Before ringing the doorbell, she checked her appearance one last time. Thigh high boots, shoulder length opera gloves, bustier and thong, all in black leather. One of her best outfits, and a definite client favorite. Satisfied that she presented the proper image, she pressed the doorbell.
When the door opened, she felt a vague sense of disappointment. Before her stood a man of average height, sweats and a t-shirt draped over a slim frame. Bearded, with fairly long hair, he somewhat resembled pictures she’d seen of hippies from the 60’s. Only the eyes, gazing at her through the lenses of his glasses, seemed different. Calm, silent, those eyes seemed to reflect something she wasn’t sure she knew; something she felt she might want to understand.
For a moment, he simply gazed at her, his eyes seeming to miss nothing, and she could sense a disappointment in those eyes to match her own, only perhaps a bit more pronounced. Finally, he stepped back and waved for her to enter, closing the door behind her and leading her into a spacious living room.
Once again, his gaze swept over her. When he finally spoke, his voice was soft, calm, yet with something behind it.
“So you’re Jewel.”
“Mistress Jewel,” she replied.
“Not in this house,” he said softly. “Where I come from, calling someone Mistress means you serve her. I serve nobody. So in this house, you are simply Jewel. If you have a problem with that, feel free to leave.”
For a moment, she simply stared at him, stunned by the total lack of respect in his tone. Normally, she would have quickly availed herself of his invitation to leave, but something about him made her curious.
“I’ll stay, thanks,” she said. “That is, if you don’t mind.”
“Not at all.” Smiling, he dropped into a recliner, gesturing her toward a couch. “Have a seat.”
“I’ll stand, thanks.” At his questioning look, she found herself explaining. “These boots don’t bend very well. It’s more comfortable if I stand.” His chuckle brought a flush to her face. “You find that funny?”
“Actually,” he replied, still chuckling, “yes, I do. You call yourself a professional dominatrix, yet you dress in items almost as effective as restraints for limiting your freedom of movement.”
“It’s necessary for the image.”
He nodded. “Ah, yes, the image.” Rising, he moved around her in a circle, eyeing her casually. “You wear leather so you look the part.” He shrugged. “Actually, I know of dominants who like to dress their slaves in leather not too different from what you have on now.” Ignoring her angered look, he continued to circle her.
“Nicely displayed,” he said, reaching down and patting her ass. Before she could think of a properly scathing reply, his hands cupped her breasts, molded within the cups of the bustier. “There’s just one problem with this.”
“And what might that be?” she asked sarcastically.
“It doesn’t make you dominant,” he replied. “Dominance doesn’t come from here….” patting her ass again….”or here…..” tapping one breast…..”and it certainly doesn’t come from here…..” and this time his finger tapped between her thighs.
“And I suppose you’re going to tell me where it does come from?”
“It comes from here,” he said, softly tapping the top of her head, then lowered his hand to touch between her breasts. “And from here.”
“I haven’t had any complaints,” she said.
“Of course not,” he replied. “Your clients come to you to fulfill a need, or a desire, something that, I suspect, anyone with a whip and a strong arm can do. That’s not true dominance, though. True dominance comes from within.”
Turning away, he settled himself back into the recliner. “Why don’t you get rid of those boots,” he suggested. “The gloves, too. Get comfortable, and we’ll talk.”
For a moment, she simply eyed him in disbelief, then shrugged and set to the laborious task of removing her footwear. Once the boots, along with the gloves, lay empty on the floor, she sank onto the couch.
“Why are you here, Jewel?”
She shrugged. “I’ve been doing this for a couple years now,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong; I do enjoy my work.”
“But something’s missing,” he said, his insight causing her eyes to widen slightly.
“I’ve even looked online,” she said. “I’ve been to a lot of sites dedicated to the lifestyle. Some of the things I’ve seen there, or think I’ve seen, I’ve never experienced from any of my clients.”
He leaned forward, clasping his hands. “Did you ever stop to think,” he asked, “if the need your clients come to you to answer might not be the need you think it is?”
“What do you mean?””
“From what I understand, you specialize in the stricter aspects of this. Pain, humiliation, things like that.”
“Yes,” she said, not sure where this was leading.
“Did it ever occur to you that some of your clients might not be coming to you because they enjoy pain? Maybe you fulfill some need they have to be punished.”
“I don’t ask their reasons for coming to me,” she said pointedly.
“Maybe you should. Have you noticed that some of your clients seem to need a greater amount of your form of discipline as time goes by?”
“What of it?”
“That kind of need is self-feeding,” he explained. “If someone comes to you needing punishment, it generally means there’s something about that person that they’re not happy with. So, when you punish them, in their own minds, you justify that need. You are punishing them; therefore, they must deserve it. And, as time goes by, they feel the need for more and more punishment. Eventually, they may need more than even you can provide.”
“And I suppose you do things differently.”
He nodded. “Very much so. You see, a dominant doesn’t feed the need for punishment. In a traditional relationship, the dominant feeds the desire, or the need, for recognition, praise, maybe even reward. You feed the dark, destructive side of the human spirit. I nurture the lighter, more positive and constructive side.”
“I’m not sure I understand,” she said, beginning to wonder if maybe she had stepped out of her element by coming here.
“Your clients,” he said, “obey you to avoid punishment.” He smiled suddenly. “Well, to avoid more than the normal amount of punishment you’d give them anyway. In my world, the people I work with obey me, not to avoid punishment, but to gain reward. They obey me because it’s what they want to do, not what they’re expected to do.”
“But you do expect obedience,” she pointed out.
“Absolutely.” Suddenly, he rose from his chair. “Come with me,” he said. Puzzled, she rose and followed him into the kitchen.
“Now,” he said, laying his hand on the kitchen table, “let’s say, just for example, that you are a submissive being trained by me. I’m not saying you are; this is just for example.”
At her slow nod, he smiled. “Ok, then, let’s say I told you to clean this table. Which would lead you to do the best job of it? The fear of punishment if you did a bad job? Or the promise of reward if you did a good job?”
“The reward, probably,” she said.
“Exactly. Your way, people are scared to fail. My way, they are encouraged to succeed, to be the best they can.
“Punishment breeds contempt,” he went on. “Reward breeds a sense that they’ve accomplished something. It breeds pride, increases self-esteem. Often, a person will do no more than they absolutely have to in order to avoid punishment. Someone who is proud of their service will give their all in anything they do.”
“Positive versus negative reinforcement,” she said, beginning to understand. “So are you saying you don’t use punishment?”
He shook his head. “Sometimes punishment is called for. It is not, however, the goal of the whole exercise. For me, punishment serves as a guide, a way to apply lessons that should be learned from mistakes. I use punishment no more than I have to, and no harsher than needed.”
“And the rewards?” she asked.
“Mostly physical, to start with,” he replied. “After all, it’s kind of hard not to have a sexual element involved in this kind of lifestyle. Over time, though, the mental and emotional rewards grow to become at least as important as the physical ones. Haven’t you ever felt something warm, special, when someone you care about compliments you? Or when they tell you that you’ve done well, or that they’re proud of you?”
She nodded, his words calling up various memories.
“Emotional and mental pleasure means just as much in my world as physical. Sometimes, they mean more. You can only orgasm so many times during one day, but you can be pleased and happy all day long.”
She frowned thoughtfully. “I believe I understand,” she said slowly. “But, does this make my ways wrong?”
He shook his head. “Of course not. There really is no absolute right and wrong in what we do. Unless, of course, we harm someone, cause permanent injury. In our world, right and wrong are determined by the desires of the people involved. I simply focus on a different set of desires than you do.”
Suddenly, he smiled. “I would offer you a better example,” he said. “Unfortunately, I don’t have a submissive here at the moment.”
“And if you did?”
He shrugged. “If I did, then she could help me show you the difference.”
For a moment, she simply gazed at him, then she shrugged slightly. “There is something here,” she said softly, “something I need to learn.” She fell silent for a moment, then, even more softly, said, “Use me.”
“Use you?” He sounded genuinely surprised by her words.
“As your example,” she explained. “That way, I would not only see the difference, if there is one, I would feel it as well.”
He nodded. “I’m afraid it wouldn’t be a completely accurate example.”
He smiled slightly. “Well,” he said, “for one thing, my girls aren’t allowed clothing when we’re alone together. And they are often bound in some way.”
She frowned again. “How can a girl serve you,” she asked, “if they can’t move?”
“Not that strict of bondage,” he replied. “It would be more symbolic than anything, to restrict movement slightly, maybe, but more to enhance the feeling of submission.”
After a moment of silence, she reached behind herself. “Get your bonds,” she said.
“How does that feel?”
Jewel glanced down at herself. Metal cuffs encircled each ankle, a short length of chain connecting them, forming a hobble. Another pair of cuffs held her wrists, the chain between them shorter than the one between her feet. A final chain connected the two. A bit of experimentation showed her that she could move her feet apart to about shoulder width. Her hands could be pulled perhaps eight inches apart. The connecting chain prevented her from raising her hands above waist level while standing. She tugged at her bonds a bit more, then glanced up.
Surprisingly, these bonds didn’t feel all that bad to her. Her own nudity made her feel more uncomfortable than the metal binding her. And the fact that she had no way to cover herself made her feel that much more vulnerable.
In a way, the binding process had surprised her. She had bound clients, more times than she could count. For her, binding had always been the beginning of what would be a painful session for the client, and the act of binding had been as deliberately rough as the rest of the session would be. In a way, she had expected to receive much the same treatment as she was accustomed to giving her clients.
He had surprised her, though. His touch had been so gentle, she had actually found herself wondering if he were afraid to hurt her. The cuffs had gone on so gently, it wasn’t until he stepped back, and she began testing her bonds, that the limitations now imposed on her had become apparent.
Now, standing before him, her hands draped together to cover her crotch, she nodded slightly. “It’s not so bad,” she said, wondering why her words brought a smile to his lips.
“Ok, then,” he said, gently grasping her shoulders and turning her to face the kitchen. “You are serving me, and I have just ordered you to clean this room completely. Now, I don’t expect you to actually clean, but go through the motions, see how much you could actually accomplish.”
Nodding, she stepped away from him. Moving around the room, she reached out, touching various things, testing her ability to follow the theoretical command. After a complete circle of the room, she moved to stand in front of him again.
“Ok,” he said, “how much did you get done?”
She frowned. “The floor,” she began, “would be fairly easy. Other than that, I would only be able to clean things up to my own waist.” Drawing her hands up to the limit of the connecting chain, she demonstrated. “Anything higher than that,” she said, “I wouldn’t be able to reach.”
He nodded. “So, you wouldn’t be able to completely obey my command.”
She shook her head. “Not even half way,” she replied.
“And by your rules of submission, what would that mean for you?”
She found herself shivering slightly. “Punishment,” she said, glancing around the room. “Severe punishment, considering how much wouldn’t have been done.”
“Even though it would be my fault you failed?” At her questioning glance, he smiled. “The reason you can’t complete the task is the bonds I put on you. Unbound, you’d have no trouble at all. So it’s my fault you failed.”
She shook her head. “There is no excuse for failure,” she said, then frowned. “Actually,” she went on, “I might chain someone like this to make sure they failed.”
“So, for failing, no matter what the reason, you would be punished. By your rules, that is.” At her nod, he stepped back to the door leading into the living room. Reaching through, he drew back his hand to display a thick leather belt. Stepping forward, he grasped her shoulders, spinning her and shoving her forward.
Almost before she realized what he was doing, Jewel found herself bent across the kitchen table. With her hands pinned at waist level, she could only squirm as he placed a hand at the back of her neck, holding her in place. She felt the belt brush lightly against her ass, the touch sending a shiver through her.
“You failed,” he said, his voice harsh. “Failure deserves punishment.”
“But it’s not my fault!” she cried, her body tensing in anticipation of what she feared was about to happen. To her surprise, she now felt him pulling her upright, then turning her to face him. The belt had somehow vanished, and she felt her knees grow weak with relief.
“You never intended to use that on me, did you?” she asked.
“Of course not,” he replied. “Those are your methods, not mine.”
For a moment, she gazed at him silently. There was a lesson here, she was sure. What that lesson was, she had no idea, but now she knew she had to find out.
“And what would your methods call for?”
He smiled. “Let’s start easy,” he said. Moving to a cabinet, he withdrew an empty bucket and a sponge. He set the bucket on the floor, then handed her the sponge.
“I’ve ordered your to clean the floor,” he said. “Show me how you would do that.”
Nodding, she knelt beside the bucket. In this position, she found, the connecting chain allowed her to raise her hands much higher on her own body. Dipping the sponge into the empty bucket, she began making scrubbing motions on the floor, her chains only slightly hampering her movements. After a moment, he nodded to her.
“That should be enough,” he said. She returned his nod, dropping the sponge into the bucket and rising to her feet. Stepping behind her, he placed his hands on her shoulders.
“So,” he said, “were you able to clean the whole floor?”
“Easily,” she replied, feeling his hands begin to slip down her arms.
“Did you do a good job?” he asked, his hands moving to gently tweak her nipples. At his touch, she shivered slightly.
“Yes,” she replied softly.
“Did you do a very good job?” Now one of his hands slipped down her body to softly stroke between her thighs. She was surprised to feel her hips push forward slightly, increasing the pressure of his hand just a bit.
“I did an excellent job,” she said, then gasped as she felt a finger slip inside her.
“So you deserve a reward?” His finger found her clit, causing her whole body to jump. Surprised at how aroused she felt so quickly, she could only nod. Suddenly, he stepped back, his hands leaving her, and she heard herself moan in disappointment.
“Please don’t stop,” she heard herself whisper.
“But the job isn’t done,” he said. “To earn your reward, you have to do the whole kitchen. Now, how would you go about that?”
At that moment, Jewel didn’t really care about the kitchen. All she wanted was to get his hands back where they were! From his words, though, she knew the only way to accomplish that was to show him she could complete the imaginary task at hand. Quickly, she glanced around, looking for a way.
Suddenly, she smiled, then drew a chair from the table. Dragging it to the nearest counter, she placed it carefully. Turning, she leaned back against the counter, then, raising one foot at a time, carefully perched on the edge. A bit of careful wiggling saw her seated securely, while some more wiggling moved her sideways until she sat with her feet on the chair. Feeling his eyes on her, she blushed suddenly, realizing he’d been watching the bounce and sway of her naked breasts as she moved. Closing her eyes, she recalled the feel of his hands on those breasts, the memory bringing a soft moan to her lips. Eager to feel more, she set herself to her task.
Carefully, she rose to her feet, standing on the chair, then turned to face the counter. To her disappointment, the added height only allowed her to reach about half way up the face of the top cabinet. Frowning, she lowered herself until her knees rested atop the counter. Some artful wiggling turned her sideways, allowing her to rest her feet on the counter as well. Slowly, she rose to her feet, then turned to face the cabinets again. She could feel the ceiling brushing the top of her head, but, opening one cabinet, she found herself able to reach onto the top shelf. Closing the cabinet, she stepped sideways to the end of the counter, then back to the chair.
“Done,” she said triumphantly. Turning, she lowered herself to a squat, her ass brushing the top of the counter. Letting her weight shift until she was actually sitting, she swung her legs to the side, dangling them from the counter for a moment before slipping to the floor. She quickly returned the chair to its place at the table, then moved to face him, smiling widely.
“I did it!” she crowed.
He smiled. “Yes, you did,” he agreed. “That was excellent.” She felt a slight flush warm her body at his words.
“So do I get my reward?” she asked, glancing at his hands. He reached toward her, and her eyes closed in anticipation, only to fly open again as she felt the cuffs being removed.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“Well,” he replied, “it was only a simulated task. And I know you wouldn’t want me to treat you like an actual submissive. You are a Mistress, after all.”
Strangely disappointed at this unexpected turn of events, she still managed a nod. “Yes,” she said, “I am a Mistress.” A horny one, part of her complained silently.
“Did you notice the difference?” he asked. “At first, you simply accepted the limitations your bondage placed on you. You accepted the fact that you would fail, and that, by your rules, punishment would be given.”
She gazed at him, her eyes widening slightly. “That’s why you touched me the way you did,” she said. “You made me want more.”
He nodded. “And you,” he said, “immediately found a way to succeed, to earn the reward you desired.”
“And if I were an actual submissive, what would that reward be?”
“Actually,” he replied, “there would be multiple rewards. If you were a trained submissive, that is. There would be the satisfaction of a job well done. Also, the knowledge that you had pleased me.” He smiled. “And, of course, the physical reward.”
“But you didn’t tell me to actually clean,” she said. “You told me to show you how I would accomplish the task.” At his nod, she continued. “Which means that, in the context of your example, I did succeed in obeying your command.” He nodded again. With a smile, she took the chains from his hand. He watched silently as she quickly secured the cuffs once more around her wrists and ankles. When the final cuff had clicked shut, she raised her eyes to his.
“You made the rules for this test,” she told him. “And, by your own rules, I succeeded. I did exactly what you ordered me to do, right?”
“Yes you did,” he replied, his eyes displaying his curiosity at what she was thinking.
“And you always follow your own rules?”
“You commanded, I obeyed,” she said, turning and pressing her naked body backwards against his. “I have earned my reward. So reward me.” She squirmed against him briefly. “Please?”
After a moment, his arms reached around her. Jewel gasped as his fingers found her nipple, gasped louder as his other hand settled between her thighs. Closing her eyes, she pressed against him.
“Next time,” she heard herself moan, “put water in the bucket. I can’t wait to see what kind of reward I get for actually doing something.”
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story continues in Differences 2