Horner Springs, The Institute Ch. 02byvoluptuary_manque©
I'm much obliged to Stella Omega for clarifying the Leather culture aspects of this story for me. If you find it accurate and believable, the credit is hers. Any mistakes are mine alone.
Jake McAllister pulled the big pick-up next to the garage of the comfortable log home nestled in a grove of junipers and parked. The house, sitting on five hilltop acres of conifers and sagebrush, had a fine view of Horner Springs, especially of the Futter College Arts and Letters Campus in the foreground and the Technical Institute across town. He looked longingly at the distant campus, feeling very much 'on the wrong side of the tracks'.
Without turning his head he swallowed and said softly, "I—I could just wait out here. It's not that cold and I've got papers to correct . . ."
"No, Jacob," his younger wife Willow replied, "We've already been over this. I'm looking forward to this scene. I want it, I'm going to enjoy it and I want to share it with you. And when you see how much I like it, maybe . . ."
"Baby, I don't like hurting you and that's all there is to it. If this is what you really like, I can live with it, I guess. But there's no way I'm ever going to have any fun smacking you around." He kept his eyes focused on the horizon and sucked his lower lip in and bit down, a sure sign of a man trying desperately to maintain control.
Willow sagged slightly. She reached silently into her purse and pulled out a Kleenex and leaned over to dab the tear she saw forming on his tan, weathered face. And I'd always heard that cowboys don't cry. Oh Jacob, what am I going to do with you? All I really want is for us to be happy together but we're so different. "Jake, please? Laurie Bindre is good. She must be, otherwise how would she end up the Chair of the Human Sexuality department? She's a nationally recognized authority, for heaven's sake. I'm not going to get hurt and if I can't take any more, I'll safe-word out. That's how it works, Jake. Those are the rules."
Blinking hard, and without a word, Jake conceded. He opened the door and put his boots on the gravel. Unfolding his lanky frame, he went around to the other side of the truck and opened the other door, letting his pleasantly plump little wife out. It was a measure of how important today was that she waited for him. The man's somewhat old-fashioned ideas of gallantry were a continuing source of low-grade conflict between them.
Jake rang the bell and the door popped open to reveal Laurie Bindre. Her dark hair, silvering at the temples, was cut in a bob that framed her face and drew attention to her startling green eyes. She was enveloped in a loose emerald green velour jumpsuit that spoke of cozy times on the sofa, not wicked games in a dungeon.
"Right on time, Willow. Come on in. And you must be Jacob? I thought I knew most of the TI faculty but Soil Science seems to have escaped me. It must be all that field time you folks put in. Here, let me take your coats."
For a known dominatrix, professor Bindre had a remarkably folksy, down-home manner and it put Jake a little more at ease. She ushered the couple into the kitchen and poured coffee, a large mug for Jake and a small cup for Willow. "You don't want a full bladder, dear, it can spoil a scene unless you're really into golden showers."
Willow made a face. "No, I'm not. I mean, there's kinky and there's kinky!"
Laurie glanced at Jake out of the corner of her eye. As she feared, that had been the wrong thing to say. At his wife's words, the tall man's face shut down again and he hunched his shoulders defensively around his coffee, enveloping the mug in sinewy, big-knuckled hands.
Laura mentally whistled to herself, long and low.
If the man ever learned not to fear the BDSM scene, he'd be impressive. She imagined him with a flogger in his hands and shivered just a little. However, today was obviously not going to be the day and she laid a hand gently on his arm.
"Jake, Willow was supposed to explain how this works, both emotionally and physically. Give yourself a chance. Give her a chance."
Jake looked at her with deep-set, dark brown eyes, gifts of several Blackfoot and Nez Perce ancestors. "Ma'am, I am trying, trying very hard. I know I'm out of phase with lots of things but I am trying."
Laurie's eyes narrowed. That the man was angry and defensive showed in the set of his jaw and the flush in his face. This was not good. She leaned back and taking a deep breath spoke softly to him. "Please, call me Laurie. We're both faculty and there's no need to be formal when the students aren't around." She turned to Willow. "You have talked this over, seriously talked?"
"Well," Willow replied a little petulantly, "I've told him about it often enough. He should understand by now, I think."
"You told him? And what did he say?"
"Nothing! He just shuts up and closes down. And—and then he mutters he doesn't like the idea, but if I insist he won't stand in the way. But that's not what I want, Laurie, I want him to be part of it. It's just . . . ."
Laurie folded her hands on the table and—not quite glared, but put on a decidedly stern teacher face. "So you really haven't talked, have you? Jake, Willow—I'm sorry but that's as far as it goes today. What separates BDSM from abuse is informed consent and I want to emphasize both words: 'informed' and 'consent'. And Willow, I don't mean just yours. If you want Jake to be a part of this, he has to agree, really agree. Otherwise the whole thing is off. I cannot ethically do one blessed thing with you so long as he's as upset as he is now. Now, go home and talk about this. And Jake, that means you have to answer, say what you mean and Willow, it means you have to listen to him. Understand?"
In the truck on the way home it was Willow's turn to sniffle, try as she might to not show it. If she started to cry now, she thought, Jake would assume she was trying 'the waterworks' ploy—that she was trying to manipulate him. She couldn't permit that. It was a weak, pre-feminist method of getting one's way and she refused to stoop to it. Somehow she would have to get him to answer. The hard part might be shutting up long enough to hear what he had to say, assuming he said anything.
Jake, for his part, was even angrier, but mostly with himself. You're a goddamn college professor, Jacob, not a strong-but-silent cowboy—at least not anymore. The least you can do is say how you feel out loud. Maybe if she understood how hard this is, she'll forget the whole idea. Somehow, that last seemed a very faint hope.
Neither of them had seen Laurie watch them walk out to the truck and then stand in the doorway long after they'd disappeared down the road back to Horner Springs. Her arms were folded across her chest, her brow wrinkled and her jaw set. If anyone had asked what she'd bet she'd never see either of them again the answer would have been, "Plenty!"
Sunday afternoon, Jake finished refilling the woodpile next to their woodstove, checked the firebox to see if needed a refill, washed his hands and poured himself a mug of coffee. It tasted alright; years in academia had given him a taste for drip brewed but sometimes he missed the bite of black java boiled in a blue enameled pot with an egg stirred in to settle the grounds. He shrugged and turned around. Willow was sitting at the kitchen table her face almost pleading.
"Jake? Can we talk? I mean seriously talk? And I'll listen; I promise."
The big man was quiet for a long time, a worryingly long time as far as Willow was concerned. She never did ask, even long afterwards what he was thinking just then, but at last he pulled out a chair across from her and sat down with a sigh. "Okay, you start."
"Jake, I love you. I really, really love you and you are a wonderful lover. But—but you remember that song, "Is That All There Is?" I feel like that sometimes—okay, a lot of the time. You must've felt endorphins. As many injuries as you've had and worked through, you must have. I've never felt them. I want to. Maybe it will turn out I don't like them but I at least want the chance to find out? Please?"
Jake took a deep breath and let it out. A wry smile tweaked up the corners of his mouth and he looked at his wife from beneath heavy brow ridges. "Baby, I've heard of them. I've read the chemistry that's supposed to be behind them. But whenever I've been hurt I just gritted my teeth and got on with things because they had to be done. It's what happens when you're the eldest, especially eldest son. Euphoria from exertion or pain? Never felt it. Pain hurts, that's all. One reason I didn't mind giving Sis my share of the ranch was that teaching was safer. I've yet to see a professor lose parts in a classroom." He looked at his right hand, missing two joints on each of his last two fingers. "The other was not having the responsibility for the place anymore."
"Does—does that mean, 'no'?" Hope began to drain from Willow's face.
"No, it just means I can't understand what you want or why in the world you want it. But I'm just an unsophisticated Kalispell boy with a talent for math and chemistry and if my California surfer girl really thinks she'd get off on endorphins, I'll just have to cowboy up for her. It's not going to be easy to watch, mind. You know how much it wounds me when you're hurt or unhappy."
"I could tie you to a chair," Willow suggested with an encouraging, wrinkle-nosed grin, "That way you wouldn't come raging to my defense just when things are getting good."
"Tie me to a chair?" Jake raised his eyes and stared out the window of their double-wide mobile home. A twisted grin spread across his face. "You know, crazy as it sounds, that might just not be a bad idea. Yeah, tie me—no, have Bindre tie me to the chair. Baby, that may be the best idea you've had since you started thinking about this—stuff. Tie me to a chair . . . ." He started to chuckle. Moments later Willow began to giggle and they laughed like a pair of kids sharing a private joke.
"Okay, Willow," Laurie said the following Friday evening, "the playroom is in the basement. You go down there and wash up. We'll follow in a few minutes."
After Willow left, Laurie leaned forward and stared sternly at Jake. "Jacob, you seem to have gone from angry and defensive to apprehensive. Don't deny it, I can tell from your posture and the way your lips are pursed. If you want to walk right out that door and come back in an hour or never come back at all, I have no way to stop you and even if I could, I wouldn't. This is play, Jake, and as I said before consent is a crucial part of it. So keep this clearly in your hardheaded mind. Willow is here to play. She's not being forced or even seduced so if you decide to stay, like she wants, no interference!"
Jake shook his head and stared back. "We talked this over like you said. She wants to give it a try and I agreed to go along. It's just that I may not be able to help myself. I don't care how 'highly evolved' some other men on the staff may be, if Willow is hurt I might just lose interest in 'consent'. Understand that? In Montana we're raised to protect our families."
Laurie sat up and smiled at him. "And that's a good thing—so long as you know when your family needs protection and when it needs to be allowed to try its wings and go exploring." The smile faded. "Now Willow said she wants me to strap you into a chair to watch. I can even gag you if you think you won't be able to keep your mouth shut. I'd rather not, honestly, but I can. Or you can just walk out. But if you do, Willow may never forgive you."
"You think I don't know that? You think that hasn't been gnawing at me ever since I agreed to what she had in mind? I love Willow, more than life itself. I'll do anything to keep her happy—but that doesn't mean I'll always be happy doing it. Yeah, we think strapping me down is a pretty damned good idea."
"Oh you do, do you? And when I try, what are you going to do, lose it completely? Can you actually tolerate being strapped down without going nuts? How about if I hold onto your hair or push down on your shoulders? Just what triggers you, Dr. McAllister?"
"Trigger? What do you mean, trigger? I may be a cowboy born and bred but I'm no psycho. There isn't any of that that would make me lose my temper. The only thing would be hurting Willow!"
Laurie rose to her feet, walked over to Jake and leaned down next to his ear. The big man didn't budge, refusing to be intimidated in any way. "I am not going to hit your wife much at all, not on her first try." She whispered intimately, "I am going to show you how little hitting you can get away with and still make her happy. All I'm going to do this time is redden her butt up a little and get her endorphins going, like a runner's high. Understand about those?"
"Yeah, I've heard about them. Never felt it, myself."
"A lot of people don't. But that doesn't matter. Willow thinks she will; it's part of her fantasy. And, Jake, I have to tell you—a BIG part of her fantasy is that you watch. I asked her to tell you this, and I can see that she didn't, but from the beginning she had a fantasy of you being in bondage unable to 'rescue' her, having to watch while I spank her. It would make her sensations even better."
"What? That's crazy." Jake's face changed from worry to a mask of suspicion.
"Well, I've heard worse." Laurie smiled. "It never hurts to remember that sex is always a little crazy. Barring genuine harm either emotional or physical, no one thing is much crazier than another. Now, if I can count on you to understand that this is a game and that you'll play along, we'll go downstairs and get started. If not, I'll go get Willow and send both of you home again to do some more serious talking. Your call, big man."
"If it makes her happy, you can count on me," he growled.
Laurie stood up. "Then let's get started. Come on."
She led the way down the stairs into the basement and through a very solid, soundproof door. It closed behind them with a leaden 'thud' and the click of heavy bolts. Jake looked around. He'd seen BDSM porn sites where the 'studio' had been laid out like a medieval dungeon. This was not. Instead the walls were dark knotty pine panels and the floor wide-planked oak. There were a couple of solid-looking frames with padded shackles hanging from them, a rack of riding crops, cat-o-nine tails, paddles and the like and an apothecary cabinet full of drawers. Instead of overly theatrical menace, the room had an aura of baronial decadence and dissipation. It also contained a large, wooden armchair.
Laurie pointed at the chair. "Sit down!" she commanded.
Jake started to ask just who she thought she was bossing around but remembered that this was play, that Willow had a fantasy scripted out in her mind and that he had agreed to play along. He grudgingly seated himself. Laurie walked around behind him. Once more her breathy, warm whisper was in his ear.
"I'm going to put a strap around your chest, Jake. Are you sure you're okay with that? Don't say anything, just nod or shake your head." Jake nodded. "How about your wrists? May I strap them down?" He nodded again. "She wants your feet spread. May I shackle your ankles to the chair?" Jake sat motionless for long seconds then gave his head a quick shake. "Will you hold them apart?" Jake spread his legs and slid his boot heels back against the legs of the armchair. "Good man," Laurie whispered again and gently stroked his shoulders, "Willow will like this. I hope you do, too."
The tall woman straightened up and stalked between the couple. She reached up and grasped the zipper pull between her breasts and pulled it down, shrugging off the soft garment and letting it fall in folds around her ankles. Underneath she wore a chainmail bikini. Silver links encased her breasts and pushed them up; a narrow chain circled her hips with little triangles of mail hanging from it front and back. Polished black boots with three-inch heels covered her lower legs. Jake, impressed, thought she looked like a barbarian warrior queen. Her toned, tan figure contrasted starkly with Willow's jiggly curves. She stepped out of the velour and twirled fiercely toward Willow, who stood naked next to a folding screen.
"Come here, woman!" Laurie stood next to a kneeling bench.
Her eyes downcast and her hands modestly held in front of her, Willow blushingly complied. She stood in front of Professor Bindre without raising her eyes, though Jake could see that she was trying very, very hard not to smile. So far it really did seem to be a game.
"Kneel down! Now, put your hands through the holes." Laurie pulled down a board and latched it in place. Willow's hands were held in a set of stocks. "Now your head." Another board clicked in place. Willow's head and hands stuck out one side of the frame, the rest of her naked body out the other. Jake wasn't sure but it looked like her eyes were sparkling with excitement.
Jake clenched his jaws but remained silent.
Laurie looked down at Willow. "Honey, I know you asked for the riding crop but take it from me, for a beginner it's 'way too severe. BDSM is like anything else. You start slow and work your way up to whatever level you're comfortable with. Today, I'm just using my hand."
And with that she hauled back and delivered a sharp smack across Willow's plump, pink bottom.
"Ooo!" Willow jerked and then giggled. A bright red handprint flared to life on the pale skin. "Oh!" A second joined it, then a third, and then more and more until Laurie stopped and then rubbed the smaller woman's ass vigorously.
"How does that feel, dear?"
"Wow! My butt is all hot. It feels like I'm backed up to the fireplace--feels really good."
Laurie came over behind Jake's chair. "See?" she whispered, "That's all it took. A light spanking, a few minutes and you're taking your darling home with a big smile on her face. Now to finish off this fantasy, I'm going to let you loose and go change. You get up; 'rescue' Willow and give her a big kiss. Don't forget the kiss! It's important to her. Then she puts her clothes back on and I meet you upstairs."
Upstairs Laurie had changed into Levi's, western boots and a cashmere turtleneck. She poured more coffee, large mugs all around this time. She smiled approvingly at Willow, her chair scooted over next to Jake's, both her arms wrapped around his left one. The big man, on the other hand, looked troubled while his wife chattered away, happily.
"Oh, Jake, that was wonderful. And you looked so tough and masculine even sitting there helpless? I--I just loved it. Maybe next time . . . "
Laurie interrupted. "Willow, dear, if there is to be a next time you and Jake need to have more long talks and I don't just mean you need to spend a long time talking to him. You need to talk once and listen twice, like my gram used to say. And no talking about it at all until Jake has had a chance to recover. Okay?"
Willow looked confused for a minute and then smiled broadly. "Okay, more long talks with me listening. We'll do it."
On the way home, Willow kept humming a cheerful tune, a huge grin spread across her face. Jake kept glancing at her as he drove, unable to come up with anything to say.
When they arrived home and went inside, Willow stopped in the middle of the living room, turned around and put her arms up around Jake's neck
"Jakey, pull my pants off. My ass is so hot right now; you've just got to feel it. Didn't it turn you on, seeing it all bright red?"
Jake would have rather not admitted it to himself but she was right. The sight of his wife's round butt glowing red in the spanking frame had done something to him, deep in the most primal reaches of his brain. He pulled her ski pants down and ran his palms over her buttcheeks. She was right; they were hot!