I focused on the sound of my heels clicking on the hardwood floor as I took three measured steps to place myself at the ideal vantage point for inspecting my handiwork. I paused to give my audience an arrogant grin before I turned to ensure that my arrogance was warranted. That bit of showmanship completed, I spun around on my right heel and I found my masterpiece was just as perfect as I had left it. He was beautiful. His dark brown hair was just long enough to curl boyishly against his neck and his lightly tanned skin shined with the oil I had lovingly spread over his body. I couldn't see his face but I knew the brave yet uneasy look that would be filling his pretty hazel eyes, just as I knew that his aching cock was hard and pressed against the unyielding coolness of my parlor's wall.

It had taken my toy and I several charming hours to find the precise placement that was needed for each of the four hangers so that he was spread in a pleasingly helpless X position. And then it had taken me the full seven days I had with him to train him to hold himself in the position that I desired without restraints - his legs being held wide by wooden pegs pressing against the inside of each ankle and his hands fiercely griping the hooks above him. His muscles trembled gently with his effort but without any indication that he would let go. Not yet anyway. We would see how obedient he would be when the strap started to fall, but for the moment, his performance was delightful.

This was to be my last night with Adam and I wanted to make it a memorable one. My former pupil, Christine, had come to me in tears last week because lovely Adam would no longer play her silly games. For two months, she had spoiled him, she had ruined him, and then she had brought him to me to fix. So I have resolved his issues with obedience, after all that is what he is paying for, and I can only hope that my show will remind Christine and the assembled novices what being someone's Mistress really means. Adam deserves to live the next ten months of his contract as the abject slave that used to only exist in his fantasies and not as a confused man being pushed around by an uninspired girl playing a bitch. Some people like Christine's soft style, her gentle push to a playful surrender, and potential slaves do tend to get distracted by how gorgeous she is. But others need a firmer hand and a guide through the maze of emotions that lead to complete submission. And Adam was not the playful type.

After a sufficiently agonizing pause, I addressed Adam with one of those erotically charged questions that only has one correct answer, "Are you ready for your discipline, Adam?"

His well-muscled bottom clenched almost imperceptibly at my question which it only did when I used that word. I had painstakingly taught him the difference between punishment for disobedience and discipline. Discipline was an exercise in self-control. Discipline was pain purely for my enjoyment. It was his willing participation in the use of his body in whatever way pleased me and it was what Adam needed.

"Yes, Mistress," he answered with an intoxicating mix of excitement, fear and sexual heat.

Not giving him any time to dwell on his fate any further, I lifted the heavy leather strap in my right hand and snapped it solidly against his waiting buttocks. He tensed and as I lifted the strap again, I watched his subtle struggle with himself not to run away from the pain. The leather cracked against his skin again, harder this time, eliciting a low whimper that was almost as arousing as the sound my whip made. The next firm blow brought out a small rough cry as his muscles tightened, then after another few strikes I got what I wanted. Adam let out a tortured moan and relaxed into his suffering, no longer struggling to escape the pain. I rewarded him with lighter and faster lashes that stung tantalizingly across his buttocks and thighs. I didn't count the blows, I never do, and I stopped only when I was satisfied with the reddened color of Adam's skin and the softness of his body.

When I was happy with my work, I paused to catch my breath and to listen to Adam's exhausted pant. Then tossing the strap on a nearby chair, I said, "Come here, Adam."

I didn't wait to watch him carefully release his desperate hold on the hooks, that was a show for our guests to enjoy. Instead I busied myself with arranging the piece of furniture that was to be a key prop in the next part of the performance. Placing the large square ottoman directly in front of the Mistresses that I had invited for my demonstration, I gave them a haughty look and then noticed that they were not looking at me. I followed their gaze and there was Adam kneeling beside me. I had fully expected to find him defiantly standing behind me, just waiting for the opportunity to force me to demand that he kneel. I smiled despite myself and ran my hand through his hair before telling him to bend over the ottoman. He immediately rose and took up the required position, his legs spread, bending at the waist with his forearms resting on the cushion.

"Wider!" I admonished and slapped the inside of his thigh, "You know better than that." And he complied, widening his stance.

"His back isn't arched enough," Leslie offered brightly. I gave her a withering glare but I put my hands to Adam's hips and lifted them so that his back had to arch to keep him in the position I wanted. Then I left him there and walked slowly to the chest that I kept next to the fireplace. I noisily opened the box and rummaged through my toys until I found my favorite strap-on. I took my time putting it on over the lacy black panties that I was wearing and adjusting it securely.

When I returned to Adam his pose had become lazy. His back had rounded out again and his knees had started to bend, one of his problems that still needed fine tuning, but I didn't have time to correct the behavior, so I settled for intimidation.

"Do you need more attention from the strap, Adam?" I threatened and brushed a hand over his buttocks to remind him of how sore he was.

"No, please, Mistress," he replied in a rush but I didn't give him time to fix his mistake. I kicked his legs a bit wider, wider than I needed, and adjusted his hips again.

"Lucinda," the novice Amy began, knowing that Adam would have to wait in this position again, "In seven days, you had a rebellious slave tamely holding himself in position for you. Your methods must have been severe. Poor thing!"

I chuckled, caressing Adam's back where pale pink lash marks were healing nicely, and the others murmured their agreement. I felt him tense at Amy putting into words what had been done to him. But it was good for him to hear it. To know that he had accomplished the emotional and physical surrender that I had been coaxing him to for the past week. To be reminded of the journey we had taken into the dark depths of his soul and the release that he had found there.

"You have to understand your charge in order to know what methods to use. Don't you Adam?"

Adam had stayed where I had put him this time and when I had run my finger along his anus as I asked him the question I received a restrained moan that was most certainly an affirmative. I smiled and reached for the oil to carefully lubricate the shaft of my strap-on. Then without any further dawdling, gave him only a brief tease with the tip of my leather cock before I sunk it into him as far as it would go, pushing with my calf muscles to press my hips against his sore bottom. Adam groaned in pleasure mingled with pain and I reached a hand between his legs to caress his swollen cock as I began to drive into him with slow, firm strokes. This wasn't punishment for Adam, it was a kind of sexual torture that had nothing to do with violation. In fact, he had grown to love the feel of a dildo inside him, rubbing teasingly against a certain male gland. When one's existence is reduced to varying degrees of pain punctuated by brief moments of ecstasy, you learn to welcome anything that will bring release. The true purpose of the act was to taunt and arouse him. Even though I couldn't not feel the sensation of being inside him, I held the power to enter him, while his hunger to bury himself in me would go unsatisfied.

I rocked my hips in more and more exaggerated strokes, letting him feel every inch of me, mimicking the long, sure thrusts of an attentive lover. Adam groaned again. His cock had continued to harden in my hand and was now so unreservedly ridged that I was toying with the edge of his control. Adam fought hard to restrain his body because he knew that he would not be allowed to reach his climax so easily. Last night I had bestowed upon him the reward that his submission sought to earn, the singular bliss of being the devoted lover of a contented Mistress. He had been granted entrance into the temple of the female, a place forbidden to all but the most obedient slaves, and now he was paying for the indulgence.

Abruptly, I drew out of him, leaving him gasping for breath and composure. Then I unbuckled myself and flung the used toy next to the strap.

"Up, Adam," I said, releasing him from his stance, "Follow me."

As I moved to take a seat on the couch across from my now fascinated pupils, I couldn't help but smile in anticipation of the grand finale that I had planned.

"Kneel over my lap, like I taught you," I told him as I took one of his wrists to guide him. I positioned him with one knee on either side of my left knee so that his chest stretched over my head as he supported himself on the head rest.

"Good," I cooed to him and caressed the backs of his thighs, his hamstrings bulging wonderfully under my hands. Adam shuddered for me and I murmured more soft encouragements as moved my hands to play with his already hardened nipples. He lowered his head to my right shoulder and sighed heavily. My right hand soon found its way to his hardness and as I stroked his cock, he leaned forward and pressed his forehead more firmly against my shoulder. A low anguished cry escaped him which drew admiring murmurs from the ladies and bought him a remorselessly cruel pinch to his nipple to keep him in line. He whimpered, but my hand never stopped its relentless stroking.

Adam knew this game intimately. It had been an important part of his training, but sexual obedience had always been the hardest part for him, especially in front of other people. I had found this to be true of many men especially when they discovered that they actually enjoyed it. From early on, however, Adam had understood the exquisite suffering that was required to perform it properly.

The obvious rule was that the slave could not climax until I gave him permission but also he must fully give himself to the experience. I want to hear his pleading moans, to see his hips thrusting eagerly in time with my strokes, and to feel his body tense as he struggles for control. I want everything. And only by giving it to me could he escape punishment. At first many men simply refuse to play the game and come quickly no matter how severe the punishment will be. Then eventually they begin to try to beat the game by holding something back. This never satisfies me and the punishment I mete out reflects my disappointment. And then one day they simply give in and discover that it is better to trust me with their bodies and fail than to fight my touch and succeed. It is the slave's duty to surrender and the Mistress's job to learn the slave's body well enough to get the performance she desires. So if the reason the performance ends prematurely truly lies at my feet, then correction my slave will receive is half-hearted at best.

Adam, with his sharp mind, had quickly understood what this game was asking of him and once I had realized that, there had been no mercy for him, no excuses for refusing to submit his orgasm to me. But that didn't make it any easier for him to display his body in the throes of passion for a rapt audience.

Adam moaned again pitifully, his hips snapping helplessly to the rhythm that I had set, a rhythm that he would frantically continue to follow when I released my grip to ease off on the sensation. I relaxed my hand and bit at his neck and I was rewarded with an imploring "please" as he thrust wildly into my loose hand.

"We don't beg, do we Adam?" I asked him evenly though we both new how much it excited me when he pleaded. My clever pet had learned when he could implore me for leniency and not be reprimanded for it.

"N- . . . Mistress," he sighed.

"I didn't think so," I replied and I took a firm hold of him again and continued his torment.

The next time Adam cried out to me in wordless desperation, I did not give him the relief of a flash of pain or the easing of my grip.

"Adam," I said.

"Aaaah!" he responded.

I paused, basking in the joy that an obedient slave can bring.

"Come for me," I whispered to him and that was all that it took. He spilled himself into my hand, his whole body participating in the offering of his seed, his harsh moans filling the room. And when it was over, the only sound was his rough breath against my shoulder. I gave him a moment to compose himself before I pushed him back and kissed him deeply. His lips responded, soft and defeated, and I had to force myself to let him go.

It really was a shame that I wouldn't be able to take him to my bedroom and use him for my pleasure. He deserved to be the one to quench the fire that he had lit between my legs despite my efforts to remain detached. And I had grown quite fond of him, how valiantly he had fought me and how utterly he had eventually given himself over. But tonight I must hand him over to the Mistress he had chosen and she would have the privilege of continuing his training.

"Get up, Adam, and stand before us," I made myself say.

Adam rose weakly off of me and stood where the coffee table had been between the couches before I had moved it for this evening's performance.

"Well, what do you think, Christine?" I asked bitterly. "Is he tame enough for you?"

"My dear, Lucinda," she gushed, "You've really out done yourself this time. He's exquisite."

"Yes, well," I began, rising from my seat, "Just make sure you don't ruin all of my hard work."

"Oh, don't be cruel. . .," she started to reply when she noticed Adam moving to kneel in front of me.

I smiled, proud of him. He had been on his best behavior for the Mistress who had come to reclaim him and now he was showing off for her. It is supremely satisfying to see a slave eager to please his Mistress, however unsuitable she was for him, but Christine was furious.

"Adam," she shrieked.

"I think he has chosen a new Mistress," Bianca, who had until now remained silent, commented.

"How dare you!" Christine rose, not amused by Bianca's goading remark, and stomped over to my side. "You belong to me," she informed Adam and reaching down, snatched a handful of his hair and wrenched his head back so that she could look him in the eyes.

But it was too late. Even she knew that. I could see it in the set of his jaw and the defiance etched in the lines of his face. He was mine now and there was nothing either of us could do about it.

"So be it," she spat and released her hold, storming out of the room with the rest of the Mistresses trailing after her like driftwood caught in the tide.

As I watched Christine leave, I could not keep a triumphant smile from spreading across my face, such is the pride of a Mistress. I was vaguely aware of Adam lowering himself down into a bow again but when I felt his lips pressed reverently to my feet, I looked down and my composure slowly crumbled. He continued to shower my feet with gentle kisses and my smiling lips began to tremble, tears welling in the corners of my eyes. How many times had I told him to kneel before me? How many times had I demanded that he kiss my feet? Countless, surely! But this display was not performed to fulfill the ritual of obedience or to buy mercy when punishment was due.

His kisses were real. And they were an offering I was not prepared to accept.

The leather cuffs on Adam's wrists, the symbols of his slavery, were barely visible under his fine blue cotton shirt but everybody in the office knew they were there. Almost everyone had a friend of a friend who had tried it, the experience was said to have some very interesting effects on one's life, but no one had the guts to bring up his servitude in casual conversation. And just because it was the newest trend in escapism didn't mean that it could be discussed nonchalantly at the water cooler.

Adam was the Lead Architect at a large firm in Denver. He was young, he was brash, and he expected architectural wonders from himself and his team on each and every project from schools to high-rises. He was far from over-bearing, but his no nonsense style rubbed the more laid back employees the wrong way, so they were not above some hushed talk when his back was turned.

For his part, Adam enjoyed knowing that the people under him were wondering about his sexual preferences and what emotional needs he was fulfilling. To him it was like being the domineering boss whose wife (it is discovered at the annual Christmas party) pushes him around with authoritative glee. The whole company begins to smile behind their hands when the boss gets pushy, remembering that he has it worse at home. There was just something exciting about his colleagues knowing that when he went home the tables turned.

"Sir, I have Mr. Barnes on the phone for you," Adam's secretary said, bursting into his office.

"Uh, thank you, Heidi, could you tell him I will call him back?"

"He has been waiting to talk to you since before your, uhm, vacation, sir," she reminded him, obviously trying not to look too interested in the real reason for the week of vacation he had just spontaneously taken.

"Okay, I'll take it."

"He's on line three," Heidi responded and as she left Adam shifted forward in his seat to reach for the phone.

Adam paused with his hand halfway to the phone as he felt his sore bottom shift against his suit pants. But it was the feel of the tiny red satin g-string that he was wearing and how it reminded him of last night that had his cock pressing rigidly against his fly.

After he had made his impulsive choice to give himself to Mistress Lucinda, as he was boldly planting kisses on her feet, she had abruptly walked away and commanded, "Follow me."

He had obediently risen and followed her to her room. He was quite sure, even in the light of day, that he would have followed her anywhere in that moment, but she had only wanted him to lie face down on her bed, and so he had. His Mistress had deftly tied each wrist and ankle to the corresponding bed post and then she had slipped across his back sitting lightly in the small of his back.

Leaning forward she had whispered in his ear, "Did you think that you would be rewarded for insulting another Mistress in my house?"

Adam had shuddered at the deep rumble of her voice and the warm, sensual breath against his ear.

"I am yours," he had breathed, without thinking.

"Yes, you are," she had chuckled softly at him,"But you don't know what that means yet. You've only had a taste of what being mine will feel like."

Then she had grabbed a handful of his hair and jerked his head to the right so that she could give him a brutally thorough kiss that had left him breathless.

"I love you," he had murmured unexpectedly when her lips had abandoned his.

His Mistress had stayed motionless and silent for a long time before replying, "Even after I punish you for your defiance tonight?"

It had been Adam's turn to tense and consider what he had gotten himself into. But he loved her, damn it! And what he wanted to give her was not his physical prowess or his impressive earning potential. He wanted to suffer for her and know that she loved him for it. Over the past few days she had taught the sublime joy of pleasing her with his devotion. His heart had been captivated by her bright eyes smiling at him when he had proven that he no longer needed to be tied down and punished for willfulness. And his body had been tamed by her hands tenderly caressing him after he had willingly submitted to her discipline. And then she had taken him to her bed and laid claim to something raw deep inside of him. He would not take it back now.

"Even then," he replied earnestly, "I will love you even then."

His Mistress had wordlessly slid off of the bed and moved to the closet where she kept her collection of toys. As Adam had listened to her moving back towards him, he had tried to guess what item she had chosen, and then he had felt the slim length of her wooden cane sliding down his buttocks and along the backs of his thighs. Adam had involuntarily jerked in his restraints.

"Shhh, my pet," she had said, knowing that he dreaded the searing sting of the cane.

"Only ten," she had continued, running a loving hand over his trembling bottom, "Ten for defiance. You are too sore for any more."

Adam winced at the memory and pulled his hand back from the phone. He needed to take this call but all he could think of were those ten slow, deliberate strokes and how she had teased his stinging bottom with the cane between each one. His arousal increased as he remembered his helplessness and the calm surrender that had eventually washed over him. When she had completed his punishment, she had quickly untied him and guided his face between her long, slender legs. He hadn't needed any cues to tell him what was expected and not once had he felt the lash of the long dressage whip that she had used train him. He had settled easily into position, supporting himself on his forearms, and began a delicate contemplation of the female form.

Adam's cock grew large as he remembered the taste of her and the sound of her throaty moans. She had come hard, her pelvis jerking up and down in her abandon. He had done his best to remain suckling at her clitoris but it was not permitted to hold one's Mistress down, so he had remained obediently in place as she rubbed her climax against his face.

Adam's erection could no longer be contained by the flimsy underwear that he was wearing. His Mistress had dressed him this morning as he had stood meekly next to her vanity trying not to snatch her up and spill her on to the bed so that he could worshipfully lap at her sweetness as eagerly as he had last night. Leaving him to stand naked, she had leisurely gathered his clothes and then coming to him, she had knelt and kissed the tip his cock before sliding her slick satin panties onto him. After that she had proceeded to make the normally subservient act of dressing a man into a sensual exercise in obedience. When she had finished helping him into his grey business suit, he felt imprisoned in the restrictive cloth. He had desperately wanted to tear it off because being clothed before her felt like being punished, but his desire to obey had outweighed his frustration.

At the door, his Mistress had admonished him to be good and informed him that his contract with her did not include having her as his live-in Mistress as it had with Christine. He was to move in with her and serve her there. Though he had paid extra to have a Mistress in the convenience of his own home, he had agreed immediately, even knowing that this was her way of giving him an opportunity to renegotiate.

Adam suddenly shook his head and smiled to himself. He simply could not get his mind off of her. He shifted deliberately in his chair to feel the string of her underwear tug between his butt cheeks. No doubt that had been her intention behind having him wear them. But he didn't feel feminized. He felt like that pitcher in Bull Durham. He felt like Tim Robbins' character "Nuke" LaLoosh wearing Susan Sarandon's garter belt and breathing through his eyelids as thoughts of her distracted him from the stress of having to perform. Adam wanted to be where he didn't have to think, he could just feel. He wanted to be where his only job was to belong to her.

Adam straightened up and forced himself to pick up the phone. The only way he was going to get through this day was to keep himself buried in work.

"Hello, Tom?"

"Hello, Adam," a female voice purred into his ear.

It has been several years since I've kept a personal slave, so I was bound to forget something. I had to call poor Adam at work to let him know when he needed to be home tonight. I think I flustered him, which is to be expected, but a Mistress doesn't apologize, she rewards. I gave Adam until 7 o'clock, because he had things to collect from his home and arrangements to make, and now I am waiting for him in a red silk negligee, hoping that he will arrive in the next ten minutes. One never likes to start out an evening with punishment.

Eleven minutes later, I hear the front door unlocking and opening, followed by quick footsteps moving towards my sitting room. Adam popped his head through the door and then walked in carrying a few bags, smiling at me as if he were a husband returning home from a business trip.

"You're late," I informed him.

Adam glanced at the clock. His eyes narrowed and his smile straightened out into tight-lipped annoyance.

That is the reason why I no longer keep a personal slave. It is the transition they must make each night from their normal selves into what they are for me. Something about it bothers me. I have known many slaves intimately in my home that I would never recognize or even like in the outside world. And I prefer it that way, because no man will ever adore me the way a slave does in those tender moments when he has surrendered everything. That kind of unconditional love only exists in the fantasies that play out in my bedroom, not in the real world

But Adam chose me and so I will prompt him to make that shift every night.

"Go put your things away and meet me in the dinning room in 15 minutes." Adam nodded and left me.

We were alone tonight. Everyone who had come to train with me today had left more than an hour ago. I make my living as a professional Mistress who teaches novice Mistresses, trains new slaves, and holds workshops for couples looking to add a little spice to their sex life. There is a network run by a good friend of mine, Master Justin, and he keeps the whole system running for Masters and Mistresses nationwide. So I get to just sit back and wait for the requests to roll in.

Since I haven't been keeping a slave of my own, my needs have been adequately taken care of by the professional slaves that have rented themselves out to the novice Mistresses that I train. I have become quite adept at using other people's slaves to satisfy my own desires. Now I have a man who I will be teaching to perform his duties according to my personal preferences. I haven't had to refine a slave so specifically in every facet of his role in a long time. My skill will be just as important as his obedience.

As I walked into the dinning room, I grabbed my plate from the table setting that one of the slaves had done for me before he had left. In the kitchen, there was a dish of lasagna waiting to be dug into but first I selected a bottle of wine and opened it to let it breathe. That done, I located a spatula and cut a piece of lasagna for myself. Adam came in as I was bringing my plate back to the table, naked except for his leather cuffs, and looked at me questioningly.

"Kneel over there," I told him, pointing to the bar that separated the kitchen from the dinning room.

He went, as I had told him, and knelt facing the bar. Going back into the kitchen, I poured myself a glass of wine and brought it to the table, placing it next to my plate. I paused for a moment, dismayed that he had made punishment necessary, and then I padded over to him.

"Turn around." Adam hesitated and then turned awkwardly on his knees to face the table. "Arms up, wrists together," I ordered and he complied. I reached for the restraints that I had on the countertop, securing his wrists together and then stretching his arms up to attach them to the hook on the edge of the bar. Next, I reached under my negligee and retrieved two nipple clamps that I had stowed on the band of my underwear. Kneeling in from of him, I rubbed his right nipple with my thumb before giving it a lick with my tongue to ensure that it was sufficiently hard and ready. Using my thumb and forefinger, I opened one of the clamps and fitted it over his nipple. Adam sucked in breath sharply when I released the clamp to pinch his right nipple. I followed the same ritual on his left nipple, this time Adam whimpered softly, pressing forward towards me, almost knocking me over. I had used my gentlest clamps but he wasn't turned on enough for pain to be confused with pleasure yet. I kissed him on the forehead and then left him there so that I could have my dinner.

I ate, pretending to watch to the news on the small TV I kept on a side table and to ignore Adam. As I played this game, eating leisurely and sipping at my wine, I was considering what particular desires Adam might want me to fulfill. Being punished constantly for little offenses might just be one of them. I reminded myself that despite the fact that a slave may come to love their tormentor in moments of extreme submission, it is not me that they feel affection for. Some slaves love the fight the most, the battle of wills and ultimately paying the consequences for losing. For others it is the pain and the interplay of sensations that a good Mistress can give them that is the biggest turn on. And for still others it is the humiliation that they love more than the fight and the pain, the abasement which leads to a beautiful selflessness, a place beyond all shame. It is my job to figure out the magical combination for Adam so that I can take him back to the state of mind he had been in when he had chosen to stay with me. That is what he is paying for now.

My plate empty, I rose and looked at Adam kneeling where I had left him. He looked at me now with a hint of that heart-stopping expression that had been on his face last night when I had let him stretch out next to me in bed and snuggle close. As I approached him, I saw that a few tears were making their way slowly down his cheeks. Kneeling in front of him again, I removed both clamps before kissing away his tears.

"What pretty tears," I cooed to him and continued to kiss his face, "I know you are sorry for being late, my pet."

When my mouth reached his, Adam kissed me hard and the tip of his now firm cock rested against my leg. He struggled in his bonds to press closer to me, to show me that he was my slave again. I let him make his apology and then I stood to undo his wrists.

"Now, make yourself a plate in the kitchen. After you've eaten, clean up, and join me in the parlor."

I turned and left before Adam had gotten up off of his knees.

I retired to my sitting room and stretched out on my chaise lounge. After a moments reflection on the point of no return that Adam and I were about to cross, I let out a heavy sigh and picked up my well worn copy of Pride and Prejudice.

About 45 minutes later, Adam opened the door to my sanctuary, padded across the hardwood floor and knelt next to my seat. I kept him waiting for another 10 minutes before I reached for my bookmark and set the book down. Running a hand through his hair and along the side of his face I told him, "Now, we will begin your re-training, Adam. I will perfect you for my service. Your life will be pleasing me."

"Yes, Mistress," he responded, leaning his head towards my hand. I smiled warmly at this little gesture though his head was bowed and he didn't see it.

"Tell me, Adam, can you cook?"

He tensed and said, "Not well."

I chucked. "Do you know how to serve at table?"

"No, Mistress."

"Then what did she do with you?"

"She played games I couldn't win, Mistress," he replied bitterly, "And she enjoyed having me fetch."

"Yes, well, Christine was always overly fond of playing fetch," I sighed.

Adam remained wisely silent.

"You know how to take care of a woman, I hope."

"Yes, Mistress," he responded, a smile in his tone, "I know how to please a woman." Adam raised his head and looked up at me with a lustful grin. "I have satisfied you more than . . . "

I cuffed him and he winced, bowing his head again.

"I see that you have been taught nothing," I snapped. "Taking care of your Mistress involves far more than being talented with your tongue, Adam. Or with your cock. You will learn to serve me as I deserve, not just in the bedroom, but in all of the ways a woman should be served."

Then I put a finger under his chin and lifted his eyes to mine, "Do you remember your schooling in my bedroom, Adam?"

He swallowed hard and nodded as best he could.

"There is no easy set of rules for you to follow, is there?"

Adam shook his head, no doubt remembering the lick of my dressage whip across the backs of his thighs each time he had displeased me. He was an expert in the lingual arts now, but only because I had carefully instructed him.

"Every error you commit will be corrected immediately until you have refined yourself into my perfect servant and my beloved pet. Each task you perform must be completed with a certain consideration and delicacy so that your submission to me is on display at all times."

"And my love," Adam interjected with unexpected sincerity.

"Yes, and your love for me as well." I smiled indulgently at him. "We will start with a few simple tasks so that I can see what I have to work with. Go draw my bath, Adam."

Adam hesitated and then sprang up from his kneeling position, leaving me to do as I had bid. Tonight, I would find out what kind of slave Adam wants to be. When it comes to the everyday tedium of being a servant most will quickly bristle at the lack of attention and bring punishment upon themselves, but some will try to please as long as their patience holds. For Adam the illusion of love excites him, the indignity of adoring the woman who makes him suffer, so I will let him believe that he loves me if that is what he needs.

Lying back against the couch, I picked up my book again and started reading.

When I had given him adequate time to fulfill my command, I put my book aside again and joined Adam in the master bathroom. As I walked in the door, Adam had just shut off the faucet. He turned to face me and then glanced at the whip I held in my right hand. I planned on using it sparingly this evening however that all depended on him.

"Come undress me," I prompted him.

As Adam stepped forward, I surveyed the room and took note that he had found and lit a few candles for me. Inhaling, I also noted that he had chosen lavender bath oil, a good choice. Then I was distracted by his large, warm hands softly brushing the straps of my negligee off of my shoulders before it slid down my body to the floor. Fluidly dropping to his knees, he reached gentle fingers under the band of my underwear and pulled them down to my feet. I shivered as Adam looked up at me for approval and almost reached down to bring him up for a kiss, but his eyes had gravitated hungrily to my breasts. With a snap of the wrist, my whip cracked against his skin.

"There is a difference between viewing my body with the reverent desire that it deserves and ogling me, Adam. You will learn it."

"Yes, Mistress."

I stepped around him and eased myself into the deliciously hot water of my bath. When Adam turned around on his knees, I handed him the wash cloth. Starting at my feet, he took his time and bathed every inch of me, while I simply closed my eyes and enjoyed his heavenly attentions. Adam clearly meant to perform his duties willingly and there are not many things that are better than strong hands performing such delicate work on one's body.

As Adam moved up my body, he lavished special attention on my breasts, massaging them with gentle fingers, but moved on before he earned the attention of my whip. Next, he positioned himself behind me, at the end of my clawfoot tub, in order to wash my back. He began by kneading my shoulders and then started to work his way lower. I purred and shifted, reaching for his right hand. Then pulling his arm down between my breasts and placing his hand between my legs, I threw my head back and kissed him. Shamelessly, I rubbed my swollen clit against his wet fingers and fed at his shocked lips. I reached my climax in a shuddering rush and splashing water on the tile floor. When I released him, Adam continued to stare at me open-mouthed.

"My towel, Adam" I murmured to him and after a slight shiver, he rose to obey.

I stepped out of the bath and Adam wrapped the large cotton towel around me, tucking the end neatly at the top. Moving out of the room to my dressing table, I sat, leaving Adam to trail after me.

"Take the brush from my dressing table. Then unpin my hair and brush it."

Adam stood next to me for a moment, his body's arousal evident, as he opened the top left drawer to retrieve my hair brush. Then moving behind me, he undid my hair and began to run the brush carefully through my hair, making sure not to catch on any knots. I let him continue for several pleasant minutes before I reached my hand over my shoulder for the brush. It only took him a few seconds to realize what I meant by the gesture and once he placed the brush in my hand I said, "Place yourself across my lap, Adam."

I felt Adam tense behind me, something in the air giving away his reaction, but he came to my side and leaned over my lap. I caressed his quivering buttocks with my free hand and then placed the cool back of the broad wooden brush against his bottom, causing him to tighten his muscles in anticipation. Adam had done a commendable job for his first time truly serving a woman but his body was mine to discipline as I saw fit.

Adam groaned at the first swat, his hips grinding against me, pressing his hard cock against my leg. I paddled him mercilessly with quick stinging blows that his arousal converted into a kind of agonizing ecstasy. I used the brush just hard enough to sting and no more, so that I could prolong his torment. He would have to control himself for me, staying in place and accepting what I wanted him to feel. And as I continued, I saw a deeper submission come over him. His body was no longer fighting the pain but welcoming it the same way one's body wildly greets the rush of climax. Satisfied, I stopped abruptly and set my brush casually on the dressing table as Adam fought to catch his breath. But there was to be no rest for him yet.

"Go lay on the bed, Adam." Trembling, Adam lifted himself up from my lap and crawled onto the nearby bed.

"On your back, my pet." Adam rolled on his back and looked to me for my next command. "I want you to pleasure yourself for me," I told him.

Adam opened his legs and his hips drove up and down involuntarily before he slowly brought his hand to his cock. As he stroked himself his eyes dropped closed and his back arched, a lovely moan rumbling in his throat. I watched his body seize up and relax, struggling in the unrelenting grip of need and spared one glance for the leash tied around the leg of my bed frame. Adam had spent most of his nights with me wearing the collar at the other end of that leash and sleeping on a small mattress at the foot of my bed. I knew that I should let him bring himself to orgasm for me and then send him to his place but I wanted to see that look in his eyes again. The look that made me feel that I was the only thing that mattered to him.

So, I crawled onto the bed, tore his hand from his cock and slid it into my mouth. Adam grasped handfuls of the sheets and pushed himself deeper down my throat, crying out roughly. I sucked at him ruthlessly, stroking his full length with my lips, until I felt his balls tighten firmly against his body and then I released him. Adam gasped, gyrating his hips, begging my mouth to return. Instead, I licked the tip of his cock and let slip down my chin and neck, drag between my breasts, and slide along my stomach as I moved by body over his.

"Make love to me, Adam," I whispered to him, not really expecting him to have the control to obey, but he kissed me tenderly, rolling me over and bringing me to a powerful release before his own came thundering out of him.

Adam fussed at his tie in the mirror for the tenth time and then told himself again that he was being silly. There was no reason to be nervous. Turning from the mirror, he scooped up the bouquet of flowers that were lying on his bed and surveyed the room one last time to make sure there wasn't anything he needed from home before heading back to his Mistress's house. Satisfied that he hadn't missed anything, he strode out of the house, got into his BMW and tried to drive the seven miles to her place in a reasonably calm fashion.

It had been three months since Adam had begun his service with Lucinda and there was no doubt in his mind that he had made the right decision. Adam had never questioned his desires, believing that there was no point in fighting them, but he felt that he hadn't really known what he was looking for until Lucinda had given it to him. Adam had tried to role play with past girlfriends who either hadn't taken him seriously or had taken far too much delight in degrading him. That had been when he had decided to go to a professional. Christine, at least, had shown some finesse, but even so he had dreaded coming home each night to be played with, though at the time he had assumed that the feeling was part of the lifestyle.

But with Lucinda it had been different. She had trained him to please her, teaching him how to earn approval by correctly performing his duties. She had tested his devotion, requiring him to suffer exquisite agonies and burn with helpless desire at her delicate hands. She had brought him to the revelation that a being a slave didn't mean living in humiliation. Slavery was existing in a state of complete trust and submission. And in exchange for his surrender, she cherished him as no woman had before, praising him as her faithful pet and confiding in him little pieces of herself.

Adam pulled into the driveway of Lucinda's house and nervously checked his tie again. Getting out of the car, he collected his things and let himself into the front door. Once inside, not being able to wait another minute, he set down everything but the flowers in the entry hall and headed straight for her sitting room. Knocking lightly at the door, he heard a muffled voice say "Come in" and then he put a sweaty palm on the doorknob and let himself in.

Adam stopped in his tracks with his gift behind his back when he saw his Mistress with a naked slave at her feet. Jealousy flared across his features as he took in the scene. It was several seconds before he noticed the other woman sitting in a chair across from them, the man's true Mistress, but even then he could not take his attention away from Lucinda's hand on the other man's shoulder.

"You're home early, Adam," his Mistress said to him, her voice calling his eyes to her face. It was Saturday and he had been granted several hours to himself to take care of personal business, but he had returned early this afternoon with a proposition.

Adam brought forward the bouquet of yellow and white chrysanthemums, favorites of hers as he had learned in their hours alone when she had started to open up to him, and moved towards his Mistress with a confident stride that his slave self did not possess. Lucinda rose automatically to meet him as an equal, thinking that there was something wrong, but when he reached her, Adam knelt. As a practical matter, Adam didn't have to kneel when he was wearing clothes but he did it anyway, offering up the bouquet.

Lucinda blinked at him and said nothing.

"I would like to take you to dinner tonight," Adam announced.

Clearly flustered, Lucinda responded, "Go to my room and wait for me."

Adam looked confused but he rose and moved to obey.

"I want you naked when I get there," she called after him.

As I buckled the collar around Adam's neck, I tried not to wonder if I was doing the right thing. It didn't matter. I had made my decision.

Walking briskly out of my bedroom with my gloriously naked Adam in tow, I made my way to the bright living room where Christine was waiting for us. When we entered, she gave us the questioning look that I had expected because I hadn't told her why I had called her here this morning.

Adam followed me as I approached Christine and stayed standing behind me as she rose and kissed my cheek.

"That is not how I taught you to greet guests is it, Adam?" I asked him.

As Christine and I took our seats on the couch, Adam obediently came forward to kneel and kiss her feet. He made it quick and perfunctory and then crawled back to kneel next to me, pressing his head against my leg.

I think he knew before the words even came out of my mouth.

"I think it's time you took Adam back, Christine."

Christine looked as surprised as I had imagined she would be.

"You can't be serious."

"I'm perfectly serious."

"Lucinda, I completely misread him, you know that. I did all the wrong things with him."

"This will be an opportunity for you to learn then," I told her, "An opportunity for both of you."

"I don't understand, Lucinda, you are marvelous together. No one gives better performances at the gatherings and he clearly loves . . ."

I hastily stood up and held the end of Adam's leash out to her.

". . . being with you."

"He is a man paying for a service that I can no longer provide," I said and dropping the leash, I left the room.

Adam stared unseeingly at the floor and took in a long, deep breath as Christine sat in disbelief. Then sitting back on his heels, he reached behind his neck to slowly undo the collar and let it drop to the floor. His movement attracted Christine's attention and she watched him, his jaw muscles twitching and his fists clenched, trying to deal with the emotions Lucinda's rejection had stirred up. And then with a sudden lurch, he rose to his feet and stormed out.

Adam walked straight to Lucinda's room and flung open the door, causing it slam loudly against the wall. And then he saw Lucinda just standing there in the middle of her elegant bedroom fighting the tears that were streaming down her face. She looked up and started to shake her head.

"I love you, Lucinda!"

Lucinda made a protesting sound and then broke into sobs, her body shaking violently and her knees starting to give way. Taking three long strides towards her, Adam scooped her up in his arms, and held her against his nude body. With unexpected fierceness, Lucinda wrapped her own arms around him and clung to him, her tears beginning to flow freely. Adam held on to her until she became too tired to keep crying and then he picked her up, placing her on the bed and stretching out next to her. He kissed her shoulder and enfolded her in his arms again.

Adam didn't care why it was that Lucinda could not accept his love or what it might take to prove to her that his love could be relied on. She could take out all of her fear and anger on him, if she wanted. She could make him suffer for the sins of whoever had done this to her. He could take it. He could be strong enough for the both of them.

And he would be here when she was ready. He would be right here. Always.