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A pleasant client to play with

By S.M. May

(Artwork by Vittorio Carvelli)

His ribs rose and fell at a fast, frantic tempo.

Those movements clearly revealed, should the audience still have any doubts, how agitated the man was – suspended inside the large metal square, his arms secured to the two side shafts, his ankles tied to the bar at the bottom.

The white Caucasian man, completely naked, had his back to the audience.

From where he stood, about three feet away, Noah had a clear view of his large dorsal muscles, tense with effort; of the uneven line of his vertebrae, slightly paler than the rest of his reddened skin, which was already turning purplish here and there. It was a lean, well-proportioned body, no swollen muscles, with high, tight buttocks peppered with reddish hair which started at the small of his back and grew thicker along the sweet arch of his tailbone. 

Noah liked him. A pleasant client to look at, to play with.

They'd been at it for about an hour and the room, open to the public, was already filled with the peculiar smell of smacked flesh.

A mixture of fatigue, fear, pain and growing pleasure.

Lust stank. It was one of the first practical sides you learned hanging around the rooms on the Circle's underground floor. Even though the smell was different every time, because each body reacted – or better yet, awoke – differently.

Noah stepped closer to the man for a moment, because being too agitated for too long could become a problem during the session. Besides, to be honest, it was beginning to annoy him.

Behind him the audience sat in respectful silence, even though many of them had probably been turned on since the warming-up stage and might be taking advantage of the shadows to masturbate.

That was how the audience usually behaved during Master Noah's biweekly sessions. Attentive. Keen on participating. Discreet.

He liked neither ostentatious displays of appreciation nor random busybodies, those who just kept staring at him and his clients with a lecherous, rude attitude.

His were all paying guests and were allowed in only upon invitation, based on a guest list that could have a waiting time of several months. People rarely left Master Noah's room disappointed and, for the past three years, his performances had been some of the most popular events at the Circle.

Meanwhile, the client was still shaking.

Noah placed his palm on the man's nape and tried to soothe him with his presence. Then he slowly dragged his hand down the man's spine, applying a steady pressure between his shoulder-blades, until he felt the man's breathing slow down, growing less ragged. 

“Shh,” he reassured him, voice steady. “I haven't left you alone. Everything's fine.”

The man craned his head back, trying to prolong the contact with his master's hand, whining in need. But Noah decided not to gratify him more than he actually deserved for that first part of the session. “You're with me and everything is fine,” he repeated.

When it seemed that his client had calmed down enough, Noah started hitting him again with small movements of his wrist.

The leather straps landed with a sharp crack, smacking the flesh in a harmonious way, never at random, like a bow caressing a violin.

You had to be skilled to land the blow in the exact place and at the intended angle; skill that required a certain aptitude, a bit of passion but mostly plenty of practice. It certainly wasn't a subject you could study at a normal conservatory, even though Noah had received an excellent education and could play at least two more instruments in addition to the human body.

At the fifth blow the man before him started shaking again, growing agitated and letting two sobs escape him. Noah frowned. He knew that his blows were heating up the center of the body he was playing with, making blood flow toward the man's back, ass and genitals. This meant that the man's limbs – his arms tied to the hooks, and his legs immobilized by the bar – were receiving less blood flow and might grow numb, making him feel cold.

But those shivers were not normal. The physiological cold – a reaction that Noah expected and could do something about – had been replaced by anguish and panic.

His client was becoming less and less lucid, getting farther and farther from reaching his climax.

An unpleasant unforeseen circumstance. 

But it wasn't just an unforeseen circumstance – it was real trouble. They were supposed to work together for another forty minutes. The session had been meticulously planned in advance. The previous Wednesday his submissive, a volunteer, had listened as Noah explained every detail of the performance over a cup of tea, in one of the Circle's upstairs sitting rooms. They'd gotten to know each other and discussed the client's limits, preferences and special requests.

That evening's volunteer had carefully filled the preliminary questionnaire and had made a favorable impression on Noah. He said he'd been practicing submission for at least four years and had matured gradually, working with different masters.

Needless to say, he'd been outright lying.

Such an experienced submissive wouldn't lose control after just two sets with a simple rubber flogger and one with the leather one. Besides, Noah hadn't even completed the current session using the dragontail.

When the client started whining and urinating, creating a yellow puddle at his feet, Master Noah was forced to raise his arm, signaling that the game was over.

This time, the audience murmured in disapproval.

They were disappointed because of the too-short show and, maybe, because of the master's performance too.

Like Noah's first mentor and friend, Master Lud, used to say, a good dominator must first and foremost understand the needs of the bodies he was working with, and should therefore be clear on what limits must not be crossed in order to avoid sheer physical violence, which was useless and unacceptable. 

Light and darkness, pleasure and consensual pain, master and submissive were always two symmetrical points, two necessary halves of a show that should help both reach the climax of release. If the balance was lost the game might become nothing more than a sham of vulgar subjugation, neglecting the primary goal of mutual pleasure. And there was a very real danger of hurting others, as well as seriously hurting yourself.

But a good dominator could understand the body he was working on. He could measure out the pain, he could gratify and communicate safety even in the darkness, and he could accompany his client to the final, bright reward.

It was an unwritten rule followed by all of the Circle's dominators: evaluate before acting, pinpoint the client's needs, then implement the appropriate solutions.

That night, instead, something had gone wrong.

There had been only darkness and pain, and no satisfaction. Even Noah's cock was still hard in his soft, black silk trousers.

The submissive had been foolish and imprudent in lying about his experience and his level of tolerance, but Noah had been equally rash in trusting him, thus creating a risky situation. Doing business, maybe he could be cynical and merciless. He dealt with analysis, confidential quotations and contractual obligations without consideration for anyone, taking no prisoners and slicing through his competition like a knife through butter.

However, he never behaved like that with his or his clients' bodies. Never.

That was why he regretted not ending the game earlier, before tainting his reputation as a dominator who could keep everything under control in any situation.

If he had failed to do so; it was his own fault.

And the Circle would remember for a long time.

While two attendants hurried to free the half-unconscious client and carry him away, holding him by the shoulders, Alain – the Circle's butler – rushed to bring Noah his robe and a stack of clean towels. Noah carefully washed his hands and arms, then he wiped his armpits and chest and finally dabbed at his wet skin with the cotton cloth. He could have taken a warm shower in the Circle's elegant bathrooms, but he'd rather keep his erection and discomfort until he got back home as a punishment for his failure.

“Tonight's client crumbled immediately, Alain.” He politely returned the towels and robe.

“Yes, Master Noah, I heard that the subject had an unsuitable character.” The butler's tone remained formal.

“I'm very disappointed,” Noah continued. “Next time, I demand a more careful and, most of all, verified selection of the candidates sent by the Circle. I don't want anything like this ever happening again.”

“Certainly, Master Noah.” Alain nodded and Noah didn't pause to notice the incredulous spark in the butler's eyes. Everyone knew that one of the Circle's most famous and popular dominators, such as Master Noah, should have immediately noticed the scam.

Apparently, his special talent for understanding needs and pinpointing appropriate solutions was fading. He could only hope it was just about things of the flesh and not for other kinds of business.

S.M. May is a mom of three, lawyer, and blogger. She lives in North-East Italy where she's trying to find the right balance between work, family, reading and writing. She's good at some things, a bit less at others. But she does them all with passion.

She writes F/M romance, M/M romance, epic fantasy. A pleasant client to play with constitutes the opening chapter of Secret Funding, her first book in English.