tagBDSMParadise Loft Ch. 11

Paradise Loft Ch. 11

byumamiยฉ

"I don't want to go without you, Sir."

"Well, okay, baby," Mark says, scrutinizing his husband. Freddy likes parties and is popular with the ladies. Had becoming submissive to Mark damaged his confidence in some way? "Wait... is this about Angel?"

Freddy blushes a little and nods. He wants to be faithful to his inmate girlfriend. "I'd rather not be single at a thing like this."

"Don't worry, I'll keep ya on a leash," Mark says. He's being literal. At a costume party at the Institute for Deviant Education, Arts, and Love, they can do that without attracting the wrong kind of looks.

"I'm glad you guys are going, but is it okay if I stay home?" Jenni asks. Even though nearly everyone in her life has some connection to IDEAL, she finds most of the people in the scene too snobby. As eccentric as everyone in her bohemian family may be, they are all down to earth. She is perhaps the exception, but because her head's in the clouds, not up her own ass.

Mark phones Evie to see if she's available. As he thought she might be, she's excited about the party and she and Jasper hope to see them all there. So Grandma's not available to stay with Jenni. She does offer a suggestion of who would want to.

"Really... him? But I thought he, of all people..."

"That's why Michael hates Halloween. The whole month of October, actually, because people make the same dumb joke over and over like he hasn't heard it a million times."

"Do you think he'd want to babysit, though?"

"You've seen him with Lu. He loves that baby. And he's someone you can trust to take care of them."

Mark agrees and texts him.

"Good news, baby girl. Guess who I got to stay with ya on Halloween?"

"Who is it, Daddy?"

"Michael."

"Skeleton Michael?" she says in a newly shrill voice.

Mark nods yes. He now turns his coruscating gaze on his wife as he'd done to Freddy. It's important to track his subs' emotional responses.

"Yeah. That okay, baby girl?"

Jenni bites her lower lip and tries not to look too star-struck but fails.

"Aw, do both my subs have a crush on somebody else?" he teases.

"Daddy! No, it's just... he's sort of... cool and I can't believe he'd rather spend Halloween night with me and a baby than at a BDSM party."

"He wants to. He was going to stay in, anyway. You'll have a good time."

Jenni fights her widening grin.

"Don't make me change my mind," her Dom drawls.

* * * * *

It's Halloween evening. Freddy's keyed up because he's got that witchy sensitivity and can feel that the veil between the worlds is tiffany-thin.

He'd asked Jenni to stay at his place to protect it from mischief and hand out candy. He's made his porch inviting with a deranged jack-o'-lantern and some realistic ravens perched along the railing. Little ghost lights line the ribbon driveway.

He and Mark are dressed up in an understated way. Mark has done his androgynous eyeliner tonight and wears a set of vampire teeth Freddy got him as a jokey reference to his tendency to bite. Freddy has accessorized his puppy side with a furry tail clipped to the back of his belt and matching ears. Both "costumes" are so on the nose that if Jenni squints she can picture them having those features every day.

Speaking of people in a natural costume, there's a knock at Freddy's front door. Michael is on time for his babysitting gig.

He's looking so zombie-chic tonight it really is a pity he hates Halloween. He'd turn heads at IDEAL in his fashionably destructed black sweater that shows patches of pale tattooed skin. It goes nicely with his leather trousers.

"Hi, happy Halloween. Happy Samhain, Freddy," he remembers to add. "The house looks cool."

"Thanks, Michael. We're glad you could be here."

"Me, too! Where's the little guy?" he asks.

Jenni gets Lu from his playpen. They've dressed him in a black skeleton onesie. His dark newborn hair has fallen out and he's almost bald for the time being. Michael takes him from her and inhales a hit from his lanuginous scalp. "We're twinsies tonight," he chuckles. Mark makes sure to get a picture. "Evie will love this."

"Tell her hello from me."

"Will do. So... if Jenni turns little, you'll be able to tell right away. Oh, I just thought of something! If she does that, she won't know who ya are. Got your phone? We should take a picture of us together so you can show her you're her Daddy's friend."

They take a snap standing close and smiling. "Good. Just show her that and tell her it's Halloween and I'm at a grown-up party. She's a good girl and won't give ya a hard time."

Michael laughs nervously. "Okay, but I don't really know how to take care of a baby."

"She knows how to change him and stuff, you just make sure she does it. Just keep him alive, it ain't hard," Mark laughs. He's not worried because the man is an ex-Marine. After all that, he can handle a little kid and baby. "Just, if she does get little, don't let her eat too much candy. You don't wanna deal with her when she's all sugared up."

"Okay. This should be interesting. I'll call you if I need you?"

"Of course. Bye, baby girl," Mark says as he bends to kiss her lips.

"Have fun, Daddy," she says. Freddy waves goodbye as Mark leads him out on his leash.

"Bye, Daddy," Michael says in a tiny voice, waving Lu's little hand.

Jenni listens to the car carefully back down the drive as she observes the illecebrous tattoo and BDSM artist loving up her baby. Lucien is a very grabby baby and is happily further destroying the man's sweater, but he just smiles, unconcerned.

Jenni feels a bit awkward to be alone with him for the first time. (An infant doesn't count.) "That probably won't happen to me. It's just a precaution."

"It's really okay. Does it happen frequently?"

"No," she lies. "What's all that?"

"Oh, I brought dinner. Freddy said it's okay if I play in his kitchen. Do you like mussels?"

"Yes!"

"Good. I found a new seafood market and have been really into cooking with them lately." He hands Lu back to Jenni and carries the heavy shopping back through to the kitchen. 'Lesley is not going to believe this,' Jenni thinks to herself.

Michael unpacks his ingredients onto the counter and stands at the sink to prep the mussels, inspecting each one and pulling the weedy part away. Jenni prepares a bottle for Lu who is now being grabby with her boob, so is probably hungry. Her surprising suspiration makes the man turn his head.

"You okay?"

"Yeah, sorry. I just feel bad I can't nurse him anymore."

"Not on my account, I hope. I'm not weird about that."

"No, it's my meds. Lu needs formula because my milk's no good for him. It makes me feel like a worse mother."

Michael continues his task. "I was on meds. Now I smoke weed for the PTSD. It helps a lot. A glass of wine is nice, too. Can you drink?"

"Only a little. You also don't want a drunk six-year-old on your hands."

He laughs. "I'd be the world's worst babysitter. Your Daddy would be pissed."

He finds a corkscrew in a drawer and pours them each a glass of the better chardonnay. The other bottle is for cooking the mussels, he explains. "Cheers," he says. They clink.

There's a knock at the door. "Must be more trick or treaters," Jenni says. When she moves to stand up, Michael tells her to sit.

"You two look comfortable. I've got it," he says. Lu is eating happily. He rinses his hands and strides to answer the door. He must not hate Halloween that much that he hides, she realizes. She does strain to listen to the interaction.

"Wow, look at your cool costumes!" he says in a friendly voice. "Scary!"

Jenni hears the chatter of little kids as they rummage in the big candy bowl. An adult voice praises his "amazing makeup."

"Thanks. It came out good today," he replies.

Michael returns with a grin and rolls his blue eyes. "And that is why I keep a low profile on Halloween. Those were some cute kids, though. You can ask if you want to."

"Ask what?" she replies, in case she guessed incorrectly.

"Why I'd do this to myself. Most people wonder, some just have better manners."

"I figured it was for beauty."

Michael works in silence for a long moment. Jenni feels embarrassed that she just made him feel uncomfortable by calling him beautiful. Maybe she didn't understand his motivation at all.

"Then I guess you didn't need to ask," he responds softly. "Where do I find the large pots and pans?"

Jenni points him in the right direction. "God, I love this kitchen."

"Well, if the place is still standing when my boys return, I'm sure you'll be invited back many times."

Just as Michael is all set up to cook, more treaters show up. "Want me to this time?" Jenni asks, but Lu is still eating, so Michael goes again. This time, the adult can tell it's not makeup. "Bet this is your favorite holiday!" she laughs.

"What makes you think that?"

There is a pause and he adds, "Sure it is. Happy Halloween!"

On his return to the kitchen, Jenni gets why he's with her tonight. "That gets old," she states.

"Don't get me wrong. It's not like I didn't think people would notice this," he says gesturing at his face, "but I wasn't prepared for the constant attention. It really wasn't about getting attention, strange as that sounds."

"It was about being you. It's your damn body, you should make it look how you want."

Lucien is full and needs to be walked around, so Jenni takes over door duty for a while. Michael starts a large pot of risotto and chops garlic and parsley for the mussels. Like Freddy, he's proficient, but messier in the kitchen. They have a different style. What they have in common is the delight in cooking. When heat is added, the signature of Michael's approach fills the small house. It's more rustic given the amount of garlic and butter in this dish, but with an added briny scent and the nuance of chemically bonding alcohol. Simple country food.

"Smells really good," Jenni comments.

"I was going to combust this, but recalled what you said about leaving the house still standing," he jokes. "Simmering will do."

"Yeah, let's not combust anything."

"Sure."

Jenni sets Lu in his baby seat on the kitchen table. "You're a little centerpiece," she baby talks. In her normal voice, she explains she has to watch him very closely because he's always quiet.

Michael smiles. "Did you always want to be a mom?" he asks.

"No, Lu was a surprise. But I love it. I should get that tattoo we talked about before I get pregnant again."

Jenni didn't realize how weird that sentence sounded until Michael laughs into his wine glass.

"I mean, we're trying for another baby soon. Then I'll have to wait another nine months."

"I figured it out, that just sounded funny. Tattoos really aren't birth control - not even mine."

Jenni holds her tongue. She's saved by another knock on the door. Freddy's neighborhood seems to be a popular spot for trick or treaters. If she'd stayed in the loft, there wouldn't be any. Freddy was right to want someone at home. Bigger groups of older kids are out and about and Jenni feels like a suspicious old lady at the sight of them. She gives them their candy which they take in their entitled way.

"You do it next time," she says when she returns to the kitchen. "I hate adolescents. Not you, Lu," she adds. "I'll love you even when you're a big brat."

Michael agrees. "Want me to make my scary face?"

"Let's see it."

Even with the skeleton markings, his sweet nature shines through. He can, however, hold his face in a way to look truly frightening, which he demonstrates.

"Ahh! Don't do that again!"

She's not actually sure she didn't enjoy that.

Dinner is ready. "Sorry that this is minimalist. I didn't get salad or anything."

"It's wonderful. I get force fed enough greens by Mark and Freddy. Not literally."

They sit at the kitchen table with Lu falling asleep off to one side. Jenny detaches a mussel and degusts. "It's perfect. Not chewy and really fresh."

When Michael mentions they are from Mori's Seafood and Imports, Jenni cracks up. "That's my psychiatrist's husband's business."

"Oh my god. Do I know him from the wedding?"

"Yeah. He was there with Dr. Mori, but they left... earlier."

Michael grins at the memory. "I thought he was just really nice. He must remember me. Huh."

"This feels like a small town sometimes."

"I began to notice that after I worked at IDEAL for a while. All these subcultures threaded together. Even the normal people, like Sam Mori, know the people I know."

"Mm-hmm. Mmm, this is great," Jenni comments with her mouth slightly full. "I will need to take an extra exercise class after eating this. Skinny bitch," she teases.

"I'm glad you like it. And you look good."

At another knock on the door, Michael escapes. Jenni refills their wine glasses. Her phone chimes and it's a few photos of the scene at IDEAL. ๐˜”๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ด ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ, ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜น. Mark sent her the panoramic view of the main room of the party, one of the disgusting-looking "spooky" drinks the bar is selling, and one of Evie and Jasper looking dapper in coordinated steampunk attire. "You really do have the coolest Grandma," she tells sleepy Lu.

Jenni takes a picture of their contented kid and sends it to her husband. ๐˜”๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ด ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ, ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ, ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ. ๐˜”. ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ฏ'๐˜ต ๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ด๐˜ค๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜บ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต. ๐˜š๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜บ ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ; )

There will be some serious kink later if IDEAL is anything like it used to be and hasn't gone mainstream.

Michael returns with a grin that says it all. He did do his scary face and is pleased with himself.

"Check it out," Jenni says and shows him all they are missing. He only shrugs. "Evie looks pretty tonight."

Oh, my. Him, too?

"Once or twice. Are you surprised?"

"Not really. She's slept with every man in my life, other than Mark. I like her taste in people."

Michael looks wistful. "I have to ask. How is Lesley?"

"She's well. We're in touch frequently."

"Good."

"She 'likes' the pics you're in on my accounts."

"Maybe because you posted them. That means she likes you, Jennifer."

"Not Jennifer. Just Jenni, always. And we have a grown-up relationship. She doesn't have to click 'like' on everything for us to be friends. She likes what she likes and those are the pictures of you, from the wedding and with the bairn."

"Bairn?"

"Baby," she says, petting Lu. "It's an old word people don't use too much. I love it, maybe because it's part of my family name now."

"Ah, I see."

"You think of her."

"She's memorable. I'm glad she's well."

Lucien farts and they laugh. "Well that is.. yeah." His blacked out nose twitches. They clear the dishes. They were pretty much done with dinner anyway.

"No, no! I clean up. You brought the food and cooked and it was great. I clean up," Jenni insists.

"Do you mind if I step out?"

"Go smoke. It's lovely out there." She smiles and sets about returning Freddy's haven to its pristine state. She's got it down. "But when you come back, I might be someone else," she calls over her shoulder, joking.

Michael medicates enjoyably, but just a bit.

"It is magical out there. There was even an owl..."

"Oh fuck! I screwed up. I know you made extra for Freddy to enjoy, but please..."

Jenni plates the rest on the special plate. "What kind of owl?" she asks, nervously.

"I'm not an owl expert. What's going on?"

"That is the Goddess. I know, it's nuts, but it's a holiday and we slighted her..." She goes to the fridge to find a fresh leaf, then dashes to the door and back to place a couple chocolates on the edge of the plate. She sighs. "Not as good as Freddy knows how, but tell them we're sorry and we love them."

"Okay. I'll apologize for my ignorance."

"Thanks! Do that. That should be fine."

Michael does this. Jenni cleans the rest of the kitchen, answers the door, cleans... where is he?

Michael returns through the side kitchen door and says nothing. He sits down.

"Hey, thanks for doing that.."

"You were right."

Jenni turns around to see all of his face as white as the white ink highlights.

"What. Right about what," she says in a dread tone that is not a question.

"The Goddess was not happy we ate first without honoring her," he says in wonder.

"You saw her? She said so?"

Michael stands and walks to her quickly. "It's not the smoke." He holds her in a way that is not appropriate, but his eyes are earnest and desperate. "I saw her."

Jenni finally has reason to gaze and gaze at his otherworldly face, but he's just a young man who saw something few can handle.

"H-how does she look?"

Michael breaks from her embrace to throw up into the garbage can.

Then, he's retching and laughing. "She's beautiful."

Jenni calls Mark.

"Daddy? Michael is freaking out. He just met the Goddess in Freddy's backyard."

"What the fuck?"

"Yeah he smoked a little weed, but this is, like, a real thing."

"Oh, my."

"It's my fault. We didn't offer or say a thank you."

Freddy has grabbed the phone. "She's there? What is she like?"

"She was angry. I dunno. Talk to Michael..."

She gets on the kitchen floor and hands Michael the phone. He takes it.

"Sorry, man. I didn't do things right. She told me so," he says weakly.

"Who did?"

"Lesley. She looks just like Lesley but so much taller."

"Did she say her name?"

"Inanna," Michael laughs deliriously.

"Put Jenni on the phone."

It's loud enough she can hear and takes it. "It's not his fault. It really happened."

"We know, and we're on our way. Everyone okay?"

"He threw up his dinner at his experience, but he's alive and smiling. Where is Mark?"

"He's finding Evie in the madness. She'll want to come, too."

"Good. Sorry, Freddy."

Michael flails, looking a little like Lucien. "Tell him... gotta tell him..."

"Tell what, honey, what?" Jenni says, just being affectionate.

"This place is not a house. It's a temple."

"On our way, girl," Freddy says.

Jenni rises to check Lu and he's sleeping with his funny tight fists. She sets his seat on the floor to watch him, too and cradles her friend's skull on her lap. She strokes his brow soothingly, then moves lower to feel for his heart rate and breathing. It's much like touching a statue in a museum after hours. He's so hard and solid, but his pulse is strong. She waits like that for her people to come home. "You are so beautiful," she murmurs. "And everything will be okay."

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