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"How do you screen your members?" TK Holing stretched his long legs out in front of him and lifted the longneck beer bottle to his mouth. He darted his gaze to a sub that had been trying to get his attention ever since he'd walked into the bar.
TK was used to attracting female attention. At six feet four, he towered above many men. His cocoa-colored skin came from his white mother and black father. From his father he'd received his height, and from his mother, dark green eyes that usually made females swoon. His shaved head was his own idea, something that wasn't too hard to maintain, since his hair grew so slowly. He didn't want to give the sub false hope, so he just nodded and looked away quickly. He had other ideas for the evening.
The man sitting with him was speaking, but TK continued to scan the room.
"Tygers has a public area, as I'm sure you do at M's Playhouse. To make it to the members' area, a visitor, whether Dominant or submissive, has to be invited by a member. Once they apply for membership, they have a six-month probationary period. After that, they can become full members."
TK turned his attention back to Ty Kessler, the owner of Tygers. "Six months, huh? Ours is only three. Maybe I should think about increasing the time, and get to know someone just a little better."
"Well, probationary periods are an interesting thing, if you ask me. The prospective member is on their best behavior for that time, of course, but I find that in six months you can get to know a person fairly well, and see if they would be an undesirable addition."
TK nodded and let his gaze wander the room again. Tygers was set up in an old warehouse type building, unlikehis own establishment, M's Playhouse in Miami, which was in an old plantation home. The rooms were large in both places, but at Tygers there was a greater sense of openness, much like the Southwest where the place was located.
"The hulking sub working the door belongs to you?"
"He does." Ty's smile broadened. "He's been mine for many years. I'm in the process of looking for a female sub. I like to have both. I have someone in mind; I just haven't made a move yet. I'm feeling her out, trying to make sure she's open to the idea, because I like my females to switch, so they can top Chess while I watch. Some subs aren't too keen on the idea."
"It's not Helena, is it?" TK fixed his gaze on Ty, relieved when the other man laughed.
"No. I knew you were here for something more than seeing your protégé collar a new sub. But I have to warn you, she won't be here tonight. Neither will her sister, or her Doms."
"You sure?" TK frowned and looked around the room again.
"I'm sure. Oscar, Walker, and Harper have a dinner to go to. Since she got back from Florida, Helena has been staying at a friend's cabin in Chama, about three hours from here."
"She's been gone for six weeks? Staying by herself, or with a Dom?"
"By herself. Oscar told me she stayed home for about two weeks and then left. She's shown no signs of coming back to town."
TK took another pull from his beer to hide his frown. "They're not worried about her?"
"They are, but she's a grown woman, and, as Oscar says, you can't drag her back home. The only way to get her out of there, probably, would be for Diego Fuentes, the cabin's owner, to evict her. He's not going to do that."
"Maybe he should. Is he a Dom?"
"Yes, but his subbie, Sorcha, has talked him into letting Helena stay as long as she likes. Personally, I think it's doing a disservice to her. She needs to be around people."
A commotion on the other side of the room caught Ty's attention.
"I'll be right back." He walked toward the bar and TK watched him go, his mind centered on Helena, the little sub whose head barely hit the middle of his chest. He remembered she had the brightest green eyes that he'd ever seen, even with the wariness that had been hidden there when he'd met her. An image of her popped into his mind: dyed blonde hair, barely five feet tall, curvy with large breasts and hips. He remembered her beauty, too, her small nose and pouty lips. Just the thought of her made him hard.
When Helena had been found at M's Playhouse, she'd been about to be auctioned off to the highest bidder against her will. It was incidents like that that made TK think Ty's six-month probationary period was a good idea. Of course Benjamin Guest--the man who had claimed to own Helena--had used threats against her friends and family to get her to do his bidding. He wasn't a Dom at all, but a man who got off on the misery of others.
TK longed to see him get his comeuppance, but Helena had refused to prosecute, saying it would cost too much--not moneywise, but emotionally. TK had stood by her wishes at the time, but now he wished he'd pressed her a little harder. Maybe if Guest had been punished, Helena would not be having such a hard time dealing with what had happened to her.
Staying by yourself for weeks on end couldn't be healthy, but TK knew there wasn't much he could do about it. He wasn't Helena's Dom. He was just the man who owned the property where she'd been found after her disappearance.
"I'm back." Ty sat down. "We have a strict limit on what people can drink, two drink maximum, and some want to go over that limit."
TK made a noise of assent, then cleared his throat. "Tell me about Helena."
"What would you like to know?"
Ty nodded with a smile. "She's a pistol; that's for sure. Or at least she used to be."
"Tell me about her before the incident with Guest."
Ty thought for a minute before speaking. "Helena's a pain slut, plus she's willing to try anything. I told her lots of times that she needed to slow down, stop going off with people that she didn't know. But she always said she was having fun, she loved it, and she wasn't going to stop."
"What about her Dom?"
"She never had one, except for her husband. I didn't know her when she was married. But, Harper tells me after he died was when she went really crazy."
"What about her sister? Has she always been wild?"
"Harper? No, they're as different as night and day. In fact, you could have knocked me over with a feather when Walker and Oscar collared her. Helena tried to get her into the lifestyle, but Harper didn't care for it, until she met her two men."
"Sometimes that's what it takes."
Ty nodded, then pushed back in his chair. "That's what Helena needs, really, a firm hand. Right now she's brooding, afraid to come back into the world. Someone needs to go up there and give her a good talking to."
TK gave him a sly look. "What are you suggesting?"
"How well did you get along with her in Florida?"
"I only saw her for two days, but we formed a bond. I would have loved to top her, but it wasn't the right time."
"Well, except she's what, three hours away? And I'm only here for one night."
"You have a rental car, and plane reservations can be changed. Here's the guest of honor." Ty stood to greet Andy and his sub, Sissy. TK gave him a hearty hug, then greeted Sissy with a kiss. When the two had left to talk with a woman at the front of the room, Ty clapped TK on the shoulder.
"You did a good job mentoring him before he moved out here," Ty said. "He's a good Dom."
"I agree," TK said. "I was honored when he asked me to come and take part in the collaring ceremony. It's gratifying to see someone you taught use those teachings so well."
Before long, the ceremony was in full swing. TK stood at the front, holding Sissy's collar while Andy bound her to a St. Andrew's Cross, flogged her breasts and pussy before slowly bringing her to orgasm, telling her all along how she belonged to him, in every sense of the word.
As Andy took the collar from TK and fastened it around Sissy's neck and snapped the lock into place, TK could think of nothing but Helena, sitting alone in a cabin, scarred by a man who had no business practicing BDSM. He wanted to sit down and talk with her, wanted to see where her mind was at, and whether she was recovering, or just hiding out.
And hell, who was he kidding, he wanted to top her. He wanted to watch passion grow in her eyes, wanted to watch her beg him for punishment, and then beg him to fuck her. He wanted to flog her, watching her squirm under the touch. He wanted to get her on all fours, mount her, and stuff her pussy full of his cock; then he would make her beg some more before filling her pretty little ass too.
His cock twitched at the idea and he shifted his weight, trying to give it room inside his suddenly tight pants. He knew he could go and find the pretty little brunette who'd been giving him the eye all night long. She would ease the ache in his loins; he had no doubt of that. But she couldn't knock out the image of Helena that he'd carried since she'd been discovered at the Playhouse.
When the ceremony was over, he congratulated Andy and Sissy, and talked with them for a while before going in search of Ty. He found him talking to his sub, Chess.
"So," TK said. "How far is it up to Chama again?"
"Three hours," Ty said, reaching into his pocket. He handed TK a sheet of paper. "Here are the directions. There'll be a red SUV parked outside the cabin. That's how you'll know you've got the right place. If you left now, you'd be there around two or three. But if I were you, I'd wait until morning. We won't call and tell her you're coming, unless you want us to."
"No. Let's make it a surprise. If all works out well, I'll take her back to Florida with me for a while. We'll do some soul searching, and see if we can't get her over this bump in the road."
"Helena's always been wild," Ty said. "She likes the excitement of sex. But somewhere along the way she's lost sight of what BDSM should mean and why she was attracted to it. Maybe you can help her rediscover it again."