They had not gone very far before Sir said, “Stop.” Bethany had been following Ma’am so carefully that she almost missed the order, but was able to stop short of running into Ma’am. Sir adjusted her position – she had drifted a bit too far to the right. “You’re doing quite well,” he said, “for your first time.”
She was surprised at how pleased she felt at his praise, and a little foolish at the same time. She fell into step behind Ma’am, who had said “Heel,” and then headed on. Ma’am stopped at the bottom of a flight of stairs and turned to face Bethany. “I know you haven’t been trained on stairs, but you need to stay two stairs behind me. I’ll lengthen your leash a bit but keep up with me. Hold your body straight – walk as if you were balancing a book on the top of your head. Don’t worry, if you don’t get it just right at first, we’ll just do it again.”
On the first try, Bethany was a bit too slow. Ma’am stopped and they started over. The second time, she got a little bit further up before she got too close. This time Sir stopped her. They went back to the bottom of the stairs, and Sir said, “That was your third error, next time there will be consequences to help you.”
Bethany was a bit distracted by the idea of consequences that would help her, but she tried to focus on moving smoothly exactly two steps behind Ma’am. They made it almost to the top this time before she hesitated too long and the tug of the leash let her know she was off pace even before Sir said “Stop.”
She stopped immediately and felt her heart pounding, what would he do??
She didn’t see that he was holding a short leather strap in one hand. It had been attached to his belt and she had not even noticed it. But he was holding it now, and he held it up so she would see it. She swallowed hard.
“Bend over,” he said.
She hesitated, feeling awkward and a bit unbalanced with her hands still fastened behind her neck. But Ma’am had turned back toward her and grasped her collar, gently pulling her head down so she was bent forward, her ass exposed.
“Two strokes with the strap to encourage better performance, and one as punishment for being slow to obey,” he said. The strap hissed and landed across both ass cheeks. It stung dreadfully and she would have risen but Ma’am was holding her collar quite firmly and kept her in place. The second blow was carefully aimed to cross the first one and she cried out. She was already gasping when the third one landed. This one hit her upper thighs and one leg kicked up in reaction.
Sir laughed. “You’ll have to learn to hold position better than that.” he said. “Don’t worry, I’ll ask Master Joshua to schedule a special training session for you.”
She didn’t feel reassured by those words, but Ma’am said, “Let’s try again.” They went back down to the bottom of the stairs and started again. This time, she made it to the top.
“Good,” Ma’am said, “Now just a little bit further.”
Bethany breathed a sigh of relief as they got to her room. Dan had asked them to bring her suitcase up, but she had only one small bag with toiletries and an outfit to wear home. Her iPad and journal were on the desk, she saw, next to a small stack of books, a purple post-it with her name on top of the stack. Glancing around she saw a queen size bed bed with restraints attached to each corner. There were also several rings embedded in the wall above the bed at different heights. She shivered.
Sir freed her hands and she moved her arms cautiously, a bit stiff. Stretched. There were several chairs in the room and Sir and Ma’am each took one. “Go ahead and unpack, go to the bathroom, start settling in,” Ma’am said. “This will be your home base for the next week so make yourself comfortable. If you’re unsure whether you’re allowed to do something, just ask.”
“You may go to the bathroom by yourself,” said Sir, “but leave the door open.” It had not occurred to Bethany to question whether she could go to the bathroom alone, and in her relief at that permission, it almost didn’t register that she had to leave the door open. As she sat on the toilet seat, it sank in, and she was relieved she only had to pee. There was a mirror directly across from her and she lowered her gaze to avoid seeing herself.
The shower was oddly placed. Instead of being directly against a wall on one side, the shower was in the center of the room, with room to walk around both sides. Bethany puzzled on that for a minute and shrugged.
Washing her hands, she felt a rush of overwhelm again, trying to absorb all that had happened so far. And it was not even 5:00 yet.
She emerged from the bathroom, startled a bit at seeing Ma’am and Sir quite at home in her bedroom. She began to unpack her bag, talking out her toiletries, but as she began to place them in appropriate places, she noticed that there were supplies already there. Lotion. Shampoo and body wash. Uncertain, she paused and turned to Ma’am.
“Ma’am?” She said, hoping she wouldn’t get in trouble for speaking.
The other woman smiled, “You may speak,” she said.
“Am I allowed to use my own shampoo and lotion and – things?”
“No, dear, we supply all of that. You can just put your bag in the closet along with your going home clothes.”
With an odd sense of loss, Bethany put her bag in the closet, next to her dress, which was already on a hangar.
She looked around the room again, and the stack of books caught her eye. Cautiously, she said, “Ma’am?”
“You may speak.”
“May I look at my books?”
“Of course, girl.”
With a sense of relief, Bethany moved to the desk. None of the books were familiar to her, but they had titles like “Paradigms of Power” by Raven Kaldera, “BDSM Basics for Submissives,” by Michael Fegatofi, and “Real Service,” also by Raven Kaldera.
Flipping through the first of them, she saw a handwritten dedication in the front. It read,
“Gifted to the submissive girl, bethany, on her first training week. May you make good progress toward your goal of learning to submit yourself and give power to the dominants in your life. May you be gentle and pleasing and receptive. May you accept the discipline offered with openness and joy.” Master Joshua
She read it with her heart pounding, her breath shallow. This was what she wanted. THIS was what she wanted. She had never felt that Dan really understood what she was looking for, but somehow Master Joshua had voiced what was in her heart.
With some trepidation, she opened the next book. Again, there was the dedication, starting with that odd phrasing, “…the submissive girl, bethany…”. She repeated the words to herself, not able to name the feeling they stirred. The dedication went on,
May your submission lead you to giving all of yourself, heart, body, and spirit, to your dominant. May you accept both punishment and pleasure as gifts, recognizing that both are needed to open you to becoming the submissive girl you are meant to be. Master Joshua
Again, she felt herself deeply touched by these words.
The third book dedication read:
Gifted to the submissive girl, bethany, on her first training week. May your submission of your own wants extend beyond providing pleasure for your dominant to meeting the greater needs of the community. May you learn to offer your gifts to serve others without restraint or fear of rejection, but with open hands a willing heart and a spirit filled with love. Master Joshua
“submissive girl, bethany,” she repeated to herself, reading the rest of the dedication a second and a third time. She wondered how he had known that she longed for this. This sense of offering herself, unafraid. She had always felt a bit ashamed of it, had never spoken of it in these terms. And here it was, written and acknowledged.
Without realizing it, she had begun to cry.
She was still standing in front of the desk, but Sir moved a chair close to her and gestured for her to sit. She did sit, closing the books as she did so. He had moved his chair close to her.
“What’s wrong?” He asked kindly.
Startled, she looked at him. “I – I don’t know, exactly. I just – I was reading some things that Master Joshua wrote and it stirred up some things. Made me feel – some kinda way. I don’t know.” She sniffed.
Sir handed her a Kleenex, made her blow her nose. He went to a small refrigerator under a cabinet against the wall and brought back a bottle of water.
“You can talk to us if you like,” he said. “We’re here to help you learn. To instruct you. That might mean telling you what to do and showing you how to do it. Sometimes, lessons are painful. But you can also talk to us.”
She looked at him helplessly. “I don’t know what’s happening to me. I want this.” She held up the book. “I want to be this person that Master Joshua thinks I am.” She paused, but Sir was still watching her, waiting.
She laughed, “It scares me. I don’t know if I’m scared because I don’t think I can succeed, or if I’m scared because this is what I even want.”
Sir nodded. “It’s hard to understand. But you can’t be happy unless you accept who you are. It’s not an easy path, this one you’re on. But we’re here to help, and Master Joshua is a great teacher.”
Bethany nodded, smiling a bit. “I guess you’re right,” she said. “At least I’m here, I guess I’ll see.” She turned back to the books, There were a couple of novels, including a white book entitled Story of O, which she was already familiar with, and another entitled Nine and a Half Weeks. There was no dedication in either of those.
She looked back up to see Sir grinning at her. “Sometimes,” he said, “We’ll have you read those aloud for us. That’s a lot of fun for everyone.”
Bethany giggled and blushed. “I bet that will be interesting!”
“But not now,” he said. “Now, you need to prepare for dinner. Shower first.