“Sal’s been arrested,” Jen said urgently. “Jeff wants you backstage now.”
“What happened?” Lynda asked in shock.
“The morons played a scene in a public park. George stripped her, tied her up, and left her. He was arrested for assault after a witness called the police, and when he explained what was going on, she was arrested for indecent exposure,” Jen said with relish.
“Jeff’s not going to spring them?”
“Nope, ‘cos the park visitors didn’t consent to take part in their kink.” Jen grimaced, “And there’s a kids playground in the park.” Lynda winced.
“So he’s left them to hang? And what’s that got to do with me?”
“He thinks they hung themselves. And we’re short an act. You’re cleared, a sub, and your prefs are on file. Get to backstage now.”
“But the only dom here is the -” Lynda’s eyes widened and she shook her head. Jen nodded grimly.
He was waiting for her backstage, pacing back and forth in the passageway. Black combat trousers, black T-shirt, nondescript good looks and nothing at all to look at twice. Unless you knew…
“I’ve been asked to pair a scene with you,” she said, trying not to sound nervous. “I’m Lynda.” They said that giving someone your name formed a connection, made it harder for them to hurt you. She hoped it was true. As the cold gaze flicked over her, assessing her like a prop, she scotched that idea.
“Your limits,” he ordered, not asked.
“No scat, anal or injuries.” Her eyes darted to his groin. There was no sign of what was hidden in the baggy black cloth, but she’d heard the rumours, seen him on stage. He saw the direction of her gaze and one side of his mouth lifted in a cruel smile. “No penetration,” she added desperately.
“I feel unloved,” he said dryly and then his voice was serious. “You know mine.” She nodded quickly, knowing hers were more restrictive. He’d never broken a safeword, or a hard limit, she reminded herself desperately, and yet he didn’t need to if he decided to find a way to hurt her that lay inside hers. “Anything else I should know?”
“Look, I need to walk away from this,” she said, pleaded desperately. “I’m on to dance for the rest of the week.”
“If you don’t want to do this, say so now.” He had stopped pacing and his voice was deadly serious.
“I can do a show, but I don’t want you to…hurt me.” She knew it sounded lame, her voice breaking as she changed the word from ‘cripple’ at the last moment. Reminding him of what he had done to that girl, of the rumours, could only make things worse.
“So what are you doing here?” He sounded exasperated. Onstage she could hear the act before underway.
“I’m the only vetted sub backstage,” she said, screwing up her courage. “I’ve done a few scenes with Michelle and Niska, but with George and Sal arrested-“
“Them.” He said it with utter contempt and anger. She shivered, failed to hide it and saw he’d noticed. He drew a breath, still cold, still calculating. “If you go ahead with this, you will be OK to perform tomorrow. Safewords are safeword, green to go, yellow to slow, and red. I also respond to ‘Crap, the chain’s broken’ and similar. Are we good to go?”
She thought for a moment. swallowed, and looked him straight in the face.
“Brave girl,” he said, with no emotion at all. “How are you with restraints?”
“OK,” she said cautiously as she followed him to the wings.
“Good.” He caught a stagehand by the arm. “Strip her and put her in a X-frame. I’ll want a table out for later.” On stage she heard the swish of the curtains closing and suddenly the backstage sprang to life.
Hurried hands pulled off her jeans, her top, her underclothes, popping them into a box for storage as she was unceremoniously stripped. On stage the props were being torn down, the stage sanitised for the next act as she heard the clank of chains being clipped and fitted as the stagehands moved through well-practiced routine. She was hustled on to the stage, pushed against padded metal. Her hands were caught, lifted, and chained above her head with her arms at full length. Another man secured her ankles to the shackles, pulling her legs wide to display her and checked the result with a quick nod to the stage manager.
They swapped, checking each others’ work professionally. She felt exposed, yet ignored, just another prop for all the attention paid to her. A writing desk was wheeled on stage, as a rough hand caught her foot, adjusting her stance. She had never felt so naked. Her usual doms took great delight in stripping the sub themselves, but this casual degradation was dehumanising. She wondered suddenly what they would do if he had ordered them to get her ready for him. There was a sudden image in her mind, a flash of calloused fingers probing and invading her, checking her dampness, as eyes watched unemotionally, the other stagehands observing dispassionately to judge when her body was ready. She felt herself clench, a moisture between her legs that she could not hide or shield.
The stagehands cleared off, leaving her alone. She looked at the writing desk, the quill and inkwell, and tried to tell herself it would be all right. She could handled feathers. Then she saw the dark glitter of his eyes in the wings. Without a word to her, he stepped forward, checking each implement carefully. He turned the quill between his fingers, his gaze on her parted thighs, and suddenly she wasn’t sure she could handle feathers at all. Putting it back, he checked the chains, the bonds, professionally, ensuring she could not slip out. She looked at him, unable to say anything in case it was heard beyond the curtains, but he ignored her. He nodded once, disdainfully, to the MC, and walked off stage. The MC stepped through the curtain, beginning his droning introduction, but her attention was riveted on the wings. He turned, his gaze straight on the point where her legs parted. Then he lifted his head slowly, staring at her breasts, taking in the line of her body in slow assessment, and then up to meet her eyes. She shuddered, transfixed by the cold hunger in his gaze, and then the curtain swept back.
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