Amanda arrived precisely twenty minutes early. She parked in the same place she always did. It was a bit of walk but it was just a little thrilling to make her way down those darkened sidewalks, thrilling to know think about where she was going, wondering how many of the cars that passed by knew. She had been coming to the munches and public play parties for about six months but it still felt dangerous, deviant. It still felt just a little intoxicating to admit that this was what she was, deviant.
It had taken years of exploration to find even the words to describe these compulsions, these dark crazy thoughts that had haunted her throughout her life. And when she had finally come to terms with it, admitted this was what she was, what she wanted… what she could not live without.
There was the usual group of smokers gathered around the door, the usual cloud of blue smoke that made her eyes water. Almost without her awareness, her eyes scanned the group, smiling a cautious greeting at one or two familiar faces. This particular munch was famous for numbers of self proclaimed dominants who were looking for fresh meat, inexperienced women who were so enamored with the idea of being submissive that they had to somehow prove it. They were too new, too green to tell the difference between the arrogant bastards and the few real men that seemed to drift through the room and leave again without really making any waves.
Amanda knew all this from her own painful experiences. She had been through it a half dozen times before she finally figured out that greatest majority of men that identified as dominants were posers that used the scene to find someone to fuck, fuck and fuck over. She had even stopped coming for a while but a couple of friends had encouraged her not to give up. They told all kinds of encouraging stories about women who had met “the one” at this same place. They had humorously pointed out that even the princess had to kiss a lot of frogs before she found her prince. Since then she had been hanging back, fending off the ones she knew were just out for a quick score, scoping out the quiet ones, the ones that sat back and watched.
She knew what she wanted. She wanted something permanent, something that went beyond just the bedroom or a play party on the weekends. More than sex, more than ropes, more than whips, more than anything else she wanted to feel the ownership of another. As she stepped through the door she scanned the room, wondering if tonight would be the night where a prince would show up among the amphibians.
“You have no idea what you are talking about.”
The voice came from behind her head and Amanda whirled around to confront the jerk who was butting into a private conversation she was having with another submissive woman, a newbie that she had been showing around, steering away from the worst of the assholes.
She instantly recognized him. He was a regular. He never missed a munch and always came alone. She fought the urge to smirk when she had the random thought that he always seemed to leave alone too. He was classic, dressed in Doc Martins and a leather vest. He seemed aggressively scruffy, rumpled and looked vaguely greasy.
He was standing too close, using the crowded room as an excuse to invade her personal space. She stood between him and his selected target and she refused to shift or back up. Her nostrils flared a bit when she caught a whiff of him, cigarettes, beer and armpits. She wondered if he thought this was an adequate substitute for testosterone. For once she was appreciative of her height, model tall and in heels she had to tip her head down just slightly to look into his eyes. She stared down at him and refused to blink.
She arched a brow and murmured just loudly enough for his ears, “You may very well think so.” And then she deliberately turned her back to him.
She could sense him back there, could almost feel the frustration he exuded with the warmth of his breath on the back of her neck. She heard a muttered, “Cock Blocking Bitch.” But she refused to let him bait her. She wasn’t too worried, the rules for behavior at the munch were very strict. Dominants could look but were not allowed to touch. If she chose she could probably have already made a scene, and the munch organizers would had him thrown out for those last words, but she didn’t feel like making the effort.
She shrugged and rolled her eyes, leaning forward and whispering into the new girl’s ear. “Like I was saying, have a good idea of what you want out of this. Take your time. Ask questions. Don’t settle. There are a lot of guys here, but they are not necessarily looking for the same kinds of stuff you are. Like this guy behind me. He is a perfect illustration of the bully, the kind of guy that thinks that interrupting, being rude; rejecting all social niceties is somehow a way to proclaim that he is dominant. It is a common error, confusing nonconformity with dominance. But remember, any guy that so aggressively rejects little rules like showering or introducing himself, will be very likely to ignore other basic rules, like safety, condoms and safe words. Don’t think that because you identify as submissive that you have to let anyone be rude to you.” Amanda paused and grinned, “Unless, of course, you are into that kind of thing and have negotiated that in advance.”
The new woman paused and then laughed out loud.
Amanda made her rounds, pausing and greeting the people she knew. There weren’t any new other new people there. The munch thinned out a little earlier than usual. It was close to the holidays and people were having a lot of private parties. Most likely, everyone was a little partied out and just wanted to get home and sleep.
There was that one guy that came in every week, bought the one beer on tap, sat alone and drank it, his dark eyes alert and scanning the room. He always came in at the same time, drank his beer and left. He rarely ever talked to anyone. Amanda took the time to position herself in his field of vision when she paused to readjust the top of her stockings. She knew her long legs were one of her best assets.
The bully guy was the only smoker out in front of the building when she left. He said some gruff words about having a nice night and she did not meet his eyes as she returned the exact same words and made her way toward her car.
She walked quickly, keeping her bag trapped securely under her arm. She kept an alert eye out. A woman alone, at night, in a short skirt and heels was vulnerable. There weren’t any rules out here or friends here to watch her back. She felt it, a low singing anxiety, a flutter of fear and a creeping of the skin on the back of her neck. It was clear, dry and cold, but she knew that it was the fear as much as the cold that made her nipples tighten into knots.
She could hear his steps on the sidewalk behind her, heavy and hurried. She looked over her shoulder. He still had a cigarette in his hand and she could see that he was already a little short of breath from trying to catch up to her. Amanda debated running the rest of the way to her car or just facing the bastard down on the street. She kept walking, but she fished around in her purse for her keys.
She was so absorbed in the sound of the guy behind her she did not initially see him standing there by her car. She skidded to a halt only an arm’s length away from the lonely, one beer, sit alone guy. Now there were two of them. She looked over her shoulder; the bully guy was closing fast. The one between her and her car moved toward her quickly, his hand snaking out and grabbing her by her upper arm. Amanda could not help but squeak and struggle, but almost before she could swing to strike with her free hand, to think to kick or pull away, she was shoved behind him and he was between her and the pursuing man.
Amanda did not pause to think; she unlocked her car door and was inside without even being completely aware of how she had gotten the key into the keyhole. She pushed down on the gas pedal so hard that the tires squealed as she drove away. In the rearview mirror she could see the lonely beer guy, standing over the now prostrate form of the bully, his breath a swirl of white vapor rising in the cold night air.
She arrived precisely twenty minutes early and sat for many minutes debating going in. She was determined to not let this scare her off.
The bully was not at the munch but lonely, one beer guy came in and sat at his usual place at his usual time. Their eyes met. As she smiled and moved toward him, he stood and Amanda was pleasantly surprised to realize for the first time that he was exactly the same height that she was in heels. His brow arched and his voice was low and dry. “I was pleased to see you chose to park closer tonight.” He pulled out a chair for her to sit down.