Robin wants to be a slave in the underground world of the Marketplace. She falls under the tutelage of the infamous trainer Chris Parker and spends an intense few weeks with him. Little does she know that her adventures as a slave are just beginning, taking her from one coast to the other, into the whirlwind party world of a California gay couple and their house full of slave boys.
The ebook edition also contains an all-new, never before published story “That’s Harsh!” The story tells the tale of what happens when Robin’s masters decide to throw an all-male party. What will they do with their one female slave? Give her the weekend off? Not likely!
“A lot of thought on the topic of submission went into this novel, and it struck some very strong chords with folks who can find themselves in the protagonist… well worth reading!”–Blowfish
And now, the entirety of Chapter One for your reading pleasure:
Chapter One of The Slave, by Laura Antoniou
New York City, Autumn
The traffic in the streets below the hotel echoed upward, pushing through the window, which was cracked open for fresh air. The city was restless; the pulse of the weekend had reached its frenzy. The customized horn of a wedding limousine blared out the identity of the newlyweds that the dark-haired woman had passed in the lobby. The sound made her want to jump, but she held herself still with practiced tension.
The man sitting in the high-backed chair paid no attention to the tacky sound of the horn, or to her for that matter. His eyes were busy scanning the papers in front of him, turning them over in patient, careful movements that didn’t betray the slightest interest in their contents.
The urge to speak, to cough, to shift her body into a more relaxed position, to pour a glass of water from the sweating pitcher on the room service tray, all hit Robin at once. She had been standing still since she handed the file to him; he didn’t seem to notice. She pushed all the thoughts aside with an almost angry strength. I will be patient,she chanted inwardly. I am patience.
“Why don’t you make yourself comfortable?” His voice was a rough tenor, a singer after a grueling concert, a student at four a.m. It was also loud; it broke the silence and Robin’s efforts to be calm.
“Please,” Robin said. Her own voice shook, almost imperceptibly. When the man looked up, she swallowed hard and continued, “I’m unsure of the proper courtesy to show you, sir.”
He nodded. “Very nice. Why don’t you sit down on the couch for now? It’s already been a long night.”
Robin nodded and sat, smoothing her skirt neatly down her lap. Sitting made it easier to relax into a more proper attitude. She took a long, softly casual look at her inquisitor.
He was older than she, but had the kind of face that refused to betray its years. His short, black hair was very thick, and showed a slight tendency to curl, but was trimmed back so severely that Robin knew he would get it cut again soon. A sparse mustache and the vaguest of five o’clock shadows gave him a scholarly look, or, as she remembered in the dim light of the bar last night, the look of a terrorist. He wore tinted glasses in heavy steel frames. Today, he was dressed in a crisply clean, long-sleeved shirt and a muted tie. His jacket was draped across the arm of the other chair in the sitting room.
There was no sign of the leather jacket he had been wearing last night.
He finished with the papers and stowed them neatly back into their folder. Then he sat in silence, until Robin began to imagine that she could hear the swishing sound of the second hand on her watch. The silence was as oppressive as any heavy hand she had ever felt. She wanted to bend to it. For a brief moment, to her horror, a flush of shame and thrill passed over her, as clear to her interviewer as the strident horns of the taxis below.
The corner of his mouth rose in a twitch of a smile.
“You’re very good,” he said, leaning over to retrieve his jacket. “Tell me what your instinct was telling you to do.”
Robin’s mouth went dry. She licked her lips and coughed a little to clear her throat. “I wanted to kneel,” she whispered.
“I know that. But there’s more.” He pulled a cigarette box from one pocket and snapped it open.
“I wanted to make obeisance at your feet.” Robin’s voice was still at a whisper. Her blush fairly glowed.
“Show me how you were trained to do that,” the man said, leaning back into his chair.
Robin rose, quickly but without any jerky movements. In two steps, she was in front of him, but still outside of arm’s reach. With grace, she knelt, lowering her body to the carpet, and then continued the movement seamlessly until her forehead brushed the fibers. She could smell the chemical scent of the cleaners. It struggled with the richer scent of the well worn, polished leather boots now within her reach. She held perfectly still.
“You may,” came the voice from above. The man sounded faint, his tones overrun by the pounding in Robin’s ears. She raised her head a few inches and placed one careful, soft kiss on each boot, firm enough to let him feel her presence, light enough not to leave the faintest smudge of her lips. Then, she retreated back and lowered her head again.
“Very nice,” the man repeated. “Please seat yourself again.”
She rose up to her knees and looked at him, her eyes meeting his. “Thank you.”
“Oh, you’re quite welcome.” As she sat down again, he lit a cigarette. “Do you smoke?”
“That’s good. You would have to quit, you know.”
Robin leaned forward, her heart pounding. “Does that mean that you’re accepting me?”
“Yes. Your records are acceptable, your spotter is well known to me, and your behavior is impeccable. I just wanted you to realize that when you enter the Marketplace, you are not permitted to retain any addictions.” He smiled suddenly. “Except of course, for the obvious one.”
She smiled back despite the echoes of panic which resounded in her. “The addiction to submission?”
“To being owned, yes. That’s a prerequisite. We weren’t formally introduced last night. I am Chris Parker.”
“Thank you,” Robin said politely. “I’m sure you know all about me now.”
“What, this?” He waved his hand over the folder. “No, that doesn’t tell me much about you. It tells me how you’ve experienced some minor forms of service, which is helpful, but it couldn’t possibly tell me anything about how genuine your devotion is, or how serious you are about a potential commitment, or how profound your need for this kind of life is. Those things I can only learn from you. I will need to test you some more, and to train you in the specific areas of behavior and service that I require any client of mine to possess before I present them for sale.”
Client! Robin swallowed hard. When they called me a slave, I wasn’t, and now that I am, they don’t call me one. She resisted the urge to giggle, but her shoulders relaxed just a little bit more.
“I would love to have the opportunity to show you my dedication.” Robin’s eyes danced. “These are things I’ve been thinking about for years. No, not only thinking about, but dreaming about. Trying to do, in some way or another. This is something I’ve wanted all my life.”
“All your life? That’s impressive. Tell me.” Chris flicked ashes into the glass ashtray beside him.
“Everything? From the beginning?”
“That’s the traditional place to start a story.”
Robin frowned for a moment, considering. Where do I begin, she wondered. What is the real beginning here? When I was little? Those games we used to play? Or when I first realized what power the fantasies had? Or with Maria? Or Troy?
“I’m sorry,” she said softly, suddenly aware of time moving around her. Parker hadn’t moved an inch, except to bring the cigarette up and down again.
“I’m so excited… so, relieved, I guess. But scared, too. This is turning out to be harder than I thought.”
“I won’t tell you to relax,” Chris said with a slight smile. “But you shouldn’t be trying to impress me with your story. I’m much more interested in the things you remember as important.”
“But I remember everything,” Robin laughed. “And I’m not sure what’s important. I mean… it all was. And… and… nothing was.” She took a deep breath, trying to remain calm. “I’m sorry. Now that I have a real chance, suddenly I’m nervous.”
“Naturally. It’s all right to be nervous.” Chris ground the stub of his cigarette into the glass, twisting it down until the last sliver of smoke vanished. “Tell me about your first sexual experience as an adult, if that makes it simpler.”
Robin nodded gratefully. “That’s easy. But you’ll laugh.” When Chris remained silent, she blushed again and lowered her head. Everything depends on this interview, she reminded herself. He’s accepted me for now, but I can still mess things up. I have to be perfect.
“I was at college,” she began.
* * * *