tagBDSMKnowing Better: A Marked Woman Ch. 01

Knowing Better: A Marked Woman Ch. 01

byFlagrante©

In the middle of a cafe filled with pensioners huddled over cups of tea and kids scrambling under chairs, Linda zeroed in on her target very quickly. He certainly stood out from the mundane company around him, but he wasn't as terrifying as her imagination had built him up to be either. So there was no excuse to back out now, nothing beyond plain cowardice. Taking a deep breath, her arms ramrod straight, she walked down the line of tables towards him.

He was looking at his phone, but at the sound of her heels approaching his head snapped up and he smiled in greeting. There was a faded ruggedness about him which she found sexy; his hair was greying at the temples, and there were wrinkles round his blue eyes, but he also had quite a strong and compact build beneath his suit. She guessed that he had been more active when he was younger. Perhaps, as he approached middle age, this was his way of keeping fit. It was certainly a method that appealed to her.

Linda reached the table and extended her arm nervously. "Hi." He shook her hand and gestured her silently to sit down.

"Did you have any problems getting here?" His voice was deep and neutral, but there was a probing intelligence behind it.

"Oh God, no," Linda said, with unneeded haste. "I've been here loads of times. But never, you know... to do something like this." Get to the crunch why don't you, she thought to herself.

He gave her a sympathetic smile. "Well, it's not something you do every day of the week."

"Not for me it isn't. I don't know about you!"

He shook his head. "There's not enough demand for it, sorry to say." He thought about it for a moment, then added, "Actually, I'm not that sorry. It's hardly a nine-to-five job; if it were, I'd lose my enthusiasm for it. I mean, do you still feel...?" He waved his hand around, trying to express himself. "Are you still as eager as you were when you first contacted me?"

Linda looked back at him, thinking of all the ways your imagination could run wild on a first date: wondering what they would be like when they got older, what kind of parent they might be, whether you could spend the rest of your life with them. This was no date as such, and she had a very different list of questions racing through her mind, but these ones needed answering more urgently. She had to work out whether he could really make all the things they had talked about, and she had dreamed about, come true.

He had been very patient with her during all their conversations, by email and on the phone. He had asked little and got a lot in return. If he could tease that much out of her at a distance, he could really get to work on her in the flesh. Her own choice of phrase sent a shiver of adrenaline through her body. She folded her arms on the table and nodded, staring down at them. "Yes. Stuart," she added hastily, looking up at him. Her courtesy seemed to impress him. He took her hand and squeezed it gently.

"Good." Linda's heart leapt as she felt a spark of electricity pass between them. She could hardly remember the last time she'd had that kind of connection with someone. It was liberating, and reassuring, to know that she could still produce it. She crossed her legs and settled back in her chair, and her increased confidence did not go unnoticed. Stuart gave a little smile, and pointed towards the counter. "You want anything? It's all on me."

"Oh, thanks. Um, just a coffee." As he got up, Linda wondered if it was the last time he would be doing the waiting on her. Thankfully she didn't have to reflect on her fantasies for long before he returned, and they quietly sipped their drinks. It was obvious he didn't feel the need to fill every moment of silence with chatter, which was a weakness in many men Linda had met and also, she recognised wincingly, in herself.

"You didn't say what it is you do," he finally declared, putting down his cup.

Linda had wondered when he was going to ask that. She knew she had no obligation to answer, but it was obvious he was expecting her to. If she was putting so much of herself in his hands, she should be able to tell him the truth about this too. She folded her hands cautiously between her knees. "I lecture at the university down the road. History."

Stuart's eyes widened, and he gave an impressed nod. "Not just an educated woman, but a woman in education. Good. That should make things easier. You already know the challenges of trying to teach somebody something new."

Linda snorted nervously. "This is a little different from what I teach!"

"The principles are the same. You know what it takes to be a good student. Imagination, commitment, hard work. Plenty of hard work." He licked his lips as he drained the remnants of his cup. The note of humour in his voice set off a nagging doubt in Linda.

"I was worried," she began, trying to express herself properly. "I mean, I thought I might come over as silly to you. Do you know what I mean?"

"No, I don't. Why would you look silly?"

"Well, I don't know how many people like me you've seen. I thought I might be... too old or something. Seem a bit desperate."

Stuart gave a little sigh, and tapped his knuckles on the table. "Linda, I don't have any age limits, besides the obvious one. I couldn't even if I wanted to. This is a pretty small customer base I'm working from. There are plenty of women with the same kind of thoughts as you, but very few with the bravery to come forward and do something about it." He paused and put a hand to his brow. "I'm making it sound like a Crimewatch appeal. The point is, every woman I see, I appreciate her for what she is. Remember that."

"Thank you," she replied graciously, feeling embarrassed by her fears. "I just thought you might be seeing a whole load of twenty-year olds, things like that."

Stuart gave a rueful shake of the head. "Find me some twenty-year olds with the money to spend on something like this and I will happily take them on. Whereas a woman of your advanced years -- how old did you say you were, thirty-eight?" Linda nodded. "Yes, ancient women like you, with steady professional jobs and enough spare income lying around -- you're my bread and butter. The ones I have to make do with."

Linda rolled her eyes a little at his heavy sarcasm, but just to reinforce his point, he leaned across the table, his eyes gleaming with intent. "Linda, understand me. I am going to do things to you that no man has ever done before. I'm guessing you've heard that line in the past, right?"

"A couple of times," she smiled, staring coolly back at him.

"Well this time it's going to be true. I have to deliver for you, you're devoting such a large chunk of your salary to me. You might have to go hungry now and then, eat smaller meals than you're used to. I couldn't live with myself, knowing that I made such a difference to your stomach, unless I can make a difference between your legs too. That's your real priority, isn't it? That's why you're here?"

"Uh-hmm," Linda nodded. She felt her cheeks flush as he stared at her, turning the screw for the first time. It took an effort for her to adjust to it, but after a few seconds she began to enjoy being looked at, to grow comfortable with it. Instead of evading his eyes she looked straight into them, letting him know that she was ready for the challenge.

"Anyway," Stuart said at last, the spell broken, "you're not remotely the oldest woman I've taken on. Since I know you're interested, the oldest was... seventy? No, seventy-two. And, since I know you're even more interested," he added as he caught the look on her face, "there was very little that I could teach her sexually. Hardly surprising, she mastered that side of things long before you and I were born. I had no complaints with her technique, or her attitude. She just needed a little... guidance, that's all. To make the most of her efforts." He smiled as the memory washed over him. "So," he finally continued, "how long have you been thinking of doing this?"

"Not long. Not actually doing it. I've been wanting something different for a long time, but I didn't know what exactly. I just knew something was wrong."

"What do you think was wrong?"

"I don't know, it's just..." Linda gave a helpless shrug, trying to vocalise a set of feelings that had been churning inside her for years. "I don't think I've ever been as good as I should have been. Sexually, I mean. There was this kind of expectation, I felt, when I was growing up, that us girls were going to take charge, be more honest about what we wanted in the bedroom, and we'd all be able to show our partners exactly what to do and still have fantastic orgasms at the end. I always felt this pressure on me to get it right, and I never did. I never felt confident enough to ask exactly what he liked, or to tell him exactly what I liked. You worry about being judged, so you just end up blundering around making guesses. I suppose it's the same for you blokes a lot of the time, right?" He didn't respond, so she continued.

"It was like that in all the relationships I've had. Thinking, this is OK, but it could be better, and it should be better. When I met the one who I thought was, y'know, the one, it started out so well. We really clicked in the bedroom. I thought, this is it, we're so in tune we just know how to please each other. No need to go over it in detail. But then we started having arguments, out of bed, then in bed, and I thought... I don't really know this guy at all. Sorry, am I making you feel like a marriage counsellor?"

"It's all right," Stuart smiled, head resting on his chin. "Go on."

"Anyway, we never got as far as marriage. We split up a couple of years ago, and I started... playing the field a bit more. I've not been in a relationship since then. I've had a lot of casual partners, one-night stands, two-night stands if he was good. They were fun, mostly, so I shouldn't really complain. But I still felt something was missing. Missing in me."

"Did you ever pay for sex?"

"I've thought about it from time to time. I don't think it's beneath me or whatever. If I picked the right guy I'm sure it would be very nice, it's just..." She paused and looked at Stuart. "He'd still be doing a job. And his job is to make me feel good, and that would be it. I wouldn't really be learning anything. I want someone who's going to make me a better lover. Someone who wants me to be better."

Stuart nodded decisively. "That's the perfect attitude to have, Linda. And trust me, by the time I've finished with you, you will be better. I don't know how exactly, but that's where the fun lies, right?"

Linda took a deep breath. "Yeah."

He chuckled. "It's OK, it may be difficult but it's not going to be torture. Well..." He gave a little tilt of the head. "It might be now and then. But only if you ask nicely." She had to smile at that. "I suppose single life has given you the chance to start thinking more about what you want in bed, and experimenting more."

"Yeah, I suppose so, but... I was thinking about this for a long time, back when I was attached. It's not just an overnight thing. Now and then, when I met a guy who really knew what he was doing..." Linda paused as she dug up some of the most exciting memories of her recent sexual past. "I thought, this is just my cup of tea. I could go a long way with this. But it was usually just an accident, a moment where he did something I liked and then moved on. They were just playing around, and I didn't want to admit how much it turned me on. That's kind of pathetic, isn't it?"

"Not when you don't know how much you can trust them," Stuart pointed out reasonably. "Have you used any other outlets to explore your feelings? Do you look at stories? Videos?"

"Uh-hmm." Linda remained tight-lipped, and he didn't press any further. Instead he leaned over the table, and took his hand in hers.

"Before we go any further we need to discuss terms, because this is kind of an unusual set-up. You're paying my wages, so that makes you the boss. You set the agenda; I'm led by your desires and interests. But on the other hand," he added, a smirk spreading over his face, "when we get started, you're working for me, and I'm keeping you on your toes. If you like, my job is to give you what you want, but not in the way you expect. Does that make sense to you?"

"Yeah, I think so," Linda said uncertainly, wondering exactly what she was expecting out of all this. She had invested so much emotion in this first meeting, in the desperate hope that they would click and it would lead to something, that she hadn't thought much about what that something would be.

"I thought next Saturday morning would be a good time to start, at about 10:30. So long as you're free?"

"Oh yes," she stammered. "No problem."

"Fine. We'll meet at my place, unless you specifically want me to come to yours. You'd prefer not to see me on your own doorstep, wouldn't you?" Linda nodded. "I understand that. And besides being discreet, my place has all the right... facilities, for teaching."

"You mean the dungeon?" she asked matter-of-factly.

"Hardly. Round my way they make complaints if someone tries to put up a bird feeder. If I started renovating my basement I'd never hear the end of it. No, I have to make do with ordinary rooms, with curtains and chairs and all that dull stuff. But I do the best I can, under the circumstances." Linda smiled as she sipped her tea; he was trying to bring her down to earth a little, to lower her hopes, but she could tell that was a bluff so he could surprise her when the time came. She was sure he managed just fine with his meagre resources.

"How... how much will it be?" she asked, feeling a little grubby.

"You saw the prices on my site. It's not my living, it's a hobby, so I try to be reasonable. We'll call it £80 for the first meeting, which is less than I would normally charge, but this is a long-term arrangement. I don't set any limit on my sessions unless you do, it's entirely open-ended. Everyone's different, and has different needs, so there's no point me saying I'll make you a perfect sub in ten easy lessons. We carry on as long as needed, and we stop when you feel comfortable stopping."

"Fine. I just hope it's not five minutes in!"

"It won't be, Linda. You're a trier, I can see that." Stuart ran his finger round the rim of his saucer, staring levelly at her. "You have to be tenacious to do your job. From one teacher to another, it's not an easy profession."

"Well, it's not exactly the same. I'm marking dozens of essays at eight o'clock at night, you're meeting new women and turning them into your sex slaves."

"Oh, I'm not saying it doesn't have its upsides. But there is one thing that I need to make clear to you first, Linda." He pushed his cup away and gazed at her, his face clouded, and she felt compelled to listen. "During the course of our sessions, they're bound to throw up personal subjects, so I'm going to be asking you some very personal questions. Is that all right with you?"

"Um, sure," she said in bemusement, wondering if he was testing her. "Why wouldn't it be?"

"Because I've met women before like you, with interesting stories to tell. I've talked to them beforehand, learnt a bit about their life, and then when the sessions started and I tried to probe them a little more... The shutters came down straight away. One woman even told me, flat out, she wasn't going to talk about herself. And fine, that's her right. But if her feelings are off-limits, then all we're doing is going through the motions, and that's not enough." He pushed forward again, getting more animated. "The reason why we put the effort into this, you and I, is because it matters. Isn't that true?"

Linda nodded, impressed by the force of his conviction. "Yes. Sir." She froze in sudden anxiety, wondering if it was OK to call him that already. Stuart looked back at her for a moment, faintly amused. Then he tipped his head in acknowledgement, letting her know he approved. "Well, like you say," she shrugged, "there's no point doing this if it's not going to be personal, is there?"

"I can see we're going to get on just fine, Linda." He reached out with an index finger and touched her on the forehead; then he ran the tip down her nose and lips, till it rested just below her chin. It was a little gesture of ownership, but in this public place it sent a tremor through Linda's body. She wondered if anyone around them was watching. Her heart pounded as she stared at him across the table, feeling him inspect her. He did so for some time, until he suddenly gestured upwards. "Stand up and turn around."

She hesitated, her mouth half-open, and he gave her an encouraging nod. "Now." If he had been a little more brusque then something in her, some pride, would have rejected being ordered around so quickly; but his tone was gentle, like he was pointing out the obvious. Feeling like she was moving in slow motion, Linda got to her feet and turned in a circle. She looked down at the floor, but she was aware of people round the room glancing quizzically in her direction. She was also aware of Stuart's eyes looking her over, inspecting the curve of her hips, the hem of her skirt and the spread of her chaotic, curly chestnut hair. When she was facing him again he was still eyeing her up, his gaze drifting leisurely from one feature to another.

"Sit down," he said at last, and Linda sat with a sharp exhalation of breath. Her senses were tingling. "Very impressive. But when you come over to mine, all this..." He gestured at her revealing suit. "It's not really necessary."

Linda was a little hurt, and her face showed it. "Well, I wanted to look good for you. I mean, for me as much as for you."

Stuart nodded. "Yes, and I'm glad you made the effort. But don't feel like you have to dress up for me. I want to see you on my doorstep in your normal clothes, in whatever's most comfortable for you. For two good reasons: one, you won't be keeping them on long anyway, and two, you might be putting something else on. Something of my choosing. And believe me, it'll make this outfit look like something a Sunday school teacher would wear. OK?"

"OK," Linda agreed, her face impassive while her mind raced trying to figure out what he had in store for her. Stuart smiled reassuringly.

"Don't worry about the details, Linda. Leave all that to me. You're in very good hands." He reached over and squeezed her wrist once more. "My hands."

"Yes sir."

"Good girl. I'll see you next Saturday." Before she could utter another word, he pushed his chair back and stood up. "Be prepared." With those ominous words he strolled out. Linda realised after a moment that he had left enough money on the table to cover the bill. She sat in silence for a few minutes trying to compose herself, before she got up and went about the rest of her day, playing at being a normal person again.

The following Saturday, at 10:27 am, Linda pulled up in the quiet upmarket cul-de-sac that Stuart had directed her to and sat in her car for three minutes, counting the time on her watch. She supposed this was how a lot of men must feel, waiting for their appointed slot with the girl of their dreams, on a normal street just like this. The houses were all semi-detached and yellow-bricked, arranged in a rough semi-circle. Each one boasted a well-kept front lawn, and some had elaborate driveways leading up to the garages where their 4 x 4s were no doubt parked. Linda wondered what Stuart's day job was exactly, but realised she was probably not going to get those details from him.

As her watch hit 10:30 she took a deep breath, got out of the car and peered over at the front door, paranoid about getting the number wrong. She didn't want to knock on the door of someone from the golf club and present herself for a whipping. She slid the gate open and walked up the path to the front door, every step taking her into unknown territory. She rang the bell, shivering not just at the cold March air but at the thought of what she was about to do. On Saturday morning she was usually recovering from her end-of-week recovery the previous night, or contemplating another pile of that marking she had mentioned to Stuart. She was not doing anything as physically taxing as this.

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