Read Only Human Online

Authors: Candace Blevins

Tags: #Fiction, #Fantasy, #Urban, #Erotica, #Bdsm

Only Human (5 page)

BOOK: Only Human
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Five or ten minutes later I heard my daughter’s voice, and I stopped what I was doing to watch her sing and dance around the stage. When her piece was over, the gentleman beside me said, “That may be one of the best illustrations of a mother’s love I’ve ever seen.”

“Excuse me?”

“I don’t have to ask if she’s your daughter, I could see it in your eyes. Only a mother looks at a child in that manner.”

“And you are?”

“How barbaric of me. I am Abbott Hamilton.”

I don’t like giving out my last name to strangers, but all he’d have to do would be to look at a program to get our last name. So I nodded politely and said, “Kirsten O’Shea. Do you have a child in the play?”

“Heavens, no.” His smile looked both relieved and sad. “I am a benefactor of the theater and I enjoy watching the plays come to life.” His speech was proper, with each word enunciated perfectly, but not annoyingly so.

“So this is like a hobby for you? I’m here quite a bit and I don’t recall seeing you around.”

“My time is generally spent in the adult theater, but I occasionally come to the children’s theater to watch. Your daughter is in
as well, is she not?”


“You and her father must be very proud.”

He was fishing for information I didn’t want to give. I’d adopted Lauren as a single mother, so there was a biological father out there somewhere, but no legal father. Plus, my daughter doesn’t like for me to talk about her story with strangers.

I was about to say, “Yes, I’m very proud of her,” when Mister Hamilton gracefully moved us beyond my few seconds of silence to say, “I’m sorry to make presumptions. If her father is no longer around and I’ve brought you grief, I am sorry.”

I smiled. “No need to apologize, there’s no grief. I’m very proud of my daughter, but my pride isn’t so much for her grace or her beauty, or even her intelligence — my pride is because she’s a kind and generous soul who cares about the feelings of others. The rest is just a bonus.”

Something about him set my off radar and made me cautious, and yet he seemed to project vibes intended to make me feel safe in his presence. I checked my shields almost constantly, but no one tried to probe them.

“What a wise mother you are,” he said, his face the perfect mixture of polite and friendly. “I am intrigued. I’ll be at the final showing of
Saturday night, would you like to join me in my box?”

The last weekend was always a big kick for the kids, as they got to perform in the big theater instead of the children’s theater. Since he was inviting me to sit in one of the boxes only available to generous benefactors, he must’ve been telling the truth about that part, at least. If he’d asked me to do anything else I’d have said no; however, this seemed safe enough. My parents and Xiaolan would be in the audience in regular seats, Lauren would be on stage, and I’d be in a big fancy box watching the show. I’d ask
what could go wrong
, but I’ve learned not to.

“That is most kind of you Mr. Hamilton,” I told him, for some reason feeling the need to copy his almost-formal speech. “I would be honored to join you.”

“You’ll probably arrive early to bring your daughter and get her ready. If I see you before the ushers arrive I’ll come get you, otherwise just tell them your name and they will bring you to me, Miss Kirsten O’Shea.”

Lauren skipped up the aisle to us, two-stepped down the row in front of us, put her knees in the seat in front of me, and looped her arms on the back of the seat before saying, “I’m hungry.”

Laughing, I said, “Of course you are, you barely picked at your dinner. I have a banana in my purse but you can’t eat it in here. Are they done with you, or did they just give you five minutes?”

She wrinkled her nose. “Five minutes. Do you have some water?”

I handed her a stainless sport bottle and told her she could eat the banana on the way home. She guzzled the water, handed the bottle back to me, told me she loved me, and took off for the stage again.

“She looks like she’s twelve or thirteen close up, but comports herself on stage better than most young adults. I have no idea how old she is.”

“Lauren just turned sixteen, but I haven’t turned her loose to drive downtown alone yet. Before I was a mom I heard about the curse of having a beautiful daughter and thought it was silly. Now, I understand it. When I was growing up, my dad was usually cleaning his guns on the living room floor when my dates picked me up. I’m thinking of taking up a similar practice.”

“I’m shocked a lady such as yourself would admit to having guns. It doesn’t seem very politically correct.”

“Are you one of those anti-gun people, Mr. Hamilton?”

“Please, call me Abbott. And no, I am not anti-gun. I was merely surprised you spoke so frankly about owning them. Most people in the theater tend to be against weapons these days.”

Not wanting to get into
familiar I am with guns, I asked, “What is it you do when you aren’t stalking the theater?”

“I own a few businesses and I’ve put competent managers in place to run things. Other than putting out fires as they arise, most of my time tends to be leisure time. What is it you do, Miss O’Shea?”

I’m not one to get hung on Miss versus Ms. versus Mrs., but it felt as if he was still digging for information while not giving me any. He didn’t tell me what kind of businesses he owned, did he? How annoying. But we’d deal with that later. “Please, call me Kirsten. I’m a therapist. I specialize in couples and family counseling.”

He raised an eyebrow. “The woman who is not married helps married couples stay together?”

I gave him my mischievous smile. “If you spend any time at all around me you’ll soon discover I’m a plethora of inconsistencies.”

His laugh was pure joy, as if I were a wonderful novelty. “I would be delighted to spend more time with you, to make these discoveries for myself.”

Part of me thought that sounded nice, the other part of me was alternately screaming
. I’d meditated that morning, again at lunch, and again as I’d first taken my seat in the theater. The vampire visit last night had weirded me out, and I was keeping enough energy reserve on hand to take care of anyone who proved a threat.

I put my tablet into my bag and excused myself, saying I needed to go see to Lauren and double-check the schedule. I told him I looked forward to seeing him Saturday night, and he answered with, “Likewise.”

He stepped out into the aisle so I wouldn’t have to squeeze past him, and my heart skipped a beat as I noted he was nearly a foot taller than me. I was certainly attracted to him, but also cautious.

After a few words with the director, choreographer, and acting coach, Lauren and I were on our way. She ate her banana while we talked about her day — high school can be brutal, but all I can ever do is offer suggestions for how best to handle the little clique stuff.

Xiaolan was watching a movie when we got home. Her name is pronounced shee-ow-lan, though when said fast the xiao is kind of like
without the t, and the lan is somewhere between
. She’s started introducing herself as Sharon to non-Mandarin speakers, and this is what my parents call her.

Xiaolan is Chinese, and is living with us while going to the local university. I’ve been friends with her big brother for years, and I was in China when they discovered Xiaolan hadn’t been accepted into the Chinese Universities she’d applied for. There are only enough seats in all of the colleges in China for less than ten percent of the graduating high school population, so only the best of the best make it in. I’ve been told it’s easier to get into Harvard than it is to get into an unknown college in China. Anyway, the family was upset, as this would drastically limit the things Xiaolan could do with her life. It crushed her dreams.

She wants to be a chemical engineer so she can try to help rein in the pollution problem in China, and it just so happens our local university has undergraduate and graduate programs in her chosen field. I looked into it, worked through some of my contacts in the adoption world, and managed to navigate through both the American and Chinese bureaucracies to make it happen. She’s here on a student visa, and lives with us while going to school on a full scholarship.

Xiaolan keeps her bicycle at my office, as it’s only a few miles from the university. She rides to work with me, and then rides her bike to class in the mornings. In the evenings she brings her bike back to my office and takes a bus to within six miles of our house, and my parents pick her up and bring her home.

Lauren and Xiaolan work on their homework until I get home most days. Sometimes Xiaolan prepares dinner, sometimes I do, depending on how much homework she has and what time I get home. I pay her a decent amount every month, plus provide a room for her and food, and she helps clean the house and prepares meals here and there, and stays home with Lauren at night when I need to go out. Oh, and she helps Lauren and me keep in practice with our Mandarin. And, she gives Lauren a positive Asian female role model, as my daughter is Chinese-American. I met Lauren when she was seven years old, adopted her when she was nine, and she’s been the love of my life ever since.

When Lauren and I arrived home, Xiaolan had dinner ready and we talked about everyone’s day as we ate. Lauren and Xiaolan returned to their homework after our meal, and I took my laptop to my bedroom to get some work done. And to talk to James.

Master James is quite famous in the BDSM world. I’m not sure how old he is, but based on how long he’s been active in the scene I think he has to be in his sixties. However, he looks more like early fifties and is in better shape than most forty year old men.

When you mention him to people in the lifestyle their eyes generally get big. In his younger years Master James was known for being a strict and somewhat extreme Dom, and people talked about some of his public scenes for years — super-intense scenes most submissives weren’t capable of handling or interested in experiencing. He only took on submissives who were prepared for it, so it was all consensual.
, but consensual. I’ve never heard a past slave or submissive talk badly of him, and most are still friends with him. Even with his daunting reputation, he’s still well respected.

And, for an old guy, he has tons of sex appeal. Kind of the way Sean Connery does, or Bruce Willis and Harrison Ford now that they’re older. He has charisma, and a Dom voice that, well, either someone has it or they don’t, and he’s capable of melting panties by just giving a few orders.

I met him a little over ten years ago at a party after he’d recently moved to town. His daughter was transferred here and he didn’t want to miss out on his grandson and granddaughter’s life, so he followed them. He looked up the local scene and came to a play party. I wasn’t dating anyone at the time and didn’t play with anyone at the party, though I did help one of the Mistresses during a scene with her slave. She’s one of my friends, and I don’t mind handing her tools and implements as she needs them. She doesn’t try to Domme me, we’re just friends and I was merely handing stuff to her as she asked for it.

When the scene was over James and I talked and kind of hit it off. Not as Master/slave, not even as Top/bottom. He was a gentleman, and he was intelligent, and we talked for hours — much of our conversation didn’t have anything to do with BDSM. The next weekend I was invited to a private party in Atlanta, and later in the week I asked him if he’d like to go and meet some people. He said he would, but he wanted to drive and I could ride with him. Before inviting him along I’d checked him out and talked to two of his previous slaves and found out he was trustworthy, so I rode with him to Atlanta and introduced him. Most everyone had heard of him, of course, but I guess it was nice to go with someone who could make introductions for him.

I’m submissive, but I won’t submit to just anyone holding a whip, and while I treated him with respect I didn’t openly submit to him. No
yes sir
no sir
please Master
, because he wasn’t my master. There was someone at the play party I’ve played with before, and we did a scene together — an intense one where I ended up stuffed with a plug and a dildo and tied to a Saint Andrew’s Cross so my back and ass could be thoroughly flogged. Andy was good at going back and forth from floggers that stung like hell to floggers with all thud and no sting, and he drew the scene out for a really long time. I think I must have had twenty or thirty orgasms, and as the last one finally rolled through me, I nearly passed out. Two men got me down and wrapped a blanket around me, and Andy carried me to the sofa and sat with me in his lap until I came back to reality.

The endorphins your body releases while being flogged into orgasmic unconsciousness are better than any drug you can buy. When I finally started coming out of it I discovered that while Andy held me in his lap, my feet had been in James’ lap and he’d been massaging them, and I floated on a cloud of bliss. I sometimes like aftercare better than the actual scene, and with no scene there can be no aftercare. It might seem warped that the person who causes you pain takes so much effort to take care of you afterwards, but for me the aftercare is as important, maybe more important, than the scene itself.

On the two-hour drive back to Chattanooga, James had asked if I was interested in being trained in the lifestyle by someone who knew what they were doing. Someone who would not be a boyfriend, but a trainer. Someone who could be a mentor if I chose, but who would not make any demands on my life other than the time spent in his presence.

I was intrigued, and agreed to have two scenes with him before we talked about any kind of long-term arrangement. I filled out one of those incredibly long BDSM questionnaires for him, and we talked about soft and hard limits as well as what I did and did not have experience with.

And then he gave me two of the best BDSM experiences I’d ever had, and I’d been in the scene for many years at that point.

BOOK: Only Human
3.8Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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