Authors: Deanndra Hall
Tags: #Romance, #drama, #Erotica, #erotic romance, #mystery
“Hi, Laura! How’s it going?” Vic asked.
“Good. Whatcha need?” she asked, trying to use as few words as possible.
“Bourbon. Don’t even care what kind.”
“Gotcha.” Laura turned to pour Vic’s drink, and then she’d get Steve’s. She already knew what he wanted; scotch and soda, his usual. As she held the glass under the tap, she could’ve sworn she heard Steve say something to Vic about the club’s “newest Dom.” Who was he talking about?
“Thanks,” Vic said when Laura handed him the glass but, instead of trying to make conversation like he usually did, he turned back to Steve and they continued to talk. It was kind of odd to Laura; she was used to having to devise a plan to get rid of him, but tonight he seemed to be disinterested in her. She wanted to feel relieved, but somehow it made her feel something else. What was it? Laura couldn’t identify it. She couldn’t identify any feelings. She didn’t like having them and, if she even thought she might, she tried very hard to ignore them.
Steve took his drink and he and Vic walked away, talking together and heading toward Steve’s office. She didn’t see them again until after closing when they walked out into the commons area. José had come from the front to the bar to help her clean up, and as they cleaned, they watched Steve and Vic together. Steve said something to Vic, and Vic responded with an, “Okay, and thanks, man. See you Monday.” He started out the door, then turned and said, “Night Laura, José,” and strode on up the front hallway and out the door.
When Vic was out the door, José said, “You know, I’ve never said this about a guy before, but Vic is just damned beautiful, isn’t he? Just fucking beautiful.”
“Geez, Dual Duty, gonna have an orgasm or clean the bar?” Laura growled.
“Oh, tell me you don’t think he’s gorgeous!” José grinned at Laura; she scowled.
“I actually haven’t noticed,” she said.
“That’s a lie. It’s not even possible to not notice how unbelievable he looks. You know, Laura, you’ve never done anything to me, and I don’t have one thing against you. But god, you’re such a bitch sometimes. Could you maybe get laid so you’ll be a little more pleasant?” José asked, smirking at her.
To his surprise, a look of white rage passed over her face, and she threw the towel she was holding into his face. “Fuck you. You can finish cleaning up. I don’t have to take this shit.”
“God! I was just kidding! Get a sense of humor, wouldja?” José yelled at her back. But she was already gone.
i baby! Can I come over?” Vic asked Nikki when she answered her phone on Sunday morning. “I called your old man, but . . .”
“I know. He’s down at the barn but he left his phone in the house. I swear, he never has that thing on him. Hates it. And of course you can come over. Come have Sunday dinner with us. The kids will be here; they’d love to see you. So, do you have some news for us? Private news?” she asked.
“Yes, and it’s all positive.”
” she gushed. “I can’t wait to hear all about it! Can you give me just a little hint?”
“Yeah. Steve is going to train me. I’m in!” Vic sounded excited, and that made Nikki excited. Since the first time she’d met him, she’d always picked up on the sadness that he wore underneath that sweet smile, and she wanted it gone.
“Well, come on over. We’ve got enough food for an army and the little ones are running around like maniacs. Your girlfriend would love to see you!” Nikki and Tony’s little adopted granddaughter, Ella Jane, had a full-blown crush on Vic. She was just barely over eight and had already announced that she wanted to marry him when she grew up.
“Be there in a bit. Can I bring anything?” Before Nikki could answer, he said, “I know, I know, beer, right?”
“You got it, sweetie! See you when you get here!”
“Zio Vic, see what I got?” Ella Jane met Vic at the front door and twirled around in her new dress. Tony’s kids had always called him uncle, and the little ones had taken up the tradition.
“Very pretty, princess!” he said and scooped her up. She squealed and kissed him on the cheek.
“Hey, honey!” Nikki walked up to him and kissed him on the other cheek.
“Now all I need is to see the other three girls and Anthony and my day will be complete!” Vic laughed. “I’m so lucky. I’ve got five pretty girls who love me.”
Nikki teared up a little and Vic noticed. He put Ella Jane down, told her to run to her mom, and scooped Nikki up. She nuzzled up to his ear and whispered, “Oh, Vic, I love you so much! Please tell me this is going to be what you need.”
Vic turned her loose and leaned back to look into her eyes. “You know, sugar, I think it just might be. I’m hopeful. Oh, and according to José, I’m hot!” he laughed.
“Hah! And you do know he’s bi, right?”
“Yeah. Explained a lot!” Vic said, still laughing.
Tony strode into the foyer at that moment. “I take it the news is good?”
Before Vic could say anything, Nikki whispered, “He’s in!”
“Congrats, cuz! Think this is what you’re looking for?”
“I think so. And Steve is trying to do right by me. Even though he drives me crazy, I’ve always liked him, but he’s an even better guy than I thought. Plus what I watched him do with a sub in aftercare was amazing, especially for Steve. I think I’m going to like it there.”
Tony looked puzzled. “Can’t wait to hear more when the kids all go.” He looked toward the great room. “Speaking of which, we’d better get back out there before they come looking for us.”
“Zio Vic!” Annabeth, Nikki and Tony’s daughter, cried out and ran to him, her partner, Katie, right behind her. Vic hugged her close. “I’m so glad to see you, Zio Vic!”
“And me you, baby! Got some cookies out there somewhere?”
“Yeah, come on! All kinds! Mom’s been busy baking.” Tony’s kids had taken to calling Nikki their mom the year before, and she beamed every time they did. Annabeth took Vic by the hand and dragged him toward the great room.
Nikki and Tony stood together and watched them go. “Well, I hope this does what he’s hoping it will,” Tony said, wrapping an arm around her waist. “I’d hate to see him disappointed yet again.”
“Yeah, me too.” She leaned into Tony. “He so deserves to be happy. And do me a favor: Call or text Steve and tell him how much we appreciate what he’s doing for Vic, would you, honey?”
“Consider it done,” Tony said and whipped out his phone.
“So that’s it. That club is so different from the ones I’ve seen before. I mean, I don’t know what I expected, but that wasn’t it. Most of them are kind of industrial to the point of being frightening. This place is so beautiful and inviting. And Steve shocked me – he was so,” he looked up in thought, “precise.” The kids had all gone, the house was quiet, and Tony, Nikki, and Vic had a chance to talk.
“So what’s next?” Nikki asked Vic.
“I have no idea. He asked me to be there at four tomorrow, said we had something important to talk about.”
“Can’t wait to hear more. Maybe we should check out the club sometime.” Tony looked at Nikki and tried to gauge her reaction. It wasn’t too hard to do.
“Could we? Oooooooo, that would be fabulous!” Nikki squealed. “You’d do that?”
“I didn’t say I’d scene with you or anything like that – that’s what you call it, right?” Vic nodded. “I’d just like to check it out, that’s all. I’m curious if nothing else.” Tony took another swig of ice water.
“What’s with the water? Where’s your beer?” Vic asked him.
“Um,” Tony started, his face reddening, “since the wedding I’ve put on ten pounds, and it’s easier to take them back off now than to gain twenty-five and then have to try to take that off. So I’m cutting back.” He frowned at his glass of water.
“Good cook, huh?” Vic smiled at Nikki.
“I’d like to think so,” she smiled back. “But I think it’s more like old retired guy sitting on his ass.” She grinned at Tony.
“Sitting on my ass? The only time I sit on my ass is when you’re sitting on my . . .”
“Whoa! Oversharing!” Vic yelled, putting his hands over his ears.
“Well, sweetie,” Nikki laughed, “you know, if that position is making you gain weight, there are plenty of others to choose from. Take your pick, Mr. Walters!”
Vic had called Steve on Monday afternoon to say he’d be late. Picking up the revisions on Tony’s plans had taken longer than he’d expected; the architect’s office misplaced them and had to hunt them down.
The front door was locked, so he texted Steve:
I’m out front and I can’t get in.
“I guess I need to get you a key,” Steve told him when he opened the door.
“You sure about that? I’m not even a member yet.”
“Yeah, I’m sure. There might be a time that I’d need your help. Besides, if Tony’s buying the building, someone from Walters needs to have a key.”
“I guess that’s true.” As they settled into the back office, Vic asked Steve, “So what’s this important thing we need to talk about?”
“I know it’s kind of early, but you’ve got a decision to make.” Steve put his feet up on the desk. “You need to start giving consideration to which discipline is going to be your specialty.” Vic hadn’t even thought about that. “I know you know this, but most Doms have a specialty discipline. Mine is caning, but there aren’t too many subs who can take it, so I use a paddle a lot. But I’m getting hungry for the chance to cane somebody.” He grinned. “There are guys who use the bullwhip. I could see you doing that.” He reached into his desk, pulled out two energy bars, and offered one to Vic, who shook his head. Steve threw it back in the drawer, unwrapped his, and took a bite. “There are all kinds of implements out there, and you’ll need to choose one. Let’s go down in the dungeon and look around.” Steve got up and headed to the locked stairwell, and Vic followed.
“I had one in the past, but I don’t think it would be wise now, so yeah, I do need to find something else.” Vic had mastered the flogger, but that didn’t seem like an option anymore. It was showy and effective, but he needed something that would give him instant feedback on the force of his strikes, and the flogger wouldn’t do that.
When they got downstairs, Steve walked straight to the wall full of implements. “All the classic tools. Paddles, canes, rods. This is an evil stick; nasty little bugger.” He took it off the rack and handed it to Vic.
“Never seen one of those before. Looks pretty benign,” Vic said, looking at the little rod. It was barely a foot long and had a nice leather grip. “It’s too short to strike someone with.”
“Works like this.” Steve laid the stick on Vic’s arm, then took the tip, pulled it back, and let it loose. Vic yelled and jumped back, then looked down to see an impressive welt forming on his forearm. “Benign, huh?”
“Shit, man, warn me, wouldja?” Vic growled, rubbing the welt.
“Ah, that’s the effect I’m looking for!” Steve laughed. Vic scowled. “You’ll see that mixed in here are lots of ordinary, everyday items. Some of the people who come in here get off on using things that they see every day in their kitchen drawer. I don’t get it, but there you have it.” Some of the implements were covered in fur; some had feathers; some had beads. Vic knew that a good portion of it was visual for both parties. “Some of these are just for show, like that mace up there. If anyone ever took that down and tried to use it, I’d have them tossed out on their ass in a split second.”