Help Wanted

by megsilver on November 30, 2014

Help Wanted

Help Wanted Cover
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“Help Wanted” Episode Description:

Episode 1: A thirst for adventure leads one young woman to Fantasy Heights. This resort, specializing in fantasy fulfillment, will put her to the test. Does she have what it takes to explore sexual pleasure to its fullest? Does she have the courage to pursue her own fantasies?

“Help Wanted” Info:

Release Date: 23 July, 2011
Length: 13,500 words
ASIN: B007LS0JQE
ISBN: (Smashwords version only) 978-1-2659-5256-1
Edited by: Emma Reynolds
Cover by: Joy Warrender

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Help Wanted

Fantasy Heights Series, Episode 1

 

“What’s Fantasy Heights?”

Amanda held up a glossy postcard to show the antique-shop owner which one she’d been reading. The front of the card had a wispy, vaguely Victorian Fantasy Heights banner in red and gold wrapped around a voluptuous woman’s silhouette. Sexy, but elegant at the same time. On the back, written in neat handwriting, was Help Wanted: Now hiring support staff.

The shop owner, a forty-something woman with pretty, gentle features and lovely green eyes looked up abruptly from reading a magazine. She looked startled, as if Amanda had asked where she might find a sawed-off shotgun and ski mask.

The woman scanned Amanda from dark widow’s peak down to red toenails and designer sandals, then back up to linger around breasts and hips. Assessing. Judging. Maybe even imagining.

In a voice that was eight parts polite and two parts ice water, the shopkeeper explained. “Fantasy Heights is a specialty resort. Very exclusive. Not your cup of tea, I’m sure.”

“Relax. I’m not a cop or anything. I’m just curious, is all. I need a job as far away from home as possible.”

“What’s the matter? Daddy take away your trust fund?”

Offended by the woman’s assumption, Amanda wielded the truth like a slap. “No. I got jilted two weeks ago and my ex-fiancé is about to marry my barely legal stepsister. It was such a scandal back home that the bank I was managing fired me the morning after.”

Most people hearing the tale grimaced or said ‘Oh, my God’ or something. The shopkeeper, however, would have made a good judge with her mask of aloof disinterest. “What a sad story. If it’s true, I feel very sorry for you.”

“No need. I feel sorry enough for myself, thanks. Now could you please tell me where I might get in touch with these Fantasy Heights people? There’s no number or address on the card.”

The shopkeeper straightened on the high stool behind the counter. She now wore an owlish, uncertain expression, still undecided.

What was this woman’s problem? “Look, I’m picking up the protective vibe loud and clear, all right? And I’m not some naive city girl. The postcard paints a pretty good picture of what the place is all about. I presume they need support staff to fulfill their guests’ sexual fantasies. If the money’s halfway decent and they screen their clientele well enough, I’d be extremely interested.”

The ice broke with a dismissive shrug. “Fine, then. If you’re serious about this, you’d better move fast. They have a long waiting list for interviews, and those openings don’t usually last more than a day at most. How about you step in back with me, and I’ll give the owner a call. I’m sure she’d be interested in meeting you.”

A small twitter of excited triumph was chased away by a zap of alarm. If she went through with this and auditioned for this Fantasy Heights job, it would be the single most impulsive thing she’d ever done. But she was never impulsive. Never especially adventurous. Certainly never brave enough to pursue her own fantasies.

The jilting had changed things. The old Amanda would have walked away from the postcard without a second thought. This Amanda craved some sexual experimentation. At age twenty-eight, she’d only had two partners before Darren, her ex-fiancé, and no one since. He hadn’t been very adventurous or imaginative. Amanda would have liked to try a lot more. The rush of sexual excitement was one of the purest, most amazing of all, in her opinion. Even an ambiguous imagining of fulfilling other people’s wants set a slow, scalding ache alight in her nipples and between her thighs.

It felt good. Exactly what she needed to undo the damage her ex-fiancé had done, to feel desirable and powerful again, and do something a hell of a lot more exciting than become just another corporate automaton.

Amanda didn’t allow herself to hesitate another second. She slipped through the door the owner held open, and found herself under examination once more.

“Not too tall,” the older woman observed, speaking of Amanda’s height. “Not too thin, either. Nice breasts, and I like the sundress. They prefer feminine, well-spoken types like you, and uninhibited. I suppose I should warn you to be ready for anything if Ms. Watson agrees to an interview.”

“Ms. Watson?”

“The owner, Stephanie Watson. She’s good people, if a little strict. Can’t blame her, really. Just through here, please. I’ll make the call from my office.”

The owner waved her into a chair and picked up the desk-phone’s receiver. The call didn’t take long. She said a few quiet words before she smiled and said goodbye.

To Amanda, she said, “Steph will see you whenever you can get there. The place is only a mile outside town.”

Amanda took down the directions and headed back out to the rental car with nearly everything she owned stashed in the trunk. She had left home planning to disappear for a week or two. If this job panned out, she’d would happily stay gone much longer.

Fantasy Heights had a security gate. She had to state her name at a kiosk and was only allowed through once she’d shown the attendant a photo ID. So far, so good, she thought. Decent security, and what a beautiful place. The woods were dense, the grounds well kept, and the lavish flowerbeds were bright and colorful as paintbrush strokes on a lush green canvas.

Security directed her to the business office. On her way, she passed the resort’s centerpiece, a sprawling stone Victorian. Nearby stood many more buildings, some huge, some small, but all in keeping with the resort’s theme.

The business office seemed small and dull in comparison, a single story of stone and glass. Inside, she expected to find a receptionist. Instead, she was met in the front hall by a woman about the same age as the shopkeeper, though shorter, and a little roly-poly. Pretty smile, and blessed with thick, curling hair black as two midnights. She gathered it over one shoulder and held out a hand to shake. “You must be Amanda.”

“I am. You’re Steph Watson?”

“Yes, nice to meet you. Tell me, why would you want to work in fantasy fulfillment? Have you worked in the sex trade before? A dancer, perhaps?”

“No, I… Well, you’ll find out from my background check that I was a bank manager, and without getting into too much detail, I really need to get out of my current situation for personal reasons. I need to do—to be—someone else for a while. Take on a new challenge.”

Steph let out a quiet sniff of laughter. “This place will certainly challenge you. I’m not sure you understand how much. Are you willing to do some testing?”

“Sure. What do you want me to do?”

“You can step out back for starters. Just onto the patio.”

Amanda did as asked, stepping out a sliding glass door and down a couple steps onto a split-stone patio. Miles of lawn stretched out before her, giving her a better view of the buildings she’d passed on the way to the office.

Steph nodded toward a long, low massage table near the edge of the patio. “Clothes off, please. Everything, including your sandals, bra and panties.”

Amanda went still a moment. Her first instinct was to ask whether Steph really meant her to strip in full view of the entire resort. She suppressed the urge. Steph was testing her already.

It worried her that an electric buzz of nerves sizzled in her belly as she set her purse down near the massage table and bent to unstrap one sandal. Nerves were only natural, and probably a good thing. Any normal person would be nervous, disrobing in public at the request of a complete stranger.

She stepped out of her sandals, then reached behind herself to unzip the sundress. The spaghetti straps slipped down her arms, and she let them go, wriggling a little to help the sundress gather around nicely rounded hips.

Steph stared openly at her body, taking in the gentle slopes of her stomach, then rising to adhere to her breasts in the yellow lace bra. She had large breasts. D-cups, with petal-pink nipples she could feel tighten against the fabric. Since Steph looked so interested, she let the sundress hang at her hips and unclasped her bra to expose her breasts.

The air felt cool against her sensitized skin when she slipped the bra off. It felt like every eye for miles was staring right at her erect nipples, and she suffered a sudden and intense thrill. She liked the sensation of being nude out in the open where so many people might be watching. And she didn’t mind Steph staring. The older woman looked appreciative and approving but not as if she wanted to touch.

Amanda let the bra down onto the massage table, then skimmed the dress the rest of the way over her hips. Then, very glad she’d waxed in anticipation of a honeymoon that never happened, she hooked her thumbs into the band of her panties and slowly stepped out of them as well.

She stood naked in front of Steph, who began to walk around her, having a look from all angles.

Steph said, “We might need to cut your hair, just an inch or so. It’s a little long.”

Amanda nodded. It was nearly to her waist right now.

“But don’t, whatever you do, bleach it. We have blondes coming out our ears, and I have need of a natural brunette. Now. How would you feel about a small performance? Feeling comfortable enough to try something if I tell you what to do?”

“Sure.”

“Good. This is something we have all applicants do, male or female. It’s a test to see that you’re willing and capable. Sit down, please, there on the edge of the massage table.”

She did as Steph asked, wondering where this might lead. She half suspected she would have to pleasure Steph, and felt a pang of disappointment. She would have hoped for more from a high-ticket place like this, that it wasn’t run by people who would take advantage of their position for their own personal gratification.

Steph proved the suspicion wrong. “Okay, now I want you to run your index fingers over your nipples. They’re already erect, and I want you to make this feel good.”

Amanda felt a flush warm her cheeks, partly from nerves, partly from excitement. She arched her back, lifting her breasts slightly and watched herself as she lightly rubbed just the very tip of both nipples. Twin zaps of sweet quicksilver stole from the contact straight to her pussy, warming and swelling the flesh there.

Unbidden, she pinched each tip, heightening the sensation as she looked up at Steph, who said, “Very nice. Now I want you to lie back and spread your legs wide for me. Continue working your nipples so you don’t lose the pulse rate.”

Very clinical, she thought, and connected eye-lines with Steph. It surprised her how liberating it felt to do this in full view of someone else, to be in control of her body and her pleasure, and not be met with disapproval. She got the opposite impression, in fact. Steph left no doubt about what she liked. “Your body is nice. Supple and curvy. And I like your confidence. Clients would like it, too.”

Thus bolstered, Amanda felt a bit more certain as she lay back and slowly raised her knees before parting them. She pushed her thighs back toward the cushioned tabletop, opening her sex wide while giving her nipples a sharp pinch.

If she were Steph, she’d want to know her staff liked pleasure and could overcome inhibitions. So she turned up the performance, and pinched and worked her nipples. She felt wanton, enjoying the liquid rush of desire. A wave of it zipped from her breasts to her pussy, swelling the flesh there, making her ever wetter and slicker.

It didn’t surprise her to find that she liked Steph to look at her. She’d always fantasized about being watched. Not necessarily by another woman, or by an entire spa full of strangers, but she liked knowing they were looking at her pussy, and watching the way she touched herself.

Once again, Steph approved. “Good, good. Now bring yourself to orgasm by rubbing your clitoris. You may not close your legs. I need to see the muscle flexion. It would be better if I could feel it. That is, if you don’t mind. Just to feel the orgasm. I’ll use a glove.”

More than a little breathless by now, Amanda nodded. “Yes, please. I’d like that.”

Steph breathed out a laugh that had an edge of appreciation to it. “Yeah, this is moving faster than I normally would. But you’re the perfect age, appear in good health both physical and mental. Mind you, you’ll have to pass all the exams and go through further testing to determine whether you’re really cut out for this.”

While she spoke, Steph slipped on a latex glove and came to perch on the edge of the table near Amanda’s hip, facing her direction. “Okay, go ahead whenever you’re ready.”

Amanda settled back onto the table, continuing to pinch her left nipple while reaching her right hand down to place her index finger on her clit. She had better go slowly, gently, or Steph would miss the whole thing.

She slipped the tip of her finger farther down, dipping into the slick heat of her cunt to wet the tip. Masturbation had always felt better that way, her clit more sensitized when it was wet. She rubbed now, slow circular motions, and a melting, scorching vortex soon began to form around her pussy.

A soft moan of warning escaped, telling Steph that orgasm wasn’t far away. Steph responded quickly, painting two fingers along her slit to moisten the glove before slipping the fingers inside.

Steph had small hands and fingers, but having a virtual stranger—a female stranger—participate in this crazy public test made the growing ache double in speed and intensity. Amanda stopped rubbing, wanting to prolong the deep, warm flare glowing inside.

A casual smile lifted the corner of Steph’s mouth as she made eye contact. “Yes, good idea. Let it build up for a big release.”

With that, Steph withdrew her fingers slightly to add a third, opening Amanda up wider, and applying more pressure as she thrust her fingers in deep this time, hard, straight into Amanda’s G-spot. The jolt caused an explosive burst of pleasure that swelled down her thighs and through her torso, setting her nipples ablaze with hungry sensation.

Steph slowly pulled out and then thrust in again, her eyes lit up with challenge and intensity. Amanda, all thoughts of the performance lost now on a wave of desire, spread her legs as far as they would go, urging Steph to thrust hard again, and began to rub her clit in earnest. The sensations were almost overwhelming, but she felt safe and sexy and never wanted to stop feeling this way.

“Rock your hips.” Steph coupled the order with another strong thrust.

Amanda obeyed. Or tried to. As soon as she lifted her hips and pressed herself against the pressure of Steph’s hand, she felt the orgasm take root. Muscles contracted clear around into her buttocks, gathering strength like a windup toy. With a pinch of her nipple, the tension let go into a stuttering, prolonged climax that held her breathless in a whiteout of pleasure. The orgasm held her aloft for seconds before the pulsing began, slow and strong at first, then rapid and so satisfying she curled forward.

Just when she was about to attempt a breath, Steph pushed Amanda’s hand away from her clit and pressed her thumb there firmly, then began to pump her fingers inside, hard and fast. Instead of ebbing away, the orgasm roared back to life, spreading and spasming and making Amanda cry out in alarmed ecstasy while her pussy pulsed and clenched at Steph’s fingers.

The older woman said something. Amanda barely heard her, let alone understood. While she was still breathing hard and quivering like summer air after a violent storm, Steph hauled her upright and back into the business office. Amanda was given a few minutes to dress and pull herself together, and then Steph sat her down in front of a computer to fill out a formal application. Really, she thought, it was like applying for any other job, save the physical and mental evaluations. Steph set up appointments for both the following day.

She spent that night at her hotel, and hardly slept a wink. She would never have believed it of herself, but she was anxious to get this job, burning with curiosity and hope. This was something completely off the beaten path, a challenge of a sort most people would never dare volunteer to face. And sure, she was nervous about the unknowns, but more tests lay ahead. She’d learn more about the place. See how they operated and what they expected of her. If it didn’t pan out, it didn’t pan out, but she’d be disappointed if Fantasy Heights didn’t live up to its name.

Next morning she met with the psychiatrist, who made her take a very, very long test on the computer. Afterward, they talked about what had brought Amanda to this point. At first, she hesitated to explain the jilting, but the doctor, another woman, already seemed to know Amanda was running from something.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Amanda explained. “I was always the one with the bigger appetite and wanting more, but he was the one who cheated. How does that work? I mean, on what planet does that happen?”

The doctor tented her fingers and asked a few more questions, probing the soft spots Amanda herself had been probing since Darren left. Her pride had taken a serious hit. Trust was at a premium, and she felt as if no one would ever want her again. Physically, maybe, but not emotionally. She felt sad and disconnected and scared. With her feelings so exposed, she was pretty certain as she left the office that she had done herself out of a job.

Still, she had to hurry a couple blocks north to make her clinic appointment. They asked the usual questions and took blood, and informed her they would supply Steph with the required information.

Amanda passed an even rockier night, and overslept, forcing herself awake with a brisk swim in the pool. She was toweling off when a porter delivered a note, requesting she meet Steph at the resort around four o’clock. The note gave no indication whether she’d passed her evaluations.

Nervous, Amanda was greeted by Steph again at the office building’s front door. They walked together through to a smallish office awash in bright, cheerful sunlight. As usual, Steph didn’t dither. “Medical and psych tests are cleared, so that’s good news. Your background cleared, too, but there are a number of other tests you’ll have to pass before I make any decisions. Even then, I like people to spend about a week here, taking some small bit parts and completing those tests, enough to get a good feel for what it’s really like to work here.”

Amanda nodded. Understandable. A week would be long enough to scare off anyone prone to second thoughts. And maybe she would have some. Too early to tell.

Steph continued with more general information, confirming that the resort specialized in fantasy fulfillment. Most but not all of the fantasies involved sex. Like the staff, clients had to pass physical and mental checks. No cameras or recording equipment were ever permitted. Because this handicapped resort security, there would always be an observer in the room or nearby. No drugs of any kind, and though alcohol was allowed on the premises, the staff was never allowed to work above the legal driving limit.

As to the resort’s history and operations, Steph explained that Fantasy Heights had been in business nearly forty years, and had earned the right to be insultingly picky about which clients got in, and which didn’t. The resort offered both custom and stock packages. Stock fantasies were ongoing twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The resort had staff who did nothing but give estimates for custom fantasies. Clients paid top dollar for ceremony and theater and atmosphere. Likewise, the resort paid its staff handsomely to focus on pleasuring the clients, maintaining security and confidentiality, and abiding by safety and conduct rules.

“One failed drug test, and you’re gone,” Steph said. “We will allow clients to show favoritism, but not the staff. And once you sign, you may not see clients outside working hours, or outside resort grounds.”

Amanda nodded again. Nothing Steph said was unexpected, or seemed unreasonable.

Steph changed course and began to explain their training system. The resort worked almost like a military organization, with ranks determining duties, seniority and availability. She would take part in small bit parts at first and earn her way up in stature and pay grade. To start, she would be trained on the job, working mostly with higher-ranked staff. She would have limited exposure to clients.

“During testing, you will stay in staff quarters,” Steph explained. “If you’re hired, you’ll keep your cabin as an office of sorts. Many of the staff just live here, though a few do keep an apartment in town. That will be your choice, if and when you sign. Now, one more rule for trainees that you absolutely cannot break. While still in training, no penis penetration. Vibrator, fingers or whatever are fine, but no straight-up sex with a client or staff member.”

“Not that I object, but why?”

“Because once, very long ago, a girl who didn’t pass tests got mad and claimed to be pregnant and, of course, sued. So now, no penis penetration unless you’ve signed and we know for sure your birth control is in effect.”

Steph explained the pay grade, and though the salary wasn’t great for a neophyte, it did scale sharply to much larger, enticing amounts. They spent half an hour on security measures before Steph asked whether Amanda wanted to continue on with the testing that evening. There was always room for shadows at the club. She’d have to hurry through hair and makeup, but they could manage if she wolfed dinner and didn’t waste time putting any of her belongings away.

Amanda agreed eagerly, and was escorted to a private and quite tiny cabin three rows back from the lakeshore. Though small, her temporary quarters were clean and had all the necessities, and she could still see the water from her front window.

Steph dropped her at the back door of the club where someone named Kara took over. Kara, the wardrobe director who did hair and makeup for the everyday and special events, didn’t seem to have much sense of humor. She bullied Amanda into the shower, informed her that shadows provided titillating background for club-goers. Other performers would rotate in and out during her shift as they themselves rotated between other duties.

Performers were not allowed to speak while in the shadow box, nor were they allowed to interact with the audience. The key was to pose, provoke and provide atmosphere.

Kara explained all this while gathering jars and bottles and a powdered wig, as fit with the Victorian theme. Amanda stood naked in the middle of the room, waiting. She would wear the wig along with a red sequined mask and a choker necklace of huge fake stones.

Kara couldn’t have been more clinical about the process. She airbrushed some sort of primer lotion on Amanda’s breasts and ass with no more interest than a groom showed a racehorse. This was followed by a powder that made her skin look perfect and pale and glittery. Rouge turned her nipples a deeper red.

Much to Amanda’s relief, the wig turned out to be much lighter than it looked. The mask hid everything from hairline to the tip of her upper lip, and the red pumps Kara selected weren’t too terribly uncomfortable.

“Hurry and get up there,” Kara said. “And remember you’re still in testing, and that anyone could be testing you. Do exactly as you’re told. Nothing more, nothing less.”

With that, Kara led her out into the hall. Amanda followed, fighting nerves as the red patent leather pumps tapped on the backstage linoleum. She’d studied a little ballet and wasn’t completely hopeless, but she’d never done anything like this. She couldn’t even imagine what might await her ‘up there,’ whatever that meant, nor what sort of test she might encounter.

They turned a final corner and the hallway came to an abrupt halt at a black door.

“Just walk through the door. You’ll go up a short flight of stairs and come out behind the blind.”

“The what?”

“Blind. It’s a wall at the back of the box. Clients can’t see behind it. Gives performers room to tweak costumes and swap props. Got it?”

She nodded and followed Kara’s directions along the black-painted hallway, up a short flight of stairs and into the blind. There she found a small landing. More black wood shielded a small entryway with a sink and what looked suspiciously like a dishwasher.

Outside the blind was a twelve-by-twelve glass-walled cube. There on the black-carpeted platform was another girl, clad in a much more elaborate costume. She too wore wig, mask and high heels, but also a black and purple corset that pushed up full, bare breasts with large rouged nipples. Garters held up black silk stockings and left her ass completely exposed.

Amanda watched for a while as the other girl, who was taller and more sinewy, worked with an oversized peacock plume. She traced it slowly, enticingly, up one flank, across her nipples and back down again. She then switched sides, playing to a different side of the shadowbox.

The space inside the box was mostly open, save for two poles, one in the center that stretched from floor to ceiling, and another that rose only a third of the way. Amanda was wondering what that might be for when the other girl caught her eye. Her shoulders sagged and her head tilted in a clear expression of ‘it’s about time you showed up.’

Turning away for a moment, the other girl nodded at something hidden from Amanda by the blind. Amanda faltered, uncertain what she was meant to do, but then realized the corseted girl had nodded at someone else. A man, this time. He stepped forward into view. He was fully clothed in a highwayman’s costume, face also hidden behind mask and hat. Sun-bleached blond hair curled over his collar, giving the only hint to his identity.

Amanda watched as he approached the shorter of the two poles and fitted something over the top. When he stepped away once more, a padded platform a foot square listed sideways on a ball hinge that would allow it to tilt and rotate freely.

The other girl beckoned her forward and Amanda, remembering that she was being tested, obeyed. She stepped out into the box and looked over to see where the man had gone. He stood off to the side in the unmistakable stance of a security guard, or in this case, their observer. Nice build for it. He was tall and thick through the shoulders but narrow through the waist and hips. Not as beefy as most observers she’d seen on the grounds, but nicely athletic.

He watched her in return, dark eyes assessing through the mask. No reaction marred the sharp, straight jawline. No smile touched a firm, sensual mouth. Not a fraternizer, clearly, as the man gave a meaningful nod toward the girl whom Amanda had mentally named Corset.

The club lighting made it difficult to see outside the glass, but from Amanda’s angle, she could see a number of tables close to the shadowbox. Maybe thirty people milled around, though how many were guests and how many staff, she didn’t know.

A subtle guiding motion of Corset’s hand drew Amanda closer to the platform.

Yet another sizzle rippled over her nerves at the thought of what might come next, but she wasn’t given time to worry. Corset took hold of her wrist and drew her closer to that mysterious platform, making a big show of walking Amanda to stand in front of it, turning her away from the audience.

Dangling from the floor-to-ceiling pole was a long, gold silk rope that Corset wound artfully through and around Amanda’s wrists until the soft cord formed silken restraints. When Corset gave the rope a sudden and firm tug, Amanda was pulled toward the platform. The bottom edge connected across her hipbones, and its purpose became clear: the platform was for comfort, to help support some of her weight while she was bent forward, restrained, probably for a long time.

Any worry was quickly replaced with arousal. Bent forward this way, restrained, she could do nothing, while Corset could do whatever she pleased. With the platform propping up her hipbones, the audience would have a clear view of anything happening between her legs.

She realized then that she, or more specifically her nude body, was merely a prop in Corset’s show. There would be no coaching or teaching, which ignited the worry again, but only briefly. Restrained this way, there was little chance she could interfere or make a mistake, aside from trying to pull away from the restraints, and she was hardly likely to do that.

Her nerves were at once soothed and reignited as Corset began the show, using the plume to tickle down Amanda’s spine and over her right buttock, then sweeping up the back of her left thigh. The act continued on that way for quite some time, with Corset smoothing the feather over her flesh, almost hypnotizing her into a state of easy relaxation.

Nothing jolted her from that state or her plateau of hazy arousal as the act progressed onward and the plume was replaced with a soft black leather riding crop. Again Corset used the prop to tease and soothe.

Minutes passed before Corset gave the first gentle smack with the crop. When the blow struck, it didn’t surprise Amanda at all. She’d been expecting it since the props were switched, and there was no sting to the gentle blow. Not until the second flick of Corset’s wrist did the crop have any real force behind it, and even then, when the leather flap struck her right buttock, the sting was exciting and pleasurable.

Three more playful smacks came about thirty seconds apart. Corset changed course again, dragging the crop all the way down her spine and continuing between her buttocks. Amanda instinctively pushed her hips forward, tilting her ass farther up into the air, parting her buttocks for Corset.

The other girl rewarded her by tracing a hand over the sensitive juncture between her left thigh and buttock. She dealt a spank with her palm. Such a sharp impact after all that playing left Amanda’s eyes wide, and she let out a soft cry of pleasure.

Corset responded with another spank. She stood close to Amanda’s side, facing the audience and rubbing both buttocks in an exaggerated, circular motion. Every time her hands met in the center, Corset’s thumbs would trace deliberately over her slit, bringing forth moans of tortured delight. Amanda could feel her own wetness begin to seep out, cooling her aching, exposed cunt.

The show progressed even further as Corset, quite without warning, let her fingertip travel higher to press against Amanda’s anus. Her body reacted with an electrified springing sensation. She had never been penetrated anally before, at least not with anything other than her own finger during masturbation. She’d often fantasized about it. To have someone else playing there, teasing, almost melted her thighbones.

Corset rubbed and pressed for a while, but never penetrated. She leaned over to press her tongue there, wet and warm and intimate. When Corset stiffened her tongue and pressed the tip hard against the pulsing, delicious sting, Amanda let out a long, guttural moan of pure pleasure.

She was disappointed when Corset drew back to use her hands instead, never relieving the sensations she’d alighted. Corset cupped her buttocks and rubbed until Amanda was at the point of screaming. She needed relief. Penetration. Corset’s gentle warm hands slathered pleasure everywhere they touched.

Amanda did get the penetration she craved not much later, but not the way she’d expected. Corset had disappeared for a moment, her purple-sequined pumps approaching once more. A second twinge of disappointment was quickly replaced with startled delight as something solid and warm and vibrating pressed hard against her cunt. It paused just at the opening, Corset no doubt giving the audience a good tease as the club music grew louder, pulsing the floor beneath Amanda’s toes.

She had her own well-used vibrator at home, and was accustomed to its size. Corset’s version was something different. She was so wet now that at first, when Corset finally relented and pressed the vibrator into her aching pussy, it slipped in so easily and she was so relieved she didn’t notice the difference in size. Corset kept pressing, the much wider shaft filling her much more completely, and alighting the first electric impulses of orgasm.

She knew instinctively that she shouldn’t come yet, and breathed deeply to suppress the sensation, glad that she had when Corset changed course. Amanda didn’t understand at first what was happening when Corset nudged the platform with her hip. The motion forced Amanda to lift up. She felt something close firmly around her waist. A strap of some sort, or harness to keep the dildo from slipping out.

Amanda felt a tug at the restraints and then she was free, if only for a moment while Corset turned her around and the highwayman replaced the platform with a longer, broader one. Corset gently pressed her onto it. This one was solid and set at an angle so she could lie back comfortably and lift her feet from the floor.

Corset applied the cord restraints once more. Amanda noticed her hands were tied more firmly this time, allowing no slack, her position forcing her breasts into high relief. The angle of the platform gave her no choice but to lift her feet off the floor. She raised her knees and spread her legs wide.

Now looking at the plain black ceiling of the shadowbox, Amanda couldn’t see the audience, nor whether anyone was watching or paying attention. Never in her life had she felt so completely powerless. Normally that might bother her, but here, in this shadowbox, Corset and the highwayman gave her little to worry about other than being driven completely mad with sexual pleasure. She had no idea what might happen next, but understood that this act they were putting on was not for her benefit, but for atmosphere. The thought that Corset might or might not relieve her arousal only added fuel to the torturous flames licking away at her core.

A sharp pang made her twitch sideways as something pinched at her right nipple, and didn’t let go. Waves of sparkling sensation undulated along her ribs as she lifted her head to see what Corset had attached there and felt a tightening in her belly as something cold draped across her sternum. It was a silver chain. The end had some sort of clamp that Corset had clipped onto her nipple. She watched in fevered anticipation as Corset’s palm pressed her other breast up, pinched the nipple between her fingers, then attached the other clamp.

Twin bolts of sexual lightning coursed down her spine, deepening the pool of swirling, constrained need. How must she look to the audience with the vibrator filling her pussy, and the nipple clamps in place? She tried to picture herself in her mind, and had to let the image go as she felt an orgasm attempting to gather force once more.

She controlled it, but only just, and for the next ten minutes or so, Corset disappeared behind the blind to give Amanda a breather. The highwayman had taken up position nearby, but never moved a muscle as far as Amanda could see in her peripheral vision.

After a time, something caught her eye behind him. She relaxed her arms against the restraints and turned her head to watch as, at a table just outside the glass, a man and a woman began a show of their own. The man, who wasn’t horribly tall but very handsome with dark hair and eyes, drew the woman—also petite with similar coloring—to her feet. Amanda had expected him to kiss the woman, but instead as he stepped closer, he gathered the woman’s skirt up over her hips, and then slowly peeled her white lacy panties down to her knees. He took another step or two forward, forcing his partner back against the tabletop until she sat on the edge and lay back, much the same as Amanda lay now.

The man stripped the panties off, then quite forcefully yanked the top of the woman’s dress down to expose her breasts and their brown, half-dollar-sized nipples. The man then motioned a couple people over and positioned them alongside the woman to hold her knees apart and down.

Amanda couldn’t have looked away, wondering whose fantasy this was: the man’s, the woman on the table, or one of the bystanders. She wondered, too, if she’d ever find out.

Someone else came up beside the man, another woman, and undid his belt and fly. His new helper lowered the pants. He stepped out of them while another man moved in to stroke his erect cock.

While the first man bent to tongue the woman on the table, the others went to work on him. Amanda could not take her eyes away from that woman on the table. Clearly lost in pleasure, the woman turned her head from side to side, her chest lifting off the table as she panted and writhed, held down by many sets of hands while her lover lapped and tasted and feasted.

The sight warmed her and pleased her, and she wished someone might relieve her that same way. She could feel the wetness of her arousal leaking out around the dildo, a rivulet dripping down over her anus to the platform beneath.

She watched, envious, as the man outside the glass lifted his mouth away from the woman’s pussy. He shook the others off so he could trace the tip of his penis along her slit, wetting his head. Grabbing onto her hips, he prolonged the act of penetration, sinking in only an inch or so before pulling back.

Watching the play of muscles in his back and buttocks, Amanda sighed and turned her head so she could see only the ceiling once again. Curiosity got the better of her before long. She peeked off to her other side, only to be greeted by another enticing sight. A man stood bound, his nude body fit and muscular, stretching up toward the hook where his restraints were hung. A woman was on her knees before him, taking long pulls at his cock with a full-lipped mouth even while another man thrust into him from behind.

Envy raced through her anew as her body pulsed in empathic time with the man’s powerful thrusts. She’d give almost anything to be fucked like that right now, to have her pent-up tension relieved. Even still, she’d never felt so utterly alive and vital, reveling in every moment of sensual longing.

She continued to watch, starving for satisfaction, until Corset’s return. Amanda arched her back, nipples tight and tingling with pleasure-pain, begging to be touched and relieved. Corset ran a palm over Amanda’s right nipple in a gesture that was at once possessive and commanding. As the woman stepped further into view, Amanda could see a new addition to Corset’s costume, a black leather harness similar to the one she wore. Corset had filled herself with a placebo, too, but on the front of her harness was a strap-on phallus, black and thick.

Amanda squirmed on the platform, spreading as wide as she could in invitation, anxious to put the strap-on to use. She nearly wept with frustration when Corset paused to remove the nipple clamps, harness and hand restraints. Highwayman appeared to change the platform back to the hinged version. Amanda didn’t need direction this time. She rested her hipbones against the platform while Highwayman added a padded bench for her to kneel upon.

She climbed on, her mind racing ahead to why she might need the extra support, hoping, near desperation now, that Corset meant to use that strap-on, long and hard until the need had been fully and repeatedly satiated.

Corset, however, did not seem satisfied that they were putting on enough of a show. She tugged a reluctant Highwayman into position between the pole and Amanda, who found herself at the perfect height to relieve his straining erection. She pondered whether Corset really meant her to take him into her mouth, and decided she must as the struggle in front of her ended with Highwayman bound tightly to the pole.

Resting on the platform and bench, Amanda reached up and slowly pulled at the ends of the cord lacing the front of his pants closed. Once she did, his reluctance evaporated.

She forgot about her own need as she gently freed his penis from boxer briefs, careful to lower his costume trousers enough that the crowd could see a taut, high ass. His erect cock was every bit as thick as the dildo, and nearly as long.

In fitting with the show, she teased him for a time at first, letting her hands roam his thighs, tracing the long firm lines there, and feeling a distinct shudder go through his frame when her fingers whispered over the sensitive patches just inside hipbones. The telltale sign that he liked what she was doing encouraged her to become more aggressive, tracing feather-light circles on his balls and darting her tongue against the tip of his penis.

It wasn’t long before his motions began to betray him. He struggled to remain still as she took the long length of him in one hand and began to work his balls with the other. When she took the tip of him inside her mouth, she could feel him trying not to strain forward. She liked that he had to battle for control.

She took him as far into her mouth as she could, relaxing her throat muscles, trying to take him still deeper when she felt Corset come up behind her, positioning the tip of the strap-on against her cunt lips.

When it slipped gently, easily inside her, Amanda closed her eyes a moment and translated her gratitude onto Highwayman’s cock. She gave him a strong suck that drew out a growl of agonized, helpless pleasure. Liking the sound, she pushed her head down until the tip of him was right at the back of her throat again and she was almost gagging. She tried anew to relax and take him ever deeper.

Corset, meanwhile, had stopped moving.

Amanda realized Corset should be in control, not her, and raised her head. Immediately, Corset thrust forward, driving the strap-on deep inside, filling her, and driving her forward onto Highwayman’s cock. Understanding now, Amanda cupped his balls, grabbed the base of his shaft, and let Corset set the pace. Each thrust brought her head down, and she worked the tip of him hard. She wanted his release to be as powerful as the one she felt taking shape as Corset pounded into her, again and again, strong and relentless.

The building orgasm made her moan against Highwayman’s cock. She felt a shudder go through his legs. He was trying so desperately not to move that she almost felt bad for him.

Finally, she could fight off her own orgasm no longer and it struck with paralyzing force, clenching every muscle and leaving no nerve unaffected as her pleasure rocketed and careened and grabbed at the strap-on. She clung to Highwayman’s cock, using her hands, stroking harder than ever. His breathless “Oh, my God” piled on the satisfaction.

Corset paid them no mind whatsoever, continuing to grind away, adding gentle smacks on her flank and drawing the orgasm out into a near-painful, glorious seizure of utter ecstasy.

Still Corset did not relent. She continued to thrust on and Amanda continued to enjoy the new, firm and unfamiliar rhythm set up by a female partner. It was by no means gentler, just different, and she felt languid now, though not completely satisfied. All of this was new to her, and she still had an appetite for more. She took it out on Highwayman who, after another few strokes of his balls and deep pulls at his cock, couldn’t hold out. He gave in to the need to thrust, shaking hard with the effort to restrain his motion and not hurt her. Five, six, seven times he pressed himself deeper until finally he went still, quivering, his body locked with the first strike of release.

His control slipped a fraction as his pleasure got the better of him, and she had to concentrate hard not to gag as he jolted reflexively forward. Behind her, she felt Corset grab onto her shoulders and lift up, hissing a whispered caution. “Careful.”

Amanda was slow to let go of Highwayman, tasting him, swallowing him. He seemed equally reluctant to withdraw, but a fourth person had entered the shadowbox. Male this time, and completely nude save for the mask and powdered wig. A new prop had arrived, and the sharp slap Corset planted on Amanda’s ass was a clear order of dismissal.

She remembered abruptly that this was a test, and quickly obeyed, now worried that Corset’s reprimand might cause trouble. She hurried behind the blind and wiped at her chin, struck by the notion that Corset or Highwayman might pass her in the hallways or on the grounds, and none of them recognize the other.

Kara caught her at the bottom of the steps. “Wig, mask and heels can go in the dressing room hamper. Steph wants you to get showered up, grab your next costume change, then report to the Hall.”

“The what?”

“The Hall. The big theater-looking thing, two doors down from the office building. Can’t miss it. Now hurry up. I’ve got someone waiting in the chair. I can’t babysit you all night.”

Amanda hurried back toward the same dressing room they’d used earlier, and stopped dead in her tracks at the sight of the person in the chair. The man was an A-list actor.

Behind her, Kara said, “It’s not really him, though I’m flattered you were fooled. Means I’m getting better with the latex.”

“That’s a mask?”

“Sort of,” Kara said with a clear touch of pride. “He’s a dead ringer to begin with, but I use latex patches to enhance his cheekbones and brows. Pretty good, huh?”

“Very.” Based on the actor’s popularity, she would imagine this lookalike did a roaring trade with women and other men alike.

Remembering yet again about the tests, she asked Kara about the change of costume, and this time was handed a black ponytail holder and a simple black satin mask. Kara instructed her to shower off the glitter and wear street clothes to the Hall. She would be there for half an hour or so before moving on to her next gig, which called for her to be nude save for the mask again. This time she was to braid her hair, and would take instruction from someone named Thomas.

“He’ll meet you at the Hall once you’re done there. Go hit the showers so you don’t miss anything.”

After quickly scrubbing away the glitter, powder and primer lotion, she towel-dried her hair, tore a brush through it, then raced back into her clothes. She got turned around briefly out on the grounds, but soon found the Hall once she located the office building.

The Hall did look like a theater, stretching several stories high with an arched roofline. Inside, she found herself in a lobby. Unsure what she was meant to do, she followed the small crowd of people who were heading into the theater. It wasn’t a large house, maybe two hundred seats between the main level and the balcony, but at least half the seats on ground level were filled.

The stage area was dark. All she could make out as she took a seat toward the back was the glint of chrome on what looked like a drum kit. She didn’t have to wait long to see the rest. The house lights came down and a laser-light show came up along with the type of ethereal, vaguely driving music one would hear for a rock concert warm-up.

Amanda smiled a little, wondering if this was someone’s rock-star fantasy, and whether they’d actually play or sing, or fake it to an adoring, head-banging audience.

Her guess was way off. Three unfamiliar people, two men and one woman, came on stage and took their places at drums, bass and guitar. Then a fourth person came out, this one very familiar. Anyone who’d ever picked up a rock-music magazine would recognize that face and that hair. They would also remember he’d disappeared ten years ago, telling the rest of his band and the record company to fuck off and die as he went. Rumors had ignited the gossip shows and columns for months afterward, the incident legend among rock music fans.

As far as Amanda knew, he hadn’t been seen since, but unless this was another of Kara’s latex jobs, the man who’d just taken the stage was the real thing. But what the heck, she wondered. Why would he need to fantasize about being a rock star? He’d already been one.

She realized she was gaping at the stage, but didn’t care. No one could see her in the dark. As the piped music turned over to the players on stage, she watched the man, the legend, take an awkward step toward the mike with all the enthusiasm of shoving his head into a blazing furnace. She couldn’t help but notice, too, the sudden spike through the crowd around her, a certain electric air of anticipation, everyone’s eyes fixed center-stage. The music drove onward, and just when the man seized the microphone and would have started the first verse, his mouth opened, but all that came out was a small choked sigh of frustration.

Around her, the crowd let out an equally frustrated groan while the man on stage closed his eyes and shook his head. The band, meanwhile, kept on, seamlessly repeating the intro bars, giving him another chance.

This time, same result. He opened his mouth, but all that came out was a breathy croak. And even over the music she could hear him swear. He lowered his head to rest his forehead against the mic for a moment, his body language a flood of failure. After taking a deep breath, he gathered himself, shook his head again, and stalked off stage.

She continued to stare after him, wondering what in the heck she’d just witnessed while the crowd muttered and began to empty the Hall. On the wings of stage left, she saw Steph step out to field the failed singer midflight.

Now the question became where to find Thomas, the man she was supposed to meet. Kara had said this show would last a half-hour or more, but it had taken less than ten minutes. What should she do? Wait in the lobby and hope she overheard some explanation while she waited?

Anxious to hear what it was all about, she filed out with the others, still hearing nothing beyond disappointed complaints.

Outside the lobby doors, someone took her elbow. Amanda turned to find her captor was a very tall man with long, shaggy dark hair, and handsome enough to make her do a double take.

He ignored her rude stare, probably accustomed to that kind of reaction. “You’re the new girl?”

She nodded and followed him outside. They were crossing in front of the office building when he said, “I’ll bet you’re wondering what happened in there.”

“Yeah.”

“Good. Keep wondering, and learn to ignore curiosity. You’re gonna see people you recognize, and not all of them will be lookalikes. They come here to have certain needs met. They trust that Steph won’t allow what happens here to show up on some blog the next morning. Destroy that trust and hundreds of lawyers will descend to grind you into a shallow, sticky puddle.”

“I sorta inferred that from the twenty-seven-page confidentiality contract I signed.”

Thomas snorted. “Are you sure you really belong here?”

Never one to placate, she thought before she spoke. “Well, I like the idea of fantasy fulfillment. I guess I should wait to make up my mind until after I have a better idea what it actually takes, and whether I’m any good at it.”

“Yeah, you definitely don’t belong here.”

“What? Why not?”

“Steph will figure it out before long. Until then, work hard. It’s not difficult. Or at least most of it is easy, as long as you remember that fantasies work a lot like confessions. People are really into it while it’s happening, but afterward, things can get awkward.”

She thought about that for a while as they walked, trying to decide why he felt she didn’t belong here, and what, exactly, he’d meant to tell her or warn her about. Maybe he thought she’d come here to find herself a sugar daddy or something, and how it wasn’t likely to work out.

She didn’t challenge him on it and he didn’t elaborate, changing the subject instead. “I don’t know what Steph’s thinking. Hell of a risk she’s taking, allowing you into that hall. Anyway, we don’t have much time before we need to start, so let me explain what you’ll need to do.”

They walked with purpose along the lakeshore while he explained there were three bread-and-butter fantasies that went on almost all the time: the exhibition-slash-voyeur fantasy, the threesome fantasy, and the forced seduction fantasy. The last, forced seduction, had varied themes and settings, and tonight she’d have a small part in just one of the many flavors offered at Fantasy Heights.

“This couple we’re working with tonight,” Thomas explained, “is a married couple, here to celebrate their nineteenth anniversary. They’re doing the savage seduction theme, where they’re both kidnapped and the only way they get free is by submitting to the savage.”

Her job was to play the handmaiden that prepared the captives for Thomas, who would play the savage. She was to wash both clients and massage them in oil, arousing and teasing. She wasn’t to speak for any reason, no matter what they said or did, nor was it her responsibility to bring either client to climax.

“It happens during the massage sometimes,” Thomas said. “So don’t worry if one of them comes, but your job is only to tease and arouse, then let me take over. And remember to keep your mouth shut. Anything you say could ruin the fantasy.”

They’d arrived at a pair of large bamboo huts, far down the shore from the other buildings. The huts were positioned like an eight, two round sections joined by a single doorway. Inside, she found the first hut had been divided by a wall. Thomas sent her into the dressing area and she quickly stripped, braided her hair, and tied on the mask.

It surprised her how nervous she felt, faced with the idea of being alone with clients, especially with Thomas lurking nearby, probably hoping she made some stupid mistake so he could report her to Steph. He hadn’t even told her where the captives might be, or where she might find the things she needed to wash, oil and massage them.

Then again, she wasn’t helpless, and she ignored her nerves long enough to open the doorway into the next half of the hut. There she found her answers: Her observer, an older man in a plain gray mask stood inside the door and, shackled to the far bamboo wall, were the clients. On the floor nearby was a large old-fashioned steel pail filled with steaming water, and on a table awaited towels and several bottles of oil.

Finding everything turned out to be the only easy part. She’d never done anything like this before, never been the Corset to anyone else’s prop. Never mind that she was only a secondary character in this couple’s fantasy, the clients were completely at her mercy right now, their pleasure at risk from her slightest mistake.

Amanda grabbed onto Thomas’s warnings. Well-meant or not, he’d told her exactly what to do. Wash them. Oil them. Tease and arouse them, but don’t speak.

Easy enough, really, but it still took more bravery than she thought she possessed to move closer to the captives and attempt to slip into the role of a handmaiden preparing sexual blackmail victims for her master. As a submissive, she figured she’d keep her eyes down, slightly fearful, yet envious of the captives who would enjoy her master’s attentions.

The question became which captive to wash first. She decided to start with the man. She plucked a sponge from the tabletop and dipped it into the tub of warm water. Starting simple, she squeezed the sponge against his back. He surprised her by giving the shackles a forceful tug.

Taking a startled step back, she realized the man was in character, probably more than she was herself. After that, it became easier to imagine herself as an aggressor, a seductress, stroking him with the sponge. His genitals received much more attention than the task required. She stood close up against and behind him, wrapping an arm around him, then reaching down to grasp the inside of his left knee. She lifted his leg up and out, making him feel more vulnerable while she cupped his balls, and stroked up and down his shaft.

His uneven, shallow breathing told her she was doing her part to tease and arouse. But she had a good deal of the show to put on yet. The oil would give her more and better opportunities to incite his desires.

She turned her attention onto the wife. Never, with the exception of Corset and Steph, of course, had she experienced any kind of sexual contact with another woman, and certainly not as the instigator. It troubled her that a strong blast of repulsion was her first reaction. Only natural, she supposed. She had always been strictly hetero, yet this job would require her to create pleasure for any client, no matter their gender. Curiosity would have to serve as motivation. Could she arouse another woman the way Corset had aroused her? What would please her?

Unable to think of much else, Amanda repeated the same actions she’d used on the husband. For her first cautious step, she squeezed the sponge against the woman’s back. She was met with no resistance this time, no defiance. The woman’s slow, languid movements betrayed an already aroused state, and it had a strange empowering effect on Amanda. She dragged the sponge across the woman’s breasts, then allowed her hands to wander lower, playfully whispering around the apex of the client’s legs, but never making solid contact.

The woman whimpered and tiptoed forward, chasing Amanda’s hand, which seemed a cue to abandon that captive for a while and begin to oil the other.

Many lessons were learned in the next several moments. First, that oil was incredibly messy, and that even older, married men could be sexy as hell. His skin beneath her oiled hands was smooth, sheathing a muscular, fit frame. His erection was firm as marble and hot to the touch, and she passed a good several moments stroking him, thoroughly enjoying his pleas.

The begging reminded her not to go too far, though an imp she’d never realized she harbored decided she wasn’t quite finished with him yet. She went back for more oil and let it drip down the small of his back, between his buttocks, where she foreshadowed impending events, rubbing his anus and the sensitive line of flesh between anus and balls.

He submitted beautifully, pushing his pelvis back, tilting himself, parting his buttocks. She would have liked to explore him further, but presumably she didn’t have all day to experiment on the male captive. There was a woman to oil for her master. Maybe by focusing on the curiosity she could overcome the shyness she felt about pleasuring another woman.

She began at the woman’s wrists, painting on the oil with gentle hands in firm, long strokes. Next she massaged the shoulders and neck. It came time to oil the woman’s breasts, an area Amanda knew could set this captive alight with need. She was generous with the oil and made herself rub and feel, cupping the weight of the captive’s breasts in her palms, then rolling and pinching the nipples as hard as the oil would allow.

After a time, she began to enjoy the softer feel of the woman’s body and as she moved her attentions downward, did not hold back. She rubbed oil into every crease and fold around the woman’s waxed, naked mound. The captive’s clit was so sensitized she nearly jumped free of the restraints when Amanda began to rub. Encouraged but cautious, Amanda traced over the woman’s slit, thinking how different it felt from her own. She was struck by curiosity that was not forced this time. She wanted to feel the woman inside, and let her fingers do just that, and none too gently. Straightening her index and middle finger, she plunged her fingers upward into the captive’s cunt, finding it hot and soft and soaking wet.

Beside her, the husband reacted to the motion, his gasp of pleasure providing a low harmony to his wife’s. Seeing their response, she wiggled her fingers until the wife began to pump against Amanda’s palm. Knowing she couldn’t allow that to continue, she removed her hand and gave a slap of punishment to the woman’s slightly fleshy behind.

The husband liked that, too, his eyes hungry for more, his erection bobbing in approval and anticipation.

Amanda made a show of disregarding his interest, and focused once more on his wife. Wondering how her anus would feel, Amanda switched hands. She teased a line from the small of the woman’s back down between her buttocks. She wiggled the tip of her index finger into the tightly puckered depression she found there, and though she’d never experienced it for herself, was knowledgeable enough to understand that anal penetration was a process, not an event.

She moved onward, downward, taking a delight she never thought herself capable of in oiling and rubbing the woman’s thighs, teasing, never satisfying the woman’s obvious wish to be penetrated again.

She was painting oil between the woman’s toes when the door opened behind them and Thomas made his entrance. Thomas, fully clothed, had been worthy of a double take. Naked and fully aroused, he was a divine display, his every bulge and groove sharply defined.

Despite not liking him much, Amanda eyed him appreciatively.

He surprised her by coming forward to extend a hand, drawing her from the crouch. Then he turned her oily palms against her own breasts. He made her rub, her hands sliding over her breasts while he watched. His gaze wandered from her eyes to her hands and breasts, and back again in such a way that made her heartbeat speed up.

Looking satisfied about something, he pushed her hands down to his penis. She transferred what was left of the oil on her palms onto his shaft, pulling at the hot length of him, keeping her eyes down this time as a submissive should.

With a quiet “leave us,” he dismissed her. A pang of disappointment rang in her belly. She would have liked to stay and watch, to see the entire fantasy play itself out and watch Thomas—someone far more experienced—pleasure this couple.

It turned out she would have her chance, more than once, over the next several days. When she wasn’t forced to watch videos on safety guidelines and read page after page of conduct rules, she was placed in Thomas’s custody. She didn’t play handmaiden all the time. Sometimes she stood in as observer.

The more she watched the more Thomas’s prowess at this fantasy became both more impressive and more troubling. Impressive because whether playing the savage with a couple or single guest, he was utterly believable in the part, riding a razor-sharp line between force and seduction. He was definitely a physical threat, strong and fast, and when he narrowed his eyes a certain way, even she would quiver with a potent cocktail of fear and lust.

Sometimes the client wanted to be bound, sometimes not, and when they weren’t, watching Thomas capture them and roughly acquaint himself with the captive’s every erogenous zone made her pussy wet every time. Then he would claim his victim and as soon as they submitted, Thomas would flip some switch inside and change tactics, experimenting and playing and drawing the pleasure out as long as possible.

She could tell he preferred women, but was no gentler with them than the men who were always eager enough to submit to such a singularly beautiful man.

What bothered her was how, despite the fact that he was rude and brusque and seemed to have become convinced she didn’t belong at Fantasy Heights, she spent far too much time daydreaming about him. Along with anal penetration, he had risen to the top of her own private fantasy list. She wanted Thomas to take her, and she didn’t want him to hold back.

Each time she played handmaiden, when Thomas would enter the set to claim his guests, she found herself holding her breath, wondering what he’d do. Sometimes he turned her hands onto her breasts as he’d done that first time, sometimes onto his cock, but once, on the fifth day, he sandwiched her between his hardened body and their lone, female guest. The woman’s back was liberally oiled and Amanda’s breasts slid, sensitized. Behind her, Thomas’s erection pushed between her buttocks. She feared this was another test. If she let him penetrate her, she would have violated her training agreement, and he would be rid of the handmaiden who didn’t belong.

And God help her, but she wanted him to do it anyway.

Thomas dragged her back against him, away from the guest, and moved her a distance away until she was up against the wall. There, he lowered his mouth to her ear. “Do you want me?”

Did she dare answer truthfully?

He bent his knees and pushed his cock farther between her legs, rubbing the hot tip along her slit. Her body responded with an electrical storm of famished delight, her cunt pulsing with sensual demand.

“God, you’re wet,” he growled against her ear.

As if to prove his point, he reached down to hook behind her right leg and lift her knee high, much as she’d done to her male captive, leaving her pussy open and exposed. He turned her around so their guest could see as he lowered his other hand, tracing his fingers lightly, tortuously, from her navel down to her mound, but no farther.

The guest’s eyes, darkened with rising desire, tracked his hand’s movement.

He asked, “Shall I take my handmaiden while you watch?”

Oh, God. If the woman said yes, Thomas would do it. He would penetrate her, and she would fail her test, just the way he wanted.

She began to struggle, trying to wriggle free of his too-strong hold on her, frantic to get loose. She couldn’t let him do this. She wanted to work here, to explore pleasure, and stretch her sexual boundaries as far as they could go.

Thomas didn’t budge. She couldn’t fight her way free, or fight him off, and he made matters even worse by plunging two long, thick fingers inside of her. The effect, while she struggled to escape from the savage, very nearly made her come right there on his hand.

Their client was enjoying the show. The woman’s eyes glittering with a greedy hunger that warned her answer would put a quick end to the test.

Amanda let out a whimper as the woman nodded. “Yes. Take her.”

She braced herself for a forceful penetration from behind. Part of her even welcomed the idea, but Thomas had other ideas.

He withdrew his fingers abruptly and lowered her knee, giving her a gentle shove once she was steady on her feet.

“Fool,” he snarled at the client. “You can’t escape what’s coming.”

Amanda fled, her pussy throbbing with disappointed hunger. Whether that had all been part of an act for the client’s benefit, she couldn’t say, but this escalating feud with Thomas could not go on. She did not understand why he didn’t want her here. The worry, coupled with a few tankers full of frustrated desire she felt for him, was turning her head into a tornado of rocket fuel.

Luckily, the next day her schedule changed and she was able to escape him in favor of a long day of videos. Steph appeared in the small conference room where Amanda had been reviewing CPR procedures. The older woman sat down beside her, raised her brows, and asked a difficult question.

“So what do you think of us so far?”

Amanda had no idea how to respond, really. “I… It’s all a little overwhelming at this point. Is that bad?”

“I think I’d worry if it didn’t seem overwhelming. Every new job is, and this one is a bit more involved than most. Tell me, what did you think of Thomas?”

How could she answer that? “Mister America, you mean?”

Steph laughed. “He is pretty, isn’t he? But how did he seem to you? He’s been stuck on the savage seduction grind for six months now, performing four days a week. I keep thinking he’ll get bored and ask for reassignment, but he keeps at it.”

A strong memory of Thomas with his fingers thrust deep into her pussy surfaced bright and strong as when it had actually happened. No, he did not seem bored of the job. He did seem jaded, though, now that she really thought about him. Wounded in some way and terribly unhappy behind the good looks and hot sex. But how could she say that to Steph? She might not like the guy, but didn’t want to get him in trouble.

“I tell you,” Steph said. “He thinks you’re a terrible handmaiden. The worst he’d ever had.”

Amanda opened her mouth in outrage. What did he mean, the worst he’d ever had? What was so wrong? Wasn’t she sexy enough? Did she do a bad job with the clients?

Steph raised a hand in caution. “Don’t take that the wrong way. Thomas is arrogant and blunt as hell, but he’s an excellent judge of trainees. He says submissive roles don’t suit you at all, but you’re too chicken yet to do a good job as a Dom. He also thinks maybe you’re not the type who can always separate sexual pleasure from intimacy, and even emotional pleasure. Is he right?”

She blinked. “I… I don’t… Where does he get all that from?”

“Like I said, he’s a good judge.”

Amanda lowered her eyes. Did he have a point? Could she really do this job without blurring lines between professional and personal? Could she work with people like Thomas and never confuse the work they did with something more intimate?

She remembered how he’d come after her, playing with her desires, forcing her to feel that distinct difference between fantasy sex and relationship sex. Had that been his purpose all along? To teach her not to allow such wants and desires to form between herself and a coworker? To keep things clinical like Steph?

Well. If true, that certainly painted a different picture of Thomas.

Before she could say anything, Steph began anew.

“On the other hand, another trusted advisor says you’ll do just fine. That was Marla.”

“Who’s Marla?”

“You met her your first night. Your Dom in the shadowbox. She said the show you put on really lit things up in the Zoo that night.”

Corset. Marla was Corset. “Zoo?”

“The club. Group sex, two shifts, eight hours each, seven days a week. It’s one of our bigger draws, and Marla needs a fair amount of staff to keep the place running smoothly.” She got a faraway look. “I don’t know what I’d do without her. I’d be sunk without Josh, too, though he doesn’t actually work here. He builds the sets and a lot of custom equipment, like the platforms they tested that night, and takes the odd shift as an observer when I’m in a pinch. By the sound of things, both you and the platforms were a raging success with Josh, at least. Which is saying something.”

Josh must be the highwayman. A vivid memory of how he’d tried so hard not to force himself too deeply into her mouth filled her mind, and brought with it an instant rush of arousal, much different than what she felt toward Thomas, who filled her with ferocious needs. Josh had been a mysterious, gentle tickle of curiosity from her first night, a fond memory.

“Great guy, Josh,” Steph continued. “Never has much to say about anything. Sad story, though. His wife passed away a couple years ago, maybe three or four. Now he’s nothing like he used to be.”

“That’s terrible,” Amanda said, and meant it. Granted, her favorable impression of Josh was based on nothing more than gentle hands, sun-bleached hair and a beautiful cock, but she hated that he’d been hurt, especially in such a cruel fashion.

At the thought, a powerful ball began to spin in her gut. She wasn’t sure if the sensation was sadness or despair. It was hard to tell the difference as Darren, her ex-fiancé’s betrayal, rose up to take a fresh bite of her heart. He had never really loved her. He didn’t love her stepsister, either. Their hasty marriage would end in heartache, and she didn’t like herself much for hoping her stepsister hurt him badly enough to leave scars.

Steph interrupted her thoughts. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, I was just… What you said about Josh, it reminded me how I got here, is all. I suppose you secretly think I’m a coward for running away and hiding here.”

“You want to know what I really think?”

Viewing Steph’s dry expression, she wasn’t sure that she did want to know.

“Oh, I’ll tell you anyway. I think you dodged a bullet when that man left you. But I also think you need to put yourself into his shoes, and think about how much courage it took him to end the engagement. It would have been much easier to carry on behind your back. Most people, I think, would have done that instead, but he at least faced up to the affair and set you free before things could get any worse.”

Amanda rejected the idea, totally and utterly. Brave? Steph was calling Darren brave for cheating, then jilting her?

“Wow, I can see it’s too soon for that,” Steph said. “Forgive me, but I do have to admit the whole thing makes me uneasy. What if we decide to sign papers, then you up and change your mind a couple weeks later? You’re not exactly yourself these days, are you?”

“No, I’m not, but…” The rest tore its way out of her throat like barbed wire. “You don’t know what it did to me. I was always so sure of him, so sure of my job and what I wanted and everything, and then he decides I’m not good enough or desirable enough. It just… Why wasn’t I good enough, you know? What did she give him that I didn’t?”

“Who knows? Who cares? Well, okay. I’ll care if you can look me in the eye and tell me you loved him so much you were absolutely certain you wanted to spend the rest of your life married to that man.”

She could do a lot of things, but not that. Truth was, she’d had her doubts. Didn’t everybody?

Steph let out one of her trademark sniffs of laughter. “You’re a mess, but you know what? I think this place would be good for you, if you can keep it in perspective, and I’m pretty sure you’re smart enough to pull that off. If you’re sure this is what you want, we can start small, a month at a time. That way, neither one of us is obligated for too terribly long. Sound like a deal?”

Amanda would have signed, even without the shortened time frame. Yes, she had qualms and worries and fears, but she’d liked everything she’d done so far, and still wanted to experience things so few people got to experience. Maybe she didn’t know how to handle it all yet, but she wanted to learn, wanted to be the instrument of fantasy for their guests.

“I’ll sign.”

Steph smiled, then nodded once. “Good. I’m glad. Welcome to Fantasy Heights.”

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