Applause from the audience broke out, Mistress Molly was taking a bow, the young man who’d been caned was fixing his clothes and bowing, and the break began. “Come on,” said Mandy, “let’s get some water and we can watch Master Lucas do his rope magic. Well, if you want to, I don’t want to be all pushy like Jeff!” She laughed.
“No, that sounds like fun,” Sofia agreed, wondering just a bit where Lori was. But as they got to the concession stand, she saw her friend at a small table with several other people. They were chatting and laughing, and when Lori saw Sofia, she grinned and gave her a thumbs up. Sofia returned the gesture, relieved that Lori was having a good time.
“Water or soft drink?” Mandy asked.
“Oh, water, please,” said Sofia and gratefully took the bottle Mandy handed her. “So have you known Lucas a long time?”
“A few years,” said Mandy, “ever since I moved down here. I’m from Illinois originally, but I’ve been here, well, I guess it’s 5 years now. Master Lucas was one of the first people I met in the scene. I was, you know, I was kind of a hot mess back then.” She shrugged. “Still am sometimes, but back then I was just out of a bad relationship. A really bad relationship. And I kind of fell for Master Lucas. I know, he really is old enough to be my father, but he was so kind. And he could have taken advantage of me big time. But he didn’t. He just – he just became my friend and kind of watched over me.”
She stopped and glanced at Sofia. “Let’s sit here a minute,” she said, gesturing to a small couch. “I know this is a lot to dump on a stranger, but I do want to tell you about Lucas and me. And lots of people know the story so I’m not telling you anything secret or anything.”
Sofia was fine with that. She settled herself and tilted her head in her most “I’m interested,” posture.
“So like I said, I was kind of a hot mess. See, I’m really a Little – well, I’m still figuring that out all the way, cause I think I might be a slave too, but back then I didn’t even think about maybe being a Little. I thought I was a slave and I wanted a Master or an Owner or – I really, really wanted a relationship or maybe just someone to pay attention to me.” She paused and looked away.
“Of course,” said Sofia gently. “Of course you did – and really, don’t we all want that?”
“Yeah, I guess so. Anyhow,” Mandy shrugged, “I was ready to throw myself into some relationship, and I did. But I didn’t know what I was doing, so I’d be incredibly happy for a while, and then incredibly miserable for a long time. I got into some stuff that I didn’t really want to be doing and – yeah, it was just ugly.
“Anyhow, the first relationship took about a year to get really bad. And when it got way out of hand at a play party, Master Lucas stepped in. He stopped the guy – I won’t call him a Master, he doesn’t deserve that title, he’s not even a real Dom. Anyhow, Master Lucas kind of, I guess you could say he rescued me. And he introduced me to Mistress Molly and a bunch of other people who were really nice. So that was great.”
“It sounds like it!” said Sofia.
“Oh, wait,” said Mandy, “that was just the beginning. So we’re going along and everything’s fine, except I’m so lonesome, I just about can’t stand it. It seems like everybody’s got somebody except me. So next, I throw myself at Master Lucas and make a big fool of myself trying to get him interested in me. But he really just wasn’t – not that way. And I’m glad now, but he had to get real clear with me about it, and that wasn’t exactly fun.”
“Oh, no,” said Sofia, “that must have been a really hard time for both of you.”
“It was,” said Mandy, “for sure. But that’s not the worst of it. After that, I got involved in a couple of other relationships that turned out bad, and both times, Master Lucas ended up having to say something or rescue me somehow. It was ridiculous.”
Sofia frowned. “Well, he must be quite the knight-in-shining-armor,” she said a bit disapprovingly. She hated that type of man, guys who always thought they had to play the hero.
“Oh, no,” said Mandy, “It wasn’t like that – he’s not like that at all! Seriously, both times, I was in real danger of getting hurt and he stopped them.”
“Well,” said Sofia, “I guess, but it sure seems like he jumped to my rescue with Jeff today. And I don’t think I was in any actual danger.”
“Oh, oh, wait,” said Mandy “That was part me. We were both watching Jeff try to move in on you and I said he should make him stop. He said no, he said you were a ‘bright competent woman’ and didn’t need his help. But we kept watching and then he said he didn’t want to go over there cause it would look like he was claiming you and that wasn’t fair to you, being new and all. But if I wanted to run interference, I could tell you he wanted to ask you a question. So that’s what I did. But that was mostly me. Although – he was watching!”
Sofia wasn’t sure if she felt relieved or disappointed, so she decided she didn’t need to be either one. It had happened and it was helpful and that was good enough. And maybe he wasn’t some freaky gotta-be-a-hero type.
“Anyhow,” said Mandy, “I know this is turning into the longest story in the world, but after the third time he rescued me, Lucas had a really serious talk with me. And he told me about this therapist he knew and kind of talked me into going to see her. So I did, and – I know this sounds crazy, but it changed my life.”
“No,” Sofia shook her head, “Not at all, I mean, I actually used to be a therapist myself. And I’ve had a therapist too! I know that can make a big difference.”
“Oh, that’s great,” said Mandy, “That you were a therapist, I mean. Cool! Anyhow, I think Lucas is great. And you know what – we need to get back out there, I bet the demo’s already started. Do you like rope?”
Sofia grinned, “Actually, I do.”
“Then come on, Master Lucas was going to use me as one of his demo model, but you could do it instead. You deserve to have some fun, and I know that Jeff’s not any fun, and neither is listening to my sad story. Come on – don’t you want to do it?”