Ethan had just entered the office he shared with Davis at New Beginnings, when the phone rang on Davis’s desk. Never one to ignore a ringing telephone, he answered it. “New Beginnings, Dr. Tremaine speaking.” He waited for the customary pause at his greeting but was pleasantly surprised when the woman on the other end spoke softly. Davis had warned him time and time again that his formal phone etiquette was off putting, but this young lady didn’t seem the least bit bothered by it.
“Well, hello. I wasn’t expecting a doctor to answer the phone.” There was a slight pause. “Am I to assume, since you answered that Davis isn’t in? Of course he’s not there…or he’d have answered his own phone….duh Sabella.”
The last part seemed to be as if she were answering her own question. A smile tugged at his lips. She was delightful. “Indeed, he’s not but he should be here in within the hour. Would you like me to take a message for him?”
There was a sigh, before she answered. “I suppose you could. Can you please let him know Sabella Johnston called?”
Searching for a pad on Davis’s cluttered desk, he finally unearthed one from under a stack of vendor receipts. He was going to have to talk to his partner about the mess again. Disorganization could kill their business — even if the man’s plan to find him a sub did come through. Now to find a pen. He scowled as he realized there were none on his partner’s desk. “Well, it seems as if Davis has taken home all of his pens and pencils. Can I ask what this is about? I may be able to help.”
A soft laugh filled his ear. “Let me guess, his desk is very cluttered.”
“How did you know?” He was curious to understand her reasoning.
“From my personal experience, a Dom is either very tidy or very cluttered. There’s usually no in-between, so when you said you couldn’t find a pen, I just assumed he fell into the latter category. And after meeting him this weekend, I have to say it doesn’t surprise me.”
Intrigued, he leaned his hip against Davis’s desk. “Really?”
“Yes. I was quite surprised to the say the least. He was meeting my friend Lauren for lunch, but she invited me along without warning either me or Davis about one another.”
A light bulb went off in his head. “Lauren? As in Lauren Haskell? The little matchmaker of Napa Valley?”
“I see you do know her.” Sabella sounded rueful. “But, yep that’s her, my best friend in all her glory.”
“And she set you up with Davis?” A frown furrowed his brow as his amusement died. Not only did Davis have a thing for the leggy blonde submissive, the idea of Sabella being set up with his friend bothered him.
“Surprisingly no. Besides even if she’d have tried, Davis’s reaction when I joined them would’ve had me saying no.”
Relief washed through him. “I take it my friend said something rather uncouth for mixed company?”
She chuckled. “You could say that. Something along the lines of how seeing Lauren wearing nothing more than his whip marks would affect him. I believe the term “rock hard” was used.”
A genuine laugh ripped free of him at the idea of Davis sitting in a restaurant with Lauren and this unknown woman calmly discussing the fact it made his dick hard when he thought of whipping Lauren.
“Sure go ahead and laugh, Dr. Tremaine. I thought it was quite funny too, although Lauren turned several shades of red. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a woman turn such a particular shade in my life.”
He was still chuckling when he heard the door open behind him. He knew without a doubt it was Davis, but he was reluctant to give the phone up. “So if it wasn’t a set up then why did she have you meet him?”
“Something about helping his partner out with a demonstration…”
Elation flooded him. The sharp intake of breath behind him should’ve have warned him, but he wasn’t paying much attention to Davis. His focus was on Sabella and her answer.
“Gimme that!” Davis pulled the phone away from him. “Sabella, sorry it’s Davis.”
Shock rolled through Ethan as he stared dumbfounded at Davis. The last thing he’d expected him to do was yank the phone out of his grasp. Covering the mouthpiece with his hand, Davis shot him a warning look. “Please tell me you weren’t being an uptight ass to her. She may be the one to pull our fat out of the fire for the Kinkfest.”
Ethan pushed off the desk. “So she was about to tell me.” Reaching past Davis, Ethan hit the speakerphone button on the base. “I’m sorry about my partner, Ms. Johnston. He can be rude at times, but he does grow on one. Now you were telling me Lauren asked you to lunch to discuss the possibility of you working with me for my demonstration at the Kinkfest in the spring?”
“Oh, my…” Sabella stammered. “…now I’ve done it. I’ve blathered on…I’m truly sorry, Dr. Tremaine. I had no idea…”
“Nonsense.” He gave Davis a warning look as the other man opened his mouth. “Nothing from you, Davis. I have you on speaker, Sabella. May I call you that?” When she mumbled her consent, he continued. “Because my partner seems to think I can’t carry a civil conversation without alienating you, I’ll give you the choice, would you prefer to speak to me about the matter or him? Or we could, all three, talk about it.”
He tried to act nonchalant, but Ethan really hoped she choose him. But he had to be fair.
“I…well, considering it’ll be you I’ll be working with, why not cut the middle man out?”
“Sounds fair to me. Davis?” He gave his partner a feral grin. “Would you mind giving me some privacy to discuss the matter with Sabella?”
Davis’s jaw dropped. “Fine. But you fuck this up, Ethan, and I’ll kick your Asian ass from here ‘til next Sunday.”
“I’m not going to “fuck” this up, I assure you.”
“You better not.” Davis stomped out of the office, slamming the door behind him.
“Did he just throw a tantrum?” Sabella seemed impressed.
“Of course. I just kicked him out of our office.”
A muffled giggle came through the line. “I’d say you’re awfully brave considering the size of him. I have a feeling Davis doesn’t go anywhere he doesn’t want to with his size.”
“Very true. But size isn’t everything.” He slid off the desk into the leather chair behind it. “So tell me, Sabella. What exactly did they tell you about me?”
“Not much, other than the fact you need a person who’s experienced in bondage to help out.”
He nodded. “Well that’s the bare bones of it. I do need an experienced submissive to train rather quickly for the demonstration. Which is why I need someone who is experienced in bondage. I don’t have time to teach a newbie the ropes, so to speak. Kinbaku isn’t exactly like shibari, and it is something which cannot be rushed, so even with the three months I’d have to train, a person with no experience may feel that way.”
A soft sound of disappointment reached his ears. “How much experience and of what kind?”
A sinking feeling had his resolve wavering. Despite his firm belief his style of bondage couldn’t be rushed, he found himself wanting to make an exception for her. “You don’t have any experience do you, Sabella?”
Her tone was rushed. “In Kinbaku, no. But I have been tied up, and…”
He squeezed the bridge of his nose. “Letting your boyfriend or Dom tie you up isn’t the same thing. My style of bondage is much more intense.” He winced as his statement came out more harshly than he’d intended, and her silence was all the proof he needed to realize it. “Listen, Sabella, I don’t mean to belittle you…”
“Well, you did a pretty good job of it, Dr. Tremaine.” Her voice was clipped. “But if you would’ve let me continue I’d have explained. I had one Dom who explored shibari with me. I’ve also gone to several conferences with him where he allowed me to be used as a demonstration model, so he could learn how to correctly tie me. In the end, he decided it wasn’t for him, and we parted ways shortly thereafter. So while I haven’t truly been suspended, as is common in kinbaku, I’ve always had the desire to experience it. I thought perhaps this was the opportunity I was waiting for.” She snorted. “I wish you luck in finding a submissive who meets your high standards, Sir.” The resulting click filled the room. He stared at the phone as what happened sunk in. Desperation tugged at him. She’d actually hung up on him before he could apologize.
“Dammit, I knew I shouldn’t have let you handle this.” Davis’s rueful voice came from the doorway as he walked back into the room. “What do you say we do this my way next time?”
“Next time?” Hope blossomed.
Davis smirked. “Now, you really didn’t think I was going to let that little subbie escape our net, did you?”