Mamma who bore me
Mamma who gave me
No way to handle things
Who made me so sad
Mamma, the weeping
Mamma, the Angels
No sleep in Heaven
Paris February 2011
“Can you describe the conversation you had with your biological mother when you first confronted her about your birth certificate?”
She paused before replying putting into play all of her training. “Elena accosted me at a charity lunch not long before I was due to depart for Paris. She accused me of breaking my adopted mother’s heart and she couldn’t understand why my father and I weren’t talking. I was prepared to let it slide until she tried to drag my brothers into the conversation and then I let her have it.”
“In what way?” The psychologist wrote a lot of notes but she didn’t miss the uneasy shuffle as Mia considered her next words.
“She told me that I had driven a wedge into my family and it was my duty to repair it. I told her I couldn’t do any more damage to my family than she already had and that if she wanted to act like a mother to me then she should have thought about that when she gave birth to me.”
“How did she react?” The memory of Elena recoiling slightly, as if she had been slapped was still very vivid in Mia’s mind. The reaction itself was so fleeting that anyone watching them would never have seen it. Mia watched her eyes gloss for a moment and then harden into a glare before she turned away and slowly made her way to the other side of the room. It was as if the conversation had never taken place.
“In the way that Elena always reacts. Stoic, unaffected. The woman has a heart of ice and a streak of evil a mile wide. She doesn’t give a shit about anybody and never has. I don’t know what sick hold she has over my mother but I can’t imagine what would motivate either of my parents to allow her to stay. I guess I was hoping that if it was because of me then my going to Paris would eliminate that need and she would be out of their lives by the time I return to the US.”
“To your knowledge has that occurred?”
“How does that make you feel about your mother?”
“Sad, disappointed, frightened. Given how poisonous that woman is I worry that my mother will either be severely damaged by her or worse, have some of that evil rub off on her. I don’t want to believe that my mother is stupid but for a highly intelligent woman, she is incredibly naive.”
“And how do you feel about your father?” Not wanting to give too much away, she examined her hands as they sat clasped on her lap. Ambivalence didn’t seem like a useful reaction but after nearly four years that was all she could summon. Eventually her eyes met the psychologist whose pen had paused. For a second she considered lying then thought better of it.
The crop slides down my tethered arms, tracing a feathery line from elbow to armpit and down over the swell of my breast, eliciting an involuntary shiver. My masked face drops backward sightlessly gazing at the suspension hook. The leather sensation has me sucking in my breath, a bead of sweat forming between my breasts. I imagine my tormentor is him and the moisture of longing pools between my thighs. God, I want this.
“You betray yourself, Mia.” Her voice, a harsh reminder that the apple has not fallen far from the tree.
Monday, Rory hands me my training schedule for the role of a life time. For the next few days I attend expert-run sessions complemented with viewing hours of video footage and consuming sex manuals. My life has become a diet of continuous on line porn. My professional library is now full of titles like ‘Blow Jobs for Dummies’. Within three days I see more variations on the sex act than I knew existed. The initial sessions are dedicated to learning to identify equipment. Tools of the trade associated with the various shades of soft to hard core BDSM have been passed through my hands for inspection and identification. A specialist takes me through the transition stages of various forms of nipple clamps and anal plugs.
The second week includes sessions on personal grooming and health care that quite frankly blow my mind. When I view the list of treatments I wonder how I have ever survived playing the frivolous girly girl all these years. Rory has arranged everything at the theoretical level but today I will have to make contact with Elena to begin the practical training regimen that has my stomach turning flips.
Ethan attends the theory sessions as much as he can but he is torn between training and looking after Kate. After she is discharged from the hospital she moves back into her apartment and refuses to see Elliot. We both worry that this distance isn’t doing either of them any good.
When I attend the Thursday equipment training I was once more by myself because Ethan and his parents were trying to talk Kate around. I was trying not to be petty but part of me was pissed off that Elliot gets to have family holidays and dinners with my mother and father-in-law when I hadn’t even met them yet. My mood had me distracted because when the trainer handed me a buzzing dildo with a clitoral stimulator attachment I almost dropped it on the ground. The trainer took my distraction as shock and called an early end to the session.
“Mia. Can we talk?” Rory calls me aside as I walk out of the training room. I can tell by the look on his face that whatever this is won’t be about my shining performance to date.
“You are reacting too much. The whole point of this training is as much about desensitizing you to the equipment as much as it is to inform you. When you’re in a scene and you’re being watched, you can’t show that kind of reaction. You’re acting like a novice.”
“I am a novice.” I see the double take. Bad move, girl. “I mean, it’s not like I have been a part of the lifestyle up until now.”
“Half the time when the instructor is talking you act like you’ve never had sex before.” My next action I swear is totally involuntary but I cast my eyes down and blush furiously. “Shit. You’re not a virgin are you? I thought you and Kavanagh…”
Pulling myself together quickly I look directly at him. I’m going for defiance here. Not feeling it but maybe with enough shit kicking aggression in the mix one of us might be convinced. “None of your fucking business…Sir.”
He turns to walk away. “I thought Kavanagh was screwing you. Shit we’ve got to get someone more experienced…” His phone is in his hand as if he has dial-a-sub programmed in. I grab it out of his hand.
“Don’t you fucking dare think about it. This is my gig. Mine and Ethan’s. He doesn’t go without me and I don’t go without him.” Giving too much away emotionally here but when it comes to my man, I will go territorial on his ass. While I am prepared to maintain a level of professionalism when it comes to this whole kinky sex scene, I would rather be shot than think of Ethan being involved in this with some other agent.
“So you are screwing him. Shame. When you get tired of it let me know.” So that’s the way it is.
“Never gonna happen.” I cut in over the top.
“Never?” One eyebrow punctuates his question. Fuck it, I step towards him.
“Nah ah.” He moves in, holding his body close to mine. I guess he’s trying for sexual intimidation. Damn it, the tosser is actually looking down my top right now. I want to pull my jacket together but that will just create more cleavage. Not quite the effect I was after. Instead I thrust my chest forward. A challenge.
“Seen enough, Sir?” For a moment he looks tempted to touch but then the asshole laughs and turns away, his attention immediately taken by a screen full of numbers.
“Grey, what do you make of this?” A change of tack. He indicates a stream of code on the monitor. And just like that we move on. Time to work my magic. I walk over and sit down at the keyboard. Before long I have decrypted the codes and started a process to separate out time log data, looking for patterns of movement. My eyes are traveling rapidly over the columns, shifting back and forth between as my brain does what it does best. The ‘what’ of the code is easily identifiable. The ‘why’ and the ‘how’ is what they pay me the big bucks for.
“Bank account traffic. These are corporate accounts, these ones there are personal and those set are off-shore.” My fingers fly over the keyboard as I quickly isolate the sets. “By the looks of the IP’s they could be Caymans. That is a shit load of dollar value being trucked around.” I manipulate some of the data trying to trace the flow direction against times. That’s odd. “Look at these ones. These are coming back on shore. Laundered out and legit back in maybe? It’s smart. The value changes but the clue is in the batch numbers. They might look completely different but they are switching between binary and ternary. Subtle cos it is only the last eight digits.”
“So the transactions are originating here?” This time when he leans closely over my shoulder there is not sexual intent. He is as drawn into the screen traffic as I am.
“Hard to tell but it looks like it, yeah.” Then something catches my eye. “Hang on… there… the UAE hub identifier.” If I hadn’t seen one before I wouldn’t recognize it. I worked on a case where we were tracking funding for arms movements into Afghanistan. After six months of chasing code around a screen that particular coding style is imprinted in my internal database.
“What about this other code?” Rory pulls in the second monitor to shift my attention. I study it for a moment.
“It looks like shipment figures. Cargo dockets maybe? Import/export stuff. Some of these look like they might match up with batch numbers on the other screen but it’s hard to tell. Certainly those ones there are strange. They don’t look like anything that you would expect to see in a manifest. You want me to take it and play?”
“Yeah. If we can work out the time lines on that second lot of data we might be able to work out when and where the next shipment is coming in. Right now all we have is the port of origin but the ship could be anywhere right now.”
“Do we have a name?” Stupid question. If we knew that we would have tracked the damn thing via satellite but without the name, the ship is merely one of hundreds of thousands of boats in international waters at any one time. Ours would be impossible to find without more specific info. “Let me see what I can do.” I pocket the usb he hands me, feeling a little anxious to get out of the building and call Ethan.
“Is Ethan coming in tomorrow?” He asks as I get to the door. I nod with all the confidence of ‘I really don’t know’. Being available for his sister is taking all of his spare time right now. I’m trying not to be selfish and petulant about it all but I miss him and as yet we haven’t quite got to the point where staying over is the next step. Especially not when my brother has probably been rocking his sister’s world in the room down the hall. Seems ridiculous to be psyched out about the familial relationship and normal consensual sex amongst adults while training to become Ethan’s sex slave. Fuck when did my life become so bizarre. The thought of what Elliot and Kate are currently going through is almost unbearable. Before Ethan came back into my life, I am not sure I could imagine that kind of pain nor would I care. Now, my heart is breaking for them both and not being able to help is killing me.
Moving quickly out of the building to the street I steel myself to keep moving ahead with my work. It is tempting to go and hide back at Bellevue with my laptop and work on the analysis but there are other more pressing arrangements to be made. Nausea sweeps over me as I dial Elena’s number.
“Mother. You promised to help me with my problem.” The sharp intake of breath tells me that she is bristling. She hates being called ‘mother’ and I don’t give a shit. She will never be my mother but pissing her off is such good sport.
“So… You still want the dom. I had hoped that you would get over your little infatuation. I don’t know what it is about you and your brother but you both seem intent on establishing relationships with the wrong people.” The disdain in her voice is palpable. Bile down, ire up.
“Look, Elena. After your sordid little display at Christian’s birthday the other night, you more than owe me a little of your time and a lot less of your attitude.”
“Darling, really? Neither my time nor my attitude is at issue here. Your intentions are.”
“So it is okay for you to seduce and convert an underage boy to your kink but when I volunteer to be trained you develop a conscience? Really Elena, that is fucked up even for you.”
There is a touch of evil in her hiss. Hitting her where it hurts is becoming a specialty area.
“Where are you?” Sparing the love once more, mother?
Within an hour we are racing through the city streets in her sports car with the top down. I know for a fact that she is doing this to be seen with me. It’ll go some way to silencing the gossips about the sudden rift between Elena Lincoln and the Grey family. Smart bitch.
Soon we arrive at her salon. “I said I wanted training. What are we doing here?”
“You need preparation.” Oh shit, the grooming. I feel the involuntary clenching of my thighs as she walks around the car and stands at the door to Esclava waiting for me to join her. I would rather face down a sniper than have my pussy plucked but having studied the videos and read the books I know that I don’t really have a choice. Keeping the nerves from my legs I push forward and march into the salon.
Esclava is stylish and sleek, outfitted with top of the line equipment and staff. Elena’s army of pencil thin mostly foreign women with peroxide blond hair and flawless makeup are more than a little intimidating. There are also three men amongst the staff: the eternally gay Mitch who runs the reception area with military precision; Franco, who speaks with an Italian accent but actually hales from Hoboken in New York and presents gay while shagging anything that moves; and Lucas, a Brazilian muscled hunk who gives the most amazing massages.
“Mitchell, is everything ready?” Elena barks out her questions but Mitch is remains unflinching at the sharpness of her tone. The females in the salon, a faceless, nameless band of copycat blonds, all jump. Mitch greets me with a carefully constructed air kiss and a squeeze of my upper arms.
“Miss Mia. Welcome. You’ll start with Lucas in the Orchid Room. Katya! Vite!” He moves with simple efficiency and summons a minion to escort me effectively ignoring all of Elena’s bluff and blunder. A slender brunette comes running from whichever cupboard she’s been hiding in, visibly cowering when she catches sight of Elena.
“This way please.” With heavily accented English, the girl, who I think might be pretty, refuses to look any of us in the eye. Instead she almost skirts around the outside of the space, allowing me the room to walk seemingly unencumbered by her presence. When we arrive at the other side of the main salon she ushers me through to one of the private treatment rooms where Lucas is waiting for me. Taking my coat she almost trips over trying to back out of the room and I instinctively reach out to save her. I can’t quite fathom the behavior or the girl. Every female in this place is a replica of Elena and although they might be scared of her, they present with confidence and congenial efficiency to the clients. This girl is out of place.
Elena sweeps into the room after us glancing back dismissively at the young woman who pulls away from my grip and is now scurrying away down the narrow corridor.
“You’ll have to excuse her, she’s new.” Right now I am not sure what the girl has done wrong. Apart from looking remarkably like Ana. Fuck, she could be one of the sub club!
“She’s not your usual type of employee, Elena.” I let that observation hang in the air for a moment before continuing. “I like her.”
“Mmmphh! Is everything okay in here?” Lucas turns around from where he is preparing his materials. His face is totally impassive. A perfect, ‘I heard nothing’ face.
“Perfect. Thank you.” I step into the small dressing room to ready myself and hope like hell that when I emerge she will be gone.
Later I am lying on back on the table, my face, neck and chest covered in some sort of mud-textured goop when I hear voices raised outside in the corridor. One of the voices I am sure is Elena only it is a little hard to tell as the conversation is in Russian. The other deep male voice is arguing with her.
“She is simply not capable of what you ask. I need more time to prepare her and even then I am not sure she will ever be up to standard.”
“The client will be arriving in a matter of weeks. I need to know that we have product ready to be moved in that time. This is worth a lot of money. To all of us.”
“I could give you one of the more experienced girls.”
“No, he has seen the video and she is the one he is prepared to pay for. Besides, this is a permanent arrangement. Your ‘experienced’ girls would never go. He is not interested in the girls’ experience only his own. The contracts have been signed and first payments made. You know how this works. Make sure the girl is ready. And Elena.” There is a slight pause that remains silent. “Do not think of letting me down. Dasvidanya.”
Footsteps retreat down the hall and I become aware of the door to my room opening. Rather than react I make my breathing heavy, feigning sleep. The door closes again and ten minutes later Lucas is back and cleaning me up. The young woman returns and nervously leads me to the next room where the waxing specialist works her magic. Elena is nowhere to be seen.
Four hours later having had everything waxed and plucked, my nether regions are as bald as a badger, my eyebrows have that shape of perpetual surprise and my skin and hair is glowing. I shuffle back out to the car clutching a newly acquired, highly-expensive, anti-acne cream and a rawness that feels like it might last until Christmas. Bitch-face pastes a benign smile on her dial as she drives me back to my father’s office. I think she is hoping that she will run into him which is going to be so over my dead body. Or hers.
“You’re sure you want to go through with this?” Am I am ready to fully embrace this world? After the training I have done so far, I am more than a little intrigued at her world. The more extreme kink makes me nervous but since lives are at stake I have to get past that. Elena doesn’t give much away but I suspect that the question itself is a fairly strong indicator of her nerves.
“Absolutely. I long for it.” My eyes focus on hers. Knowing that I am the fruit of this woman’s loins might be the strongest argument for proceeding with this plan. Righting her wrongs gives me a sense of purpose so I have to make her believe that I’m sincere. Knowing that a life might depend on our ability to pull this off raises the stakes.
She studies my face a moment longer before continuing.
“Tomorrow evening, I want you to meet me at Club Odyssey for your first training session.”
“Will Isaac be there?” Isaac instilled me with some confidence when we last spoke so I am ever hopeful that the connection between us will mean that Elena might actually try to guide and protect me. When she looks away she effectively crushes those hopes.
“No, I have a guest dom who will work with you.” If I hadn’t been looking for it, I would have missed that slight look of reservation on her face that sends a shiver down my spine.