tagBDSMThe Lifeline

The Lifeline

byDreamCloud©

Author's Note: You can thank Tim413413 for editing this story. Without him, you would think English was not my primary language. I am not sure where in my mind this story came from. I am hesitant to post it, but Tim has encouraged me otherwise.

*****

There are points in your life when you find yourself on the edge. Your stomach feels like it is being squashed by a herd of elephants, and you aren't sure if waking up in the morning is in your best interest. I am currently on that cliff. I look down fearfully at the jagged rocks below, and pray for a lifeline. It hurts even more knowing I am likely to take a lot of good people down with me. People who have no idea they are balancing on the edge of the same precipice.

I smiled and nodded at Sarah, our secretary, as I passed her desk. I spent weeks talking her out of her safe, well-financed position at a law firm. Promises of stock options and wealth beyond her dreams finally convinced her to take the risk. She was wonderfully organized, somebody we sorely needed. If it crossed her desk, you could be assured it wouldn't fall through the cracks. My heart stopped for a moment when I saw the pictures of her three kids on the corner of her desk. A single mom with all the trials that entails. I'll take her and her kids over the cliff. I was feeling sick again.

I entered my office, well, more of a cubical in the center of the open office plan. I could survey the whole company from here. Simply stand and do a three-sixty to see everyone hard at work. I sat down and hid. Everything will come crashing down on Monday. I wasn't sure I could even make payroll. The stress hit in a wave. I quickly pulled over my trash can and lost my breakfast.

Sarah came running in as I was tying the plastic liner closed. "You okay, Mr Franklin?" she asked with motherly concern.

'Nope, going to drive off a cliff after running over all of you,' I thought to myself. "Just had something bad for breakfast," I lied.

"There's some kind of flu going around," Sarah added, "maybe you should take a day off and make sure." The idea of hiding at home had a lot of appeal, but I couldn't beg from home. I needed more investment capital yesterday. All my normal spigots had run dry.

"No, I'll be alright," I said, "I'm going to clean up a bit and I'll be right back." I tried not to breathe on her as I passed with the trash can in my hands. Sarah's look of concern was difficult to ignore. She, of all people, had the closest sense of the condition of the company, but she didn't know a half million dollar loan repayment would be due on Monday. She did know, however, the bank and I have had some heated calls. 'No extension' was the final word. It didn't take a mind reader to sense something wasn't right.

I had a meeting with a rather picky venture capitalist in an hour. It was a shot in the dark, but I needed to shoot somewhere. At this point I was willing to trade ownership with anyone who was willing to shore up the finances. I just needed time. Good cash flow was only six months away.

I walked past Bob Vinci and his many screens of source code. The man lived in a binary world. Grabbing him was one of my better victories. I had no idea how he could deal with four flat panels full of gibberish, but his magic always seemed to work. I barely made it to the restroom when I remembered his new car, new house and new wife. I threw up bile in the most painful way. I deserved the pain. It should have hurt more. The ship was sinking and I had forgotten to buy lifeboats.

It took me a few minutes to regain my composure. I washed my face and cringed at my red, sleepless eyes. I was one step away from a part on 'The Walking Dead.' No wonder Sarah thought I had the flu. I rinsed my mouth a couple of dozen times and straightened my hair. The man in the mirror looked ten years older than he did a month ago. I took a couple of deep breaths and brought my heart rate down to a manageable level.

I was the captain of this sinking ship. I needed to hold it together. It was my confidence everyone needed to see. It was what I had to portray when I attempted to impress at the upcoming meeting. I wanted myself back. The driving force that had put this together had no fear. I shoved the inevitable to the back of my mind. It was only Wednesday - plenty of time left to fix a half million dollar mess. After shaking off a morning of self deprecation, I exited the restroom with courage. I had smiles for everyone.

When Lydia Sampson walked into the offices, the normal din of the place dropped to silence. She was an imposing woman and controlled a lot of venture capital dollars. She was dressed to conquer in a tight navy blue pencil skirt and a tasteful white blouse with a flared red scarf. She had an entwined, ringed brass belt and tied the outfit together with a short, slanted navy blue suit jacket. Her meticulous brown hair was in a half curl, pulled severely away from her face and held behind her shoulders with a small navy blue bow. Strong red lipstick and dark mascara gave her a demanding look. She looked to be on the low side of her forties. Her sharp eyes seemed be critiquing every nook of the office.

Behind Ms. Sampson walked three lawyer types; all male and all wearing black suits. They were almost in lock step as they were led to the conference room. I took a deep breath and took my business-casual self into the lioness's den. I really wished I had a couple of suits to walk in with me so I didn't feel so outnumbered.

The introductions went smoothly and I went into my dog and pony show. I planned on thirty minutes to tout the viability of our cloud-based software solution. I had all the dream numbers and charts, along with a mountain of marketing data, wonderfully-developed cost structures and a list of grade A partners. I was about to go into a demo of the actual software when I was suddenly stopped.

"You aren't telling me anything I don't already know," Ms. Sampson stated bluntly. I was waiting for her to continue, possibly telling me what she wanted to know. Instead, I received dead silence and her strong eyes eating holes in my confidence.

"What additional information are you looking for, Ms. Sampson?" I asked as nicely as possible. I held my face firm, wanting her to see that nothing she could say or do would rattle me.

"Your level of desperation," she answered quickly. Her eyes never left mine and there was no humor on her lips. She had rattled me.

"I'm not sure I know what you mean," I floundered, trying to hold my own. Visions of my breakfast in the trash can came flooding back.

"May we have a moment in private?" It was an order to her three black-suited shadows. They rose as one and headed out of the room. When the door closed, her attention returned to me. "On Monday you will be decimated. You will walk in and tell all these people who gave you their faith that you are fucking them over. My accountants tell me you won't even make final payroll." My stomach sent up some bile. I choked it back down.

"I don't know where you get your information, but..." I started to defend the company, but she stopped me with a raised hand.

"Don't feed me a line of shit." She seemed to know my problems to the penny. "I can make it all go away. You'll sleep at night and these people won't think of you as scum on the bottoms of their shoes. We just have to come to an agreement." Fuck, I wasn't ready for this. She knew she had me by the balls and I was about to be capitally raped. I never felt so miniscule in my life. I stood straighter and squared my shoulders.

"What did you have in mind?" I wasn't going to waste any more time trying to shine a light on things. She already knew I was swimming in the dark.

"I have two options for you - neither of which you will like," she stated with determination. "In the first option, I wait until Monday when the bank calls your loan and I pick up the pieces for a song. I think you have a good product and I should be able drive it to profitability in six to twelve months. I can cut salaries of the desperate and fire the deadwood. A win-win since they will all be blaming you." I expected an evil smile, but only saw the same business face. I hated her for having the money to be so cruel.

"That would be unpleasant," I stated firmly. Now I received a smile. It wasn't an evil one, it was a winning one. I think she enjoyed my desperation and meant to give me an out. I didn't have to wait long for option two.

"In the second option, I cosign and extend your loan and give you an additional five hundred thousand in working capital." Her smile increased. So far, I was with her. I was waiting for the "bend over" part. "In exchange, I get forty-nine percent ownership and.." she paused and lowered her voice, "some additional considerations." I could live with the ownership loss. I really didn't have a choice and I was inwardly ecstatic she didn't want controlling interest. The additional capital was a welcome surprise, but the 'additional considerations' sounded almost illegal. I've bent laws, but I wasn't in favor of breaking them.

"Define 'additional considerations,' " I requested in a less-than-authoritative tone. She stood and walked toward me in a less than business-like manner. Her smile went from winning to cruel and was joined by her eyes.

"Men like you intrigue me." She moved her face uncomfortably close to mine. "You're smart, driven and love to be in charge. It is what will ultimately lead to your company's success. I enjoy breaking men like you. Not in business mind you, but in private." She paused and I gulped. Her heels made her eyes level with mine which made it difficult to try to feel superior. "I give you what you want and I take what I want." She turned suddenly and walked back to her seat and sat down. I noticed she left a slight musky scent in her wake.

"In private?" I wanted this to be clear. I wasn't sure what she expected, but it had to be better than telling Sarah she was unemployed.

"Very private." Her smile and eyes went soft. They were almost inviting. "I can't promise you'll like it, but I will." I couldn't believe I was considering this. She wasn't hard on the eyes and not that old. She couldn't have more than ten years on me.

"What would be expected?" I queried. I was still swallowing hard. I wasn't used to being this far out of control. Maybe bankruptcy would be better. Her smile turned lecherous.

"Think 'obedient slut,' " she said and shrugged her shoulders. "A couple of times a year, until I get bored with you. The other business arrangements will remain intact after I am finished with you." The word 'whore' came to mind. "You will obey me completely for twenty-four hours; no permanent physical harm will occur, but only my pleasure will matter."

"I'm not sure I can be that compliant." I set out the issue to attempt a little negotiation, maybe try to set some boundaries.

"It's all or nothing, Mr. Franklin. Trade some personal pride with me and your public pride will shine." She wasn't leaving anything open to negotiation. I was screwed either way. "I need a decision. I'm not interested if you're not fully committed." I was out of options and out of time. I imagined myself facing the shame of bankruptcy and failing my employees. The time and working capital she was offering would make the company shine like never before. I could be a whore for twenty-four hours. I was addicted to success.

"Done," was all I said.

"Good," she said and reached into her briefcase, "here is a key with my address attached. You will be there this Saturday promptly at nine AM. No one else is to ever know about this portion of our agreement." She gave me that warm, inviting smile again. "Let's call the boys back in to go over the paperwork." I took the key and pocketed it.

I was dismayed to discover Ms. Sampson had left herself a one-time out in the documents. She could drop the whole thing, without reason, by exercising that right by next Monday. Suddenly, I felt I was being taken for a ride. With the others in the room, our conversation was less frank.

"But I must have the weekend to consider the options," she stated, "I have to make sure we can both keep our commitments."

"How does that protect my interests?" I countered, "I intend to fully implement all conditions of the contract, verbal and written. I have no assurances you will do the same." I had no idea how to build the trust necessary to make us both happy. After this weekend, we may have the necessary trust, but today there was little.

"I'll have your loan extended for one month in good faith, no strings," she countered.

"Agreed." I smiled. Another month may not be worth enduring her weekend, but at least it gave me some time to find another solution if this all fell apart. I was shocked by how quickly she could get it extended with just a single phone call. I had been trying for four months, pleading to deaf ears. One call and I had another thirty days. You have to respect, or hate, that kind of power.

I signed myself into prostitution a few minutes later. It wasn't written in the agreements; it was held over me like an anvil. I was hers or I was in the soup line being beaten to death by the people I dragged with me. One weight was lifted and another took its place. We said our goodbyes with all the cordiality of business partners. My company would survive as long as I could put out.

<<<<<>>>>>

Saturday rolled around much more quickly than I desired. How does one prepare to be an 'obedient slut?' I had no clue having only sought that type of companionship once before. That escort was frustrated with my tenderness and desire for foreplay. I always seem to think women are more fragile than they really are. I mean, I like to drive it home as much as the next guy; I just need permission first.

I showered, shaved and trimmed some excess hair. I used a liberal amount of deodorant and splashed on a little aftershave. At least I wouldn't smell foul. I had no clue what to wear. I decided on business casual. It was good for most occasions and consumed eighty percent of my wardrobe. The other twenty percent consisted of jeans and t-shirts.

I pulled up to her house expecting a mansion and discovered something a lot less ostentatious. It was a simple two-story brick colonial. It had four two-story columns supporting the roof over the porch. A manicured lawn and cement pots full of flowers gave it a cared-for look. The trees were all old growth which lent comfort to the house. I parked in the circle drive and rang the doorbell. Ms. Sampson answered the door with a pleasant smile.

"Good, you're a bit early. Please come in," she said as she pulled the door wide. The entry hall was a two-story affair with a giant chandelier hanging from the ceiling. It had hundreds of multifaceted crystals that were reflecting the early morning light. The floor looked like it was made from a single sheet of marble, all white with veins of black running unbroken from wall to wall. Everything looked tasteful in a rich way. Even the frames holding the obviously-expensive artwork blended seamlessly into the feel of the room. A beautiful hardwood staircase flowed down from the second floor. The only thing that looked out of place was a large, empty wicker basket next to the front door. "Nervous?" she asked.

"Apprehensive," I replied. Her lips were as red as they were at our first meeting. The color of her lipstick clashed harshly with her pale skin. She had braided her hair into a single braid that ran down to the middle of her back. 'Powerfully attractive' came to mind.

"Don't be. I will tell you what I want. Don't think, just do." She was giving me that friendly smile again. "It's a control thing - I like to control controllers." Now I was nervous.

"Do we have safe words, or something?" I had done a bit of research regarding domination. I figured that was where this was heading, and she had just solidified that to fact.

"Any time you feel it is too much you can just leave," she said without her smile, "of course that will void our agreements." I smiled at my predicament. Sometimes you just have to climb into the holes you dig. You just have to do it with confidence.

"I guess I'm all yours," I stated with a shrug.

"I'm going to love wiping that smile off your face," she divulged. Her smile was bigger than mine and no longer friendly. I forced mine to increase. We'll just see how much of me she can change. She laughed at my smiling revolt, "I knew you were going to be fun."

The large clock at the top of the stairs began to chime the hour. "I want all your stuff in that basket. That's where it remains until you leave," she said, gesturing toward the wicker basket. I was on her clock now and it was an order. 'An easy one,' I thought. I dumped my keys, phone, watch and wallet into the basket and turned back to face her.

"Everything, Slut!" she commanded. Her tone took me by surprise. For some reason I thought this was going to be a bit more cordial. I gritted my teeth as I realized she meant my clothes. I knew we would get there eventually, but I was thinking bedroom or something. I pulled my polo over my head and tossed it into the basket. It irked me that I had moved so quickly to implement her demand. I slowed to a more leisurely pace - my pace. I kneeled and casually untied my shoe.

I heard the whoosh before I felt the sharp sting on my bare back. "Fuck!" I shouted, more from the surprise than the pain.

"You're on my clock, Bitch!" she corrected. I looked up into the face of a demon. Same red lips, just pursed into an expression of evil. In her hand, a two-foot-long black riding crop. At the end was a looped piece of leather. That was the point at which I began to really question the sanity of the deal I had struck. The clock hadn't even finished its ninth chime and I was having serious reservations. I had lost my smile.

"There will be no more foul outbursts from your mouth," she continued, "you will address me as Mistress. Do you understand?" I had a vision in my head of standing up and slamming my fist into those luscious red lips. I saw Sarah in tears and Bob trying to console his new wife. My stomach churned.

"Yes," I said quietly and sped up the disrobing.

The whoosh was louder and I flinched before it hit. I held back a storm of expletives and only released a small grunt. "Yes, what?" she demanded. It was to be total submission. It went against everything in my being. Twenty-four hours? I wasn't sure I would make the first minute.

"Yes, Mistress," I said between clenched teeth. I swiftly threw my shoes and socks into the basket and stood to remove my pants. Her smile had returned; back to the warm, inviting smile. Fuck, I had pleased her. I preferred her upset. I was pissed and it was only fair that she suffered too. I removed my boxers and pants in one motion. I didn't place them into the basket. Instead, I threw them with a disgusted attitude. I didn't have to like it. The basket skidded a few inches from the force. I received a humorous smirk. I wasn't sure if it was for my attitude or the fact that my now-exposed dick showed no interest in the situation.

"Kneel!" she demanded. I quickly dropped to my knees, the cold marble crushing my kneecaps. I held my expression of disgust and stared defiantly, as much as a naked man can, into her eyes. "Eyes down!" she ordered. This time I moved slowly. I made sure to give her an ominous glare as my eyes shifted from hers, down her chest, past her pelvis and terminated at her feet. She was rather trim and fit for forty. 'Forty-year-old bitch,' I corrected myself.

She leaned over next to my ear. "You stay this way. While I prepare, you think of a good apology for my basket," she whispered with force. Her heated breath sent a shiver down my spine. Her words sent fury through my blood. Fuck if I'm going to apologize to a basket. She headed up the stairs.

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byDreamCloud© 57 comments/ 79571 views/ 115 favorites

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