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Matt Kensington of Board Resolution, Book I of the Knights of the Board Room series

Summary: An interview with Matt at the New Orleans K&A offices, conducted by the admins of the JWH Connection Fan Forum

Originally released October 2010

Interview

© Copyright 2010 - All Rights Reserved

From the rooftops to the streets below, decorations in the forms of spooks, ghosts and ghouls of every imaginative kind had been displayed. It seemed they were on every corner, crevice and window sill. Streamers of traditional Halloween colors such as orange, black, purple and yellow lined the front walks of skyscraping executive buildings, but only temporarily drew attention away from the endless array of intricately carved jack-o-lanterns that were scattered here and there. Each one was a work of spookily frightening art. From the French quarter to this modern day, downtown part of the city, it seemed that every inch of New Orleans had been dressed to the nines in celebration of the coming holiday – Halloween. NOLA’s most popular holiday and time of the year, second only to the infamous Mardi Gras. Even the people took advantage of this once a year opportunity to don vampire fangs, devil horns, or even witch hats during the working daylight hours. It mattered not to them that Halloween was still 24 hours away. The spirit of the season was upon all and created an energetic atmosphere that was contagious to anyone and everyone currently within the city limits.

Kat pulled her rental into the subterranean parking garage. Kensington and Associates’ own CEO, the one she was here to interview, had arranged her favorite model car for her trip from the French Quarter into the downtown area. Was it an eerie coincidence that he’d known the type of vehicle she’d most like to indulge the pleasure of driving, or a subtle message, reminding her of the kind of intuitive Master he was? She was going with the latter, not willing to underestimate the notorious leader of the pack before she even set foot in the office building.

The obviously new vehicle purred to a silent stop into a space close to the building elevators she’d been told would take her to the main lobby above. Cutting the engine and pulling the key from the ignition, Kat pulled the sun visor down to check her make-up in its mirror for what had to be the one millionth time that afternoon. Nervous? Her? Never. Or at least that’s what she kept telling herself, using the excuse of trying to be professional to cover up the fact she was more than just a little excited—and a tiny bit nervous—to be doing this interview.

Her green eyes stood out like emeralds, thanks to the careful black outline around each and a set of long, lacy lashes. Not trusting the still slightly warm NOLA days, she examined each for smudges or small places that hadn’t survived the sun’s rays during the short drive into the city. Happy with the result, she added a touch more blush to her not-so-well defined cheeks and reapplied an ever-so-slight pink gloss that she was fond of as opposed to bright, bold, stand out colors. Red lipstick was the only other color to touch her mouth, and even that was reserved for parties and intimate settings with others who shared her passion for “sessions” with willing submissives.

Matt Kensington, K&A’s owner/founder and her reason for being downtown today, had been more than accommodating by way of rearranging his busy schedule to do this interview. Fortunately, it had coincided with one of his frequent trips from Baton Rouge to oversee the renovations of the New Orleans’ office, though she understood he’d be heading back tonight. He rarely spent a night without his beautiful new bride, and Savannah, the CEO of Tennyson Industries, had meetings of her own in Baton Rouge today.

Getting out of the car, she quickly noted that the parking garage was operations central for the construction crew, the spacious area crawling with workers in hard hats. When the interview had been set up, Matt had kindly warned the Femmes that the building was still undergoing major renovations and repairs thanks to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Kat, resisting the natural urge to roll her eyes at a small collection of nearby workers who were making it obvious that they appreciated her perked double Ds, placed her signature mirrored, aviator style shades over her eyes and straightened out her somewhat rumpled clothing. She’d never been one who was completely comfortable being checked out, mostly because people tended to speak to her breasts rather than HER. While she totally lacked a model beautiful figure, her ass length black mane of hair and abundant mounds on her chest had always drawn attention, specifically from the male element.

“Pfft, it’s your own damn fault. Look at what you picked to wear,” she muttered to herself. She smoothed her solid black jeans that ran down into a pair of equally black suede boots that reached mid-calf. She gently adjusted the sash around her waistline, putting the tunic style top she wore back into its rightful hang on her upper body. The short sleeves were slashed apart, revealing more skin when she moved, and the deep v-neck just barely covered the gold front fastener of her bra beneath the silk fabric. The exposed silken valley of her cleavage drew more attention thanks to the silver key hanging from a diamond cut silver chain around her neck. She fingered it, a habit and means she used here and there to center herself.

Steadier, she shot the workers a smile as she crossed the short distance to the elevator and clicked “L” on the control panel. When the double doors opened at the lobby, she was surprised that it was still in such good shape, despite the natural disaster that had forced the K&A management team to move to offices in Baton Rouge a couple years before. With her laptop case secure on her shoulder, she followed the directions she’d memorized and crossed the lobby to another bank of private elevators. Punching in the code that she’d been given, one that she’d been told was only given to clients with appointments arranged by the famous management team, the new box doors closed and a moment later reopened again. On the top floor, of course.

Kat had only just stepped out when she caught sight of two tall, dark and extremely handsome figures turned in profile to her and speaking quietly over an empty reception desk. There was no mistaking Matt Kensington. Her well-known, unusual fetish for sub fantasies about Doms equal to her Mistress status kicked into overdrive as she indulged a long, appraising gaze from his feet to the top of his head, spending an extra moment to inwardly sigh over the handsome perfection of his face. Mistress or not, any woman would have to be insane and blind not to notice how gorgeous he was, with his strong, darkly Italian features and well sculpted jaw line that screamed for her manicured claws to trace. It was an effort to keep her eyes at a respectful level rather than let them fall back to the part of his anatomy that had her palms itching to spank. Get a fucking grip, Kat. Not his fault your brain has a glitch in its hardwiring, she thought to herself as she turned her attention to the man with him.

Doing a double take before she spoke, since she’d only seen pictures of him till now, Kat tilted her head a bit and raised a questioning brow over the top rim of her sunglasses. “Jon?” she questioned as she stepped forward, greeting him with a smile when he turned his head toward her. “And here I thought I was limited to only one Knight on this visit. You hear to watch me grill your boss within an inch of his sanity or what?”

Jon’s lips curved in a sensuous, sweet smile that went well with the dreamy vivid blue eyes, though Kat sensed an intensity beneath the deceptively distracted expression. She didn’t expect he missed much. There were too many things going on behind those eyes. For instance, in a heartbeat, she felt like he knew and understood things about her that didn’t need to be expressed, and yet those things were honored in the way he took her hand, closing his fingers in an almost courtly manner over them.

Her medically diagnosed “over-sensitive” flesh was suddenly as hot as a mid-August day in Florida. Her Reiki talents woke and started breaking down Jon’s personal data, a method she often used when taking a new submissive to a session. His aura, something that surrounded every living being whether they believed it or not, was abundant in size and could be felt not only where they touched but against the rest of her body, too. Even through her clothing. The press of that humming warmth breathed pleasantly across what skin had been left exposed, indicating a strong, healthy young man that took care of both his physical and mental well-being.

“Mistress Kat.” The sleek, velvet draw of his voice sent a pleasant shiver down her spine. “As pleasurable as that sounds, I’m only with you for a brief time. There’s an ongoing…project awaiting me in Baton Rouge tonight that I don’t want to keep waiting.” A touch of urgency to his tone suggested the project was female in nature, and decidedly the center of his multi-faceted attentions. “However, Matt asked me to give you an exclusive look at one of the new features we’re integrating into the Board Room. I’m still tweaking it, but it’s operational. As a Mistress, we would value your opinion. I would value it highly.”

“I would be honored to get the first look.” The tips of her fingers gently stroked against the pulse point in his wrist, feeling their way around the area. “I hope you’re not offended,” she said, with a quick glance down to where their hands touched. “Some things are better left unsaid, and others are more easily understood through touch. At least for me anyways.” True her touch was non-intrusive, and for her natural, but as a means of respect between Dominants, she still voiced her concerns for escalating their shared touch.

Jon let his fingers brush over hers, a quick press of understanding and reassurance at once. “The most important things to be communicated are never spoken. I am not offended by a woman’s touch, Mistress Kat. Especially not yours.”  

Matt nodded. Kat noted that both men had worn suits to the work site, but Jon had apparently been working on something that required the shedding of his jacket, his tailored shirt displaying his fit, lean upper body well. His tie had been loosened and that shirt, smudged with some work dust and what might also be grease, had the sleeves rolled up from his forearms. Seeing her noting his appearance, he held up his hands with an amused glint in those blue eyes. “I washed up when they said you’d arrived in the parking lot. I promise not to get any dirt on your beautiful outfit or your fair skin.”

Kat laughed good-heartedly, holding up her free palm to assure him of her lack of concern in the matter. “It’s ok. I would have touched you regardless of whatever elbow grease you’ve sustained. I love clothes, but given a choice between preserving them and feeling a sweetly offered play of male muscle under my palms, I’d choose the latter any day of week.” Her words were further driven home as she unabashedly and deliberately gifted his form with the appreciative gaze it deserved. Jon was no Matt to her, but even she couldn’t deny that he was incredibly easy on the eyes and made intimate places on her body momentarily tighten.

Jon gave her a grin as an acerbic voice interrupted the perusal. “He has a team of workmen more than willing to adjust this or move that at his slightest whim. So that apology should have been unnecessary, his shirt as clean as a New Ager’s colon, but the boy genius has severe control issues.”

Kat turned at the unexpected interruption. The sensual edge to the lazy drawl, as well as the shift upward of eyes as brilliantly emerald as her own told her exactly what part of her lush anatomy Ben O’Callahan had been perusing. The calculating expression, so familiar, told her that maybe Matt’s legal pit bull shared the mirror side of her nature, apparently more than willing to try his hand at tying up and spanking a formidable Mistress. Surprisingly enough, the idea of that gave her a moment’s pause, as well as a wave of excitement.

Offering her a grin that said he was well aware she’d recognized his thoughts, he shoved a page at Jon and flipped his briefcase up so he could use it as a makeshift table. “Next time you decide to wade into a worksite and muck with our contractor’s liability agreement, give me a heads up.”

“Whine, whine,” Jon snorted.

“Yeah. Whatever. Pu—” Ben cleared his throat, his gaze flickering briefly to Kat. It reminded her that, except in the heat of passion when such words became part of that intensity, rather than crude expletives, the Knights didn’t use rough language in front of women. “Just sign the exclusion. I got to be back in Baton Rouge to handle those Consolidated contracts this afternoon.”

Kat hid yet another smile, something she noted she’d done a lot in the past 10 minutes as she listened to their banter. For the time being, she decided to keep to herself the fact that their crude language was something to which she was very accustomed. Though she was used to it and took no offense, their shared respect for others, particularly women, created warm fuzzy feelings. It also increased her own respect for them as individuals, as well as a top notch management team highly respected in their community. These men were very easy to be around.

“He’s getting to be such a baby,” Jon noted to Matt, signing with a firm hand. Then he gave Kat a wink and offered his arm. “Now, if you think you can trust me to take care of you in this perilous work environment,” he glanced dryly around the almost completed office area, “allow me to escort you to our Board Room in process?”

“He is probably the most trustworthy of us,” Ben noted with a wink. At Matt’s lifted eyebrow, he shrugged, tucking a tongue in his cheek. “Yeah, except for the whipped married guy here. Give Sandy my best, will you? Tell her I enjoyed my interview. Particularly the swim afterward.”

Kat shot him a smile, tilting her head down, which slid her sunglasses down her nose enough so her eyes hit him directly over the smooth rims.

I heard him!” Sandy chirped over the ear piece.

“She heard you,” Kat told him, moving a thick lock of her ebony hair, pointing at the flashing chip resting comfortably in the crevice of her ear. “She says to remind you that you have an open invite back to the island anytime you want.” Her lips curved into an all-knowing, wicked smile. “She’s says you’ll be waited on hand, foot and cock for the duration of your stay.”

Ben’s smile was slow and easy this time, a touch of dangerous intensity sliding through his gaze. “Tell her I’ll hold her to that personally.”

Oh my god I can’t believe you told him that!” Sandy said, disbelief and laughter coming over the connection.

“Sure, like it’s a big secret,” Kat shot back as other laughter joined in, followed by some muffled comments, including a pair of deep, sensuous baritones that were all male.

“Lucas and Peter are here with us right now.” Jaime’s voice came over the ear piece. “Your interview is going to be in Matt’s office. The web cam is already set up in there. We’re getting the feed and so is Anwyn over at Atlantis.”

Kat nodded her head in agreement. Turning to respond to the quizzical looks coming at her from the three Knights standing around her, she repeated Jaime’s words.

Ben tipped his head at her with a devilish wink. As he turned away, he gave her an appreciative glance. However, she’d noted something significant about all of them. While acknowledging her physical attributes, they all met her eyes when they spoke to her. And not because they were using the eye lock as a desperate hold to keep the gaze from dropping to what they really wanted to ogle. It was as if they were genuinely interested in what was going on inside her head. To a man, they seemed to understand that the key to who and what she was would be found through her eyes and minute changes in facial expressions. Further, they gave the impression they could recognize that with or without her sunglasses. Unnerving and pleasurable at once.

“Hey, Ben?” she called after him before he could get on the elevator. As he stopped the door, he turned attentively to her. Setting her laptop case on the reception desk first, she walked the short distance to where he stood. While her heels gave an extra two inches to her 5‘10 height, she still had to reach up to get her arms around his neck. Hugging him in a warm embrace, she kissed his cheek before she spoke in a quiet whisper close to his ear.

“Makes everything tingle right down to the bones doesn’t it? Thinking of the struggle, physically and mentally, that comes along with trying your hand over a Dom/me, or even a particularly stubborn submissive who thinks he or she is strong enough to resist you. Trying to tame that which doesn’t want to be tamed. No other’s resistance will ever be so hard, or so challenging to break, and if you reach your goal, the personal satisfaction between both is so intense it could inspire you to fuck all night and still come into work in the morning with a grin.” She purred her words a breath away from his ear. “Believe me, I understand.”

With a smile and last kiss to his cheek, she leaned back to meet his eyes once more. “It was nice seeing you again.”

She saw the flash of appreciative kinship in his gaze. Beyond that, she saw a surprising glimpse of his desire to find the woman he’d want to take over completely, one that would be all his, now and forever. Despite his offhand manner, she saw what a deep, consuming need it was in him, a need he perhaps wasn’t yet ready to acknowledge, but which vibrated through her knowledgeable touch. Rather than convey her understanding in words that Matt or Jon could overhear, her gaze softened and her fingers gave his own a gentle squeeze. The unspoken language between Dominants was a powerful thing, and never called for words. However, now he gave her another wink, a quick brush of his fingers along her throat, a tease, and then he was stepping back into the elevator. “Give Matt hell, honey,” he said. “He needs it.”

She smiled and respectfully gave him her attention till the door closed. Turning her head she eyed Kensington and Associates CEO, a thorough scrutiny. “Yes, he does need it.” There was no hint of playful teasing, or any indication of the naughty thoughts she’d often had of him as those words left her lips, soft enough to keep the two men from hearing it.

* * * * *

Jon guided her down a hallway that smelled freshly painted. The walls were done in soft cream with ecru trim. Unusual and unique pieces of artwork, obviously by NOLA artisans, were wrapped in plastic and placed at varying intervals, apparently planned for mounting at those areas. She knew that K&A always used local businesses to renovate, decorate and otherwise supply their offices whenever possible, another way they remained a valued community member wherever they were located. She also knew they’d been a major donor to the Katrina relief efforts both in NOLA and the hard-hit Mississippi areas.

“These are beautiful,” she commented, particularly taken with a few paintings of different landscapes of Louisiana. “I see some of this work displayed over in Jackson Square. The individual artists are so much more talented than the well knowns. They capture the true essence of this state with every stroke of the brush.”

“That’s what we like about them as well,” Jon agreed. “And though Peter would prefer matted prints of the latest Women in Service pinups, and Ben would appreciate life sized sculptures of female nudes, we try to stay cognizant of the tastes of our business guests. Here we are.”

He stopped at the open double doors and gestured her to precede him, his hand touching her back to guide her in. The wall of windows had been restored, the divided lights painted in silver trim. There were more of the Japanese plants and small trees that K&A always seemed to favor. A Japanese maple, a couple bonsais placed on pedestals that were shaped like twisted ribbons of stone. A three-platform pedestal in one corner bore a trinity of orchids, under which clever silver channels would allow a continuous flow of water to a basin beneath when operational, a unique shape that had Jon’s brand of craftsmanship written all over it.

Seeing the direction of her gaze, he nodded. “The problem with most indoor fountains is the falling water sounds too much well…like someone relieving themselves.” He gave a half chuckle, meeting her light laughter at his comment. “I wanted to design something that sounds more like a whisper of mist, the distant gurgle of a stream. This worked, because see how the drop is closer to the water basin, so it flows right into it? Watching the way the water moves from channel to channel on the three levels is what soothes and relaxes. A good thing for some of the volatile things that happen in these meetings.” He gave her an arch glance. “But the table is what we wanted you to see.”

As she gave his every word and gesture her undivided attention, she had to marvel at the way his way his mind worked.

He directed her focus to the center of the room. The large table there gave five well-proportioned men plenty of leg and elbow room, as well as seating capacity for a handful of guests. What she noticed first was that the thick glass table top had the shape of a lagoon, smooth curved lines moving inward then outward, asymmetrical in a pleasing way. Decorative lines were etched in the glass, echoing those curves, like rivulets of water that cut through a crystal’s surface over time. The generously rounded ends of the table, the slightly more narrow middle, put her in mind of a woman’s Venus figure. A mixture of earth and female. A measured foot beneath the glass top, a parallel platform of polished wood matched the shape of the glass table. The two pieces were connected by the platinum silver table legs that ran through them both to the floor.

She noted the lower platform was dark red-brown wood with black streaks. Taking her hand in his, fingers interlacing in a charming, intimate way, Jon drew her to the table and squatted, his touch sliding to her wrist to guide her hand beneath the glass top and lay it on the wood, so she could feel it.

It came as no great surprise to her that he’d chosen a wood with a smooth, silken texture. Solid and strong, but feeling better to the skin than your average oak or cedar. She would expect nothing less of Jon. So far he’d only introduced her to his concept for a fountain, yet managed to make his explanation as soothing as she knew that fountain would sound had he turned it on. It was like being placed under a spell charmed to calm anything and anyone around him. It poured off him and smoothed its way across her flesh like a warm brush of silk. She quickly realized his personal demeanor reflected in his designs. A generous gift indeed.

“This is rosewood. It was used a lot during the Victorian and Regency periods to create high end furniture. Since the Victorian period has inspired a lot of wonderful fantasies for Dominants and submissives”—he gave her that sweet smile again—“it seemed appropriate. It’s a fairly large piece, and the humidity here is bad, as you know, so I integrated a cross brace beneath to support the weight, keep it from warping. And for other purposes.”

He squeezed her hand, and left her to step over to a control panel on the wall. Entering a code to open the small door, veneered to match the table wood, he flipped it open, revealing a complex arrangement of switches and dials. As he made an adjustment and glanced back at the table, she lingered a moment on his face. In his expression, she saw an intriguing combination of calculating inventor and mad scientist, mingling with an almost boyish anticipation of her reaction. The sight made her smile, her eagerness to see what he would show her heightened.

The etched grooves in the glass that followed the sinuous lines were not decorative. The glass separated into six different pieces, smoothly sliding along the fulcrum of each table leg that anchored them into positions that formed side tables to each of the chairs. If they needed to turn toward the video screens on the far wall and shift their notes or laptops to that facing position, it obviously made it easy for the executives to do that.

“Wow, that is fucking impressive,” she said, awed and inspired as she took a seat in the closest chair. The seat was obviously made for a man. It was difficult to dwarf her tall, full figure but this chair did just that, its size making her feel small as she absorbed the comfort it provided and the easy access to the glass table that was indeed suited for a lap top or whatever else executives might need at a power meet.

With a significant glance at her, Jon turned another dial.

Now the black wood base, which had appeared as one piece, parted at a tongue-and-groove joint that divided it across the narrow waist part of the shape. It tented like a drawbridge, turned over and came back together, revealing that the base frame Jon had referenced was none other than…

“A St. Andrews’ cross,” Kat noted.

The cross pieces were smooth as silk mahogany, with bronze fixture pieces at the appropriate points for affixing tethers, chains, whatever the five Masters might deem fitting to restrain the female focus of their attention. Jon drew her attention to two short steel tracks, slotted in the thick wood platform and positioned above and below the crossing point of the two beams. “I have a piece that can fit into either end, an angled arm. And see this…” He drew close again, taking her hand to help her out of the chair, this time to tug her to a matching position with him, leaning her elbows on the table. Because of his proximity, his hip pressed against her buttock, his shoulder against her back, breath near her ear as he directed her to put her cheek closer to the table and peer down the cylinder of that track. When her abundant hair fell forward, before she could reach to pull it out of the way, she heard him murmur, “Allow me,” and his long-fingered hand stroked it back, held it so she could see, his knuckles resting on her nape.

Behind her mirrored safe place, her eyes closed for a brief moment, absorbing the way his skin felt rested at the back of her neck, the way he managed to pull her hair back without pulling or yanking on it. Even by accident. Everything about him said that he was designed to calm as well as entice, to nurture a woman as well as Dominate her. This natural way to disarm and set anyone who came near him at ease was slightly unnerving, a little frightening, but most of all impossible to resist.

Kat noted what looked like a tangle of wires and plug-ins nestled down inside the track. Jon released her hair with a quick stroke, and took her elbow to ensure she didn’t lose her balance as they straightened together. “I can put a programmable arm in there, one that’s similar to the logic of our CNC machines. It can hold a variety of devices, similar to the crudely named fucking machines.” He gave her an apologetic nod, stepped back to gesture to the control panel and key pad. “We can restrain a woman on the cross, and set it up on the control panel so she’s being pleasured in various ways and angles while we watch her. It can be adjusted for anal or vaginal penetration, or both. But that’s not the best part.”

He gave her that look of boyish enthusiasm again and returned to the panel. When he turned, his voice dropped, the intensity returned to his eyes, and those sensual velvet syllables slid along her spine, tingling where his knuckles had touched her nape. “Imagine that she’s been restrained, spread out wide on that cross. We have brace pieces in place to support her neck and shoulders, of course. Discomfort should always be pleasurable. We’ve put the arm in that track just below where her legs are spread. A vibrator with a clit stimulator is pumping into her. A slow, slow sliding rhythm, just enough to keep her squirming and aroused, but not enough to let her come, that clit stimulator barely kissing her on each pass…”

He pressed another switch. The glass partitions came back together with a smooth hum. “Now, we can enjoy seeing our artwork captured under glass while we continue our meeting. The silver table legs have a hydraulic lift positioned beneath the wood piece, so I can raise or lower the base as needed to accommodate the woman’s size. In the case of a woman with beautifully large breasts like yours,” his gaze was appreciative, but in a way that for once didn’t make Kat feel as if his tongue was about to come out like a panting dog, “I would adjust it so her nipples were pressed right up against that glass, her breasts slightly mashed, because that of course would be arousing to us all. For a smaller breasted woman, the cross piece that holds the head can be adjusted so that her head drops back a bit. It will increase that pleasurable dizziness, the blood rush, without being dangerous, but also gives more room to bring her up closer to the glass.

“The sense of being so restricted and enclosed, but having all sides open, ensures air flow, even as the sense of being so closely restricted increases the arousal of those submissives who crave that extreme level of restraint. The fact the glass is clear, and she would of course have a great deal of our attention, helps prevent any unpleasant claustrophobia, unless she has an extreme fear of any type of caging. In which case, we’d do other things to help her through those trust issues.”

He cocked a brow, gestured. “So what do you think? Suggestions? Reaction? Improvements?”

She noted the enthusiasm in his voice even as she remained still and staring at the table, letting his description fill her mind and paint a picture so detailed it was hard to keep the hitch in her breath hidden. “There is absolutely no need for improvements. This is brilliant. If Matt ever ends up firing you, you have a very promising career in designing things like this. There are a couple people I can think of off the top of my head now that would pay out the ass to have a table like this in their homes.”

Her fingers traced the smooth sides of the glass panels. “If you don‘t already have a ceiling camera set up above this thing, I would recommend that, and I would add one larger sized plasma screen to that wall.” She pointed at the wall with several screens lined along it. The same one she remembered being described when Matt’s story had first reached her. “To show that view from the ceiling. The smaller sized screens I would have viewing her from different angles, but on that new one I would have an unobstructed display of what’s happening underneath the glass.”

“Excellent idea,” he nodded, focus turned inward for a moment. Interestingly, she had the impression that he was scribbling notes in his mind, placing them on the wall there where he could retrieve them later easily, not a detail lost to his memory.

Coming back to her then, he took her hand once more, bent over it to give it a kiss, an easy affectionate gesture that suited his manner well. “I’m glad you took the time to do this, particularly when I know you’re eager to get started with Matt. Let me get you back to him.” As he guided her back out of the room, he added, “And of course I have to get myself back up the road before I miss an important appointment with another beautiful woman. I should have hitched a ride with Ben in that insanely expensive car of his. He could have had me in Baton Rouge in ten minutes”—his eyes laughed at her—“and I would have more time to talk to you on this. Please excuse my rush, and I hope Matt will make up for my rudeness.”

Still, he didn’t rush her, keeping them to a relaxed stroll back down the hallway. As they walked, he gave her the background on the art choices they’d made and offered her a chocolate truffle from a glass jar on the admin’s desk. “Matt brought her these, but Janet, won’t mind sharing a piece with you,” he noted, a mischievous gleam back in his gaze. “You share some common ground. She has fantasies about tying Matt up, putting him on his knees and beating the hell out of him. Unfortunately, I suspect her motives are more along the lines of revenge than a Mistress’s pleasure.”

“I’m that transparent when I look at him, huh?” She retrieved a piece of the tempting candy and curled her moist, plump lips around it, suckling on the chocolate, tasting it with a slow savoring lick of her tongue before letting the piece find a home in her mouth. Chewing it slowly, she broke up the tasty treat thoroughly before swallowing it. Jon enjoyed the show, giving her the attention it deserved with an intriguing frisson of heat in his blue eyes.

“Every girl is entitled to her fantasies,” Kat added. “Dominant or not, the woman in me still recognizes a fuckalicious man when she sees one.” She smiled a bit as the tip of her tongue passed over her bottom lip, making sure there was none of the sweet concoction left behind. The gesture conveyed her words further and that, coupled with the way her eyes unabashedly continued to appreciate “the view”, also let him know that she ranked him on said list of fuckalicious males. “But if Janet ever gets him on his knees, tell her I will pay top dollar for just one picture.”

Those warm eyes danced with laughter. “I’ll tell her. She’s always talking about wanting to add to her retirement fund—she says a top quality insane asylum costs a small fortune.”

On that note, he rapped on Matt’s office door, pushed it inward. The CEO was on the phone, sitting in a relaxed pose at a sofa and easy chair arrangement that was obviously new and comfortable for a man Matt’s size. There was a small assortment of Kat’s preference in fresh fruits. Strawberries with a dish of sugar for dipping, bright red watermelon and crisp green grapes. On the side bar she saw sodas and her favored rum choices, as well as some that were normally outside her budget. There was also a bottle of whiskey, apparently Matt’s preferred drink.

From the warm, husky note of his voice, it was obvious who was on the other side of the line. “No, I didn’t let them take the other sofa. We’ll get it recovered and move it into our bedroom. I like seeing it there, remembering the first time you —”

Jon cleared his throat and Matt glanced over, though Kat had the feeling he’d known they were there. It didn’t inhibited what he was going to say, because when his dark gaze flickered over hers, he didn’t hesitate to finish it. “The first time you called me Master.”

“Tease,” Kat mouthed to him silently. He grinned in a way that suggested a wolf laughing, showing off a full set of lethal fangs. As she set her LT case on the top of his large, polished desk, she noted the webcam where it was set up on the corner and already running.

He flashed another quick smile at whatever Savannah responded. “Yes, she’s here now, and she said the same thing. Be good and I love you. I’ll be home soon.”

Closing the phone, he rose, taking her hand. He nodded to Jon. “You’re late. Get on out of here. We’ll be fine.”

As Kat watched him speak to Jon, her inner focus suddenly was tuned to where his long fingers had taken her hand. Not many men she had met in her lifetime were capable of making her feel dainty and petite. She was neither, nor ever had been. But Matt Kensington, he could do it. Just the way his palm fully engulfed her much smaller one, or how even in heels she still had to crane her neck up to admire the darkly, sensuous look to him. Overwhelming was an understatement if you were searching for a single word to describe this Knight.

Her fingertips flexed where they rested in his hand and were immediately greeted with a quivering play of muscle. An instant reaction. She could fantasize about him in a submissive position all she wanted, but there was no mistaking the sense of unyielding coming from deep within. He was a powerful Dom down to the very marrow of his bones, and if there was anything soft to him, she guessed that his new bride was the only one he allowed to see it. The idea made her inwardly smile, and admire him all the more. The only thing sexier than a Dom of his magnitude was a man completely and utterly devoted to his woman in every sense of the word.

Jon squeezed her other hand, gave her a nod good-bye. “It was a pleasure, Mistress Kat. You’re in good hands here, as I’m sure you know. Play nice. Both of you.” Then, looking between the two of them, he lifted a brow. “Or not. Look forward to seeing that web cam feed.”

“I would say make a quick stop over at the Absinthe House on Pirate Alley where your other comrades and my girls are set up watching, but…” Her shades slid down her nose once more. The noticeable sparkle in her eyes conveyed her understanding of his reasons for this abrupt departure and why she already knew he would not be accepting her offer. “The feed will be sent over here for you alls viewing pleasure, soon as I leave.” Curling her fingers around his in an affectionate squeeze. she leaned up on tiptoes and kissed his cheek. “Go get her.” she told him quietly before backing away and shooting him a smile. “Thank you again for taking time out of your day to come here and show me the new improvements you’re working on for the boardroom.”

“The pleasure was all mine, Mistress Kat. Come back when we’re all done and I’ll show you how your suggestions improved it.” Giving her a last teasing glance, he said, “Don’t let Matt bullshit you out of answering your questions. He’s really a lot softer than he looks.”

Matt waved him off with a snort, but when Jon got to the door, his boss stopped him with a more serious admonition. “Good hunting,” Matt told the other man, giving him a measured look. “Call if you need anything.”

Jon nodded, also briefly sobering. He gave them both that sweet smile, and then he was gone.

Matt turned to Kat. “We wanted you to have some refreshment after your hot drive,” he noted, guiding her to the easy chair across from the sofa. “What can I pour you while you ask your first question?”

She sat down in the comfy chair, withdrawing a leather bound notebook from her LT case and setting it on the thigh that crossed over her other one. “Rum, please.“ she said, watching his every move as he picked up a clear canister and poured the dark liquid into a glass. He knew she’d want it straight, he knew she’d want it warm, just as he’d known exactly what kind of car would most appeal to her this day. Coincidence. Not likely.

“Do you sleep in pajamas?

“Not if Savannah is with me.” He gives Kat a casual shrug. “At the risk of having Ben call me whipped once again—I could always fire him, but it’s far more satisfying to take him to the gym where I box and clean up the floor with him—” he flashed her a dangerous grin. “Part of the not wearing pajamas is she likes to feel my skin against hers when she sleeps, my heat, because she gets cold easily. The other part of it is she sleeps better if I remind her that I’m her Master before she goes into dreams. Depending on the day she’s had, that means she either wants me to take her rough, up against the wall of the shower, or make her kneel and take me in her mouth, sucking me to climax. If that’s the way she wants it, then I usually get hard again by arousing her even further after. Then I bend her over the bed and take her that way before I let her go to sleep.”

His eyes softened, “Other times, when she lets things in her past creep up on her, she needs me to simply be on top of her, surrounding her. That way she’s spread fully open to me, and I make love to her, slow, tender, commanding her to hold back her climax until I give her permission. Until she’s begging for it, her cunt so wet and slippery, her body shuddering under mine like a fever. It drives me fucking crazy to do it like that, but it feels too good to resist. And giving her that place where all the bad things go away is more than worth it.”

He stopped, shook his head. “My apologies, Mistress Kat. I’m not in the habit of using that kind of language in front of a lady, unless we’re engaged in far more intimate circumstances, which make it part of the pleasure.” He gave her a lazy smile. “But in all fairness, I think you designed your question to get to a more visceral level of who I am. So if you don’t object, I’ll continue to use the language that seems appropriate to the answer.”

Her own smile widened some. “You’re right,” she said, revealing the fact that she was immensely and genuinely impressed that he’d not only met the challenge she’d deliberately thrown out, but also managed to further heighten her initial interest in him. “I start rather….. forward, right from the beginning. With Dominants, it’s proved be a successful tactic to get to what’s behind their eyes. I can’t engage in a physical session with you to touch what you have hidden.” Her smile became a grin of wicked proportions. “Much as I’d like to.”

She admitted it, once again not finding a reason to even try and make him think that wasn’t a scene that had played through her mind more than once. “But I also did it because I wanted to see how far I could push you before you take my assertiveness the wrong way. A lot of people do. They mistake my natural way of being direct for rudeness.” She tilted her head, thinking for a moment before choosing her next words. “Maybe it is rude, even intrusive on some levels, but it’s me. I can’t seem to locate my censor switch and, to tell the truth, I never want to, because the direct approach gives me an immediate idea of who I’m dealing with right from the start.”

Reaching out, she brushed the tips of her fingers ever so slightly against his knee before settling them to her lap again. “So I figure it this way; I just ask you what I want to know and, unless you want to tell me that it’s none of my business, you answer me. If the appropriate answer is ‘Bitch, what me and my cock do is none of your damn business’, then I want to hear it.” Her smile assured him that her comment was meant to lighten the mood, rather than undermine his gentlemanly ways, and further enforced the fact that she was in no way offended with his choice of language or words. “I don’t want to censor myself around you so… I’m asking you, please don’t censor ANYTHING around me either, even to be a gentleman. I already know you’re that. And might I be so bold as to add, it’s a very sexy trait to possess.”

He inclined his head. “I was born in Texas. You be as frank as you wish, and I’ll be the same. I know your audience is looking to understand more about who I am. I had to take over my father’s business when I was seventeen years old, so a great deal of my life has been about learning who I need to be at the appropriate moment to achieve the goals that are important to me. That’s different from speaking in sugar-coated bullshit. I say what I mean, and though I might be polite about it”—he showed his teeth—“most people don’t confuse my meaning.” He took another swallow of the whiskey and leaned back again. “Now, we were talking about why I don’t wear pajamas.

“When I give Savannah the outlet of serving her Master, by the time we’re done, she’s usually exhausted. She’s still wound too tight a lot of days. She’s much better now, but unfortunately sometimes it can take years to undo the damage a bastard can do to a woman’s heart, particularly if she was his daughter.” His frown makes it clear that it’s probably a good thing Savannah’s father has passed away. “Anyhow, she likes to sleep with her head on my heart, her hand on my thigh, all that beautiful hair of hers spread over my stomach and chest. Of course, she says after I fall asleep, I often tangle my hand in her hair, as if I’m keeping her tied to me in my sleep. Sounds like my subconscious has the right idea.”

His answer brought Kat’s hand to an absent-minded curl around the silver key hanging in the silken valley of her cleavage. Fingering the object, she acknowledged in her mind how intimately familiar she was with those particular sleeping arrangements. “That’s lovely,“ she said, remembering the warm, reassuring comfort that came from listening to the life of the one you love most beat for you while laying upon it. How, even in sleep, the steady thump acted as a constant reminder that the owner of that particular heart was there, there to hold you, to be whatever you most needed, to keep you safe in the shelter of their undying devotion and love and make sure you never had to face the world alone. “I understand well why she favors that way of sleeping.”

He met her gaze, nodded. “So,” he said after a weighted moment. “Back to the pajamas, or lack thereof.” Those dark eyes gleamed with what Kat suspected was a rare sense of playfulness – perhaps something he’s been cultivating in himself, to help Savannah rediscover it in herself. “On the rare occasions she’s not with me, I just strip down to my underwear and sleep in that. Never been much for pajamas, though I have a pair of bottoms or two I wear as lounge pants when I drink my coffee on the back porch in the morning.

Boxers or briefs?

Before answering, Matt’s dark eyes focus on Kat’s face, on her right eye in particular. “If I may?” Withdrawing a pristine folded handkerchief from his coat pocket, he leans forward and touches it to her cheekbone, lifting the sunglasses slightly and making brief, direct contact with her green eyes. He lays a hand on her opposite shoulder to hold her steady, an easy but gentle touch despite his very large hand, a man used to touching women in far more intimate ways.

The Mistress side to her reacted first, making her want to draw back when he entered her personal space. Like most Doms and Dommes, she wasn’t accustomed to being touched without giving her express permission before hand. An instinctive reaction, but surprisingly one that was quelled this time by the warm, masculine scent of him wafting in the air around her. It was all male, rich with hints of dark spice meant to seduce. His touch somehow reached past the boundaries of skin and tickled that small part of her being that on rare occasions responded submissively to a strong Dominant. It was hard, damn hard now, not to lean into his fingers where they slid the soft cloth over her cheek.

Drawing back, he shows her a sandy smudge. “Sheetrock dust. You probably picked it up by accident on your tour with Jon. It’s on everything, so if you touched anything and then touched your lovely face to check the mascara on those gorgeous thick lashes of yours, it would have transferred.” He considers her briefly, his dark gaze meeting hers through the sunglasses. “I’ll bet you’ve brought more than one sub to his knees with those eyes alone.”

Thank God his last comment was enough to snap her out of the forced trance his touch had brought. “They seem to intrigue enough, but it’s only when they bring my cubs to their knees that I can truly appreciate them.” The effort to keep her voice calm and even was chokingly difficult. No wonder even a hard-edged business woman like Savannah Tennyson had ended up brought to heel under his attentions. Matt Kensington was not only skilled as a Master, but also as a man with perfected knowledge in ways of heated seduction. Making something as trivial as removing a smudge of sheetrock dust seem sexy was not an easy task. Matt had pulled it off beautifully.

Tucking the handkerchief back in his pocket, he returns to the question. “Both, as it were. Boxer briefs.” Affecting a dry, sardonic fashionista tone, he added, “Snug fit on ass and thighs creates a better line under slacks, according to my tailor.” He gives her an easy smile then. “I was raised in wealthy circumstances with a Texas oil-man patriarch, but I worked the rigs most of my early years. Until I had to take over the business, I was mostly familiar with jeans, work boots and flannel. Once I took over, I inherited his tailor, probably his most valuable advisor. Amusingly, and poignantly, I learned he’d instructed my father in dress almost the same way he did me. Jonas Kensington was a roughneck who sucked up every bit of information around him, a true self-made man. It’s one of the important lessons I learned from him. What you don’t know, you can learn. False pride, pretending you’re smarter than you are, just impedes your own progress. The other thing he taught me was to surround yourself with people whose knowledge adds to your own, as well as your success. And never undervalue them.

“Now, back to the boxer briefs.” Unexpectedly, he rose, shed the coat and dropped it over the end of the sofa. Then he pivoted so he was partially turned away from her. “Do you agree with my tailor? Is it a better line than briefs or boxers? Since you seem to have a bit of interest in handling that part of my anatomy, what are your thoughts?” Quirking a brow, his lips pressed against a smile as he looks down at her from his six foot plus height, Kat realizes he’s playing with her. However, it’s in an entirely pleasant, empathetic way, one Dom understanding another’s cravings.

Kat’s eyes met the rounded curve of his ass even before the last words had left his lips. The points of her custom manicured nails, set to look like ten pointed claws, dug into her palms and were only breaths away from drawing blood. Yes, he was playing with her alright, but did he know just how much? Judging from the look on his face, she could tell he was well aware of the flame he was fanning, but she found herself in perfect synced understanding of what he was offering up to her.

Her head tilted to the side, and then downward, keeping her gaze from being seen by him as she lowered the mirrors off her eyes and blatantly let the green orbs track down that perfect curve again. “I think your tailor is right,” she said as two of her slender fingers reached out and the pointed ends of both nails rested on the top of his ass just where it began to slope downward. “No lines, no protruding seams to draw attention.”

The clawed ends dropped all the way down that curve. She sighed when she dared a brush of her fingertips, just one touch, and her suspicions were confirmed. Muscled, tight, firm, from the top all the way down to where his ass met his equally muscled thigh.

“Though I can’t be entirely sure till you… oh, let’s say… try it commando style? Always room for comparison, right? Maybe all this time you’ve been wearing underwear for no good purpose.” It was tempting to keep her fingers splayed where they were. Very tempting. Nonetheless, she recognized his most generous offer for what it was. Though certain parts of her body had been tempted to take advantage, the growing respect for him had her fingers dropping away after she gingerly tugged the expensive fabric and smoothed the path her fingers had left.

She let him see the teasing glint sparkling in her eyes, but there was something else. A softening to her gaze, something rarely achieved within 20 minutes of knowing someone. A silent thank you for satisfying her personal craving before the glasses covered her eyes again.

Matt nodded, seemingly unperturbed, but the flow of energy between them made it clear he thoroughly enjoyed the give and take of a charged negotiation. That it was a skill that he’d not only honed since he was seventeen, but that he continued to practice, in negotiations for intimate or business reasons. As he’d said, such skills helped him meet his ultimate goals. Taking a seat back on the sofa, he offered her another drink as he topped his own whiskey, swirling it in the glass as he waited for her next question, as relaxed as a panther in a tree.

“I think given that I have to drive back over to the Quarter later I better decline from the liquor. I’ll just take soda if you have it.” she said as she helped herself to a strawberry, rolling it idly through the sugar.Besides your pretty wife, what turns you on the most?”

“That’s a tough question, because everything that turns me on, leads back to her. Before I met her, we’d often visit our favored club as a group. The sub most likely to catch my eye would be a woman with spirit to her. Not a contrived brat, one angling directly for punishment in that obnoxious way that’s almost like topping from the bottom. Those usually catch Ben’s eye, anyway. He likes to permanently cure them of that bad habit. And he can usually do it in a two hour session.” Matt stretches his arm over the back of the sofa and crosses his ankle on his knee. His long leg extends far enough under the coffee table that his dress shoe is only a couple inches from Kat’s boot.

“At that point in my life, what I was looking for when I chose a sub was one whose resistance would come to the surface under certain stimuli. That’s because she’s truly seeking a Master that can help her break down those things inside of her holding her back from true pleasure. The things she can’t break down by herself. When those walls are broached, her defensive reactions are subconscious, a simultaneous response of fear and a plea for them to be broken down. After you get past that, as you probably know”—he toasted her with the glass—“it’s just like a chocolate with a cream center. You find the real treasure after you sink your teeth past that coating.”

Kat nodded with an answering raise of her glass as she made a quick note in the book in her lap.

“In pursuing that kind of sub, I think all along I was practicing for the most difficult challenge of all, the woman who would be the sum of all of it. It’s almost a chicken or egg thing.” He grimaced. “I’m not into this esoteric crap like Jon is, but of course the way he explained it is going to come out of my mouth. Ben calls him a damn New Age virus. Anyhow, the question was this: Did Savannah attract me because that type of submissive is what pulls me in, and getting to know her personally made it that much easier to fall in love with her, set my sites on her? Was she the goal all along, even before I met her? In Jon’s view of things, she was where Fate was taking me, and so all the subs I enjoyed or challenged were preparing me to be the Master she most needed.”

He considered it, tapping his fingers on the sofa back. “I hate to give Jon fuel, but I think I have to say the latter. Because when she appeared at her father’s right hand during our very first business meeting, the cool, impersonal way she did everything, so tightly controlled, that sense of damage and need… I felt her dangerous, oblivious hunger for a Master wrapped up in that incredibly fragile, beautiful and intriguing package. It pulled me right to her. I knew then I’d found my heart.”

Kat couldn’t help but smile at him, a soft, understanding curve of lips when he declared his wife his heart.

Has thought of Savannah bent over your knee and pleading with you for release that you’ve kept her from for hours ever forced you from a meeting into your office to jerk off?

A brief pause, then Matt bursts out laughing, a warm, masculine sound that fills the office and strokes every inch of skin. His dark eyes twinkle at her, and Kat knows she’s broached some of the man’s normal reserve, a sign of trust that she suspects he rarely offers. “Mistress Kat, you have no shame. You’re as direct as a man.” He grimaced, though there was still laughter in his voice. “Though Dana, Peter’s fiancée, would say that comment typifies our sexist Neanderthal attitudes.” He shrugged. “She says we’re overprotective and treat women like porcelain. And I tell her she’s damn right about that. That’s a man’s job, to take care of the women in his life. I appreciate their strengths and intelligence, but that doesn’t make me overlook their vulnerabilities or my responsibilities for their care. I was raised that being head of the household means something. You don’t abdicate that to some moving target PC bullshit about treating women like men. They’re not. No more than we’re women.” He snorted. “Worrying about panty lines in your slacks, for instance. No offense to my tailor.”

He cocked a brow then. “Yes, I see that smile playing on your lips. You think I’m trying to get out of the question, and there’s not a chance in hell you’re going to let that happen.”

“You‘re right, not going to happen.” she agreed.

He tapped his forehead. “See? I can acknowledge that you are head-to-toe, a gorgeous, fuckable woman, and still entirely respect your intelligence. And persistence.” He gave her a charming smile. “All right, then. No, I have not ever done that. But I will be man enough to admit the only reason I haven’t is she meets me for lunch every day unless one of us is traveling. She understands my needs as much as I understand hers.”

He tilts his head toward his desk. “I brought her with me on my last trip here. Pushed her down on her stomach on that desk, slid her skirt up to her waist, one of those pretty, snug little tailored business skirts with the silk lining. Took the thong panties she was wearing down to her ankles and put my mouth on her cunt until she’d clawed scratches into the wood finish. I haven’t had them sanded out, and they won’t be.” His voice was husky, a bit rough, his mind obviously caught up in the memory.

“Sometimes when I’m sitting there during a conference call with the Baton Rouge office, I’ll run my fingers over them, get hard remembering. I might get hard two or three times in a morning or afternoon, imagining the things I’ll do to her, but that means when she comes to see me at lunch, or I go to her, or she walks into our house at the end of the day, we come together that much more intensely, the pleasure overwhelming enough to make it worth the wait. As you know, Mistress Kat,” he lifted a brow toward her, his lips quirking, “Doms understand better than anyone the rewards of waiting.”

And she did understand, as he said, better than most. The more he spoke, the more she understood why Matt had attracted her attention far more potently than the rest of the infamous management team at K&A. While all of them were wonderful, Matt had always stood out to her. That prickling sensation that suggested a perfect syncing of their thoughts traveled up her arms again, pleasantly as he continued.

He shifted back to that wry tone. “The other reason I haven’t jerked off in my office has to do with male pride. You’ve seen the men I work with. Every one of them would know why I excused myself, and the razzing I would take…” He rolled his eyes. “I could fire them all, but I love them too damn much. Plus, then Ben would ask for a jerk-off break every afternoon, like kindergarteners wanting their nap and cookies. I have to set a good example, you know.”

He rises from the couch during that last comment, and pauses at the desk, letting his fingers slide over that section Kat is sure shows the imprint of Savannah’s nails. “I’ve spanked her in her office, door closed, mouth gagged with her panties after she’s gotten them nice and soaked. She can taste her arousal as I take her to climax by teasing her clit between the strokes. I make her keep one of my wooden shoe brushes in her desk drawer. It’s one of the old fashioned ones, thick, with a smoothed polished finish handle. I use that, leaving these tantalizing red rectangle patterns on her pretty ass that I know she feels all day when she has her afternoon meetings. And sometimes I slide that polished handle inside of her, remind her of how my cock will go in there later.

“I can get crazy fucking hard just thinking about it. Her opening that drawer to get a paper clip or find a post-it pad. I know she’ll get wet in an instant, her breath short, because she sees the brush, her fingers slide over it. It’s the only thing I use it for now, marking her soft skin, sliding that thick handle into her wet cunt.” He cocks a brow. “So, in short, I might feel the desire to jerk off in my office, thinking all those things about her, but I’ll wait. Because I’d rather spill my seed inside of her, in the way that pleases us both the most.”

How old were you when first recognized your Dominant nature?

Matt lifts a shoulder, his eyes reflecting a memory that’s difficult and poignant at once. “My father…he recognized some of the signs, in the types of girls I was dating in junior high and high school. Damsels in distress, the ones who had a natural submission and didn’t know what it was, any more than I understood my own natural dominance.”

He gives a half chuckle. “I didn’t know shit… It’s very instinctual at that point, and of course you can get yourself messed up pretty fast, on both sides of that fence. He sat me down, started asking me some really uncomfortable questions. The things I thought about when I was with them, things I imagined doing, having them do…things that when I said them out loud in front of him…for about ten seconds, when it hung out there, I thought I was some sick psychopath and somehow my dad had found out. Then he told me about being a Master.

He told me the first priority is protecting her, the second is helping her find that point of surrender and release that takes you both to Nirvana, as Jon would say. I didn’t understand all of it then, but he drilled it in my head, made me repeat it, and…” He shook his head. “I guess if my mom had lived to see me into my teens, she might have been appalled, but for my seventeenth birthday, he smuggled me into a club. Not to participate, of course, but to watch, to teach me through observation. Several months later, he was dead.

“I guess it makes sense, that an undeniable compulsion would be genetic. I still get damned uncomfortable remembering that first conversation, as if I’m that kid again. I wish I had been less self-absorbed, enough to remember his expression, what was going on behind his eyes. If he was wondering if he was fucking crazy for trying to explain something so complex to a dumbass kid. I wish I’d had a better glimpse of the man behind the dad, though I guess I’ve learned through the years he was fucking great at both. Because he took the chance, I was a lot less lost than some people who go through their teen and college years, trying to figure out why they’re a certain way. That one extremely uncomfortable moment meant I had a lot fewer of them down the road. And of course, even more importantly, it’s made me the man Savannah needs.”

“What was your very first session with a submissive like?

“So I don’t have to revisit another extremely awkward moment,” he tips his glass at Kat, “I’ll assume you do NOT mean my highly clumsy explorations as a teen or college student. All my father’s wisdom helped, but experience is how you learn to use wisdom. A boy has to practice, after all.” He grimaced. “Okay, so my first session, the one I count, was outside a club. It was when I was twenty-four. I took a chance. I was at a business cocktail party, bored out of my mind with the bullshit. I was still gaining experience in that area as well.” A half chuckle.

“There was this woman who’d been checking me out, but every time I looked her way, she averted her eyes. But then I realized she wasn’t looking away, in the sense of not wanting to be caught staring. She was lowering her eyes. My dad had taught me the basics of looking for the signs, and I’m good at details. It just took me a while to modify my pacing and patience for the experience level of the woman herself. However, that night,” he gives Kat a sexy, resigned smile, “I was still in my impatient phase. I was out on the penthouse balcony, and she wandered there. When she saw me, she stopped, like she wasn’t sure what to do, so she gave me a nod, moved about ten feet away.

“I thought about it less than a second, then came up to her. When she turned to face me, I took a chance. I told her, in a gentle voice, to keep her gaze lowered. When I said that, she trembled. I was a foot away, and that first tremble…my cock reacted as if I’d slammed her up against the wall and shoved it right into her wet cunt, then and there. But that was a significant moment, because it was then I really started learning about the pleasure of denying myself, as well as her, building our pleasure together. How it’s an art form, getting so immersed in what unlocks her at all levels to me, to win a total surrender, down to the soul. Mastering her completely…” He shook his head. “I went with the basics. I told her I wanted her to take off her bra, hand it to me. I kept my body positioned so no one could see her, so I protected her modesty. She saw that, hesitated, but then she did it. I told her to take her panties off, hand them to me as well. She did.

“They’d started a presentation inside, and everyone was watching the speaker. A hundred people in that penthouse, their backs to us. If any of them had turned around…she was nervous, but I could feel how it would work, the energy. I knew no one was going to turn around, but even if they did, I would cover it. I could control the environment. I made her look up then, hold my gaze, kept her captured there. I told her I was going to touch her, and if I frightened her, she should tell me.

“As she held my gaze, I trailed my finger down her sternum, lightly brushed her nipples. They were hard as firm cranberries. I brought her up close to me, put my hand between us, under her skirt. I stroked her clit, teased her pussy until she was soaked and gasping. I told her when she was about to come she had to ask my permission. She did, and when she climaxed, I held her head against my chest to muffle the sounds. She clung to me, dependent on me, completely trusting me for that second. I’d never been so hard in my life. If anyone turned around, it looked as if I was simply holding her in a gentle embrace, unless they saw the way her one hand was digging into my arm. She left her lipstick prints on my shirt, the teeth marks beneath it that I saw later when I took the shirt off.

“In that moment of complete surrender, the aftermath, she whispered she wanted to come home with me, that she wanted to get on her knees, serve me however I wanted. I told her she didn’t know me, that it wasn’t safe to go off with a stranger alone like that, and if I ever heard of her doing that to pursue her submission, I’d wear her ass out. Then I cleaned her tears from the climax with my handkerchief, and told her I’d meet her at a club that week. I didn’t give myself any relief for three days, and when I saw her at the club, I put her on her knees, made her suck me off, then put her on the spanking bench.

I wore her ass out to underscore the lesson I’d told her on the balcony, showing her how helpless a much stronger guy could make her. It was a pleasure and a growth experience for both of us. I still remember her fondly. She eventually found her permanent Master. I went to their wedding, danced with her at the reception, and wished her all the best.

What’s the history of the boardroom? Whose idea was it, or how did it come to be?

“You mean, using it the way we use it?” He laughs. “Chalk it up to five Doms who work too much. We’ve had too many late night strategy sessions in that room, and one night, Ben—of course it would be Ben—said something to the effect of ‘You know, this would be a lot more fun if we had a sweet-assed sub hanging right over the table. One we could look at while we’re working. Put a vibrator in that tight ass and pretty pussy and watch her come on the smoking breaks we don’t take, because none of us smoke.’ Jon gets that look he gets, and starts sketching. Lucas starts figuring costs and financing for the renovation. Peter’s grinning his ass off even as he works out the operations timetable…”

He puts the whisky down then and rises, a restless, physical man who’s been sitting too long. He moves to the windows to look out at the darkening sky, his hands sliding in his slacks’ pockets. “It was pretty conceptual at first. But as always, it was Jon who understood the right timing and purpose for it. The night we were testing it was the night I was in the foulest mood of my life. I’d watched her controlled by her father, manipulated by her father; I’d watched her bury her father, and keep me at arms’ length. I was tired of waiting, and it felt like every submissive I’d ever Mastered, every challenge I’d overcome to understand what would help move a woman toward trust and self-confidence, the ability to give herself permission to let go, it was all for her. So that night, as they were testing it out, Jon stopped them, turned to me, and said: “Matt, tell us what you want.”

“Just like that. I looked back at him, at all of them, and said ‘I’m tired of dicking around. I’m going after her with the whole fucking arsenal.’ Peter tipped his head toward the table, and that suspension system, then looked around at all of them, and says ‘One arsenal, at your disposal.’

“And that set the tone. We don’t bring casual submissives into that board room. Only the woman we each want forever. I brought Savannah, Lucas brought Cass. Dana…” He smiled. “Because of her injuries, the mountain had to go to Mohammed, so to speak, but her time in that room came later, to our great mutual satisfaction.”

Kat smiled at him some, a slow curl of her lips on both sides. “Sounds to me like Jon was right. The timing was perfect. The idea realized came across on the very night you decided the wait was over. A sign.” She shrugged a little. “Sorry, got to agree with the man. A higher power was trying to tell you something.” She turned her eyes down to her notes before continuing.

What is one fantasy session that you’ve had about Savannah that you have yet to execute?

“Only one?” He flashes a wicked look, turning away from the window, moving to lean against his desk. “Her trust has increased a great deal, and I think there are things she’d like me to do to her, that she’s still a little shy about admitting. There’s an exclusive D/s club in the Caribbean, kind of a Sandals with Doms. I don’t share Savannah. Jon, Peter, Lucas and Ben…there are times, if it increases her pleasure, I’ll integrate them into some soft play with her, and we’ve had a couple memorable sessions sharing the same private room with Lucas and Cass. It turns her on, being my submissive in the company of other Doms and subs, though unless it’s one of my men or their women, she doesn’t want anyone else to touch her.” Dangerous heat entered his gaze. “Which is good, because that’s not likely to happen.”

“Anyhow, the deal at this Caribbean club is that the entire week, weekend, however long she goes, she has no responsibility except being my sub. The sub doesn’t wear any clothes; just a collar and any other toys or restraints the Master wants her to wear. There are all the usual things…lounging by the pool, volleyball, tiki hut, midnight movies on the resort lawn. But if I want her to suck me off while watching that movie, in the company of forty other people, that’s acceptable. At dinner, they stand behind their Master’s chair or kneel at their feet, all food and drink coming from the Master’s hand. And if I’m by the pool and, instead of having her lying naked in the lounge chair with me, I want to strap her to a cross with a vibrator and let others join me in watching her come over and over, I can.

“She’s been looking at the website online. That’s how I found out about her fantasy. She’s still pretty nervous about it. It’s a huge step for her, but one I can tell she really wants to do. We both have high powered jobs, and we work a lot of hours. For a few days she wants to immerse herself in the role she’s embraced, that she feels is her true self. She’s not sure she can trust herself, or me, enough, and that’s why she continues to hesitate. But I know she’s ready.” He straightens from the desk, comes back to the couch.

“I’ve already booked it for our wedding anniversary. I’ll tell her where we’re going on the plane, when I pull out the collar I’ve had custom made for her as part of her anniversary gift. It’s this delicate thing, like her, made of polished rose quartz and pure silver. I’ll put it on her and tell her that’s all she’ll be wearing for the week, that her clothes stay on the plane, since the resort has a private air strip.

He shrugs again, a motion Kat realizes he uses to convey some deeper emotions. “I admit, I don’t actually know how I’m going to handle it. We’re both kind of private, but when I got her to talk about it, she said, ‘You took all the risks to bring me to you, to win me over. I want to do something that tells you I’m all yours, by my own free will. In a place where it’s accepted, where it can be seen and witnessed by people who populate that world. Like another form of wedding.’ That stuff about the risks is just bullshit, because she was braver that night in our board room than I’ve ever seen anyone been. However, it’s the way she feels. Just talking about it made her tremble, made her wet, made her cry, all of it.”

“Sometimes in our efforts to protect and care, we forget that their pleasure is being the submissive that they know deep down we need,” Kat comments. “There’s a movie called ‘Riding in Cars with Boys’ that I always watch when it comes on. One of my favorite scenes is when Drew Barrymore is stoned out of her fucking mind with a friend, and because of the events leading up to her becoming a mother and wife at 15, and now that she’s stoned with her inhibitions lowered, she admits that sometimes she’s not sure if she really, REALLY loves her son…. You really have to see the movie to understand that but bear with me… Her friend then tells her, “Trust me Bev, you do love him. I just think that sometimes we love someone so much that we have to be numb to it, cause if we really felt how much we love it would kill us.”

An unnamable expression crossed Kat’s face, but was gone as quickly as it had arrived. “Good Dominants don’t give submissives the chance to be numb to anything. We open them up to who they really are, their deepest secrets, their darkest desires. So the way I see it is they are ones that have to feel just how deep their love goes. In the case of a submissive, that need to serve their Master/Mistress’ every wish, no matter what it is, is the only way they can keep that ever overflowing love from killing them. So… if you want my advice, give the trip a chance. You’ll forget all about the privacy issues once you see how easily I think Savannah would take to a venture like that. She wants to love and serve you, that‘s her true pleasure. You know that already.”

“Well said, Mistress Kat. I’ll remember that. Thank you.” And from his intent expression, he means it. He comes back to the sofa then, sitting down once more. “So that’s the answer to your question. My fantasy is giving her hers. That’s what my dad told me being a Dom is all about. And truth, every time I imagine her walking around in just that collar, in front of other Doms, allowed to look and envy but not touch…I get pretty hard myself, and things get all tight in my chest. So she found a fantasy I didn’t even know I had. But maybe that’s the thing. Your fantasies, like your relationship, can develop together.”

“I’m in complete agreement with you there too… Would you tell me about your wedding?

A rueful chuckle. “The weekend I took her over in that board room, I told her she would marry me that weekend, that I wasn’t giving her a chance to doubt herself or me. And that’s what we did. Ben helped with the paperwork, and I flew her down to Texas. We got married in the front room of my place on the Gulf, which has a cathedral ceiling and a wall of windows overlooking the water. She had only one request for the wedding—she wanted to be married at dawn, when the sun was rising, a symbolic new beginning. It was a simple wedding, but that was the most beautiful sunrise I’d ever seen, the sun turning her hair gold and her soft skin a rosy pink. It was quiet, just her and me. Lucas stood as my best man, and Jon, Ben and Peter were witnesses.”

His mouth tightens. “She didn’t have any friends close enough to be attendants, none that knew her well enough that she wanted them to be there. But she looked at me and repeated something I had said to her, that night in the board room. Over the past couple years leading up to that moment, when we had meetings with her company, no matter what the meeting was about, how at odds we’d be, she’d never bring reinforcements. She always came alone to us. I said, ‘You don’t want to share us. We think you consider us yours as well.’ We’re her family, the five of us, and that’s who she wanted there.

“After we shared a celebratory toast and the guys had gone, she surprised me again. I have a few horses on the property. That night at sunset, she wanted me to put her in front of me on one of them, and ride off toward that setting sun, like the end of a western romance. So I put her on the back of Roan, my blood bay, swung up behind her, and as the sun went down, we rode along the water’s edge. I think it was the first time in my life I saw her so relaxed, so…happy. Smiling so easily. It made me want to do whatever I had to do to keep her that way, all her life.

Is there anything you’ve done in your life that to this day you regret deeply? And if so, how would you do it differently if you could turn back the hands of time?

A definite shadow passed over his gaze then. “Yes,” he says tightly. “I met her five years before that night, through her father and Tennyson Industries. Geoffrey was a bastard, an emotional abuser who should have been put down. I didn’t know the depth of it until she let me into her heart. That was my mistake, not getting there sooner.

“While he was alive, she was so closed off, out of range. He was a tremendous, controlling influence in her life, but she was a great business woman, obviously dedicated to the success of TI. She intrigued me, because I’d had the same drive when my father died, an all-encompassing need to see it succeed, immersing myself in that to the complete exclusion of a personal life. All the vibes she sent out said clearly she wasn’t ready to have anyone in her life. I decided to respect that, understanding the need to achieve that success.”

He swears suddenly, creatively, and rises to go back to the windows. “It was obvious, but it was bullshit. When Geoffrey got sick, we started to spend more time with her. I started to see other things, but then she was overwhelmed by taking over his role while he was still alive. She needed professional colleagues she could rely upon to help her through that, and introducing romance would have undermined her trust.” He sighed. “So basically, it was a case of me being who she needed me to be, but it was never the right timing for the role I really wanted to be for her.”

“By the time he died, there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that she was the one for me. But those next two years…I started finding out just how fragile she truly was. So armored, that if I’d chosen a direct attack at that point, she would have cracked. I would have destroyed her. So we spent two years thinning the armor, teaching her to trust us in subtle ways she didn’t even consciously recognize. It was fucking torment. Jon has always said it was necessary, and he and the others helped keep me sane during that time, but even now…”

Kat watched as his hand closed into a fist on his leg and he turned dark, fierce eyes at her. “And?” she prompted him gently, in a soft voice while inwardly she waited, hoping he would take the out that HE so desperately seemed to need, and that she was offering him, and just vent everything that he’d bottled up inside his head. This is what she’d known when she’d first seen him. This is what Ben had meant when he‘d said “Give him hell, Kat. He needs it.”

“If I had to do it over again, go back those five years, I would have done something illegal. I would have tossed her over my shoulder, threatened to shoot Geoffrey if he came after us, and taken her to my ranch. I’d have stayed there as long as it took to break down and smash every shield his cruelty welded over her. I would have taught her to trust me through a scorched earth policy, because now I know her, I know what was beneath all that. So now I know it would have worked. And every moment she felt achingly alone, every moment she drew more deeply into herself and away from the idea that she had any value as a human being…she never would have had to feel that, at least not for so long.”

He closed his eyes as Kat rose and went to him at the desk. She placed a comforting hand on his knee, not brushing this time but lightly laying her fingers there for reassurance as he shook his head, his shoulders easing a bit. “Yeah, maybe it’s Monday morning quarterbacking, since I truly didn’t know it then and couldn’t risk it. But when I find out things about her, things she didn’t have, it makes me wish I could turn back time, go back and use everything I know about her now to make it happen faster for her. That’s what I most regret, as crazy as it might be.”

She shook her head, “Not crazy at all.” She said it simply, not offering anything more vocally as she handed him his glass of whiskey. Matt was anything but frail, but she knew that sometimes even Dominants needed someone to be there for them. To listen to them. Silently she wondered if he’d ever voiced this to his wife. Probably not. His soul objective was to take care of HER every need.

After a moment to let the atmosphere settle, and they returned to the couch she moved to the few questions left. “Do you and Savannah ever hope to have children one day? Have you even discussed the possibility?”

“Yes. The very first time I was inside of her, I didn’t use anything for protection, for myriad complicated reasons I don’t regret in the least. She didn’t conceive, though, obviously, and since then, we’ve had time to discuss it. We both want children. But I’ve told her now I want to wait a year. Frankly,” he almost looks sheepish, as if Savannah has teased him about his next words, “I want to spoil her. I know she’s thirty-five, so we need to make the decision sooner than later, but I want to give her at least a year where she’s the center of my attention, totally cherished and loved the way she should have been as a child. She says she doesn’t need that, but maybe I do.

“When we do reach the point of having our own children, we also want to adopt. Along with the others – Jon, Peter, Lucas, Ben - I’m very aware of what it’s like to live without parents, to have that loss of security, and she agrees. So we think it likely we’ll have one of our own, and then adopt a sibling for our child.” He gives a softer smile. “She’ll be a wonderful mother, firm and loving at once. She’ll give a girl confidence in herself and a boy the deep-seated desire to find a woman as wonderful as her. He’ll also know whomever he chooses as his woman should be cherished. I’ll make sure of it.”

From what I can tell there has always been the five of you. You, Lucas, Peter, Jon and Ben. Will there ever be room for new hires here at K&A? And by hires you know I’m not talking about people like a temp to fill in for Janet when the day comes that you pinch her last nerve and she stomps out of here calling you every name in book in the midst of telling you you’ll be paying for the vacation time she’s now taking simply because she’s trying to avoid strangling you. Will there ever be a new Knight seated in the boardroom?

Matt laughs at that. “After Savannah, I think Janet is the most essential, vital female in my life. And Savannah has teased me, saying that if I ever had to choose between her or Janet, I would probably hesitate, since finding an admin as valuable as Janet might be more difficult than finding my soulmate.

“As to your question, my bond with Peter, Jon, Lucas and Ben has been formed over a number of years, through sharing the loss of parents, and working together to make this company successful. These men are my brethren, in too many important ways to count. As such, it’s not likely there’ll be any hires that will come into this inner circle and its unique…dynamic. That was an organic occurrence, not a deliberate one. And the women who are now part of that family…we share with each other, in ways clearly understood. None of us have a desire to take that outside our circle, and I expect that won’t change, even when Ben and Jon find their ultimate match.

“However, we have colleagues who share our viewpoints on certain key things, particularly about women. I think it very likely we would help such men if ever they needed our assistance…in any ways we’re particularly suited to assist.”

“Hmmmm…intriguing.” Kat shifted a page in her lap as well as uncrossing her legs and then crossing them again in the opposite direction. “On our forum, there are lots of people eager to know some details about you. You’re the most reserved, so of course the less you say the more people want to know. So we held a contest, and our winner, Lady Heather, has a question for you.” She awaited his nod of approval before reading the question to him as it had been submitted. “Matt, I found your story very powerful. There is one moment in particular that has always had me wondering. After everything you went through to bring about Savannah's surrender, I want to know what went through your mind and what you felt when she said "So you don't want me?". I remember anger was what Savannah saw...but was it anger?

Matt sighed. “Tell Lady Heather she’s a very insightful person, because her question picks up on the most pivotal moment of that night. Yes, I felt absolute, get-my-hands-around-somebody’s-neck-and-fucking-choke-them fury. Not toward Savannah. Not in the slightest. It was toward her father, for making her doubt herself so deeply, to think that any man in that room at that very moment wouldn’t have done anything in the world for her happiness… It was fury at myself as well, and an accumulation of all my frustrations. The waiting to make the move toward her, biding my time for so long. My inability to help her so often because of that. The fact that every single minute of that night was about showing her how devoted I was to her, what lengths I’d go to in order to win her heart, her soul, body and mind. And yet, because of who she was, what she’d been through, I’d still managed to miss the target. Or so I thought.

In hindsight, I realized I hadn’t failed. I’d given her everything I could give her, the best of all of us, we’d cracked her open, and what she found there was one singular need. She needed to know that I considered her mine, exclusively. Despite all the stimulation, the spiral of emotional and physical sensations, she’d come back to me. I am not by nature a humble man.” He snorts at that. “Early in our relationship, before that night, Savannah told me—in that sweet, sarcastic voice that always made me want to yank her over my lap and paddle her—that she had her legal department petitioning Webster’s to replace the current dictionary definition of arrogance with my name.”

Now his mouth softened. “But when I realized that above everything else, she needed to know I alone was personally claiming her for my own, she nearly sent me to my knees. I’d been so focused on winning her, but when I recognized she was in my grasp, just waiting for me to close my fingers over her soul and keep it safe and loved forever, I was fucking terrified and so grateful at the same time, I could barely speak. So all that was happening, spinning around that moment together. I led with anger, and finished with gratitude.

I’ve been grilling you for the better part of 2 hours here, and you’ve answered all my questions, even the ones I could tell you weren’t exactly comfortable speaking of. If you could ask ME one question, what would it be?

Matt eyes her, considering.  “You made an intriguing statement earlier, when I told you your eyes had probably brought more than one man to his knees. You said “They seem to intrigue enough, but it’s only when they bring my cubs to their knees that I can truly appreciate them.” Would you like to explain what that means, and, if it’s related, maybe explain why topping a Master intrigues you?”

She smiled some, knowing she’d walked right into this. Silently she wondered if it was a case of losing her touch or… Did she subconsciously trust him enough to be as open with him as he’d been with her the last couple hours? A moment’s thought on that and the latter made the most sense, if she was being completely honest with herself. She considered him for a long moment, those dark scrutinizing eyes, the small signs of strain around the corners of his lips that suggested he was still cooling his thoughts after her intrusive personal questions. There was no doubt in her mind that he’d deliberately touched on this subject in retaliation to her questions. Tit for tat. It made her smile to herself. She liked to spar against someone like him, someone strong in mind and who could dish the shit as well as take it. Matt definitely fit the profile.

Giving herself one extra moment to gather some courage and take a breath, she reached for the silver rims of her glasses and slowly pulled them off. Meeting his dark gaze head on for the first time. “Yes, the two tie in with one another somewhat…” She knew emotions passed through her naked stare quickly, from the answering flicker in his gaze. Dozens of them, some rooted many years in the past and some so profound, the emotional scarring left behind was disturbingly obvious. “The truth is I’m already topping two Masters. Two men somewhat like yourself, which could explain why you attracted me first. To anyone but me my cubs have always come across as Dominants. Before me, they were both under a seasoned Master’s watchful eye, honing their Dominance skills, learning about that sweet Nirvana you mentioned as the ideal vacation for a submissive. That Master is now a dear friend of mine.

“At some point in both their lives they started to dabble into the submissive roles. Maybe because they have the same glitch in their hardwiring as I do; maybe it’s because after years of being in control of every single miniscule thing, they needed the break from it. I’m not sure. Their jobs are very intense, which does funny things to the mind. Anyways… Much like you, I’ve taken submissives before and enjoyed it thoroughly, but I never wanted to keep a single one of them. Not until I met Jake and Dave. You’ve already pointed out that my eyes have probably brought more than one man, or submissive, to his knees, and not to brag, but you’re correct. But when these eyes brought two Masters to their knees”—she voluntarily shook her head while her body did the same involuntarily with the memories—“it was the charge that I’d been searching for ever since I was allowed to come to terms with who I am inside. It’s THEIR willingness to serve me that makes me appreciate what my eyes can do. Most others see them, and these”—holding up one hand, Kat indicates the animal-like claws on the end of each finger—“and get hard thinking about the punishment that could await them. Those types of subs excite me if I’ve had too much to drink or a really bad day on the job, but for everyday life they bore me to tears.”

Despite her earlier declaration about alcohol, she rose from her seat. However, before she could do so, Matt, shook his head, touched her knee lightly and rose. He poured her a shot’s worth of dark rum and brought it to her. When her fingers closed over it, he closed his other hand over hers briefly, a reassuring touch. No words, just the touch and a look, before he released her and sat back down to continue listening to her.

Downing the shot, she let the jolt burn its way down her throat before continuing. “Jake and Dave serve the glitch in my hardwiring because they run on both sides of the fence. Or at least they are capable of doing so. I call it the glitch because if I hadn’t been forced to ignore the Mistress in me for the better part of 5 years I don’t believe my thinking would be as off kilter as it is.

“I had serious family shit happening. The kind that all happens at once. A father with terminal cancer, a brother in an accident that paralyzed him. Stuff where I felt like a helpless fucking bitch because there wasn’t a damn thing I could do to stop it all from happening or make it easier.” Her fingers squeeze tighter, nails digging into the glass with a pressure nearly enough to chip it. “My life wasn’t my own anymore, all the control that I so desperately wanted, needed, was all taken away. Going against my grain made me a very nasty person. I was withdrawn, snapped at anyone who looked at me cross eyed or funny. Because of my family’s needs, everything, from when I was allowed to sleep, to when I was allowed to leave my house, was decided for me. I got no choices unless I wanted to hear my mother tell me what a rotten, selfish person I was for wanting something for myself. I had no boyfriend, no chance at college, no real job that I loved. All of that and every other ambition for life I ever had was taken away.

“Then I finally started to break away some, just because I couldn’t take the mental stress anymore. Shortly after that I engaged in my first session with a sub. When I left that night I felt better and more in control than I’d had in a long time. A friend hooked me up with a Master of high standing and slowly I started to get some things back I’d lost. But years of going through what I did leave their marks, and mine is the glitch.” She looked up at him then, no tears but hints of them were there by way of the extra shine and shimmer liquefied in the green orbs. “Topping Masters gives me a sense of control over something that is out of control. Or out of MY control. Kinda like how my life was for those years. That’s why Jake and Dave are such a perfect match for me as submissives. My fiancé, Kail, he fills the rest. Jake and Dave give love and the correct outlets, so my brain doesn’t overload and turn against me. There is a strong bond between the three of us, unlike anything I’ve ever known. The only thing stronger than that in my life is my connection to Kail. Much like yours with Savannah.”

Matt sat silently for a moment, then reached over, poured himself another whiskey and her another shot. When Kat would have protested, he shook his head. “I’ll drive you back to the Absinthe if you’re too tipsy.” He raised his glass to her. “To finding the right connection. It may not entirely heal the bad shit, but it helps us climb out of it.”

She nodded as she hooked her sunglasses in the low dip of her blouse and touched the tip of her glass to his. “A-fucking-men to that.” She downed the shot, just as her cell phone started to sound. Turning around to her LT case, she withdrew the slim phone and opened it up to a text message from Jaime. “Well, it looks like you’re going to be going to the Absinthe house, regardless of my condition.” She looked up at him and smiled. “This text from my techy partner in crime says that Savannah is with them. The Femmes called her after they saw you on the video feed speaking to her on the phone just before our interview began. They invited her out to join in on the fun. She’s waiting on you there.”

Matt, obviously surprised but also pleased, gives her a nod and rises. “Perhaps we’ll spend some time with you and the ladies tonight before we return home. I’m sure Savannah would enjoy getting to know you better, and it’s been awhile since we’ve enjoyed New Orleans’ night life.”

Kat slid her notebook and phone back into the LT case. Zipping it up, she slung the thick strap over her shoulder, and picked up the car keys, holding them out to him. “Sounds like a great plan. This city of yours throws some spectacular Halloween parties. Shall we?” When he held out his hand to take them, palm up, she set them there and curled her fingers around the thick of his hand, sandwiching the keys between them. “I know you’re a busy man, but thank you for taking the time to do this. It’s been a true pleasure.”

“As Jon said so well, the pleasure has been all mine, Mistress Kat.” He paused, studying her face. “I like you better without the glasses. There’s no reason to hide such remarkable strength and force of will. Plus, I believe your questions proved that sometimes allowing what’s inside us to show makes us even stronger as individuals, more able to be who we need to be, for ourselves and those who count upon our love.”

On that note, he gave her a smile, gestured her forward as they crossed the office and he opened the door for her. While Kat couldn’t disagree with him in theory, those glasses would have come in very handy at this moment. Instead, she carefully kept her eyes away from his scrutiny as she said her next words.

“Oh…one other thing. Earlier in the interview, you let me know that you were well aware of my “interest” in your ass. You don’t have to be Dominant or submissive to know a spankable behind when you see one. You just have to be a female with deep appreciation of the male form.”

Before he could respond to that, and without warning, thought or indication that it was coming, her palm made contact with his ass cheek in a stinging slap. The lovely sound had barely died out when a series of ’oh my gods’ and uncontrollable laughter sounded over her ear piece. “Ooooo, damn, I knew it. Solid enough to bounce quarters on and eat breakfast off of.” The sound of the slap had barely died out when a series of ’oh my gods’ and uncontrollable laughter sounded over her ear piece.

Smiling that ‘I’m completely irrepressible’ smile at him, she darted out the door. She heard Matt’s snort, followed by a sensual, ominous threat.

“You won’t be able to run far, Mistress Kat. I have the car keys.”

* * * * *

Back at the Absinthe…

“Can’t wait to see the security footage from the parking garage,” Lucas laughed as he closed the laptop.

“You think she’ll outrun him in those sexy heels?” Peter snorted. “I can’t wait to tell Dana. She’ll laugh her ass off when she and Cass get here.” He checks his watch. “Which should be really soon. Max is a hell of a limo driver. Can’t ever figure out how he makes the kind of time he does in Baton Rouge traffic.”

“Max?” Lucas rolled his eyes. “How about Ben? He’s headed back here about seven tonight, which means he’ll probably get here at seven fifteen in that Roadster of his. Hey…” His eyes gleam. “We should dress one of you Femmes up as a cop and have you pull his ass over, cuff him and let you have your way with him. I think we could arrange for that pretty quickly. I have a friend who’s on the force down here…”

With a wicked grin Sandy looked at Lucas. “I think that would be perfect. It’s time for that Irish Panther to have a little bit of his own medicine,” she said, with a naughty hint to her voice as the rest of the group turned their eyes toward her. “What? You know every last one of you would enjoy hearing and or seeing. We all love him.”

Jaime flashed a sinister smile. “Now, wouldn’t that be an interesting turn of events? Think about it. How many of our members would love to see the tables turned on Ben? Not to mention, the thought of forcing him against the hood of a car and having him spread those manly thighs for the frisk of his life, would be hilarious.” She laughed at the thought and nudged Sandy. “I might just apply a latex glove and pull that material tight to snap against my wrist just so see his reaction.” She paused briefly, lost in temptation.

 

Savannah shakes her head at all of them, a slight smile on her lips. During the feed, the Femmes had noted her eyes had darkened during Matt’s discussion of his “one regret”. She’d even leaned forward, oblivious to the others watching, to lay her fingers on the screen, touching her husband’s face, obviously moved by his emotion on her behalf. Now, though, she gave Peter and Lucas an exasperated look, then shifted her attention to the Femmes. “I can tell we’ll all likely be arrested before dawn. So, before that happens, I’m going to go wait to meet Matt at the car. I want a few minutes with him. And I want to give Mistress Kat my sincere thanks.”

Rising, she found herself instantly surrounded by the Femmes that had come together from all parts of the globe to be in NOLA for this interview. All of them gave her friendly hugs and kind words, all of them thanking her for coming to join them for drinks and a night of fun on the town. Afterward she closed her hand on Lucas’s shoulder when he would have risen. “No escort needed. Stay and enjoy the company of these lovely ladies.” Nodding to them all, she added, “I agree with Matt. The pleasure is all ours. Thank you for this. It means more than you can possibly know.”

Giving them another nod, she slipped around the corner of the open air, well-known pirate bar. Lucas rises almost immediately after she departs, her request notwithstanding. Exchanging a look with Peter, he slides out after her.

Peter shrugs at the Femmes’ amused looks. “Dana can call us sexist Neanderthals, and the gossip columnists can call us Knights of the Board Room. Doesn’t really matter. We won’t stop being what we know we need to be, for the women who mean everything to us. That’s just the way it is.”

Sandy turned sweet, dark eyes at him. “Peter, I wish the mold was not broken after you guys were made. These ladies are very lucky to have your love and loyalty.”

Jaime shook her head. “Well I want to know what Kat is calling them after her little stunt with Matt. More importantly, I would pay good money to have a good look at that handprint welt on his right cheek.”

Peter grins then. “Where’s that Fuzzy Navel I was promised? I once drank about fourteen of these shots out of a beautiful stripper’s belly button, down at a bar in Jacksonville—before I was engaged, of course. Talk about a night where we almost got arrested…” His storm-gray eyes get a wicked light in them, his lips curving. “I’ll demonstrate the technique once Dana gets here. Then, once Ben arrives, he might ask for volunteers to try it out himself…”

Blushing profusely, Sandy looked around. “Ben might be worked up, and his volunteer is fantasizing about it now.”

“Sure, Fuzzy Navels are fantastic, but Naked Navels are even better.” Jaime handed Peter a glass containing the chilled beverage. “Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Cheers, baby.” She touched her glass to his and winked an espresso-colored eye in his direction, then threw back her own drink.

Marilyn, Sandy and the dozen other women who proudly bore the title of ‘Femme Fatales of Atlantis’ all held up their glasses. “CHEERS ALL AROUND AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN!”


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