasing had her squirming in her seat and digging her teeth into her bottom lip. Nina made quick work of unbuttoning his pants and letting her knuckles do the grazing when she pulled down the zipper.

In answer, another finger edged inside of her to join the first. He gave a shallow thrust, caressing her from the inside.

He froze, then, when a passing couple paused to chat only a few steps away–all but his thumb, which continued to tease Nina’s clit.

“Daddy, can I have a playmate, please?” Nina heard the woman ask. Despite her word choice, her voice was unmistakably mature, if a little breathy. “I’ve been good, haven’t I?”

“You’ve been very good,” the man answered her. At the same time, Nina felt a third finger sliding along her lips as if seeking the best way inside. “Did you have someone in mind?”

“No, Daddy. Just a cute girl. I want us all to have fun together.”

A whisper in Nina’s ear drowned out all further chatter, bringing her attention back fully to her playmate. “There’s a condom in my pocket.”

He shifted, then, his free hand going to Nina’s hip to pull her closer. His fingers slipped out of her only to tug her panties down. The lacy material stretched taut around her thighs, not elastic enough to accommodate spread legs.

For a split second it was all kind of terrifying. The couple had come so close and it would’ve been so easy to turn and notice what was going on in their private nook. There was even that brief flash of wondering if this was a mistake. But it was also thrilling, that roller coaster ride she wanted to be on where her heat was beating a mile a minute and all she wanted to do was keep going.

Nina got to searching his pockets for the condom, fumbling a little bit because she didn’t want to rush and because she was so worked up her coordination was a mess. Once she finally found it, she held it up with both hands around nose level with the sort of grin that suggested she just found the best prize in the world.

With a wicked grin of his own, he pulled her in for another kiss, using her body as cover while he unwrapped the condom and rolled it on. No sooner had he finished than he pushed her hips just so that she sank down around him until the back of her thighs rested flat on top of him. With his pants only unzipped and her skirt settled around her, it was difficult to tell that either of them were any less than fully clothed.

Her panties had been pulled back up by the readjustment, the lace rubbing between her clit and the happy trail above his waistband. It had to be rubbing against other things, too, but he didn’t complain.

“All you, babe,” he breathed. His hands skimmed up her sides, flirting with the outer curves of her hips and breasts. “Don’t get caught.”

Keeping herself quiet was easy enough, at least in terms of controlling her giggling. All she had to do was keep her mouth busy and there were plenty of places to put her mouth. Her favorite being just under his ear where he was definitely going to be sporting a hickey come tomorrow morning.

The trouble was in not looking like she was fucking some guy’s brains out when she really wanted to fuck his brains out. Restraining the movement of her hips and body to nothing more than the most subtle of shifting was agony, but it was also so wickedly good that she wouldn’t dare stop now. Nina’s only regret was that she couldn’t tug his shirt right off, and instead had to settle on curling her fingers into the fabric and gripping tight.

It felt like hours that she rode on top of him while he urged her on with soft brushes over her clothing and languid kisses. Every so often someone would draw closer to the couch and Nina would have to slow down or even pause entirely to avoid suspicion. Once, when she stopped, he gave a small roll of his own hips and scraped his teeth against her throat.

It was while she was still reeling from the move that a prickle of awareness drew her eyes, and Nina found herself locking gazes with a different blue pair.

Jay was watching. He hadn’t been standing there a moment before, but now he was just close enough to get the gist of what was going on–at least when he was looking directly at her like that. One of his hands was planted against the wall, his expression inscrutable but intense. She got the feeling though that depending on what vibe she was giving off, he might break the No Violence rule himself.

Tilting his head, Jay bit his bottom lip, and that was a look she recognized.

Nina was caught and her heart skipped three beats. She should’ve expected Jay to stroll by at some point, it was his job after all to keep an eye on things, but somewhere between Tabby and drinks she’d completely forgotten. Maybe she should’ve been ashamed of herself or at least a tiny bit embarrassed, but Nina was riding such a high that at the moment it didn’t matter.

Dang, why did he have to look at her like that, she was dying.

She gave him an almost imperceptible little shrug and a whoops? sort of smile before making the ‘okay’ gesture with her fingers behind her partner’s back so he’d know she was alright.

..and then she realized she didn’t even know this man’s name, which sent her burying his face at his neck in a fit of giggles and went right back to what she was doing. This time with a little twinge in her stomach because there was someone watching.

And he was still watching, even after she’d signaled that she was fine. Every time she lifted her head she could see him standing there, and even when she didn’t she just could feel it. He was seeing every little twitch and roll of her hips, every time the man under her stroked her skin, every flicker of expression across her face and every shiver down her spine. His vantage point was so good that she was pretty sure the only thing he couldn’t see was under their clothes.

A thumb found Nina’s nipple and very slowly circled as it hardened under the touch, the heat going straight through the fabric of her dress.

“Can you get away with faster?” her partner purred into her ear.

Faster? Nina felt like she could get away with anything at the moment. It didn’t take much encouragement for her to pick up the pace. Nina gripped into his shoulders for the extra leverage to grind and rock as best she could with her panties preventing her from widening her legs any further. There was a fine layer of sweat on her skin, making her dress cling to her shape every time she shifted.

Nina tried to focus on what she was doing, but couldn’t help seeking out Jay’s blue eyes and savoring the thrill that went up her spine and made all her muscles clench up tight. Maybe a little too tight, because before she knew it Nina was gasping loud enough to have to slap her hand over her mouth again and her whole body was shuddering.

“Fuck,” her partner swore as she felt him throb inside her and he shuddered through his own climax in her wake. His hands rose to comb through her hair, pulling her into a deep and lingering kiss.

When they broke apart, Jay had disappeared.

“See?” the man who was still inside of her asked, bumping his nose against hers. “Fun, right?”

“I think- I think that’s going on my list,” she replied, spent and out of breath. Nina lingered there on his lap for a few moments, waiting for her heart to slow it’s pounding as she glanced around one last time. Jay was gone, and it seemed no one else had noticed (or cared to watch) their tawdry escapade. Once she did finally decide to move, she shifted enough so he could get himself presentable while she wiggled her panties back where they belonged. Then she plopped down on the sofa seat next to him and let out a sigh.

“Thanks for that,” she laughed. Nina was still out of breath, so it was more like a breathy giggle. She brushed the back of her hand against her forehead to find it a little damp and sticky. She felt sticky. Her whole body was still humming and her head was still swimming. Snatching up a napkin, she tried to fan herself to cool down a little.

“Oh, don’t thank me.” He laughed, grabbing a napkin and a pen to scribble down his number. “In fact, let me know if you want to do that again.”

Trying Something New

Trying Something New 001

Nina should’ve known better than to accept Tabby’s invitation, but she supposed desperation could turn someone into an idiot. Though, it wasn’t like Nina had asked directly for the help. When you’re having an awkward conversation about tumblr porn with your cousin and his weird ex girlfriend that always seemed to still be around, you don’t really think it’s going to lead anywhere. Nina mentioned her interest in a few of the BDSM blogs and now two weeks later she and Tabby were at a club in the middle of downtown.

Or it was her and Tabby. As soon as they’re ordered drinks from the bar, Tabby disappeared, leaving Nina sipping on something called an Old Fashioned and completely lost about what to do. Were there like, introductory classes in the building? Did you introduce yourself to various people and ask if they liked getting spanked or preference getting chained up to walls? Was it better if she just wandered around observing people?

Voyeurism was a thing. Nina just didn’t know if it was even a part of this scene.

Which left her drifting away from the bar and wandering in the dim light until she found a pillar that looked safe enough out of the way to spy from. What she should’ve done was hang out on a message forum for a few weeks asking questions. Going out with Tabby was like jumping right into a lion pit. At least she didn’t feel like she stood out. The tight dress she found in the back of her closet had a nice mix of elegance and oh damn, so at least she looked the part of a mysterious sexy stranger, even if she felt more like lion food.

“Hello, what do we have here?” a voice sent Nina nearly jumping out of her skin. “You lost, kitten?”

The man who’d sidled up nest to the pillar was tall and dark-haired and devastatingly handsome, like the star of some gothic romance. He was wearing a long black coat over his form-fitting button-down and leather biker pants, his thumbs resting lazily against a large belt buckle, and it should have looked ridiculous on a man who wasn’t in high school but Nina suspected he’d make anything look good.

It wasn’t as if he was the only one wearing something different from the kind of clubwear Nina was used to. There was an awful lot of latex and leather in the crowd, with more than a few actual collars and some people in outfits that didn’t look like they should be worn in public.

“Who left you unsupervised?” The handsome stranger stepped closer and planted a hand against the pillar by Nina’s head. “No one smart, isn’t that right?”

Immediately she burst into a short, loud nervous laugh and had to cover her mouth with her hand. Back in high school and college meeting new people was a breeze, but somewhere along the way she lost that skill to not be awkward. Although, if she gave herself some credit, she didn’t exactly hang out in places where people were wearing leather masks with zippers over their mouths and fishnet shirts.

“Hm, definitely no one smart.” Nina agreed. Tabby deserved it, so she didn’t feel too bad.

Nina didn’t move or shirk away, though she was a little intimidated to have someone in her space after five minutes of being there. She wasn’t even weird about her personal space, it was just taking her some time to get used to flirting again. It was also hard to take the man seriously when he called her kitten and was dressed like that, but this was part of the style and culture, wasn’t it? Nina was going to have to see past all that if she was really going to dive in.

“I- Hm. I guess you are a regular here?” she finally asked. How did you start up conversations and get to know people in a club like this? The same ‘what’s your sign’ as in the singles bars? Jesus, maybe she was never good at this.

“That’s right.” He gave her a slow smile and raked his gaze over her. “Don’t worry, I’ll show you around. I’ve been looking for a girl to train. What’s your name?”

Looking for a girl to train? Why did that sound like a line out of one of Tabby’s sleazy novels? Nina supposed it just came with the territory though, and she didn’t want to run screaming out the door just because she got a little weirded out.

“It’s Nina. I’m not sure I’m looking to be trained,” she answered honestly. “But I would definitely appreciate an actual tour? My friend doesn’t seem to be the guiding type.”

“Not knowing what you want is fine. I’ll handle that part.” Straightening up, he grabbed her by the hand and tugged her closer. “You’re just lucky I found you. Come on, Nina, the play area is this way.”

There was a door hung with a heavy black curtain on the opposite side of the bar, towards the back of the club. Nina hadn’t even realized it was there until this guy said something, it blended in so well with the wall.

“You’re new to the scene, right? That’s good. You won’t have picked up any bad habits.”

Okay, a secret backroom. That was kind of cool in a being led to the backdoor of hell sort of way. Nina glanced around to see if she could catch Tabby’s eye and let her know where she was headed (never go to a second location at a club without your girls knowing and all that jazz), but the woman was nowhere to be seen. Nina tossed back the last of her drink and abandoned the glass on a nearby table.

“Is asking what your name is part of those bad habits? Or do we not do names here?” she asked, noticing he hadn’t given his and was eager to get the party started. Nina didn’t mind being straight forward, but she kinda thought there would at least be some getting-to-know-you stuff first.

It was just a tour anyway, she didn’t know why she was getting so skittish! It’s not like she hadn’t seen plenty on the internet.

“We do names. But right now all you need to call me is Sir.”

The back room was less of a bedroom, it turned out, than some sort of VIP lounge. Except no VIP lounge she’d ever been to allowed the kind of activity that was going on in the “play area”, as her tour guide had called it. Half of the people back here were in various states of undress; Nina saw one woman who was fully nude other than a red, silky-looking rope that was wound artfully around her torso, outlining her bare breasts and binding her wrists and ankles together behind her back. She sat placidly on a small cushion while a small group conversed over her head like she was nothing more than a decorative centerpiece. Another man in nothing but a thick dog collar and a scrap of leather that barely passed for briefs was suspended from the ceiling from a two-by-four, his wrists and ankles spread apart into wide Vs by chains at either end. The woman standing next to him had her hand between his legs, and Nina couldn’t see what she was doing but her imagination could fill in the blanks.

Her new friend pulled her past the crowd to a display rack on the far wall. It seemed to be filled with what she’d seen called “floggers” in her googling, along with paddles, more coils of rope in every shade of the rainbow, and other things she couldn’t even begin to identify. He skimmed the selection until he found what he was looking for: a metal bar with cuffs at either end, not unlike the larger contraption that the man she’d seen earlier was hanging from.

“Have you ever seen a spreader bar before, Nina?”

He’d lost her at call me sir, but Nina found herself a bit flabbergasted by the “play room”. Seeing it in real life compared to pictures was an entirely different experience and sent a wave of flustered heat up the back of her neck. Now it was all very real and not just something she’d sit back and fantasize about. Not all of it was to her liking (being a show pretzel for one), but Nina didn’t not like it either. There were things that piqued her interest.

Then she found herself looking down at the spreader he held in his hands and remembered what had irked her. He had this whole presumptuous air about talking to her, as if it were a done deal. He didn’t ask her, he told her, and Nina might’ve been new to this, but she did know that the whole reason she was attractive to this stuff in the first place was because of the rules of consent, safety, and actually talking to partners about it. She’d been willing to give him the benefit of the doubt since she wasn’t sure what the flirting customs were like here, but it turned out a creep was a creep no matter what kind of club she was in.

Nina leaned in close.

“I don’t need to call you anything, kitten.” she stated simply, then smiled wide and straightened back up, already walking backwards in her heels. “I have actually seen one before, but I don’t think I’m interested in trying that with you. Thank you for the brief dungeon tour, though. I’m going back for another drink.”

“Excuse me?” The warmth had left his voice. “You will not mouth off to me like that.”

Making a grab for her arm, he gripped it painfully tight. He still had that same superior air about him, but his eyes were sparking angrily and his mouth had twisted into a scowl. “Kneel and take off your panties. I’ll teach you to show proper respect.”

As if to punctuate his words, he wrenched his hold. A flare shot up the back of her elbow to her shoulder, radiating out along her limb.

“Like hell you are!” Her answer was shrill, and though it matched her sudden terror it didn’t suit the pure anger that came with it. Was this his thing? Picking up lost girls and scaring them into sex? Tabby could’ve ended up back here, and though Nina wasn’t exactly fond of the girl, she didn’t wish any ill on her either.

Nina, though, could take care of herself.

Before he could yank her arm any harder, Nina popped him right in the nose with the heel of her palm and kneed him in the balls.

“Ow, fuck! What the hell is your problem, lady?!” the guy wheezed, doubling over and clutching at his nose. “You bitch!

“Alright, what happened?” a new voice cut in.

Nina looked up just as a man stepped in between her and her attacker. He had his hands on his hips as he looked between the two of them, one eyebrow raised. Behind him, Nina noticed that pretty much anyone who was nearby had stopped what they were doing to watch.

“She went psycho on me!” hissed the douchebag in the leather pants. “I just–“

“I wasn’t asking you, Tony.”

“It’s Anton,” he sputtered.

“Right.” Blue eyes fixed Nina with a piercing stare, his expression expectant. It was odd, because she was fairly sure Anton was taller by a bit, but Nina hadn’t felt so small next to him as she did when this man looked at her. “Well? Do you have a good reason for breaking our No Violence rule?”

“Someone should’ve told him about the no violence rule,” she shot back while gesturing at the jerk behind him. Everyone was basically staring at her now, which had her flushing red and wishing she had thought to scream for help first, even though the ass likely had it coming for a long time and she was just the lucky person to hit him.

Nina took in a slow breath and tucked her hands under her arms where no one was going to see them shaking.

“I told him I wasn’t interested, then he grabbed me– hard enough to bruise, mind you– and basically ordered me to my knees and threatened to teach me how to show proper respect. So I showed him the respect he actually deserves.”

It was a lot more politely said than what was going on in her head, and Nina was already resigned to getting thrown out, but like hell was she going to let this weasel get away with assaulting girls.

“See! She’s a total brat! I don’t know who invited her–“

“Enough.” The man pinched the bridge of his nose. “This is exactly why you can’t just show up to a scene and try to act like you’re a Dom. You were told to get mentored. I don’t care who invited you but if you have one more incident I’ll make sure you’re blacklisted from every play party and munch in the city.

“And you.” His gaze settled on Nina again. “You come with me. We need to talk.”

He pointed back to the curtain that separated the play area from the main club. Behind him, a red-faced and furious Anton slunk off like a scolded cat.

Anton, Tony, whatever, was lucky she was in trouble and not looking to cause any more. A stern warning didn’t feel like quite enough punishment, but this wasn’t her establishment and what would she have done anyway besides kick him again? She left him with one last scathing glare before turning on her heels.

Even after she’d stepped out back into the main club she didn’t uncross her arms. This was mortifyingly embarrassing, especially in a place she wasn’t familiar with.

“I’m sorry,” she finally dug up the courage to say. “I’m not here to be a problem.”

“Glad to hear it. Keep walking.” The guy indicated an empty booth that was tucked next to the small stage Nina had noticed when she first walked in. Before the raised platform had been empty, but now there was a chair set up and someone was actually getting a tattoo.

He gestured for her to sit, and then slid into the seat across from her. He reached down under the table and picked up a six-pack of bottled water, breaking one free of the plastic rings and setting it down in front of her.

“Drink that and let me see your arm,” he told her, his palm laying open and supine on the table.

How many things could one place do, Nina wondered. She was willing to bet they also did piercings. Might as well do everything all in one place, right?

Nina accepted the water, though she would’ve preferred a good stiff drink to settle down her nerves after all that. She was glad to find her hands weren’t shaking anymore as she twisted the cap off and took a sip and gave the man’s outreached palm a dubious stare. Finally she just sighed and held out her arm.

“It’s not that bad- I mean, it hurts but it’s relatively nothing. I’m just mad more than anything and I didn’t mean to be disruptive. I don’t regret it, mind you, but I won’t do it again. Here, anyway. If I see that jerk outside I might break his nose.”

“Outside is your business, but we have enough trouble with the cops, so make sure you’re at least a block away,” he said, and for the first time since she’d seen him, he cracked a grin. His smile was nice, Nina realized suddenly.

She’d been so worried about being in trouble that she hadn’t really been paying attention to what he looked like before now. Unlike Anton/Tony, he’d opted for a much simpler outfit: a fitted black v-neck and dark jeans. It was the kind of thing you could wear anywhere and fit in, really, no matter the venue. His hair was a bit on the longer slide and had some wave to it, but not full-on curls, nor was it long enough to put up in one of those manbuns or topknots that were starting to be all the rage.

He turned her arm over in his hands, his calloused fingers prodding purposefully but gently. “He might have pulled your muscle a little, but I don’t think you’ll bruise.

“I’m Jay,” he added, letting go of her in favor of offering her his hand, propping his elbow against the table. “The DM tonight. What’s your name?”

As far as Nina was concerned, that was permission and might just have to get herself a tazer if she ever ran into the dude again. She didn’t want to admit she was all shaken up and rattled, but Nina was never the one who got into scary situations. Normally she was overly cautious and avoided anything that looked even remotely like a risk. Now that she was out and about, trying to live a different kind of life, she was getting into all kinds of things.

“Nina.” Once she ran her hand up and down her arm to rub some of the soreness out, she shook his hand. Jay was considerably more pleasant than the other guy, but she supposed he needed to be if he were the one in charge of supervising the place.

“I’ve never been to a place like this before, but I’m guessing that’s painfully obvious to anyone that looks at me,” she grumbled softly.

“Pretty much,” he replied without even the slightest hesitation. At least he didn’t sound judgmental about it. Jay leaned back in the booth and tilted his head. “Which is the only reason you’re getting away with breaking about a dozen rules yourself. Why exactly are you debuting at a party instead of something more casual? Are you by yourself? How did you even get in?”

“You say debuting like it’s some kind of debutante ball,” she marveled. Maybe it kind of was, in a way. Instead of a blushing virgin being introduce to society, she was a twenty-nine year old divorcee looking for a good time. How many rules did she actually break by kicking a guy in the balls, she wondered?

That embarrassment was back again and Nina found herself anxiously fussing with the cuffs of her long sleeves.

“My cousin’s ex, Tabby, brought me. We don’t really have a lot in common, I think she just got really excited to share something she’s into when she found out I was interested. She’s around here somewhere, or she’s joined a crew for a bar crawl, I don’t actually know.”

Nina gave the club another quick once over just to see if she could spot Tabby yet, but with her luck the girl might’ve just dropped her off and bounced as soon as she got a drink in her. Tabby’s attention span wasn’t always the greatest.

“Tabby. Short, blond, poly Tabby?” Jay nodded. “Right. Seems like she skipped a few things, so let me catch you up to speed. First, I’m assuming you’re single?”

Usually when she got that question in a bar or club, it was a come-on, but Jay sounded strictly professional. He didn’t wait for her to answer though, continuing on, “Being single gives you a little more leeway, but play parties like this one have etiquette you’re supposed to follow. And some basic stuff you should always know, like who the host and the DM are, for your own safety. Believe it or not, you’re safer from creeps here than in your average club. We take security very seriously. I wasn’t kidding; calling the cops isn’t an option here. Most of what happens between consenting adults at our parties is chargeable as assault or rape no matter what we say. So we have to be on top of these things, and we have a lot of incentive to get rid of anyone who puts the community at risk.”

“So that means my new friend Tony is already on very thin ice.” Nina was kind of glad now that she didn’t default to threatening people with the cops. There would have been a lot of collateral damage just over one weasel. Knowing that a guy like skulking about wasn’t something that was tolerated for long was comforting.

“Okay, so… what are the rules?” she asked, forcing herself to stop her fiddling to splay her hands on the table. “What if my main goal is dating, but I specifically want to meet someone that wants to explore all this and more with me? Do you do classes for things like rope binding the same way they do pole dancing? Or is it more like mentor partners or is it bring your own buddy. I don’t- I don’t really have someone right now, but I’d like to and preferably someone who already knows all about this.”

All of her questions were completely in earnest, and Nina hadn’t even touch on the really salacious stuff yet. Mostly because it was so awkward talking face to face with a complete stranger. Nina didn’t even know which part was more embarrassing; the fact she wanted to spice up her sex life, or the fact she wanted to spice up her romantic life too.

“Well, the rules tonight mostly don’t apply to you, since you’re not attached to anyone. But as we’ve covered, No Violence. No interrupting or talking over a scene. Do not talk to the participants in a scene unless invited. No touching anyone or anything you don’t own without permission. No talking to a sub without making sure you have their Dom’s permission or they’re not attached to a Dom. Be polite and respectful. That means addressing Dominants as Sir or Madam or whatever they prefer to be addressed by,” he rattled off, counting on his fingers. “Think of it like respecting pronouns, but sexier.”

Jay paused as she tried to absorb all of that. As if reading her mind, he chuckled. “Yeah. And this is actually on the chill side for party protocol, because there’s no dress code or standard behavior code. The rules aren’t always the same from party to party either. But look.”

His eyes flicked down to her water, still mostly untouched, and then back to her face. He slid a finger forward to scoot the bottle closer to her, tapping the side as if to remind her it was there.

“If you mess up and it was an honest mistake, you just have to apologize. As far as figuring things out… There a lot of options out there. What kind of learner are you?”

“It’s a lot,” she admitted, grasping the bottle and rolling it between her hands before she finally took another drink. Nina thought about the last time she actually put her mind to learning something new. That had to be all the way back in college when she spent every free day and night cramming book knowledge into her head. She had a feeling that wasn’t going to be as applicable here.

“I don’t know,” she answered honestly. “I’m great with flashcards? Coming directly to a club wasn’t actually part of my plan. Usually I read everything I can get my hands on and then I would’ve talked to someone and from there, I don’t know. I guess I do like to see what I’m getting into before trying it myself? I liked the way all of this sounded because I could do something risky and exciting but there’s boundaries and I wouldn’t end up murdered by accident.”

Nina took another drink, frowning and scrunching her nose up at nothing in particular.

“Is it weird that I don’t actually know what I’m looking for? I’m not even sure if I’ll like any of this, I just want to test it out and see if it’s me.”

“Nope. Not weird.” Jay flashed her another smile and folded his arms on the table. “So, maybe you’re vanilla with a few sprinkles. Maybe you just haven’t ever found what you really like. You wouldn’t be the first late bloomer I’ve met. Either way, as long as you mind your manners, you’re welcome to stay and figure things out. I don’t think you’ll have any trouble finding someone interested in mentoring you. Someone who actually knows what they’re doing, I mean. More importantly though, you need someone you can trust to make sure you know what you’re doing.”

Fishing his phone out of his pocket, he swiped the screen a few times and then placed it in Nina’s palm.

“A really good place to start is eliminating what you know you don’t want versus what you are interested or even iffy about. Take a look.”

The form he’d brought up on his phone was a fairly long list of activities, categorized by type and including everything from kissing to fisting and gang rape roleplay. Nina didn’t even recognize some of the terms. (What was edgeplay? Or figging?) Beside each line were boxes headed as Experience, Interest, and Limits.

“Pretty much everyone fills a list like this out at some point or another. Sometimes every time they get a new partner. The thing is, you have to be really honest with yourself–and you have to take your time on it. Text yourself the link so you can fill it out later.”

“This is a lot of stuff,” she muttered under her breath. A lot.. Nina hadn’t even known half this stuff existed, and that was just the things she could recognize. Jesus, her google search history was going to look insane later.

She texted herself the link and once her phone buzzed in her little clutch purse, she slid his phone back across the table to him and retrieved her own. Nina made sure to save his number to her phone before she resumed looking over the list. A comprehensive list was incredibly helpful. With it she had a starting point and an idea of what she might want to try or avoid, and things seemed a lot less overwhelming.

For the first time Nina genuinely smiled and laughed, all hints of anxious energy gone.

“Thank you. You just made this a million times easier and way less intimidating! I promise the next time I show up, I won’t be breaking anyone’s nose.”

“I’m not worried. Happy to help though.” His lips twitched. “Taking care of people is what I do.”

He glanced out at the room. Nina wasn’t sure if he was just scanning in general or looking for something in particular, but he seemed satisfied with whatever he found because he turned back to her.

“So. Now that we’ve sorted out business. If you stick with me until we find your friend, you might get a feel for things. I’ll be just keeping an eye on everyone and stepping in like I did with you if a scene gets out of hand. Usually that’s an unsafe knot or a sub forgetting their safe word; you made tonight exciting.”

Nina laughed again, this time with just a hint of flush to her cheeks. No one had ever called Nina exciting– she never even thought of herself as exciting– and the thought tickled her to death. This was good though. She loved the thought of being someone that could shake things up out of the routine, and exactly what she was hoping to grow into.

“Sounds like there’s no better way to learn than shadowing the DM,” she agreed. “I’m guessing you have to be pretty perceptive to keep track of everything going on and still be able to see the difference between real and pretend. That can’t be easy.”

“It’s not all that different from the responsibilities of a Dom, if a bit less intimate. I’ve been in the scene a long time now, and that plus first aid training means you’re asked to supervise a lot.” He stood up, pushing himself up off the table, and Nina caught a glimpse of a tattoo peeking out from under the short sleeve of his V-neck. “You’re fine to have another drink. What do you like?”

“I like trying new drinks with weird names. It turns out testing different kinds of alcohol is also on the Nina Discovery list along with spicy sex stuff. …and now first aid! That’s a useful one to go on the list if I keep this up.”

She wasn’t kidding about a list either, as she made a few swipes on her phone to bring something up and thumb out first aid classes. Nina also noted down tattoo? just as a reminder to think more about it later.

While she was fussing with her phone, Jay was flagging down the bartender. Nina didn’t hear what he ordered, just that he’d slipped the woman his card and pointed over his shoulder at her.

“Never order the Amsterdam Blackout,” he warned her with a grin, while the bartender fussed with a bottle of blue curacao and a shaker. “The name is tempting but very honest. You’ll like this one better anyway.”

“Alcohol induced blackouts are definitely on the Don’t Try list,” she agreed.

Nina put her phone away and smoothed her hands down over her dress as she took another look around. She’d finally hit a baseline of relaxed, where she didn’t feel like a lost duckling in a gator pond, and could now look around without feeling the need to look away quickly. Some stuff still made her a little flustered (like the man walking by in full on ass out chaps) but others were inspiring ideas of things she might like. Clandestine public snogging in a corner booth? Something that she’d balk at ten years ago, but from this distance looked pretty fun.

“How do I find the right person for me?” she asked. “Are there interviews? Do we hang out and meet people and see what clicks? Do you test drive people?”

“You can if you want and you find someone willing.” He was watching her with his arms folded across his chest, a little smile playing on his lips. “A lot of us date just like anyone else, Nina. There’s also people who hook up via Fetlife–social media site–or at munches–meetups in vanilla settings. A lot of people just hook up at the parties. If you find someone you like, compare notes and then go with whatever feels right. But always ask around about someone before you play. Most of the community is fine but there are always those few.”

A lowball glass filled with pale turquoise liquid landed on the bar top with a clink. A basil leaf and a whole orchid blossom sat on the rim as the garnish.

“This is called Chasing the Green Dragon,” Jay told her, crooking a finger at Nina and raising the cocktail to her lips once she stepped within range. A sweet, spicy aroma with a citrus kick wafted from the glass, and her mouth tingled where there was a trace of moisture on the rim. “Bottoms up.”

Nina took the first swallow when he offered, then immediately her hand went up to her mouth.

“Oh dang, that is good,” she muttered from behind her fingers, amused with the fact now her mouth kind of tingled. The bright color and pretty garnish did not match the sweet, tangy, spicy taste. “I can see where the dragon comes in.” She couldn’t pinpoint the kind of sweet but the drink definitely landed better than the Old Fashioned she tried earlier.

Nina plucked the glass from his fingers, claiming it as hers and quite happily took another drink.

“Hm! Did you know you can eat orchids? Ancient Greeks thought eating orchids made them more virile. I’m not sure I that’s actually true, but most of their mythology seems to involve a ridiculous amount of sex. Like an obscene amount.”

Orchis is Ancient Greek for ‘testicle’, in fact.” Jay plucked the blossom from her glass, showing her the twin structures near the base. “Because of these things here.”

He twirled the flower between his finger and thumb, tilting his head. “What do you do for a living?”

Her ridiculous grinning about filthy orchid origins turned into a sheepish look and a scrunched up nose. Nina even took a longer swallow just to delay answering the question.

“It’s not very interesting,” she lamented. “I’m an archivist at the university. Just reading, researching and cataloging all day. Sometimes I help students find unusual things, but it’s usually just me inputting things to the online database. Not that I mind it! I learn all kinds of fun things, but it’s also not the most exciting job to have.”

“Oh no. Your job is too boring, I’m afraid I’ll have to walk away now before everyone thinks I’m uncool.” He gave her a look, fighting a smile. “Relax, Nina. Everyone here has to pay the bills. It sounds like you enjoy it, which is more than most can say.”

He carefully placed the orchid back on the rim of her glass, then checked his phone.

“I do need to go back to the playspace, though. Is that going to be uncomfortable for you?”

Nina decided she liked Jay, which was great because now she had a familiar face the next time she came back. Even if she decided later that this wasn’t the kind of scene for her, he had a way of making things feel nice and chill. She could leave her anxiety behind, and just work through her leftover awkwardness.

Because it was definitely going to be awkward taking a stroll through the playroom again and Nina needed to get over it so she could have a little fun too.

“No, not uncomfortable,” she responded with a shake of her head. “I’d love to know more about what’s going on in scenes and what they are? They sound a lot like stage plays, just… spicier.”

He didn’t answer her at first, his blue eyes lingering on her face. Eventually, he nodded.

“Tap my shoulder if you want to leave,” he told her. “Like this–May I?”

Once she’d given her assent, his long forefingers tapped three times in gentle, but firm and steady succession where the top of her arm began.

“That way, no matter what, I’ll know you need to step away.” Jay let his hand drop, motioning for her to keep walking. “A public scene is a bit like a stage play, yes, but a scene is just what you call any play session. The ones people plan for play parties tend to be on the showier side, but not always.”

As they made their way back towards the curtain wall, she could feel his eyes on her.

“So tell me, what made you think all this might be for you?” he asked. “Don’t say Fifty Shades of Grey, please.”

“That movie was terrible, and I like Jamie Dornan,” she exclaimed scrunching up her nose again. Belated, she remembered it was a popular book series first, but it wasn’t a genre Nina typically read. It wasn’t the kind of movies she watched either, but sometimes her cousin let Tabby have first pick on movie nights and now Nina had a head full of terrible movies she’d be haunted by forever.

Nina stuck close to Jay as close as was comfortable, crossing her arms again and tapping her fingers against her elbows. She wasn’t actually scared or nervous per say, but there must’ve been a subconscious part of her warily keeping an eye out for Tony. Even though she knew he wasn’t anything to be concerned about, she supposed being in a vulnerable place already had her naturally unsettled.

“One morning I woke up and I realized I was miserable,” she finally answered. “I married the second guy I hooked up with at nineteen and then spent my entire twenties doing the exact same thing everyday. My husband’s idea of spicy was me being on top.” There was that flush in her face again, but she explain with an air of humor and almost even laughed about it.

“I’ve been dating again and- um- I don’t-” she paused, heaving a heavy sigh before tilting towards him with a lowered voice. “I want to feel things that are exciting and scary and different. I couldn’t ask my dates and end up with some creep trying to strangle me in a bathtub. This place has rules and I like that.”

“If you like rules, you might be in the right place. It’s definitely safer to try things here than with random strangers off Tinder who don’t know what they’re doing or have people to keep them in check.” He glanced at her askance. “Not that the community is perfect, either. But I’m glad you listened to your instincts on that one.”

They’d reached the curtain again. Jay pulled it aside and waited for Nina to step through ahead of him. It was much the same as she remembered, but the suspension bar on the ceiling was empty now, the occupant from earlier nowhere to be seen.

“Jay,” a voice called, and Nina glanced around to find a stocky older man dressed all in leather pace towards them across the floor. He had warm eyes and a short but very thick beard that was more grey than strawberry blond. “Good to see you! You’re actually on duty tonight?”

“Yes, but looks like Layton and Dahlia aren’t ready for her collaring yet.” Jay grasped the man’s hand. “How’s Mal?”

“He’s home sick, but it’s just a cold. He told me to go have my fun. It was a good show, but I think he just wants me out of the house so he can play with the puppy.”

“Sounds about right.” Nina felt Jay’s hand at the small of her back, guiding her forward. It was just the slightest bit of contact, almost no pressure at all. “Tom, this is Nina. She’s new.”

“Hello, Nina.” Tom’s round-faced smile was infectious. “I see Jay’s snatched you up for himself, eh?”

This older gentleman in leather had the sort of cherub face that made her want to pinch his cheeks. She supposed he wasn’t supposed to look cute any more than a leather-clad biker in a bar, but the way he talked was so endearing, she couldn’t help but think it. Immediately she was grinning and her folded arms shifted to clasping her hands loosely in front of her.

“Did he?” she asked, shooting Jay a glance before she was grinning back at Tom. “I haven’t decided if I’m ready to be snatched yet, but he’s welcome to try. Tonight I’m exploring.”

“Oh, well don’t let me keep you. There’s a new swing in, but it’s being used right now. You could go see Sebastian and his sub over at the St. Andrew’s Cross instead. I was just over there and it’s quite something!” His eyes crinkled up at the corners. “Although Jay might prefer to show you the spanking bench. I mentored him, you know, I know what this boy gets up to.”

“Is this your version of pulling out the baby pictures?” Jay’s voice was laced with amusement and rather obvious affection. “I’m just showing her around.”

“Right, right.” Tom chuckled. “Well in that case…”

He held out his hand to Nina. She expected a handshake, but instead his fingers closed around hers and lifted her knuckles to his lips, his beard fuzz softly scratching at her skin as his smile ghosted the back of her hand. “Enjoy the party, my dear. It was wonderful to meet you.”

Nina’s delighted laugh was probably louder than it needed to be, but she wasn’t expecting to meet such an enchanting older man in a place like this. A Tony or two for sure, but Tom was wonderful. If the place was filled with Toms and Jays, she’d definitely be down for hanging out just for the company alone.

“Thank you. I hope we can meet again soon!”

Once she had the opportunity, she leaned towards Jay and whispered.

“What’s a St. Andrew’s Cross?”

“You’re here to explore. Let’s go see.” He nodded to the right and began to lead the way along the wall and further into the playspace, skirting the throngs of fetishists. Now and then he’d slow his pace to eye something happening in the crowd, but he only stopped once, holding up a hand to Nina.

“Everything alright?” he asked as he approached a couple occupying one of the small couches placed around the room. The girl was on her stomach and still locked into a spreader bar with her hands cuffed behind her back, attempting to wriggle closer to the man who was holding his head in his hands at the other end of the sofa. As Nina got closer, she could see his shoulders were shaking. There was a riding crop laying on the floor by his feet, visible only thanks to a red stripe along the side.

“I think it’s just the guilts,” the girl answered, her eyes wide and still fixed on her partner. “Babe, please, it’s okay. I asked you to do this, remember? God, I shouldn’t have asked right now, I’m so sorry.”

“I’ve got him.” Jay knelt down, having a hushed conversation. After a quick exchange, he looked away from the young man and back at Nina. “Get her cuffs off.”

She didn’t hesitate and scooted over quickly to the girl to undo the cuffs. It wasn’t hard to understand how someone might have ‘the guilts’ as the girl put it, even if she didn’t know the details. Nina herself had no problem popping someone in the nose to defend herself, but she wasn’t sure she could handle hitting someone for fun even if they asked for it. She’d never even did the play fighting or swatting when she was younger.

“There we go, all loose now,” she said, once she’d undone all the cuffs. Nina almost wanted to ask a few questions of her own, but Jay probably had it all in hand.

As soon as she was free, the girl tried to wrap herself around her partner’s neck, but stopped when Jay shook his head at her. Pulling a chocolate bar from his jeans pocket, he peeled the wrapper open and pressed it into the younger man’s hand.

“You guys are done for tonight,” he told them. “Got it?”

“Yes,” Nina heard the kid croak in reply. Jay waited until he took a bite of the chocolate, then guided him into putting his arms around the girl and scooting her into his lap.

“Sit here like this until you finish eating that. I’ll be back by in a few minutes, and we can see about getting you a cab home.”

Thank you! mouthed the girl, hugging her partner’s head against her chest as Jay pushed himself back up onto his feet and looked around for Nina. Once he spotted her, he led her a few feet away and lowered his voice. His blue eyes scanned her carefully.

“You still good?”

Nina must’ve had that wide-eyed worried look on her face or had been fretting with the cuffs of her sleeves again to earn that examining stare of his. She ceased her fidgeting to nod.

I’m alright. Three shoulder taps if I’m not, I remember.” she affirmed quickly, not realizing she was demonstrating the taps on the back of her hand until it was too late. Nina tucked her fidgety fingers behind her back.

“But is he okay? He looked like he was having a panic attack.”

“He will be. They just need to communicate better.” Jay shook his head. “It’s easy to forget that you can’t take care of your sub if you don’t take care of yourself first, and it’s also hard sometimes to ignore how society sees what we get up to. It’s getting a little better lately, but pretty much everyone was still raised with the POV that our relationships are unhealthy, that we’re mentally ill, that Dominants in particular are just abusers trying to justify their actions. It can crop up when you least expect it, and that’s why it’s so important to discuss anything that might be a limit or trigger, or even just if you might already be too emotional for play on a given day. Sucking it up or hiding how you feel about your scene is a bad idea.”

He glanced back over his shoulder at the couple, the corner of his mouth turning down, and then back to Nina. “They’re going to need a little time. Still want to check out the cross?”

“So it’s basically what a good marriage should be,” Nina mumbled the thought out loud. Her relationship with her husband had never been abusive, and Nina was thankful for that, but talking about things? Being honest about feelings? Never. Granted, Nina was just as guilty and for the first few years just swallowed all those moments where she was upset, unhappy or unfulfilled. By the time she started trying to talk about it, the man didn’t belief her or didn’t care.

Nina definitely wasn’t going to repeat the mistake. She was going to be good to herself this time.

“Hm, I worry a little bit,” she cast a glance back at the couple, but finally smile. “But you know what you’re doing, so yes please, I’d like to continue the tour.”

“They’re not going to move until I’m back.” It was a statement of fact, the way he made it sound. “And we’re not going far. It’s okay.”

True to Jay’s word, Nina could see a small crowd gathered by the wall up ahead. As people made way for them, she got a good look at the show–the scene, she guessed she should call it.

The wooden frame nailed to the wall was shaped like an X. A saltire cross, or crux decussata, rather than the more typical Latin cross shape. The girl strapped onto it was wearing nothing but shiny black latex panties and a matching bra, the thick leather restraints circling her feet and ankles and fixing her in a spreadeagled position. There was a brightly-colored shape that somewhat resembled a butterfly pressed against the place between her thighs, held up by a simple harness; Nina could see the little wings on the sides vibrating madly. Her bare toes pointed like a ballerina’s against the floor.

In front of her, a large man in a sharp-looking vest, fatigue pants, and long black boots paced, trailing a flogger across her skin. It brushed up the inside of her thigh, dangerously close to the crotch of her panties. One of the butterfly wings caught and made a clipping noise against the head.

She squirmed.

In response, the leather strips twitched and struck like a snake, leaving red stripes across the girl’s flesh. The moan she made, though, didn’t sound like one of pain.

“I told you to stay still.” The man teased the braided fringe across the marks they’d left only a moment before.

“I’m sorry, Sir,” she panted.

“How many licks do you think you can take?

“Five, Sir.”

“Ten it is.”

“So,” Jay asked quietly in Nina’s ear, as the first sharp crack sounded out. “Do you have any questions?”

Nina flinched at the first snap, mostly because the sound surprised her more than anything else. This whole setup was the first thing anyone thought of when BDSM came up, Nina herself included. Ancient torture devices and pain dungeons. The woman certainly looked like she was being tortured, only it was the sort that had Nina flushing far behind just her cheeks.

“Why is always black leather and latex,” was the first thing to slip out of her mouth. It wasn’t an actual question, just the first thought of nonsense to come to her mind. Once she’d wrangled her thoughts, she turned her head to glance at Jay.

“It takes a lot of endurance to build up to something like that, doesn’t it? Do people stretch first?”

Nina crossed her arms looking back at the scene with a tilt of her head and a squint of her eyes.

“I’m going to have to start doing yoga,” she muttered under her breath to herself.

“Normally the cross is the easiest to use, actually. Most people stand flatfooted.” Jay looked like he was fighting a smile. “Sebastian’s just showing off.”

They were up to the fourth crack of the flogger. The girl was covered in a thin sheen of sweat. Her Dom–Sebastian–teased the butterfly with the flogger, then pressed something that made the wings grow still. She made a mewling sound.

“Please, Sir. Please turn it back on,” the girl begged. Sebastian responded with another strike.

“No. I think you’ve had enough of this,” he said. He set down the flogger and began to untie the harness slowly. “Tell everyone why.”

“Because I’m a filthy girl and I’m dripping on Sir’s toys,” she answered breathlessly, the words obviously ones she knew well. In the next moment she gasped; the butterfly had come away from her with a soft pop, revealing a small slit in the latex where pink skin peeked through.

One of Nina’s hands came up slowly, her fingers covering her mouth to prevent any nervous laughter from slipping out. She wasn’t exactly uncomfortable, but she also hadn’t ever just casually watched someone getting their jollies before either. Oh, she’d sat in the front seat of a car with her headphones on while her high school friends got it on in the back and shared college dorms with exhibitionist roommates, but this was on an entirely different level. She even kind of liked it, which wasn’t too much of a surprise. Nina had always enjoyed seeing the joy in people, this was just a much more salacious version.

“This is a lot,” Nina admitted, “For me, right now, anyway. But I wonder, do you ever get desensitized? Do you ever have moments where it doesn’t feel fun and exciting anymore?”

“Close your eyes. You know stoplights?” Jay asked, shifting to partially block her view of the scene. “Is this red, yellow, or green?”

A moment later, he answered her question with one of his own. “Do you ever feel too tired for sex? Lost the spark in a relationship? There are ups and downs just like with vanilla. I’m not out at play parties every week, you know.”

Nina closed her eyes, scrunching her nose and twisted her mouth as she considered.

“Yellowish green? It’s like… being on a roller coaster and before you take the first dip it’s terrifying, but then after the loop you kind of like it.”

After a beat, she opened one eye, a wicked sort of grin having snuck it’s way out.

“So you’re not the daily dungeon father looking after all his dirty ducklings.”

He let out a quiet bark of laughter. “Is that what you’ve been thinking?”

Stepping back out of the way again so she had a clear view of Sebastian administering another slap of leather–this time across the fronts of both the girl’s shaking thighs–Jay cocked his head to one side.

“I’m a physical therapist, actually. But you’re not exactly far off about me.” That considering look had crept into his eyes again. “Speaking of ducklings, I’m going to get those kids upstairs now. Can you wait here for a few minutes?”

Nina definitely hadn’t thought of him having a normal job, but then she had a hard time imagining any of these people in normal jobs, doing normal things, which was admittedly ridiculous. Even for the ones who lived it as an entire lifestyle had to go to work and buy groceries and put gas in the car.

“I’ll be fine here. I’m just gonna,” she gestured subtly at the scene, “watch that and think about all kinds of things.”

“Have fun,” he told her, cracking a knowing grin.

Jay had been gone less than five minutes when a familiar voice hissed in her ear.

Characters: Modern Fantasy



16 years old. Light brown hair, blue eyes. 5’6″. Dresses comfy casual with a hint of fairy princess. Exp: A lumpy sweatshirt paired with a lacy floral skirt. A baggy button up shirt turned in to a dress with a belt and her hair braided up with flowers, ribbons, and beads. Loves to play with color and style to reflect her mood. Good mood? Break out the rainbow colors and glitter. Bad mood? Morose shades of purple, blue and black.

Chantilly is the typical teenage girl with the usual interests, except she’s just a little too daydreamy. Her grades are average and she doesn’t have trouble in school. She has her group of friends she sits with at lunch and occasionally hangs out with. But most of the time she’s staring off in to space, scribbling down notes, or lost in some novel. Everything around her is just inspiration for her imagination.

Despite seeming to live in a fantasy, Chantilly is firmly grounded in the real world. She understands that fairies are not real, she is never going to have a unicorn, and even something as simple as writing a book won’t be easy. Her plans for the future are solid. She intends to go to college, work for a publishing company as an editor, and eventually publish her own stories.

Chantilly has lived alone with her father for several years now. She’s always felt responsible for taking care of him. Being the adult of the family is something she’s quite proud of! Chantilly wasn’t even upset about her dad dating. Until more recently when he started getting serious about a woman. Now Chantilly is worried that she’s getting replaced.

Characters: Modern Realistic

Maya Francesca De Soto

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.25.4″ background_color=”rgba(0,0,0,0)”][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25.4″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” column_structure=”3_5,2_5″ width=”100%”][et_pb_column type=”3_5″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.74″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]

Maya Francesca De Soto

16 – Should be in High School, but hasn’t attended in almost a year.

At first raised by her Abuelita more than she ever saw her mom. Until the old woman died when she was 4. Since then it’s been her mom and an endless string of boyfriends. Some good, some bad. Her babysitters were whomever were available. Ladies in the apartment building, a friend from the neighborhood, the boyfriend of the month. Sometimes she would just have to hang out at the salon where her mother worked and keep out of trouble. The older she got and more independent, the less attention her mother felt she needed. Unless, of course, she needed something and then it was a lot of bribing and begging. Her mom wasn’t a bad person, but she just didn’t think about the future or consequences. She lived on drama and falling in love.

When her mom died, it kind of stopped Maya’s life. Maybe if she had died from drugs or a disease, it wouldn’t have shaken Maya so bad. But it was an accident. A simple bad luck accident. The woman had a little too much sangria, slipped in shiny heels and cracked her head open on the sidewalk. It was so sudden and so unexpected. Maya was a zombie for awhile. She automated through the funeral, completely missed her mother’s boyfriend taking over their apartment and everything they owned. She didn’t snap back in to attention until social services were trying to figure out where she was going to live. Maya didn’t have any other family, and everyone she knew had their own kids and problems to worry about.

After a couple months in foster care, Maya decided to hunt down her real dad. Her mom was so weirdly proud of her romantic history (she said she genuinely loved every single one of her boyfriends, even the ones she cheated on, even her clandestine short affairs, even the crazy assholes), and she kept a box of memories for all of them. Maya narrowed it down to the men closest to her conception date, and started contacting potential fathers. The first two were more than happy to prove they didn’t have a long lost daughter. The third so vehemently refused he got violent. (She snatched some of his hair in the scuffle and paid for the test herself. Maya had never been so happy to find out a guy WASN’T her dad.)

Now she’s got one last guy on her list and she doesn’t want a repeat of the last dude. Maya got herself a cheap gun off the street to defend herself, or worst come to worse, to threaten the guy to take the test.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”2_5″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_image src=”” _builder_version=”3.25.4″][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Characters: Modern Fantasy Characters: Modern Realistic

Princess Ysabelle Jurišić

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.0.92″ background_color=”rgba(0,0,0,0)”][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.92″ background_layout=”light”]

Princess Ysabelle Jurišić

20 Years Old

Raven black hair and dark brown eyes. Flawless tanned complexion. 5’5″ and thin, but has never grown out of that young “babyfat” look. When she doesn’t age up her makeup, she’ll come across looking 15 (and it drives her crazy). Ysabelle is fit and strong – she exercises regularly and takes care of her health. She rarely gets sick. Can handle her alcohol like a champ. Her clothing has been custom made since she got her hands on Cristobal. Loves couture fashion and will experiment with all kinds of looks just for fun. Except for orange, she just has a personal hatred for orange. Always dresses with the appropriate style for a venue but amped up to be flashy and attention grabbing.

Received her education through private schools and private tutoring. She’s well versed in History, Politics, and Languages (she is very passionate about language). She finished through her secondary education at the top of her peers. With no plans to attend a college full time, Ysabelle has instead since been squeezing in tutoring and classes in to her schedule when ever she can. Her career is “Future Queen” so her education has been solely focused on the tools that will help her for ruling.

Fluent in: Croatian, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, French, English and Latin.
Basics of: Russian, Czech, German, Swedish, Dutch, and Portuguese.
She is beginning to dabble in Japanese and Egyptian Arabic, but has had some trouble switching gears from the Germanic and Romance languages.

She is a well practiced dancer, but never took to playing musical instruments or singing. Her personal interests are focused on language, fashion, and horses. Ysabelle’s favorite horse is a grey dappled Percheron named Latica, and is the only horse she wants for official parades or processions where a horse is required to ride or pull her carriage.

Ysabelle does not have any close friends. Her public persona is the only one the world seems to know: a wild child party girl bimbo. Though she never makes a mockery of important events or places she needs to be respectful, she makes as many public appearances in random places as possible. Nightclubs, hotels, shopping – anywhere she can get a photo op to add to her growing reputation. The truth of the matter is that Ysabelle is actually a very savvy girl. These parties and incidents are hiding the fact she’s making real network connections with more than just royal figureheads, but their children and their staff as well, giving her a little inside information to what’s going on in the world.

A lot of her behavior and choices may be due to family drama. For the past three generations, relations have been strained through a few branches of the family. Social gatherings were awkward at best, violent at worse. Ysabelle distanced herself to avoid confrontation when she was very young, and it eventually just became a habit. Her persona makes sure that the unsavory parts of the family continue to overlook and underestimate her until it is time to take over the throne. Though she often feels trapped by her destiny, she also intends to take it seriously and do the job she was born to do.

She pretends her lack of closeness with people doesn’t bother her, but it’s started to wear her down. Though Ysabelle has had “boyfriends” for public appearances and shallow sexy hookups for personal fun, she has never been in a real relationship nor had feelings for someone. That might be why she’s now obsessed with an old family fairy tale, and the idea of hunting down the perfect man to be her husband and future king in this grand adventure. Not only does she want someone who can handle the responsibility of running a country, she wants to actually fall in love. Be with someone she connects with on a deeper level. Ysabelle has a very VERY detailed description of who this person is and refuses to settle for anything less.

Ysabelle is kind of fearless. It helps that her security detail makes sure nothing dangerous gets within ten feet of her, but even when she was a child she simply wasn’t afraid of anything. She’d slay her own monsters, faced whatever scared her head on, took chances and risks with a little bit of a thrill. Ysabelle hasn’t yet encountered anything that terrifies her. (Though the thought of being alone and never having a chance to have a real romantic love is starting to be a thing that irks her.)

She doesn’t like people in her bubble or her personal space unless they are specifically allowed to be, or if she initiated it first. Currently this list includes Boris (her security), Cristobal (her tailor), and the lovely lady that does her hair and makeup for important public events.

Discovering Autumn in a New York airport was the best thing to happen in her life. She knew the second she saw that girl it was a moment of destiny. Ysabelle managed to follow her in to a bathroom to make contact without her security detail seeing, and from there she convinced the girl to meet her later and join her on an amazing caper. She’s actually very fond of Autumn and absolutely adores how sheltered and sweet she seems to be. Ysabelle believes she is giving Autumn the chance and experience of a lifetime. She is completely confident that things are going to go well and work out flawlessly. She met a girl with her face just when she needed a sign, how could it not?

Brief History of Montcoria

The Isle of Montcoria succeeded from Crotia during a time when there was strife between the ruling noble families and their territories.

Like Croatia, it’s noble hierarchy is heavily inspired by the French, but over the centuries it’s culture has evolved through influences by Italy, Hungary, Montenegro, Greece, Turkey and Russia due to connections made through marriage or political alliances.

Outside of the official royal bloodline of the Jurišić family (ruling Montcoria since the 1600s and residing in Montcoria itself or within Croatia) there are four other branches to the family that make their homes in Hungary, Italy, Turkey and finally the French branch that no one likes to speak of or to because they’re assholes. Extra especially because they like to brag that they have the closest claim to the throne.

There is presently strife within Montcoria. Archaic elders that aren’t keen on a woman being the next Queen despite there being plenty of Queens in the past. The French side of the family getting uppity. Squabbles with a neighboring small country wanting to merge with Montcoria. And rumors of a Noble family’s old vendetta against the family and their fight to make it a “democratic” nation (which is really just them weaseling a way to take control of the government).

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.0.92″ src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” force_fullwidth=”off” show_bottom_space=”on” /][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.0.92″ src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” force_fullwidth=”off” show_bottom_space=”on” /][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.0.92″ src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” force_fullwidth=”off” show_bottom_space=”on” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Characters: Modern Fantasy

Winifred Wilde

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.0.89″ background_color=”#000000″][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”2_3″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.90″ background_layout=”light”]

Winifred Wilde


Call her Freddie, because calling her anything else might get you hit.

Carries a surprising amount of knives hidden on her person. Also has a small hand gun (and knows how to use it). She’s only ever pulled the gun out on someone once, and the situation definitely warranted it.

Freddie is an animal whisperer– as in, she freaking loves animals and she will make friends with every animal she comes in contact with because fuck yeah, animals are more awesome than people.

She rides a motorcycle that may or may not be stolen.

In fact almost everything Freddie has on her was probably stolen. She only carries enough stuff with her that can fit on her bike. So ever so often she has to get her hands on some new clothes or toiletries and that tends to involve some petty shoplifting or stealing people’s laundry off a line.

She never wastes money on hotel rooms and chooses to just camp outside. Freddie has a sleeping bag and a durable popout tent for when it rains. when she wants to clean up, makes due with gas stations, rest stops, and if she’s feeling fancy; breaking in to someone’s house when they’re not home.

Brief History

Freddie was found in a basket at a State Park in one of the picnic areas wrapped in a blanket pinned snug with a note. It read: Please take care of our little Princess Winifred. There was also a bit of gold and a few items in the basket, but those “mysteriously” didn’t make it to the orphanage along with the baby.

When no one claimed the infant, they dubbed her Winifred Park (after the location she was found) and made arrangements to get her adopted. Generally, babies are very easy to place in good homes, but Freddie did not seem to have the best luck. She had a few health issues that required hospitalization, (ex: pneumonia) likely from her who-knows-for-how-long basket camping in the woods, and adopting couples struggled to deal with it. During her child years she spent her time in and out of foster homes or group homes.

Around 10 she was adopted by a wonderful couple that she adored very much. For the first year everything seemed to swimmingly, but then the cracks in the facade started to show. The couple had adopted because they thought it would help their marriage. (Children was a big issue, but she never really had a chance to find out why.) When they got divorced, Freddie was used as a weapon and tugged back and forth between them. Eventually social services stepped in and back in to foster care she went. They never even bothered to check in on her again. It’s something she’s still burned about.

By 13 she just stayed in a group home with other teens. They were supposed to go to school, get part time jobs, and learn to support themselves… but Freddie had a few not too good influences. Getting in trouble was the cool thing to do. Vandalizing, stealing, partying, being wild in general. Through a few mistakes and moments taken too far (some even landing her in kid-jail), Freddie learned a lot about surviving bad situations and what she considers is right and wrong. She doesn’t pretend to be a good person but there are things you just don’t do.

During these escapades, she had a sweetheart she thought the world of. Many foxy things happened and then something went terribly wrong. DID SHE GET PREGGERS? I DON’T KNOW GUMMY, PERHAPS OR PERHAPS NOT?

Freddie took off on her own around 16. Did not graduate high school, did not collect 200 dollars. (Okay, she did, but she stole it because she needed the bus money.) She got herself a fake new I.D. and changed her last name to Wilde instead of Park. These years were kind of a mess of choices. A lot of events had her thinking about where she’s been and where she was going in the future. Freddie began to wonder more seriously where she came from.


Freddie is light and airy marshmallow on the outside with a bitter dark chocolate center. Growing up an orphan kind of messes with your self worth a lot. She had parent issues because they abandoned her practically in the woods. Parent issues because of the people who sent her back to the orphanages. Parent issues with all the people who skipped past her. Relationships have been a problem too. Lost ties with potential siblings and people from schools she never stayed at for long. Fake friends who got her in to a lot of bad situations and then bailed when it was convenient. Pseudo-boyfriends that were jerks or only interested in going to pound town. These things all contributed to making her feel like a person who wasn’t really worth the time.

Somehow, though, there is a little light of hope in her. Maybe because there were a few precious moments where she did connect with someone. Moments where she was happy and hopeful about life. Any time her thoughts start going dark or life looks bleak, she holds on to that feeling and pushes through whatever is going on. Freddie still doesn’t believe she deserves a happy ending, but the hope is still there deep down that it’s possible.

On a day to day basis, she’s a clever and charming girl. Charm can get you just about anything if you know how to use it.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.0.89″ src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” force_fullwidth=”off” show_bottom_space=”on” /][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.0.89″ src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” force_fullwidth=”off” show_bottom_space=”on” /][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.0.89″ src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” force_fullwidth=”off” show_bottom_space=”on” /][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.0.89″ src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” force_fullwidth=”off” show_bottom_space=”on” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Characters: Modern Fantasy Characters: Modern Realistic

Destiny Leigh Jordan

Destiny Leigh Jordan

Professor of Anthropology (Has Tenure)

Socially awkward orphan. Doesn’t spend too much time outside of her bubble. Has a hard time with knowing how to say things without putting people off. Will occasionally go overboard trying to “fit in”. (Like trying to do what the cool professors are doing, and being so unnatural and weird about it. “Look, I too can drink many beers, associates”) She’s a bazillion times more relaxed when just being her weirdo self.

Characters: Modern Fantasy Characters: Modern Realistic

Sugar Renae Simone

Sugar Renae Simone

Professor of Art History

Brother, Dad, and Grandpa are in a Jazz band. (They’re amazing, check them out at their favorite haunt.)

Quirky weirdo and enjoys every minute of it. Everything and anything is inspiration. Always looking for the perfect nude model for her art even though most of her art is abstract.

Characters: Modern Fantasy

Nora Jade Vicario

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ specialty=”on” _builder_version=”3.10.1″ background_color=”rgba(0,0,0,0)” template_type=””][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column_inner type=”4_4″ saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.10.1″ text_orientation=”justified”]

Nora Jade Vicario


At 5’6 she is just one inch taller than her older sister and Nora loves bragging about it. She weighs less than her too. And looks better in her clothes. And she never even exercises! Ever! Of course that does make her as strong as a baby kitten and easy dragged around by Rhiannon, but at least she’s prettier. Nora wears cute trendy clothes and bright colors. When she can get away with it, she asks Kat to put cool color streaks in her hair.

As a high school senior, Nora is the pretty typical teenager. She watches a lot of tv, listens to music, spends too much time on social media. Nora doesn’t have any friends her own age, though. She blames her over-protective Grandmother and her busybody sister. Grandma Jimena says she’s just like her mother, and needs to stop being so provocative or she’ll lose her precious flower. (Whoops. Better not tell Grandma what happened after Prom.) Rhiannon is always dragging her to band stuff. Luckily, Nora is so infatuated with Michael, Evan and Kat, that being the band’s #1 groupie is now her goal in life.

Nora is energetic, talkative, and flirty. She’s trying real hard to prove she’s also a grownup and that just because she’s 17 doesn’t mean she can’t handle herself. And, just like her mother, she’s got a little streak of the devil in her. Nora is attracted to trouble.

She lives with her Grandmother Jimena and her older sister Rhiannon. Lately her grandmother has been threatening to send her off to a Catholic convent somewhere to become a nun. Nora shouts back she’ll run away and join a circus before that happens. Rhiannon is always having to step in a smooth things out, and has been trying to encourage Nora to go to college after graduation. But all Nora wants to do is be a part of the band.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.10.1″ src=”” /][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.10.1″ src=”” /][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.10.1″ src=”” /][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.10.1″ src=”” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_section]

Characters: Modern Fantasy

Rhiannon Estella Vicario

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ specialty=”on” _builder_version=”3.10.1″ background_color_1=”rgba(0,0,0,0)” background_color=”rgba(0,0,0,0)” make_fullwidth=”on”][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column_inner type=”4_4″ saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.10.1″ text_orientation=”justified”]

Rhiannon Estella Vicario


Stands at 5’5. Dark brown hair, brown eyes. She’s got the hips and the curves and as her grandmother says “the baby fat cheeks”. What she lacks in physical stature and strength, she makes up for with stamina. when you meet Rhiannon off stage, she doesn’t look like she belongs in a band. You’d figure she should be off reading books in a library somewhere. But when it’s go time, she vamps up and goes all out with the makeup and clothes. She’s not shy at all about bringing sex appeal to the band. On her right wrist there is a tattoo of the roman numeral seven. Her grandmother was pissed at first, but simmered down because it’s a holy number.

Rhiannon plays the drums, but she’s savvy with the piano as well. Her guitar skills could use a little work. She is also the lead female voice.

Rhiannon is someone who is easily underestimated. First impressions make her seam like she is quiet and shy. She seems to wait until everyone else is involved in the conversation before she steps in. This is because she’s sizing up the people around her. She’s perceptive and knows how to adjust her behavior to make people comfortable, or if necessary very uncomfortable. Rhiannon is a boss. No one steps on her or over her. Unfortunately, Rhiannon is so focus on taking care of her family and working for the band that she forgets how to have fun. She never seems to take the time to relax or think about herself. She’s joined Evan in being concerned about Kat (and is now concerned about Evan’s sudden behavior changes), is always trying to get Michael to be more responsible, and is always babysitting her sister. When the band is actually performing seems to be the only time Rhiannon lets go and enjoys the moment.

Rhiannon’s mother Valentina was always trouble for Grandma Jimena. The woman had a rebellious streak. She’d sleep around and hookup with guys for favors. Eventually this led her in to drugs and crime. Shortly after Rhiannon’s younger sister Nora was born, Valentina ended up arrested and sent to prison. When Valentina ended up killed in a prison fight, Grandma Jimena packed up her home, and moved the children to Arkansas. Their father was never in the picture and not even Jimena knows who the man was, or if he fathered both children.

On her first day of school Rhiannon didn’t want to go. She didn’t know anybody. Grandma Jimena advised Rhiannon to find her people and make friends as quickly as possible. The girl might’ve taken it a little too literally. When she overheard a few students at lunch talking about a few bands she also loved, Rhiannon plopped herself down at the table and blurted out We’re friends now! After a moment of confused faces all around, Michael rolled with it. Even though Rhiannon was a couple years younger, she seemed to fit in well and her ability to take charge of things and get them all focused became an asset.

Rhiannon ended up the only one in the band who attempted college. Jimena really pushed her to excel and get a higher education. But Rhiannon found it difficult to balance school, work, and the band. Last year she made the call to quit school and focus entirely on the band. She believes they’ve got the talent and that something special to make it big. All they need is someone putting in full time to make it happen.

Currently, Rhiannon still lives with her little sister and Grandmother in their tiny but cozy home.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.10.1″ src=”” /][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.10.1″ src=”” /][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.10.1″ src=”” /][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.10.1″ src=”” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_section]

Characters: Modern Realistic

P.J. Hamilton

P.J. Hamilton

Princess Josephine Hamilton

Light honey-brown hair, soft grey-green eyes. Around 5’8″, average body but totally out of shape, zero body strength or endurance. Her everyday clothes consist of pajama pants, yoga pants, leggings, occasionally jeans, tshirts, raglans, henlies, hoodies, sweaters, sneakers. No jewelry or makeup. Except when she needs to make herself presentable for her parents. Then she jazzes herself up with cute little dresses or her “designated outfit” for certain places or situations. She has one little black dress she uses for 90% of all formal functions, meetings or interviews.

Prin was adopted by a couple who couldn’t have children, and they LOVE their child. Smothering, spoiling amounts of love. They named her Princess because that is what their new little bundle of joy was- their precious princess. She much prefers being called P.J (or Prin if you’re allowed).

She is a severe introvert, but is good on putting on a social performance for the sake of her parents. They spent all of her childhood thrusting her in to various social activities for experience and because their baby should have the best, despite the fact they really couldn’t afford much. They made a lot of sacrifices for her. She can’t seem to ever say NO to them. They love her so much, do so much, are such great people who took in this baby because they wanted one so badly! (Sometimes she wonders what would happen if one of them ever asked her to kill someone. She figures she’d still be unable to refuse them.)

Prin has no problem telling other people no, in fact she’s kind of extreme about it. She’s absolutely unwilling to do just about anything by request or for someone else. This often comes with a lot of guilt because she thinks it makes her a bad person, and it’s worse when people pile on the shame and call her selfish. She just doesn’t like getting bullied in to things just to “seem nice”, especially if she’s uninterested. To avoid these kinds of things, Prin avoids having many friends in general and tends to keep to herself. On very rare occasions she’ll like someone enough to do anything for them. (Presently the only person that qualifies is her very young 8 year old cousin. She thinks the kid is the most adorable thing on the planet.)

At 18 she got curious enough to look in to her birth parents. It turned out she was seized by the state because the pair was heavily involved in illegal things. The mother signed her over in a closed adopted. Prin decided not to ever make contact, and it reaffirmed her adoptive parents as angels she never wants to disappoint.

Prin currently lives by herself in a tiny rented apartment and is an English Major in college. Her place is an organizational disaster. She likes not having to be neat and perfect. But when she gets wind of her parents coming for a visit, she will clean the place up spotless.

She also has a dirty little secret. To pay her bills she writes porn with weirdo strangers on the internet. Prin can’t stand it, but it pays really well. Better than her legit job at the laundromat. What she REALLY wants to do is publish novels.

Characters: Modern Fantasy

Leeloo Dallas Russell

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section” _builder_version=”3.0.49″ background_color=”#100f15″][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”2_3″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”3.0.49″ background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”justified” text_font_size=”24″ border_style=”solid”]

Leeloo Dallas Russell – Yes, named after The Fifth Element’s Leeloo. No, she doesn’t like it. She thinks the name is childish and would rather be called anything else.

20 years old.

5’7″ and loves that she’s taller than her brother when she puts on heels. Dresses feminine and chic. Gets plenty of job discounts for nice clothes. Loves dresses, skirts, rompers, light fabrics. Never wears tshirts. Rarely wears jeans. Accessories are minimal.

Graduated high school but has never bothered furthering her educations. Thinks it will be a waste of time and money.

Has worked the same clothing department store job since she was 16. Really enjoys helping people find the perfect clothes but has no idea how to actually make this a career.

Drives a three wheel scooter bike thingy, Oz wtf are those. >:[

Is actually super pissed her brother moved out the second he turned eighteen. She felt abandoned and alone. Him keeping in frequent contact with her helped, but she’s still subconsciously mad about it.

Lee was too young to remember her parents or what happened to them. She does, however, know plenty about her Aunt and Uncle who are both overprotective and neglectful at the same time. Her older brother pretty much got ignored and got to do whatever he wanted because he was a BOY and OLDER. Meanwhile, Lee was never allowed to do ANYTHING. She didn’t get to go to other people’s houses or have friends come over. No parties, no after school activities. If it wasn’t right on their street, she wasn’t going. When Lee wasn’t at school or at work she’d just be home getting ignored, so she read a lot of books and played on the parent-locked internet. They’d tell her the world was scary and dangerous and all the horrible things that could happen to her – just like her parents. She believed them for a long time, up until after she graduated high school and realized she was a grown woman and needed to actually do ADULT THINGS.

Lee moved out on her own for the first time just a few months ago. She’s sharing a house with five other people and it’s not going well. She hasn’t figured out they have her paying more than her fair share of the bills. She’s the only cleaning up most of the time. The girl she shares a room with often has her boyfriend spending the night, and more than once Lee has been woken up by subtle (and some very NOT subtle) propositions for a threesome. She spends a lot of time trying to find a place to sleep unmolested.

Her personality is very quiet, shy, anxious. She rarely interacts with people outside of “familiar and safe” zones, so she’s a little awkward when conversations don’t start with “Hi, how can I help you today!” or if she’s in a new unexpected situation. In the back of her head she still thinks all strangers are dangers, and that everyone is trying to do terrible things, but she’s trying so hard to get AWAY from that mindset, she’s over compensating and letting all the crazy in. Her inexperience is very obvious.

Cries when she gets upset or frustrated or angry.

She hates going anywhere alone and will pester her brother to take her if it’s not a place she’s been to a million times.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” _builder_version=”3.0.49″ src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” always_center_on_mobile=”on” border_style=”solid” force_fullwidth=”off” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” _builder_version=”3.0.49″ src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” always_center_on_mobile=”on” border_style=”solid” force_fullwidth=”off” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” _builder_version=”3.0.49″ src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” always_center_on_mobile=”on” border_style=”solid” force_fullwidth=”off” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” _builder_version=”3.0.49″ src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” always_center_on_mobile=”on” border_style=”solid” force_fullwidth=”off” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” _builder_version=”3.0.49″ src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” always_center_on_mobile=”on” border_style=”solid” force_fullwidth=”off” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Characters: Modern Fantasy Characters: Modern Realistic

Leslie Dane Russell

Leslie Dane Russell – Totally fine if you call him Les or Lez. Just not Lee. That’s his sister’s name.

23 years old.

5’8″ Lanky build. More arms and legs than anything. Hair is just barely long enough to pretend it fits in a pony tail. Often forgets to shave. He dresses “nice”, a lot of it is his sister’s influence the rest is that he just likes comfy nice looking clothes. Simple fitted tees, button ups, thin sweaters. Might wear a vest if he were dressing up fancy. Fitted jeans. Light jackets. Boxer briefs. Sneakers and boots. Doesn’t do accessories or watches.

Takes community college classes. Most of them are just starter classes for credits and to help find a better job.

Has a “full time” job but never gets enough hours.

Leslie has no friggin idea what to do with his life. A directionless loser by society standards – and doesn’t really care what society thinks. He’s fine coasting until he figures it out.

Drives a shit ass car and doesn’t know crap about them.

Had an old friend die recently and he inherited their guitar. He can’t play, but he’s picked up a beginners book and is trying it out, cause he figures he might as well now that he has it. So far, he’s liking it. Leslie misses his friend A LOT and their death is affecting him more than he realizes.

A pretty good relationship with his younger sister Leeloo. (why yes, she WAS named after the girl in the Fifth Element) They talk on a regular basis, usually when she wants to complain about something, or doesn’t want to go somewhere by herself. They are not heavily involved in each other’s social lives.

When he was six one of his parents murdered the other. It was a weird surreal sort of thing to happen to a little kid, and he’s unaware of just how much that’s affected his choices and behavior. His sister was too young to remember anything. They lived with an aunt and uncle afterwards. Once Leslie was old enough to move out, he was gone. He hasn’t bothered keeping in touch and they haven’t reached out to him either.

Has had a grand total of two girlfriends. One relationship was very “meh” and lasted a few months before it fizzled out. They still chat on facebook and she’s engaged now. The other girl was a short hookup by a friend, and she turned out to be crazysauce. He’s a little concerned if she ever finds out where his new place is, she’s gonna break in to his apartment and leave him girlfriend pillows filled with dead animals.

He’s never had that “Am I gay?” talk with himself, though there’s been moments of appreciating a dude’s looks or jokes with friends, and the fact that “all porn is good porn”. He’s never been attracted to or connected with ANYONE on a deeper level yet, so he’s still in that “maybe I just haven’t found the right girl” mentality.

Leslie is a subtle dude; a little self deprecating, sarcastic, quiet, and chill. He takes things in stride and is pretty adaptable – though he’s never had his comfort zone REALLY pushed. He’s not keen on fights or confrontation, but WILL throw down on behalf of his sister regardless of what terror she’s enraged. Otherwise, he’ll put up with bullshit forever because he doesn’t have the heart to tell someone to fuck off. Leans towards introvert, but is very comfortable within his social circle. Says he’s more comfortable as a second in command, but more often than not is the one slipping out suggestions or taking control of things. Doesn’t like people touching his stuff or invading his privacy.

Characters: Modern Fantasy

Clarity Elouise Keaton

Clarity Elouise Keaton

Lives in an old lighthouse that has belonged to her family for generations.

Works in the town’s local museum.

A feisty little sassmonster that has a lot of pride in her town, family loyalty, and love of history and tradition.

Characters: Modern Fantasy

Cecile LeBreaux

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ specialty=”on” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” admin_label=”Section” _builder_version=”3.22″ background_color=”#100f15″ transparent_background=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on”][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row” _builder_version=”3.25″][et_pb_column_inner saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” module_class=”dbio” _builder_version=”3.27.4″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” text_orientation=”justified” background_layout=”dark” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

Cecile Chantilly LeBreaux


Brother is Maximilian who is a vampire hunter.

A few years ago, Ceci was a normal highschool kid getting ready for graduation. She was doing great in school, popular with her friends, and planning to go to college. She wanted to study architecture and historical conservation.

Before the end of the school year, her older brother Max was getting married to his sweetheart and Ceci was one of the bridesmaids. His fiance was a really cool chick that was into witchy things, and Ceci liked her a lot. They planned a gorgeous midnight ceremony on a full moon evening, everything was beautifully decorated and atmospheric.

Right in the middle of the ceremony, the party was crashed by a gang of crazy violent thugs. Everything erupted into blood thirsty chaos. Max’s fiance was killed, the entire wedding party, both families and most of the guests. Even Ceci was so badly injured that she several weeks in the hospital.

Ceci has very little memory of what happened that night. Part of it is brain damage, but the majority is just blocked out of her mind. Sometimes she has nightmares and occasionally she gets triggered into a panic attack when something dredges up those memories.

As soon as Ceci was cleared from the hospital, Max took her on the road. She never felt the need to question why. Ceci didn’t want to live in their old house without the family, she didn’t feel safe in their town, and she could see how much Max needed to leave too.

These days Ceci is going through the motions and just trying to keep her and Max afloat. She’s not sure what he runs off to do everyday, and is pretty sure it’s illegal. She gets a job whenever they land in a new town so they have enough money to live, always in places close to their motel as she doesn’t have a vehicle of her own.

Ceci wants more for her life, but she’s scared that Max will end up in a bad way if she’s not there to take care of him. He’s all she has and she’ll do anything to keep them together.

Ceci always seems like that shy, unassuming background person. The quiet mousy type that’s awkward with people. But really, she just doesn’t want to get too close to people because she knows she’ll be gone within a few weeks. Lately she feels like she’s not a whole person anymore because all she does is work and sleep. She really misses having interests, and hobbies, and actual friends. 

When she’s with someone she’s comfortable around, she loves to laugh, tease and play. She likes people! Getting to go out and do things, see movies, have a fancy dinner, take a walk without being scared something is going to jump out of the shadows.


Max’s fiancee was a real actual witch of high standing and part of a local coven. The thugs that slaughtered the wedding party were from a group of rogue vampires that were starting to break local law and the coven was trying to stop. Killing her and the entire party of guests was to send a message. No one was meant to survive.

Max is trying to hunt down and kill all vampires, extra especially the ones that killed his fiancee and family. He doesn’t think Ceci can handle the truth about what happened and is trying to shield her from it. (The reality is that Ceci would be behind him 100% if she knew, and actually be able to help him.)


[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_image src=”” align_tablet=”center” align_phone=”” align_last_edited=”on|desktop” admin_label=”Image” _builder_version=”3.23″ animation_style=”slide” animation_direction=”left” animation_duration=”500ms” animation_intensity_slide=”10%” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” animation=”left” sticky=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on”][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_section]

Characters: Modern Realistic

Divya Kapoor

[et_pb_section fullwidth=”off” specialty=”on” admin_label=”Section” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#100f15″ allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” template_type=””][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column_inner type=”4_4″ saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text”]

Divya Kapoor

Father is a Renowned Surgeon. Mother is the Hospital Director

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_section]

Characters: Modern Realistic

Tatsuo Tanemura

Weakness for baked treats

Loves boys

Dramatic pretty boy

Enjoys the chase and competition for love interests

Class President

prefers being shirtless whenever possible

Where the fuck does he get all these random roses

Characters: Modern Realistic

Chiyako Tsukade

[et_pb_section admin_label=”Section” fullwidth=”off” specialty=”on” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#1c131a” allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” padding_mobile=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off”][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column_inner type=”4_4″ saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”justified” text_font=”PT Sans Narrow||||” text_font_size=”26″ use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” module_class=”dbio”]


Name: Tsukade Chiyako
School: Hanazakura
Age/Class: 3-B
Known for: Chiyako is a task managing demon (not literal demon) that loves money and has zero qualms about organized crime as long as it’s with the best of intentions. She is the image of prim and proper etiquette, until you piss her off.

Dear Flowering Tigers of Hanazakura, please make sure to wear this season’s fashion accessory – a headband – or there will be strange and unusual consequences for your insubordination.

<3 Chiyako

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

[/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

[/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

[/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

[/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]


Characters: Modern Fantasy Characters: Modern Realistic

Heather Capelli

[et_pb_section admin_label=”Section” fullwidth=”off” specialty=”on” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#1c131a” allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” padding_mobile=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off”][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column_inner type=”4_4″ saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”justified” text_font=”PT Sans Narrow||||” text_font_size=”18″ use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” module_class=”dbio”]

Heather Capelli, 16

Her parents have been “on the verge of divorce” before they even had their first kid. Dad is viciously paranoid his wife is always having an affair and takes all kinds of medications to deal with the “stress”. His manhood has been in question for so long, he’s a whipped and beaten sack of defeat. Heather has never seen her mom without a glass of wine in her hand. As it turns out, the woman IS having an affair. She’s been having affairs since before they got married, often enough that the paternity of all her children are in question. Her youngest two children (Heather and her younger brother) certainly don’t look anything like their father. The parents pay very little attention to their children, and when they do it’s usually to complain about them.

She has two brothers. Her older brother (19) dropped out of school and ditched town the second he turned eighteen. She hasn’t seen or heard from him since. Her younger brother (11) is having a hard time at school, and Heather is always stepping in to slap around kids that are picking on him.

At school Heather doesn’t stand out a lot – at least she doesn’t try to or believe that she does. Every couple weeks she switches up where and who she sits with at lunch, usually based on who is willing to share their food that day. She’s pretty good at talking to people about any number of things, nor does she discriminate about who she chats with. Heather is comfortable with everyone, and they don’t seem to have a problem with her either. The only strange thing is that she never really talks about herself. They know ABOUT her and being a small town, everyone is familiar with family gossip… but no one actually knows what she’s like or does outside of school. Heather fades in to the background.

Real Heather is… she doesn’t even know. The problem is that she’s really smart, but completely aimless. She has the opinion that it’s pointless to try. Because of her family situation she knows she’s not going to college and is just going to end up in some dead end job for the rest of her life. Maybe she’ll get married to someone she kind of likes and have some kids. It’s what everyone does so why should she think she’s special?

Despite her pessimistic views on life, she’s a daydreamer. She thinks in story-form. Part of the reasons she likes migrating between social groups is because she enjoys people’s stories. Even though she doubts she’s going to do anything remarkable in her own life, she likes daydreaming about all the things she could do if she had money and opportunity.

Heather loves being outdoors. The sun, the weather, trees, parks, nature, etc. She doesn’t like being cooped up indoors for too long, and is possibly even a little claustrophobic. The smaller the space, the more antsy she becomes.

Although she seems like a subdued and shy person at first, once you spend enough time with her and she gets to know you better, she actually has a very bold personality. When she feels like she can trust you is when she acts more natural, letting you see her moods, sharing personal information, etc. Heather likes to talk, argue, get involved in deep conversations about life, the universe, and everything in between. Once she’s comfortable, she’s a lot more confident in trying new things and getting excited about something ambitious.

Dating has never been on the table for Heather. She’s either been too oblivious to the affections of others OR the few times she’s noticed, she flat out wasn’t interested. She’s never acted on her own crushes, either, as she’s too afraid to actually get that close to somebody. One of her greatest fears is that she’ll love somebody and the relationship is going to go to shit. She thinks it’s better to just not have one at all.

She has several piercings in her ears, one in her nose and her belly button. She rarely wears them all at once, and never with flashy jewelry so her parents still have no idea she has them. Heather really wants a tattoo but doesn’t want to get something stupid and meaningless just to “have a tattoo”. She wants something that has a lot of special importance to her, but that’s been hard to figure out.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

[/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

[/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

[/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

[/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]


Characters: Modern Fantasy Characters: Modern Realistic

Frankie Arlette

[et_pb_section admin_label=”Section” fullwidth=”off” specialty=”on” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#1c131a” allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” padding_mobile=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off”][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column_inner type=”4_4″ saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”justified” text_font=”PT Sans Narrow||||” text_font_size=”18″ use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” module_class=”dbio”]

Frankie Arlette. Named after her father, and his father, and his mother, and her father.

Activities Director for the Heritage Square Retirement Manor. She’s brand new to replace the old activities director who had a bit of an unfortunate accident during one of the activities.

Her mother died two years ago from a stroke. Her father is still living well and healthy. They speak every weekend over the phone. He wishes she didn’t move so far away, but understands why. He’s considering making the move out there too if she likes her new town.

Was engaged to her Highschool sweetheart for two years. It ended abruptly when they both realized they were hanging on to the “idea” of them being this in love romantic couple, when neither of them were really in love anymore. They’re both still friends and occasionally talk.

She’s dated several people since then, some more serious than others. Her most recent breakup was with a coworker and didn’t end so amicably. The guy fell harder and faster than she did, then starting pushing and pressuring. When she broke it off, he made their work environment so unpleasant she had to quit. After some strong words and changing her number, he seemed to get the hint. But when a job opened up elsewhere, she still jumped on it. Frankie just didn’t feel comfortable knowing she could run in to him anywhere in town. The new job was only 4 hours away, so she could easily make the drive to visit family and friends.

Frankie is not super religious or spiritual but does believe strongly in God. It helps her feel secure knowing that “someone has a plan” and everything isn’t just random tragedy. Especially in her line of work where she has to deal with death of people she cares for on a regular basis. She’s not an avid church goer, but attends it sporadically when she feels she needs a little guidance.

She is a “bright” personality and cheerful disposition. This helps her a lot in her work. She keeps her energy up while out and about in public, then recharges on her own time with quiet things. Since she spends all day entertaining a group of people, on her off time she prefers small intimate things. Is great at mediating problems between people. She’s patient, knows how to listen, and usually knows how to calm people down. When it comes to handle issues people have with HER it gets a little trickier. Frankie is a people pleaser, someone getting angry or aggressive at her personally takes her back a bit and she flounders. Physical violence is a NO. Some people just don’t have the heart to hurt a fly, and she is one of them. Frankie likes to BELIEVE she could handle it, but she couldn’t even kick the padded instructor too hard when she took self defense classes. Ignoring issues with personal conflicts, she’s a very secure and self-reliant woman. Her self-esteem is healthy – she knows what she’s good at and what she struggles with. When she has goals, she strives to achieve them. So she she’s enjoying her new job and home, and is hoping to build a full life there.

She’s just finished moving in to her new little house. It’s super old and falling apart, but it’s charming and cute. Frankie is doing a lot of the repair work herself when she can. She loves do-it-yourself stuff and this even extends to having a beautiful garden space.

Has never learned how to ride a bike.

Avid reader of sci-fi novels. Might be a little nutty and believes in visiting aliens.

Gets really annoyed with bad drivers and it’s one of the rare times she curses.

Frankie REALLY wants a dog, but worries about the poor dog being bored when she’s not at home so she never gets one.

She has a surprisingly high tolerance for pain, which is a bit of problem because she’ll push herself when she really SHOULDN’T because “it doesn’t hurt that bad”. Be it getting sick or an injury.

Gives people silly nicknames when she can’t remember their name.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

[/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

[/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

[/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]


Characters: Historical Characters: Modern Fantasy

Kim “Donna Duskdragon” Lee Chung

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ fullwidth=”off” specialty=”on” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#1c131a” allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” padding_mobile=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” custom_padding_tablet=”50px|0|50px|0″ custom_padding_last_edited=”on|desktop”][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column_inner type=”4_4″ saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″][et_pb_text background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”justified” text_font=”||||” use_border_color=”off” module_class=”dbio” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” background_size=”initial” _builder_version=”3.15″]

Kim “Donna Duskdragon” Lee Chung


Witch. Comes from an old family bloodline of witches.

Family: Mom, Dad, three siblings (she is the oldest), two aunties, and grandmother.

Doesn’t speak a bit of Chinese or Mandarin, doesn’t care to, and it pisses her grandmother off.

VERY in to the goth scene right now. It perfectly represents her dark and tortured soul.

Calls herself DONNA DUSKDRAGON both as a pen name and in demanding others to call her this. She feels it’s way better for her whole aesthetic as a dark witch of the damned.

Writes a lot of poetry, songs, and original spells.

Surprisingly GOOD at piano, viola, and the oboe. But she hates the oboe. Wind instruments are for nerds.

Not so great with her schoolwork because it’s boring and she’s tired of her family always trying to force her in to a carbon copy of the rest of them. (She’d get good grades if she actually cared.)

Kim is kind of a judgemental bitch and really has no excuse for it beyond just being a brat. She’s only interested in you if you like the same things she does. And if you like something she HATES, she’s going to give you constant hell for it.

No one has ever stepped up and told Kim off before. She’s pretty good at looking scary and intimidating. Great at bluffing. Because it IS all a bluff. Kim is really a creampuff and a coward.

Not a very good witch in terms of actual natural power. She makes up for it by being really crafty with handmade potions and spellwork. Just because she can’t do it herself doesn’t mean she doesn’t know HOW to do it.

She’s the coven leader. Yes she is. YES SHE IS. FUCK YOU.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” animation_style=”slide” animation_duration=”500ms” animation_intensity_slide=”10%” animation_direction=”left” show_bottom_space=”on” /][et_pb_image src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” animation_style=”slide” animation_duration=”500ms” animation_intensity_slide=”10%” animation_direction=”left” show_bottom_space=”on” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_section]

Characters: Historical Characters: Modern Fantasy

Rose Ashley Marino

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ specialty=”on” background_color=”rgba(28,28,28,0)” parallax_method=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” custom_padding_tablet=”50px|0|50px|0″ custom_padding_last_edited=”on|desktop” _builder_version=”3.16″][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column_inner type=”4_4″ saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″][et_pb_text background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”justified” text_font=”||||” use_border_color=”off” module_class=”dbio” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” background_size=”initial” _builder_version=”3.16″]

Name: Rose Ashley Marino

Family: Emilio Marino (Dad, owns a hunter’s shop), Rachel McLauren-Marino (Mom, Housewife), Jacob Marino (Brother)

18 Birthday = Halloween

LOVES Halloween, mystical things, and witch lore. Used to dress up as a witch every year for Halloween. Stopped in Sophomore year because her friends said that stuff was lame and childish. Still really interested, but keeps that secret to herself.

Appearance: Grey eyes, naturally tanned skin. Hair is an average shade of brown, but last year she dyed it blond. It’s now grown out and she has this brown to blond ombre thing going. Very curly hair and usually wears it up in a high pony tail. Wears whatever her friends say is cool. (But she kind just really likes simple overalls and turtlenecks)

Dad loves hunting, so she is well familiar with guns. She just doesn’t like guns.

Doesn’t use curse words!

Was friends with Bree until she got mixed up with the COOL KIDS.

Prior to bad influences, Rose was a straight A student. Since Sophomore year her grades have dropped considerably because not only is she trying to do her own homework, her “friends” have convinced her to do theirs too. Part of her appeal is that she’ll do almost anything they pressure her in to, and they keep her on the hook by making her feel like she is special and valued.

None of her old friends want to speak to her anymore. She doesn’t participate in bullying directly, but definitely doesn’t stick up for anyone if one of her cool-kid friends are harassing someone. She keeps defending her cool-kid friends because “they’re just playing, they’re not serious” and they “DO NICE THINGS” to make up for it later. (Those nice things never turn out to be genuinely nice, and conveniently Rose is never around to see the fallout.)

Takes Drama as an elective because it’s fun, and a business management elective because her dad wants her involved in running the shop.

Has no idea what she wants to do with her life, and none of her interests really seem to match up with any potential careers. She knows she’s probably going to end up working at her Dad’s shop, or marrying some guy and being a little housewife. Not a bad life, but it seems so boring.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” animation_style=”slide” animation_duration=”500ms” animation_intensity_slide=”10%” animation_direction=”left” show_bottom_space=”on” /][et_pb_image src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” animation_style=”slide” animation_duration=”500ms” animation_intensity_slide=”10%” animation_direction=”left” show_bottom_space=”on” /][et_pb_image src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” animation_style=”slide” animation_duration=”500ms” animation_intensity_slide=”10%” animation_direction=”left” show_bottom_space=”on” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_section]

Characters: Modern Realistic

Lorelai Sterling

– Daughter is Victoria. She calls her Tori.
– Has a tramp stamp tattoo of her boyfriend’s nickname “Tomcat”.
– Real last name is Kearney


Grew up in an apartment complex in Columbus Georgia. Got preggo at 16 with her 19 year old badboy boyfriend Thomas Serrano. Parents kicked her out because a knocked up 16 year old made the look bad with all their conservative Christian friends. She moved in with Tom and his buddies in a crappy trailer and dropped out of school. Stuff was okay at first but not great, then went downhill real fast after baby Victoria was born.

Tom ran with the wrong kind of people, got in to stealing and selling pills and other drugs. Shady people were always coming in and out of the place. Lorelai did a lot of crappy things to try and keep him happy and not taking out frustrations about a howling baby and expenses. He eventually got busted for drugs possession and assault of an officer and went to jail for 3 years.

During that time frame Lorelai got a job and took classes to get her GED. Things were starting to look pretty good. Then Tom got out of jail and moved back in. For awhile she was supporting him and thought things were better cause he was sober and trying. …but turns out he was freeloading and fell back in to old habits. Drinking, drugs, stealing, being a huge asshole. Lorelai didn’t want things to go like they did the first time, and she’d try to argue it but that resulting in him getting even more toxic and abusive.

This lasted for about two years and reached a climax when Tom hit Tori. Lorelai flipped out and for the first time actually [i]fought[/i] him. The scuffle ended up with him out cold on the floor with a big gash across his face. Lorelai has NO idea how it got to that, she mama-rage blacked out. It could’ve been the broken window, the busted TV, her bloody ring, the glass all over the trailer, anything! She thought she killed him. She took Tori, their stuff, and all of Tom’s money and RAN.

They were living in a new trailer in a new city the first time he found them. She was glad to know he wasn’t dead, but he was PISSED OFF. Pissed about the scar on his face, his money, her running and his stolen kid. Too pissed to talk and the scuffle ended up with Lorelai and Tori abandoning everything and running again.

The second time he found them he got wise and changed his approach. Instead of being outwardly violent, he smiled and threatened. He told Lorelai that if they didn’t leave with him, he was going to tell the cops to arrest her for attempted murder and the kidnapping of his kid. He even flashed some cash and a lawyer’s name to back it up. She believed him – but wasn’t going to let him take Tori. So the first opportunity she saw, she ran again.

Lorelai and Tori have been living in Chicago for the past year and a half without a sudden move. Lorelai found the big city was a good place to get lost in and is now feeling safe enough to get them a REAL apartment instead of living in motels and out of cars. Tori is super excited about getting her own room. It’s nice because her mom’s new job is across the street in a German Diner, and her middle school is right down the street at walking distance. Lorelai even sold their car so they could get furniture. Lorelai has just started evening business classes so she can create her own online startup business. Custom designed plushies! She’d make them all the time for Tori out of old clothes cause she couldn’t afford a lot of toys, and is now putting that skill set to use.





Characters: Modern Fantasy

Penny Thistlewhitt

[et_pb_section admin_label=”Section” fullwidth=”off” specialty=”on” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#100f15″ allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off”][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column_inner type=”4_4″ saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”justified” text_font=”PT Sans Narrow||||” text_font_size=”20″ use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” module_class=”dbio”]

CRAFT NAME: Penny Thistlewhitt

GENDER: Female


OVERVIEW: One does not usually see a Caterer out in the field, but with recent budget cuts, several departments are working together on ways to kill two (or more) birds with one stone. Feed, enchant, and heal operatives all in one go? Yes please! Hopefully during this round of tests with a live group won’t end as terribly as the first

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

[/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

[/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]


Characters: Modern Fantasy

Gloria Salazar

Gloria Salazar

Preacher’s Daughter

Normally does desk and paperwork. Has rarely been directly in the field.

Has always done things by the book, but wants to start taking RISKS. Get out of her box, do more than just paperwork.

Characters: Modern Fantasy

Ashmita “Smith”

[et_pb_section admin_label=”Section” fullwidth=”off” specialty=”on” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#181620″ allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” padding_mobile=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off”][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column_inner type=”4_4″ saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”justified” text_font=”PT Sans Narrow||||” text_font_size=”20″ use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

Ashmita “Smith”. What? She doesn’t need a real last name, she’s a demon.

Is fine with people calling her Ash.


Finds Angels to be a pretentious waste of energy. Humans are like working with really stupid puppies.

Has no problem bending or breaking the rules when it’s beneficial.

Casual sex? Yes please! Casual sex with someone she hates? Even better.

Spends downtime trying to get humans she works with to sign over their souls, just for fun.

Street smart. Doesn’t like dicking around when it comes to work. Just wants to get it done quickly and efficiently. Work is just “work”. There are better things to do.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

[/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_section]

Characters: Modern Realistic

Aubrey Lawson

[et_pb_section admin_label=”Section” fullwidth=”off” specialty=”on” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#181620″ allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” padding_mobile=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off”][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column_inner type=”4_4″ saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”justified” text_font=”PT Sans Narrow||||” text_font_size=”20″ use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” module_class=”dbio”]

Aubrey Lawson

Age: 32

Occupation: Marketing Babysitting a Rock God

Aubrey is quiet, conservative, maybe even a little bit of a prude. At least in all outward appearances. Has done some wild things in her youth to insinuate herself in the business that she’s not proud of. Somewhere out there is a nude photo spread of her posing with a giant snake. Learned the hard way that falling in love and sleeping with your boss is a BAD idea. Aubrey left home at 18 with aspirations of being famous. Unfortunately, she can’t act, she can’t sing, and she can’t write. (Like REALLY REALLY can’t.) When her aforementioned boss/ex tried to get her in to porn, Aubrey bailed.

She has since been working in the industry with marketing, but what she REALLY wants to do is be a Manager. She wants to rescue some young starlet before her life gets utterly trashed by the industry and build up their career in the way she was unable to do for herself. Despite a few hard knocks and knowing the realities of her business, Aubrey firmly believes you can navigate your way through it without going down the shitter. All she has to do is avoid drugs, alcohol, and sex!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]


Characters: Modern Realistic

Sara White

[et_pb_section fullwidth=”off” specialty=”on” admin_label=”Section” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#181620″ allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” padding_mobile=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” template_type=””][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column_inner type=”4_4″ saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”justified” text_font=”PT Sans Narrow||||” text_font_size=”20″ use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” module_class=”dbio”]

Has a lot of interests but does not have a “passion” for any one thing. Had no idea what to do with her life, and has just been studying whatever seemed interesting at the time simply because she COULD.

“Plays” the flute. Badly.

Trusts and believes in everyone. Has never found herself to dislike anyone up until her Stepmother, and even that she has a hard time swallowing and tries to find reasoning or excuses for.

The only bad thing to happen in her life was the death of her mother, and she was too young at the time to remember much.

Can find the joy and bright-side in just about anything.

Has never worked a job a day in her life.

Never learned how to drive. Always walked, biked, or had a driver.

Never quits, gives up, or gets discouraged. If she’s bad at something, she’ll keep trying and practicing until she gets it right. Sometimes even when it really is hopeless.

An emotion bottler. She doesn’t want to upset people or have people worry. So she’ll keep it to herself. Doesn’t matter if she is annoyed, sad, angry, disappointed, etc. She’ll always say it’s fine and try to work around it herself without having to inconvenience the other person.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_section]

Characters: Modern Fantasy Characters: Modern Realistic

Bailey Bea Wallace

[et_pb_section admin_label=”Section” fullwidth=”off” specialty=”on” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#181620″ allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” padding_mobile=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off”][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column_inner type=”4_4″ saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”justified” text_font=”PT Sans Narrow||||” text_font_size=”20″ use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” module_class=”dbio”]

NAME: Bailey Bea Wallace



APPEARANCE: 5’2″, dark brown hair, brown eyes, average figure. Not athletic or fit. Very pale skin and prone to sunburns. Rarely wears makeup herself and doesn’t do much with her hair aside from trying to keep it brushed and not frizzy. Always wearing glasses and cannot see without them. (She has contacts but has trouble putting them in.) Her fashion choices are feminine, but always “safe”. Subdued and neutral colors, and nothing ever flashy or eye-catching.

SKILLS/ABILITIES: Skilled Makeup Artist – Can make any dead person look like they’re just sleeping peacefully!

DRAWBACK: Bailey has issues with wounds and blood. They make her queasy and fainty and maybe even a little barfy. Why yes, she DOES hate her period and think it’s super gross, thanks for asking.

DESIRES: Bailey desires what any young woman desires. A relationship with a normal guy who isn’t a big jerk, or a pervert that is way too in to dead bodies. Because if she doesn’t get married and start having babies soon, her parents are going to DIE. They insist they will.

FEARS: She fears being a disappointment to her family, being an old cat lady, horror movies, going out at night without pepperspray, and the mail man. The local mail man is a creep and she’s pretty sure he’s gotta be a serial killer.

SYNOPSIS: Bailey is the average human female. Her childhood was filled with ballet tutus, pretending to be a princess, and always losing her glasses. Her teen years were all about trying to NOT be “creepy nerd girl with the glasses that lives at the funeral home” so she got involved in cheerleading, glee club, and was constantly sneaking out of the house and getting in to trouble to prove she was one of the cool kids. Bailey always seemed to fall short of the mark, though, and ended up being that loser people liked having around to make fun of because she tried so hard. While attending college, Bailey learned to accept herself for what she is. A boring, uninteresting blob of woman. Her interests include reading romance novels and fashion magazines by the fire, baking sweets, and daydreaming about one day taking a Salsa dance class.

Bailey presently lives with her family in the suite above the Wallace Funeral Home, a family owned establishment for the past 60 years. Her great grandad started the business and now it falls on her father’s shoulders to run it. As the eldest (and only) child it will one day be hers. Not only do her parents live and work there with her, so do her grandparents. Needless to say, it can drive a person crazy. Most of her days are spent there at work, making dead people look beautiful for their funerals. When she needs an escape, Bailey heads to the local park to listen to her mp3 player and read books where it’s quiet. She’s very partial to open nature spaces and enjoys a spot by the creek.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

[/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

[/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

[/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]


Characters: Fantasy Characters: Sci-Fi


name means butterfly

She is an inter-dimensional explorer, who travels to different worlds and dimensions for exploratory purposes.

Likes lanterns.

Is lactose intolerant

Always sleeps with her socks on.

Irrational fear of ducks

Characters: Modern Fantasy Characters: Modern Realistic

Daisuke Takasugi

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ fullwidth=”off” specialty=”off” _builder_version=”3.0.92″ background_color=”rgba(0,0,0,0)”][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_text background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”justified” text_font=”||||” use_border_color=”off” module_class=”dbio” _builder_version=”3.0.92″]


smokes ciggies

hates wearing his glasses and tries to go without them, to everyone’s peril

is a bit of a delinquent

in school but doing a shitty job of it

can’t fight for shit, but will bluff his way through it

goes completely mental over tiny cute fluffy animals

drives around on the shittiest motorbike but brags like it’s awesome

actually doesn’t know how to do his own laundry and always dumps it on his grandma

is surprisingly awesome at cooking

watches a lot of korean soap operas BUT SWEARS HIS GRANDMA MAKES HIM

is really really really bad at talking to girls

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.0.92″ src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” force_fullwidth=”off” show_bottom_space=”on” /][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.0.92″ src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” force_fullwidth=”off” show_bottom_space=”on” /][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.0.92″ src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” force_fullwidth=”off” show_bottom_space=”on” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Characters: Modern Fantasy Characters: Modern Realistic

Christine Hewitt

[et_pb_section fullwidth=”off” specialty=”on” admin_label=”Section” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#181620″ allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” padding_mobile=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” template_type=””][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column_inner type=”4_4″ saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”justified” text_font=”PT Sans Narrow||||” text_font_size=”20″ use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” module_class=”dbio”]


Character Name: Christina Hewitt

Gender: Female

Species/Race: Human

Age: 19


Occupation/School/Grade: Actress



General Appearance:





Current Goal/Purpose:




General Personality:

Inner Personality:




General History:

Present Life:

Special Historic Notes:

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_section]

Characters: Modern Fantasy

Pepper MacDougal

researcher at a supernatural investigations agency

wants to be a field agent

not a good public speaker

gets scatterbrained in situations she’s not prepared for

is clever and quick when it counts

Characters: Modern Fantasy

Staci Boswell

fortune teller

mom retired to florida and now living with grandma

great grandma is still living on island

long history of single moms and teen moms. men are evil family mentality.

Staci’s specialty is tarot cards and palm reading. Doesn’t like to lie or do theatrics.

Avid participant in town functions.





Characters: Modern Fantasy

Harper Linehan

[et_pb_section fullwidth=”off” specialty=”on” admin_label=”Section” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#181620″ allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” padding_mobile=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” template_type=””][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column_inner type=”4_4″ saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”justified” text_font=”PT Sans Narrow||||” text_font_size=”20″ use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” module_class=”dbio”]

Great grandfather was cursed by his first wife because he cheated. He married his mistress. ended up divorced and married a few more times.

The curse was by his blood, so all his offspring have inherited the curse.

His grandson knocked up a girl in his teens and they got married because it was “the right thing to do”. These are Harper’s parents.

No one in the family knows the curse is a real thing, they just believe it’s a family joke. The curse is a very strong bad luck curse that triggers after happy moments.

Harper handles her bad luck gracefully and is determined to prove that the family curse stuff is nonsense and that it’s all about how you handle yourself and situations. She doesn’t allow bad events to discourage her. (At least on the surface.)

She does a lot of volunteer work at the local homeless shelter. Something that hits close to home for her because of family problems.

She works two other jobs. Maid Service in a Motel and Waitress at a strip bar. The intent was to spend it on schooling for a real career, but she’s just ended up spending it all at the shelter or giving it to her family. Especially her brother and two nephews. Harper is always willing to do extra side jobs for cash.

Has a soft spot for kids, animals and old people. She loves PEOPLE. Their lives and their stories!

Believes romance is for fairy tales and movies. That kind of stuff doesn’t happen to real people. Love, yes. Moments of kismet, staring in to each other’s eyes, being gooey and mushy? No way. She’s never been able to connect with someone that way before.

Harper fell in with some bad people and ended up in a gang as a teenager and did some shitty things. One of which involved almost getting somebody killed. It’s a time of her life she regrets and has been trying to make up for since. This causes some issues when people from that time period show up again.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_section]

Characters: Modern Realistic

Anastasia Du Bois

[et_pb_section admin_label=”Section” fullwidth=”off” specialty=”on” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#181620″ allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” padding_mobile=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off”][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column_inner type=”4_4″ saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”justified” text_font=”PT Sans Narrow||||” text_font_size=”20″ use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” module_class=”dbio”]


Character Name: Anastasia Du Bois

Gender: Female

Species/Race: Human

Age: 18


Occupation/School/Grade: Student & Part Time Gallery Curator


General Appearance:


Weaknesses: Gets motion sickness easy.


Current Goal/Purpose:


Inabilities: Can’t cook, she could burn a TV dinner.

Fears: Death and the unknowns that come with death. Sharks. Hates jack-in-the-boxes and other popout scares.

General Personality: Can be cocky and over confident. Dislikes seafood. Has a collection of antique salt and pepper shakers. favorite color is maroon. Has too many shoes. Gets a bit OCD about light switches.

Inner Personality: Carries a special item [insertimportantthinghere].


General History: Mom is an Art Restorer for a Museum. Dad owns an Art Gallery.

Present Life:

Special Historic Notes:

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_text admin_label=”art” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”justified” header_font=”PT Sans Narrow||||” text_font=”PT Sans Narrow||||” text_font_size=”20″ use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]




Characters: Modern Realistic

Carly Brule

[et_pb_section fullwidth=”off” specialty=”on” admin_label=”Section” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#04090f” allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” padding_mobile=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” template_type=””][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column_inner type=”4_4″ saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”justified” text_font=”PT Sans Narrow||||” text_font_size=”20″ use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” module_class=”dbio”]

Name: Carly Brule

Age: 17

father was murdered by her mother, little sister died from neglect before police arrived. Mother is still MIA.

foster care sucked ass so she ran away.

has spent time in a mental institution


working nights at strip club but not as a stripper

Saving money so she can get a vehicle and a place to live.

suicidal tendencies because life is rough, but doesn’t actually want to die.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_section]

Characters: Modern Fantasy Characters: Modern Realistic Characters: Sci-Fi

Hannah Lisbourne

[et_pb_section fullwidth=”off” specialty=”on” admin_label=”Section” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#181620″ allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” padding_mobile=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” template_type=””][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column_inner type=”4_4″ saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”justified” text_font=”PT Sans Narrow||||” text_font_size=”20″ use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” module_class=”dbio”]

Ex school teacher. Just finished her degree and worked for about two years before her husband insisted that she be a housewife. She’s now trying to find a job teaching somewhere.

Married for about five years before her husband demanded a divorce. He married her for her family money/inheritance only to find out the only thing of value she had was her house.

Exhusband was mentally abusive and then left her for a younger woman, and took her house in the settlement because he had a better lawyer and Hannah was ready to just give him anything to end it.

Presently living out of her car.

Suicidal but not REALLY. She’s hit the low point of her life. The start of her plot is her going to a local bridge with the intend to jump off when CIRCUMSTANCES happen.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_section]

Characters: Modern Realistic

Valerie Sutton

[et_pb_section fullwidth=”off” specialty=”on” admin_label=”Section” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#04090f” allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” padding_mobile=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” template_type=””][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ specialty_columns=”2″][et_pb_row_inner admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column_inner type=”4_4″ saved_specialty_column_type=”1_2″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”justified” text_font=”PT Sans Narrow||||” text_font_size=”20″ use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” module_class=”dbio”]


Character Name: Valerie Sutton

Gender: Female

Age: 26

Birthplace/World: Chicago, Illinois

Occupation: Small Business Owner – A bath salts/lotions/etc type place


General Appearance: Straight brown hair with a few highlights. Blue eyes. Petite at 5’3″ with an average build body and curvy figure. Complains all the time about petite women’s clothing being made for stick-thin teenagers and not full grown women. Prefers classic city life fashion.

Strengths: Very healthy and takes good care of herself.

Weaknesses: Not a lot of physical strength.


Current Goal/Purpose: Run a successful business and remain independent from her family. Meet someone nice and have a family of her own in the future.

Talents: Valerie has a nose for scents and makes good use of it with the natural products she makes. She’s pretty good at cooking without recipes. Great with numbers.

Inabilities: She can’t drive and has no license, so she always takes public transportation. She also cannot swim and refuses to even try it. Personally feels as if she doesn’t handle violent or abusive people very well, nor intense situations.

Fears: Violent/aggressively angry people, Guns (She just doesn’t like them.), serial killer flicks (it’s too real!), and what her life might be like if she caved in to her mother and joined the family business.

General Personality: Confident and relaxed, Valerie is the kind of girl you see and know immediately that she has her life together. She is what you would call a Social Introvert, in the way that she enjoys chatting and spending time with people, but in a very limited fashion. Val likes the occasional get together, interacting with her customers and so on, but at the end of the day she wants to spend her time enjoying a quiet evening alone. Val is incredibly independent. She likes to do things herself and her own way, and can be stubborn when it comes to accepting help from others even when she needs it. She values honesty, but the people that try to say “I’m just being honest” as an excuse for being rude irritate her. There is no room in her life for unpleasant people, and if she doesn’t care for you, she has no problem telling you exactly why and booting you out of her presence.

Inner Personality: Val is pretty much a seeing-is-what-you-get kind of person. Deep down, she misses her family and wishes she could be a bigger part of their lives (and vice versa), but can’t abide by their dangerous lifestyle. She has a hard time connecting with people beyond a shallow surface level because of trust issues and a few disastrous situations. She doesn’t want to be taken advantage of or made a fool of, and she is also afraid that she can’t handle it all. Val displays more confidence and fearlessness than she believes she has.

Secret: Doesn’t exactly let the beans spill that she’s a mob daughter.


General History: Val’s mother, Jacquelyn Sutton is a wicked old broad that does bookkeeping for the local mobsters, along with her mousy husband Harold who is an accountant at a small firm. She has an older brother (Mattie) who spends his time doing “dirty work” or gambling his money away and a younger sister (Tori) that is dumb as a post, but somehow still manages to wrap anyone she talks to around her finger.

Valerie refuses to interact with any of these people, much to the chagrin of her mother, whom tried very hard to raise and groom her middle child to one day take over the business. There were several scares when Val was younger that turned her off on the whole thing, so as soon as she graduated High School, she moved out of the family home.

Living on her own was tough and she made a few blundering mistakes. Including trusting the wrong sort of people, spending a few months homeless, and a brief stint posing for nude photos. But she managed to work her way through business school and fund her own small business.

Present Life: Valerie is doing fairly well for herself with her business. It’s turning a good profit, she lives comfortably, and her life is just about where she wants it.

Historic Notes:
– Short time in foster care while parents were under arrest/investigation

– Shoot out with lots of guns at some big party and someone died. She doesn’t know or remember what happened there, and has not liked guns ever since.

– Huge things in the news dealing with a local mobster, and her mother was part of the investigation.

– Older brother lands himself in jail for car stealing and nearly killing someone.

– had a shitty abusive boyfriend shortly after moving out because she couldn’t recognize his intentions and then didn’t know how to get out of it. (smooooth manipulative and controlling “nice guy”) Eventually ran away.

– brief few months being homeless after bad boyfriend

– Does nude photos for quick easy money

– starts business school

– opens her business

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_section]

Characters: Modern Realistic




Loves the ocean.

Lives in a house on the beach.

Works at a seaside bar?

Drives a jeep.

Loves the color yellow.

Characters: Modern Realistic

Chandra Johal


Chandra Johal

Lives in the inner city and always takes the subways & buses.

Still lives with a exboyfriend and bad roommate.

Goes to school for business management courses.

Works at _____