The MasterBy: Tara Sue Me
“Thank you.” He was humbled with the small measure of trust her action showed. “I’m going to trace your palm with a finger from my other hand.”
He kept his gaze locked on hers as he brought his other hand to the top of the table. Ever so slowly, he dragged a finger across the base of her thumb. She sucked in a breath and looked over his shoulder to the wall behind him. He was pleased his touch affected her so.
His finger swept the other way. “I need you to understand I will always do what I say I’ll do, but nothing more.”
“What’s your safe word, Sasha?”
She had no trouble finding her tongue when it came to safe words. “Green for more. Yellow to slow down. Red to stop.”
“Good, nice and easy.” His finger continued stroking her palm. “During your retraining, I will never take away your ability to speak. I know Nathaniel had you fill out a checklist recently, but I’m going to have you complete another one. You should know, even if you don’t mark gags as a hard limit, they aren’t something I’m going to use on you.” He smiled. “Consider it one of my hard limits.”
Her head snapped back so she could look at him. Interesting. So she was surprised at that particular hard limit. He wondered why it came as a surprise to her that he wouldn’t use a gag. Frankly, he wasn’t sure if she’d ever be at the point where she’d be comfortable playing with gags again.
He hoped his honesty in both how and when he would touch her as well as his insistence on not using gags would be a step closer toward gaining her trust. He wanted her to understand that though he might have a reputation as a bastard in the playroom, he wasn’t heartless.
“Thank you,” she finally whispered to him.
“A Dominant must have hard limits just like a submissive does. I’m not comfortable using a gag on you. What if you panicked, became so scared you forgot your safe signal? Putting a gag on you would serve no purpose and has the potential to harm you further. I won’t do it.”
She nodded, glanced to the table, and took a deep breath. He waited. He could tell she was struggling with whatever was going on inside her head.
But he was pleased she didn’t whisper when she finally spoke. “I know you said you’d have me fill out a checklist, but there’s one thing I feel I should bring up now.”
He still held her left hand, but she clenched her right one into a fist. “No matter what we do, my shirt stays on. I don’t want to be topless.”
He continued drawing circles on her palm while thinking over what she’d requested. She felt strongly about keeping her shirt on, and it was difficult for her to bring it up. He tried not to envision the scars that would likely be on her back. He needed to tread carefully. “An odd request. One that will limit breast play, an activity I happen to enjoy.”
“I enjoy it, too. My need to keep a shirt on has nothing to do with my breasts.”
“No.” She squirmed slightly in her seat. “It’s about my back. After Peter, I can’t—it’s not—I don’t go topless. Ever.”
She held his gaze while she spoke, as if wanting him to see how serious she was. He had a feeling this wasn’t a point she was willing to negotiate.
“I see,” he finally said. “Very well, your shirt will remain on at all times. It will be up to you to let me know if you ever change your mind.”
She sighed in relief. “Thank you.”
“I can tell it’s a matter of importance to you.” He looked down to where her hand now had a death grip on the finger that had been stroking her palm. “Otherwise, there would be blood flowing to my left fingers.”
“Oh,” she gasped and released her hold on him. “Sorry.”
He shook his head. “That admission wasn’t easy for you. I’m pleased you trusted me enough to share.” Begrudgingly, he let go of her hand. “Which leads me to the next item. I’ve arranged for you to meet with Abby West once a week. I think you’ll find it beneficial to talk with her.”