Warnings: This title contains graphic language and bdsm sex.
Word Count: 17,029
"I find Master Damien a seductive erotic figure in this story and I easily see why a skeptic like Sondra can fall under his spell. What really impresses me about this story is how the author takes meticulous care to describe not just the act but also the sensations and the emotions experienced by Sondra under she undergoes her training with Master Demian. [sic] The writing is vivid, evocative, and sensual. "
Amanda Haffery, Dark Angel Reviews
"Tie me up and bring out the whips and chains, because I want to be BRANDED! Cherry Lee just rocked my world with this magnificent look into the world of BDSM...Potent enough to have your toes curling and your teeth sweating!"
This is the test, isn't it? To see how still I can hold as the burning brand moves closer and closer to my quivering flesh. My stomach is curdled like old milk and my mouth as dry as paper. I embrace the roiling stomach acid and my thick, swollen tongue, because these small discomforts distract me from the larger one to come. I smell the steaming coals and the heated iron, and imagine I smell charred flesh, but it hasn't happened yet.
No chains and shackles hold me. No stocks confine me. No hands hold me steady. I could bolt at any time, and return to the life I knew a mere two months ago. But I stand and hold my ground. I've chosen what is about to happen.
Clenching my jaw so tight my teeth creak, I brace my hands against the gate and grip the rough wood. The dark voice comes from behind me, so husky and sensual my pussy tenses and releases wetly. "Do you truly want to bear my permanent mark?"
As the brand nearly touches my hip, the heat already singing my flesh, I groan, "Yes. Yes, I want this."
* * * *
"This isn't like you, Mel. You're freaking me out."
"Trust me, sweetie. You have nothing to worry about." My sister's voice was cool and smooth as silk, unruffled despite the fact we'd been arguing for the past twenty minutes. Or actually, I'd been arguing, she'd been responding in that calm, affectionate voice, refusing to rise no matter how I baited her.
"Well, I am worried. You're involved in this strange lifestyle, you barely call anymore, and when we do talk you don't sound like yourself."
"Sondra, believe me, I'm more myself now than I've ever been my entire life. I know it seems weird to you, but have you ever known me to rush into anything? I'm embracing something that makes me happy, and I wish you could be happy for me."
She was right. I was the impetuous younger sister, the one who threw herself into situations without considering consequences. If levelheaded Melanie told me she wanted to be living as essentially a sex slave in some mysterious man's home, I had to believe she was quite serious and hadn't been coerced into it.
"But it's so ... wrong! You've given up your job, your apartment, and you've surrendered your body to this man to ... to do whatever he wants with. How can giving up your will be mentally healthy?"
"I haven't given up my will." Her voice remained infuriatingly calm. I wanted to reach through the phone line and slap her. "You wouldn't believe the willpower it takes to do this, to be this. And I haven't called because I knew you wouldn't understand the life I've chosen. It's just too difficult for an outsider."
Outsider. I was an outsider now? To the sister who'd been closer to me than anyone in my entire life, any friend or lover I'd ever had? Her words hurt. I drew a deep breath and let it out slowly. This might be my one chance to reach out to her and keep our communication open. I knew I must choose my words carefully for once.
"You're right. I don't know anything about BDSM or about what draws some people to be dominants or submissives. But, if it's as fulfilling as you say, maybe it's something I should check out. How would your ... master ... feel about having a houseguest for a two-week visit? I've got some time coming at work and my plan was Cancun, but I'd much rather see you."
There was a long pause. For a moment, I thought she'd turn me down, then Melanie spoke breathlessly. "Seriously? You'd come to Napa? Oh honey, I'll have to ask Master Damien, but if he permits it, I'd love to see you."
"Ask him then and call me as soon as you know." I managed to keep the disdain from my voice. But inside her words rankled. Asking for permission from a man? Such bullshit!
Mel's voice bubbled with excitement. "You'll love the estate and the vineyards. It's so gorgeous here, and as for the rest of it, honestly, at first you might be a little freaked out, but I think you'll start to understand our relationship."
I was already freaked out. Seeing dungeons, torture equipment and sex toys first hand could hardly make it any worse.
"I'll send you a couple of very good books to give you an overview of the different elements of the lifestyle."
Kinky sex homework. Nice. This should be a vacation to remember.