Mastering Submission Ch. 01bysdbnnc©
In the manner of Gregory Maguire, who provided us with a version of the childhood standard The Wizard of Oz through the eyes of the "wicked" witch, I have re-written my favorite BDSM story, Both Master and Slave written by Martin Sharpe (published in 2001 by Silver Moon Books in Great Britain), from the point of view of the submissive, rather than the Master, who was Mr. Sharpe's narrator. I hope that fans of the original book will accept my version for the tribute that it is meant to be.
I was embarrassed to be crying whilst riding along on a city bus, but the tears were impossible to contain or stop. I had, however, collected myself enough to realize that my fellow riders were pointedly ignoring my distress, just as a vaguely familiar looking gentleman moved to sit next to me, offering his handkerchief. "I know you," he said. "We met at that party Bob had a couple of weeks ago. You're a professor or teacher, and your name is --"
"Rebecca," I said, remembering him now that the connection had been explained.
As I used his linen handkerchief to mop up my face, he said, "Any friend of Bob is a friend of mine, and no friend of mine should be crying alone on a lovely October afternoon."
All the riders who had managed to overlook my tears were avidly watching the two of us, so it took little persuasion on his part to convince me to get off the bus with him so that we could have a coffee at a small café near the bus stop. I am a very curious person, and expected others to be curious as well, so I was sure he was wondering what had set me off so publicly. I felt he had earned the right to hear my sorry story by his chivalrous response to my distress. When he asked me to tell him what was wrong, although I knew he could not really help, I decided that outlining the problem aloud to a disinterested person might help me wrap my mind around the terrible situation in which I found myself.
"My name is Rebecca Parsons. I lecture at one of the city's many universities, the one from which I graduated, and then did my Master's degree work. Strange as it may seem, since my field is English literature, I am caught up in the cultural background of the Shakespearean era. I believe the physical and social environment influenced his writing, and I am researching documentation of that period to support that belief." "Of course, as a lecturer, I worry about the students I am teaching. Some of them have such a difficult time getting to grips with their subject, but all of them are so vulnerable to drugs, depression, or just the daunting prospect of trying to find jobs after graduating with degrees in the arts!"
It was pleasant to just to air out all these feelings and concerns that had been brewing inside me like a toxic stew. I was relieved to see that my mentioning of my work and my interest in English literature had not caused that glazed-eyed look men so often assumed once they discovered I was not an air-headed wage worker who lived for Friday and Saturday nights at the local club. In fact, he seemed to be listening to me with fierce concentration, coaxing me to open up more and more. After running through all the usual introductory information one typically shares to give context to one's conversation with strangers, I was down to the kernel of trouble that was making me cry. His concern, and the fact that he essentially was a stranger, led me to continue.
"It all seems so serious now, but I barely noticed it while it was happening. The night before I was due to defend my thesis, my fiancé at the time said he just had to speak with me about a great opportunity he had discovered. Although I appeared to be listening as he laid out the situation, I didn't really understand a lot of what he was saying, and I was not paying a lot of attention to the things I actually understood. The upshot of his conversation was that he needed me to sign something that would make me rich because I'd be a partner in the enterprise. I wasn't really interested, but I knew he wouldn't leave until he got what he wanted; I signed it to shut him up."
"Without reading it?" he asked.
I nodded, "I just wanted to get rid of him so I could get back to work. And then we sort of drifted apart. He had to go back home to set everything into place. I'd get letters from time to time, telling me how well everything was going, and then the letters changed; you could tell he was worried. And then I got another letter, from a lawyer, saying he had killed himself. It was all so horrible, and so sad. Apparently, the venture capitalists he was working with were very nasty, and not at all understanding about his failure to deliver on his promises of high financial returns."
I was surprised that he then reached out and covered my hand with his before prompting, "And then you got another letter --"
"Yes -- from a loan company. I'd guaranteed the original loan that had set my fiancé's plan in action. I talked it over with my bank, and it's hopeless. No matter how they work the figures, I can't afford to live and pay off the loan."
"I don't earn all that much," I went on. "Higher education is being starved of cash. There's no tenure anymore. The country's best minds are scattered all over the universities of the world. I'm lucky to have a job at all. If I hadn't signed that bit of paper --" I broke off, feeling ridiculous for being poor, and for making excuses for it to a man dressed in a Paul Smith jacket, Calvin Klein shirt, wearing a Tag Heuer watch. Anyone who looks at this man closely could see that he isn't poor -- far from it.
"I'm going to be homeless," I wailed, lost in my returning embarrassment and shame. "The finance company will hound me for every penny I earn for the rest of my life. I expect you think I've been an idiot." "No, I don't think you have been or are an idiot -- naïve perhaps," he kindly replied. "Have you ever thought," he said, "I don't know how to put this without offending you, but you're an attractive woman -- "
"I know the economy is a lot tougher than the politicians pretend. And I know women can make money through sex. One of my students is a table dancer. Another works as a prostitute's maid, giving prices of all sorts of disgusting perversions over the phone," I interrupted.
"We all have to do what we can when we run out of money," he said. "I've seen 'The Full Monty.' I'd be a stripper if it was a matter of survival."
"I don't have that choice," I said. "It would be bound to get out. Think of the headlines: 'Student Stripper' would be bad enough, but they'd call me 'The Stripping Professor.' No university would ever touch me. No parent would entrust me with the welfare of a vulnerable teenager if they found out I was a sex worker."
"They wouldn't like you being bankrupt, either," he pointed out. "How much would it cost to clear your debt?" he asked.
"Nearly thirty thousand dollars," I replied, surprised to hear him let out a small sigh and look relieved. "It's impossible," I went on. "I suppose thirty thousand dollars is nothing to a man like you, but -- "
"On the contrary," he corrected. "It takes me a long time to earn thirty thousand dollars after tax, and I can do a lot of things with that sort of money. On the other hand, life's about more than business. If I see something I really want, I don't expect to get it for nothing." He paused, and watched as my curiosity was reflected in my eyes.
"I'm prepared to pay your debts," he said, "and let you work the money off." I know my jaw actually dropped: I could feel it almost locked into place, but finally regained myself enough to speak. "Let me get this straight," I said, blushing. "You're offering to pay me thirty thousand dollars to go to bed with you."
"Not quite," he replied. "I'm offering you thirty thousand dollars, but only if you do exactly what I tell you for as long as I want you to. It's a bit like being a stripper or a prostitute, but without the risk of publicity. Or disease for that matter."
"So I'd have to have sex with you often?" I asked.
He nodded, saying, "Lots of sex, over a long time, and very intense."
"Intense?" I have degrees in English literature, and a healthy respect and regard for words and their meaning. I needed to know what he meant by "intense."
Far from being put off, he seemed happy to explain himself. "For years," he said, "there has been a fashion for protecting people from any kind of sensation: tasteless lagers instead of stout or bitter; pale, flavorless whiskies; air conditioning; puffy jackets made of space-age materials to keep your body temperature constant on chilly days. But now the pendulum is swinging the other way. People are pushing themselves to the limits: white water rafting, bungee jumping, snowboarding, body piercing, and sadomasochism."
"Sadomasochism?" I asked, knowing that rafting and other sports were not on our agenda.
"Spanking each other?" I questioned.
He grinned, "Not bloody likely -- me spanking you: Me, Master; you, submissive."
"How long would I have to -- to be your submissive?" I could not believe I was asking that question, that I had not leapt up from the table, resigned to bankruptcy, when the word "sadomasochism" first was uttered.
He seemed a bit surprised that I was still there as well, but responded, "How long for thirty thousand dollars? A year sounds about right, don't you think?"
"And I could carry on lecturing?" I inquired.
"Of course, you will go on lecturing. I do not need a full-time submissive. I have to work, and that work often involves travel. After all, the whole point of your submission is to protect your career," he responded.
"It seems a bit advanced for me," I finally said.
"What I do is a bit advanced for most people," he replied. "It all depends on what you can stand, and how much you want the money; on how much trouble you're in." He dipped a hand into a pocket, and brought out one of his business cards. "Tell you what, come to my flat next Thursday at seven."
I know I looked as helpless and confused as I felt. Everything seemed to me to be moving too fast.
"Don't say anything now," he urged. "Put the card somewhere safe, and make up your mind later. Just remember that if you decide to come, you are not to be late."
He paid our bill and walked out, leaving me staring into my coffee cup. I looked at the milky brown residue while I let my mind take stock. I knew I did not have to become a submissive, but I also knew that the alternatives -- the only choices I had before meeting him on the bus -- were more than unpleasant.
I reminded myself that, stupid as I felt (and knew I had been) for having created this situation, lots of other people get into the same kind of trouble. But those people were not fortunate enough to find a wealthy person to bail them out, and it seemed that I had. Even though I had no real idea of what submissive service would entail, even though I never had considered such a lifestyle before, I kept coming back to the idea that one year of submission could dispel the financial cloud darkening my life, and threatening to obliterate my existence as I knew it. That I would discover my true submissive nature, and my need to offer submission to a Master never crossed my mind.
I could not know that, of course, the gentleman offering me a way out was, and for some time had been, a Master. His experience and intelligence were used to consider whether I likely could submit to being tortured, beaten, fucked, and abused for a year. He also knew to trust his instinctive response to my unrealized submissive personality. And he knew that the year of service to repay the thirty thousand dollars would only be a prelude. Once he got me into his clutches, he was going to teach me to love submission, and to love him, not for saving me from a disastrous financial situation, but for the opportunity to realize my submissive self, and for his dominant personality that was exactly what that submissive part of me needed to feel complete.