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Blood & Bourbon

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Victoria III, Chapter III

House of Sin

“You want to sell me Chakras?"
Victoria Wolf

Tuesday morning, 29 March 2016

GM: It’s in late March that Sylvia hears: Chakras has burned down. Some idiot with a fire-related kink let things get out of control. Or the dungeon’s less than stringent safety practices caught up with them. No one dead, thankfully, but the BDSM community are shaking their heads.

Victoria’s business is continuing to do well, though. Very well. Anna’s a good secretary and general aide. It’s freed Vic to focus more on expanding and satisfying her client base.

Perhaps that’s why Victoria gets an invitation from a woman named Émelise to discuss a business proposition “regarding the local S&M community’s future” over dinner at Leblanc’s, a nice Creole restaurant in the Quarter.

Victoria: Sylvia is the happiest she’s ever been in those few months. She ensures Anna has a much work that isn’t ‘busywork’ as possible; but, much of what she has is busywork. She does offer here and there to let her take up a riding crop at work.

She has half a panic attack when the invitation arrives. Anna becomes a victim to the hug that follows. There are no survivors.

“What do I do?! What do I wear!?”

GM: Anna is happy for Sylvia. Very happy.

But she is waiting for summer, to get back to being a teacher.

She prefers to receive the crop over wielding it.

“Welllll, is it a business thing, primarily?” says Anna. “Maybe go with something safe, that could be fun or bondage or business…?”

“Um. Whatever that is.”

Victoria: Sylvia already knows what she’s wearing.

What she’ll be expected to wear. The outfit is the first test. If she can’t earn Émelise’s interest, how can Émelise trust her to earn anyone else’s interest?

“I think… I have an idea.”

Wednesday evening, 30 March 2016

Victoria: Sylvia has only a little while to prepare, and she spends every moment fretting. What if she makes the wrong choice? What if she slips up? What if she isn’t judged worth? What if, what if, what if, what if, what if…

Even Anna seizes her by the shoulder to talk some common sense into her.

She isn’t attending dinner.

Victoria Wolf is attending dinner.

“Act like it,” says Anna, in a startlingly accurate rendition of Sylvia.

She steps out of the Ryde Black—as even your arrival matters in this world, she knows—and moves with pointedly languid strides into the restaurant.

The woman that steps into the restaurant is the picture of sophisticated confidence. Her hair is pulled into a stylish bun, silver earrings dangling from her ears. She wears a satin blouse the color of spilt merlot, tucked into a pair of slacks cut for an office setting, but that which hug legs. The outfit sits atop a pair of heels, where function gives way to form.

Once inside, she approaches the hostess and gives the her Émelise’ name.

GM: Leblanc’s is a nice Creole restaurant along Royal Street. Business casual is the dress of the clientele. Lighting is soft and subdued. The building looks old, or at least decorated to appear old; establishments are known to exaggerate that fact to attract more tourists. Rare is the establishment that can turn them aside completely. The hostess is smiling and polite, and tells her quietly that “Mistress Émelise” will see her in a private dining room.

The woman waiting at the table is the caramel-skinned domme who destroyed the other half of Greg’s manhood with her. She has on a dark red dress and greets Victoria with a knowing smile.

“I thought we’d run into each other again, Ms. Wolf.”

“Everyone at Chakras was so sad when you left. But doesn’t every great have to strike out on her own?”

Victoria: A spark of surprised recognition breaks through that iron mask. Her lips curl into a faint smile.

“Mistress… Émelise,” she greets the woman, pausing intentionally, a recognition of their relative roles.

“I’ve never had a decision as tough as deciding whether to stay or take my chances; but, as you said, and it’s only those who take risks that become anything that matters.”

She settles into the chair across from the domme, back straight, hands clasped, elbows off the table, and eyes forward. Victoria Wolf may be one of the predominant predators in the New Orleans BDSM scene, but there’s always a bigger creature. She knows her place and the expectations therein.

GM: “In the BDSM scene or anywhere,” Émelise agrees. “Chef Gino wouldn’t have become famous if he’d stuck at Commander’s Palace forever.”

A waitress approaches the two with menus. Émelise waves her off with, “My usual.”

The woman makes pleasantly idle conversation with Victoria until their food arrives. There are three courses. The other domme’s starts off with crawfish tails with velvety white wine & tomato cream sauce, cayenne, and green onion.

The smiling man who gave Victoria her first interview also re-appears with a leashed sub. The other man wears a leather hood that completely conceals his face, although no gag. Gloves and cuffs render his limbs useless. The first man secures his leash to the table’s leg. The sub lies down on his back and opens his mouth.

“You can get rid of any leftovers there,” smiles the other domme.

Victoria: Victoria orders whatever Émelise’s usual is, trusting her to guide in a place she’s never been, and open to something new in the worst case.

She acknowledges the smiling man. If not for his guidance, she wouldn’t be where she is today.

Her shoe brushes the sub’s cheek; a gentle stroke with a soiled sole.

“If it tastes as delicious as it smells, the only morsel he’ll receive is the dregs on my fork at the end.”

GM: The sub whines.

“Then I guess he’ll go to bed hungry,” says Émelise, raising the first crawfish to her mouth. “Poor boy.”

Victoria: “I’m sure we can find him something to eat,” purrs Victoria, taking her own first of the meal. She removes her toe from his face.

GM: The sub makes a grateful-sounding noise.

“So I’m sure you’ve heard about the recent fire,” says Émelise.

Victoria: “An unfortunate accident, I imagine?” she asks, lofting a brow. They both know that it could just as easily have been an accident as a vengeful client returned for blood.

GM: “Extremely unfortunate,” says Émelise between bites of crawfish.

“Both for its effects and its timing. I’m already in the middle of opening a new club. This isn’t a good moment for me to rebuild Chakras—financially, or in terms of simple time and commitment.”

Victoria: “You have my utmost empathy, Mistress Émelise,” she answers, twirling a side plate of pasta onto her fork.

“If there’s any way I can help, or temporarily offer my services…”

GM: “Oh, I don’t expect charity,” says the other domme. “It’s not practical for me to rebuild Chakras, at this point. So I’d like to sell the land and what’s left of the building.”

“That could be to you, if you’re interested.”

Victoria: She chokes on a sip of wine, but manages not to spray Émelise. In lieu of swallowing, she spits the dregs into the sub’s mouth.

“You want to sell me Chakras?

GM: The sub moans and strains against his tether, mouth open wide to receive her leftovers.

“It’s a bit of a fixer-upper,” laughs Émelise. “The building was gutted by a fire. If it were easy or cheap to rebuild, I’d be doing that myself.”

“So at this point I’m cutting my losses, and selling to someone who’s in a better position to take on that sort of project.”

Victoria: Sylvia is in complete shock. Chakras? Hers? Her very own dungeon? Even ripped apart by fire and being nothing but a blackened husk—or so she envisions—it’s still fucking Chakras!

“I thought the sentimental value alone would make it priceless to you.”

Her voice is soft. Where until that revelation she was carefully curated, now her shock leaks through.

“I’m honored that you’d consider me to rebuild it, but I have to ask: Why me?”

GM: “Because you’re a successful independent domme who used to work for me,” says Émelise. “I’ve had a few prominent names use you as a reference.” She winks. “Nice job with Weiss, by the way.”

Victoria: “Weiss? I thought he’d never tell!”

She thrust her finger up through the air, swirling it.

GM: Émelise laughs.

“Telling wasn’t his first choice either, but I required a reference. You really did leave him hungry for more.”

Victoria: “I could have used him for storage by the time he left,” she grins.

GM: “I don’t doubt it,” Émelise declares confidently.

“Anyway, Chakras. Maybe you want to own your own dungeon and have other people working for you. Maybe you want to open a nightclub or a bar or a bowling alley for all I care.”

The other domme rolls her shoulders.

“It’s not my first house of sin. It wasn’t my only house of sin. I enjoyed it, but in the end, it was a financial investment that’s no longer worthwhile for me to maintain.”

Victoria: She turns her face toward a more somber note.

“Do you remember your first?”

GM: “My first what, client?”

Victoria: “First client. First club. What made you decide to break out on your own.”

GM: “Mmm… you could say it was a series of things. I was in the escort business before I found my way to BDSM.”

Victoria: “Really?”

She speaks with a note of interest, but not surprise. No, BDSM is just one outlet for those climbing the pyramid of whores. Sylvia is lucky to have found a path in through the window.

“And look at you today,” she muses. “All right. You knew I would be interested or you wouldn’t have called me here. Did you have a price in mind? Of course, I’d like to see the damage before anything is signed.”

GM: “Naturally,” says Émelise. “We can do it after dinner’s over, if you’re still free.”

Victoria: “For you?” she asks, smiling faintly. “I have until the sun tells us to go home.”

GM: Émelise laughs again between one of the last of her crawfish.

“I doubt the tour will take that long. Though come to think, day might actually be a better time. There aren’t any functioning lights in the building anymore.”

Victoria: Sylvia agrees with her and offers her her schedule for the next few days.


Thursday morning, 31 March 2016

GM: The next day, Émelise meets her shortly before noon to show her around what’s left of Chakras. It’s badly damaged by fire, as she described, but the building’s frame is still essentially intact.

Victoria: Victoria lets her know that she’ll have an inspector come with her. She isn’t concerned so much with Émelise conning her so much as understanding the scope of any structural damage, which is far more risky and expensive to fix. It was hammered time and again during several of her graduate classes.

GM: Victoria is told that an inspector will be available two to three weeks after she submits the required forms.

The bureaucrat she speaks to heavily insinuates that a cash bribe could speed that up to several days.

Victoria: She makes a quip about the world being more efficient if the requisite bribe is posted on their website, but agrees to pay a reasonable sum to ensure they’re available sooner.

When she arrives, it’s with an inspector in tow, who she gestures to go off and do their job while her and Émelise talk.

“I remember this!” she murmurs, bubbling excitement under that calm. She stops where the reception desk once stood.

“The day you had me take the front desk when Serena called in sick, and that tubby little shit walked in drunker than most tourists and tried to order a fucking pizza! Whatever happened to him, anyway?”

GM: The inspector heads off, seemingly happy to do his job after money’s changed hands.

“Oh, we had fun with him,” Émelise says idly. “I think he spent the night in a cage. He was very frightened to wake up behind bars. I don’t think he remembered much.”

Victoria: “Ha… memories. I don’t know where I’d be today if I didn’t decide I wanted to learn a little more. I figured I could earn what I needed and take some of the fun bits home to my boyfriend.”

She shrugs.

“I’d probably be sitting in an office lamenting how long CAD drawings take to render.”

Sylvia wanders over a room.

GM: The blackened building looks pretty badly gutted. The former engineer well knows that the temperature of fire can cause the affected parts of the building to significantly expand—more than the amount for which they were designed to do. This kind of movement and expansion is likely to result in cracking or structural damage.

“That’s what the lifestyle does, isn’t it?” smiles Émelise. “Gets people to expand their boundaries. Whether they’re dominant or submissive.”

Victoria: She has her suspicions over how bad the damage is, but she’ll wait for the inspector’s report before casting judgment.

“Helping people better understand themselves is what keeps me in the business. Well, and the money.”

She brushes ash of a crippled hunk of metal. It was a table, once.

“When was the last time you played the submissive role?”

GM: “I don’t think that’s why you’re in the business,” grins Émelise.

“Did the chair understand herself any better after you had fun with her?”

Victoria: Caught!

Sylvia flushes crimson.


GM: “Or Greg.”

Victoria: “…ah, yes, Meatball did have a name, didn’t he?”

GM: “I don’t know, Meatlessball seems more fitting now.”

Victoria can still remember his screams.

But also her own.

Victoria: She shivers.

“It looked more like a meat patty.”

She snorts, shaking her head.

“Mistress, may I ask you something?”

GM: “Feel free.”

Victoria: “Chakras is—was—void of safety, both for the victims physical health and for use of a safeword meaning anything. What I’ve come to understand from other dungeons and most of the internet world is that that’s… uncommon.”

Translation: it doesn’t happen.

“Why? I can surmise an answer, but I’d like to hear it straight from you.”

GM: Émelise laughs.

“Go visit more dungeons.”

“It’s less uncommon than you’d think.”

“As to why, it helps the worthy to grow and become more than they are. And the unworthy can still serve their pleasure. That’s all there is to it.”

Victoria: Has she strayed too far from the shepherd’s teachings? Is her penchant for security and safety in those she dominates wrong? She pauses.

“I see.”

GM: Émelise just smiles knowingly.

The two spend a little more touring the building, or what’s left of it. Victoria thinks she recognizes some of her devices. Steel, at least, is more resistant to fire than drywall. The inspector gives his assessment. There is structural damage, and worse than it looks. This was an exceptionally hot fire.

Still, like anything, enough time and money can fix it. It’s still prime real estate in the heart of the Quarter.

Victoria: Victoria is disappointed to hear of the depth of structural damage, but it’s what she expected to hear. It’s not just a perfect location in the heart of the Quarter. It’s Chakras! It’s fucking Chakras, and she can own it if she says yes.

She’s excited, and she wants to leap for joy and let her mind dream of all the possibilities, but she keeps it reigned in. No, Émelise is an ally, but she’s also a predator. She wouldn’t have gotten where she is today if she isn’t capable of tossing an innocent into oncoming traffic, and so Sylvia is mindful of the cost to come. She won’t be taken advantage of.

“It’s unfortunate, how thorough the damage is.”

GM: “Yes,” agrees Émelise. “But then, it’s why I’m selling in the first place. Too much time and trouble for me to rebuild right now.”

“So what do you think?” she asks. “Do you want to run your own house of sin?”

“It’s a wonderful feeling, to have other dominants subordinate themselves to you.”

That’s what Greg thought, too. Laughing over how much he loved to tame dommes.

Victoria: Greg earned his place.

“I think you know the answer to that,” she smiles. “And that this is entirely due diligence and pleasant conversation.”

GM: “Then let’s talk figures,” Émelise smiles back. “I’ll get you a marketing packet with the property valuation and other info, and we can get a broker to draw up something in writing.”

Victoria: She nods, holding out her hand.

“I’ll look forward to it, Mistress.”

GM: So that happens. Émelise’s broker comes to Victoria with an offer, which includes the following: price, terms, earnest money, bank financing, seller financing, assignment, due diligence period, closing date, utility charges, seller’s disclosure, promissory note, deed of trust, etc. The broker says he’s there to facilitate the negotiation process to ensure that both parties get what they want.

Émelise is selling for a bargain rate, given Chakras’ damaged state. There will obviously need to be extensive repair work. But the land is still worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Victoria doesn’t have enough money to afford this out of pocket. That’s just the nature of commercial real estate. She’ll need to negotiate with bankers to help finance the deal.

Or, Émelise says, she’s willing to sell for even lower. But Victoria will owe her for it.

Victoria: “I wouldn’t dream of pressing you below a fair value,” she says at the offer. “So long as the offer is still fair for you, I’ll accept a marginally lower rate in place of a favor or two.”

Or four.

She’ll still need a loan. She’ll still be in debt. However, a debt to the powerful can be a boon, too, and she intends to use it to help their relationship blossom.

Sylvia clarifies a single restriction: that her favors owed must only involve her.

GM: “I can’t ask you to ask someone else to lend me a cup of sugar?” asks Émelise.

Victoria: She smiles a faint smile.

“Mistress, I only want my family left out of whatever favors you might ask. As little time as we’ve had together, I feel that I know you. Somewhat.”

She straightens her jaw, not quite tense, but certainly more serious.

“I won’t try to presume that your asks have conditions I control. Not after what you’re doing for me. Ask what you will, and I will do everything I can to sate you.”

GM: “That’s just what I love to hear,” smiles Émelise. “And don’t fret, I’m sure that anything I might want from your family I could just as easily get from somewhere else.”

“Besides, what family?” she laughs. “I wasn’t aware that Victoria Wolf had any.”

Victoria: The only answer she receives is a smile.

Thursday afternoon, 31 March 2016

GM: Jordan takes Victoria’s money and eventually reports back that the job is done. He has pictures, some better than others, of Adam (who looks pretty out of it) getting fucked by two trashy-looking black prostitutes. They’ve trashed his house, too. There’s drugs, shit, and vomit all over the place.

Victoria: Victoria makes some amused, at-his-expense comments, taking the pictures and thanking him.

Thirty minutes later, he’s more familiar with tricks he didn’t know Victoria knew, and entirely convinced she can tie knots with her tongue.

She makes an appointment with Christina to deliver the evidence.

GM: Jordan sure seems to think he’s come out ahead in the transaction.

Christina meets Victoria at another restaurant that evening, alongside a third person. She’s a buxom-figured woman in maybe her early 40s with wide hips, ample breasts, and wavy auburn hair that falls past her shoulders.

“This is Jill,” says Christina. “She has contacts in the media that can ensure these pictures get disseminated.”

Victoria: Victoria orders a drink. She hasn’t been very hungry the last few days.

“Victoria,” she introduces herself to the woman, offering a firm handshake.

“Lovely. Thank you, Jill.”

She’s sure that there’s some bill unmentioned. Christina probably took care of it.

“What about the man himself? Has he given any word to the police? They’re not going to let it go, but they aren’t going to be stupid about it.”

GM: “I presume you mean Adam?” says Christina.

Victoria: “Unless you’re toying with the lives of multiple m—”

A pause passes. Of course she is.

“Yes, Adam.”

GM: Jill smirks at her first statement.

“Don’t be silly,” snorts Christina. “A priest tell a bunch of police that he broke his vows? Too many chances of that getting leaked to the press.”

“The Malveauxes are more likely to deal with their problems internally,” says Jill.

Victoria: “I’m sure more than one altar boy will pay for his transgressions.”

She should call Jordan and ensure they didn’t leave any clues behind. Maybe later.

“And for our next performance…” she muses.

GM: “I’d advise waiting,” says Jill. “Two incidents of this type in quick succession will have the family even more alert.”

Victoria: “Probably. It doesn’t mean we can’t plan.”

GM: “Who would be your next choice?” says Christina.

Victoria: “We should probably stray from prominent politicians…”

“…and from murder.”

GM: “That’s a what, not a who,” laughs Jill.

Victoria: Victoria thinks for a time.

“…what about Westley? Even the dead can still bring shame to a family name, if the right ‘facts’ come to light.”

GM: “It’s not impossible,” says Christina. “Lord knows they were covering up his scandals left and right when he was alive.”

“If anything, his death benefited the family.”

She looks thoughtful for a moment.

Jill laughs.

“That’s not impossible, either,” says Christina.

“Few things are,” says Jill.

Victoria: “What do you know about his scandals?” she asks Christina.

GM: “Enough to doubt the official narratives, for one,” she answers with faint amusement.

Victoria: “Go on…” she says, sipping her tea.

GM: Christina looks at Jill.

“Are you new to this, duckie?” asks the other woman, smiling.

“You look young. You’re certainly pretty.”

Victoria: Victoria gives her a look, neither an admission nor petulant defiance.

GM: Jill’s smile doesn’t drop, though it turns a shade more knowing.

“Let me give you some advice,” she says. “Sitting at the big girls’ table will depend on your ability to find things out for yourself.”

Victoria: She takes the advice in silence. It’s appreciated, and clearly received.

“Is there a line the two of you won’t cross?”

It’s a genuine question.

GM: Flint dances in Christina’s eyes.

Anna lost her job.

Christina lost a loved one.

“Probably not,” says Jill.

Victoria: And so she begins.

“We can continue in line with ruining their connection to the church. Gabriel is found drunk with an abused, innocent altar boy, who also has alcohol in his system. Wouldn’t it be tragic if Gabriel wasn’t cautious with how much he gave the child to drink? If he died?”

She shrugs.

“One stroke—forgive the pun—severs his future both with the cloth and his father’s vision of politics.”

A pause passes, and she holds up a finger.

“Poor Virginia can’t handle her cousin’s inner nature coming out. The pressure of family, Gabriel’s actions… It’s all too much. Who would have seen the suicide coming?”

GM: Christina considers that.

“It wouldn’t need to be an altar boy. Evidence of homosexuality alone would finish his future with the family. It’s put Caroline on the outs from what I’ve picked up.”

“Someone’s been digging,” smiles Jill. “There’s been nothing about her in the tabloids.”

“No, there hasn’t,” says Christina. “The Malveauxes are obviously trying to keep it in the family. That’s another avenue to explore, though outing Gabriel would hurt the family worse.”

“The three kings have only so many male heirs,” Jill nods. “Just him and Luke, with Adam a priest.”

“The idea with Virginia is stupid,” says Christina. “Why would she kill herself over her cousin?”

“It’s moot,” says Jill. “Not in the city anyway.”

Victoria: She shrugs.

“So forget Virginia. Homosexuality is easier to pursue than an altar boy.”

Said the gay.

GM: “Yes, it is. A minor would throw criminal violations into the mix,” says Christina. “On the other hand, an older man using Gabriel as a bottom would be a terrible look for the family.”

Victoria: Victoria lofts a brow, a ghost of a smirk breaking her stoic expression.

“All right. Older man. Black? Why not make it worse?”

GM: Jill laughs. “In for a penny, in for a pound.”

Victoria: Tap, tap, tap go her fingers.

“The alcohol angle would work, but would remove his agency somewhat. As would simple pictures. Hmm…”

“I had imagined them being walked in on, but nothing would stop him claiming innocence and rape. Then again, that’s what he’d do anyway.”

GM: “Yes, it is,” says Christina. “It doesn’t matter. The family’s still in a terrible spot if evidence gets publicly leaked.”

Victoria: “As in, if our senior black friend were to upload the video to SexHub, and…”

She looks to Jill.

“…the media caught wind of it?”

GM: Jill laughs again. “SexHub or wherever else. The source doesn’t matter, as long as the video’s real.”

Victoria: “Wonderful. I’ll dig into my cabinet of morally questionable, elderly, homosexual black men and get back to you when the veritable eclair has been creamed. Unless there’s anything else, ladies?”

GM: “I don’t think so,” Christina says dryly. “Call us when you’ve found someone, or if you run into complications.”

Friday morning, 1 April 2016

GM: The next weeks promise to be busy, busy, busy for Sylvia—or, increasingly, Victoria—getting her new business up and running.

Once she signs the dotted line, they begin the due diligence process. The broker facilitates the process to provide Victoria with the information she needs, while ensuring that no one knows the building is for sale until the deal is closed. Émelise says she “prefers not to advertise” the details of her business transactions to the public.

Then there is the building inspection. Victoria has already brought an inspector. The inspector needs to come by again, along with an engineer, appraiser, general contractor, and various sub-contractors. Bribes are necessary at various points.

Then comes negotiation with bankers. Victoria has to put together a professional marketing package, like she’s the one selling something—which she is—to convince bankers to finance the deal and the building’s repair. Bankers like it when they have all the information they need presented in an orderly manner, Émelise says.

There’s more backroom dealing there, too. Émelise is already selling Chakras to Victoria at a discount, so bankers don’t need to finance as much. That will help, says Émelise.

“But so can fucking them,” smiles the older domme. Victoria is fairly new to the world of banking and finance, but Émelise seems like she’s done this sort of thing a lot with her assorted businesses. She lays out several bankers they can approach:

There is Paul Simmons, who works for Fidelity Bank. He does “unspeakable” things in bed. Émelise says that Christina Roberts and Channelle Riqueti refuse to hire out their girls to him—no amount of money will change their minds. Victoria has heard of Simmons’ name, herself. She knows he is unwelcome in the “mainstream” BDSM community and that many dommes likewise refuse to take him as a client.

The St. Johns in the French Quarter are the local branch of the larger St. John family. They own a regional private investment bank and are rich perverts with a reputation for deviancy. They mostly avoid the public BDSM scene, too. Émelise says they prefer to keep their appetites behind closed doors, but assures those appetites are quite insatiable. They don’t enjoy the same black reputation as Simmons, though Émelise still laughs at the thought that mainstream BDSM practitioners could “keep up with them.”

Whitney Hancock Bank is another regional bank with a presence throughout the South. Émelise says that one of its board members, Warren Whitney, has a taste for escorts and sadomasochism. His tastes run “more mainstream.” He could go to a public BDSM club without getting kicked out—though given his family name, he likewise prefers to keep things behind closed doors. The Whitneys are old money and don’t want to wind up in the tabloids.

Finally, there’s Bank of Columbia. They’re a corporate monolith with a branch presence in New Orleans. Émelise doesn’t have any contacts at the bank. They will treat financing her purchase of Chakras like a standard business transaction, no sex involved, if Victoria doesn’t want to find and seduce a banker there. They’re probably the most vanilla option.

Indeed, Émelise seems to have listed these contacts from most to least deviant. The more deviant, Émelise says, the more money Victoria can expect to save—if she can satisfy the bankers’ urges.

She’s also, of course, free to approach multiple bankers and request smaller sums from each.

Victoria: Busy, busy, busy. Between a girlfriend in need of constant attention—or so she feels, and not to a detriment—due to a budding relationship and interest in her new place as a submissive, the business she has already, and the sudden influx of new possibility, Sylvia hardly has a moment to herself. She feels like the busiest woman in New Orleans, and she revels in it.

Success takes time.

Though she has her opinions on each, she stows them in the back of her mind and weighs the cost and merit of each.

The thought of Paul Simmons brings both curiosity and revulsion. If no one in the BDSM community will work with him, there’s a reason for it. Victoria Wolf might be a budding star in New Orleans, but she’s not the most depraved name in the business, and she knows it. If she knew more about him, she might entertain the possibility. Alas, she does not.

The St. Johns are somewhat more palatable, but only in so much as a washed slug is more palatable than one off the ground. She wrinkles her nose at the thought, but moves on for now.

Whitney Hancock might just be the goldilocks zone of bankers. A reputable name. Reasonable tastes, if rough. A desire to be kept out of the tabloids. It’s perfect for her; though, he’s a business man through and through. He won’t crash his business for a night of raunchy fun.

Bank of Columbia is a last resort. Victoria Wolf deals in people, not faceless entities.

After taking the time to think over the options while she makes herself a cup of coffee, she returns to Émelise, seemingly still pensive.

“I have my thoughts, but I’d like to pick your brain on them.”

She sips.

“…Simmons. No loan is worth getting myself killed, or permanently scarred. What’ve you heard about him? I’ve heard rumors, but nothing concrete.”

GM: Busy becomes Victoria. That’s what Émelise says. Even Anna says so, too.

She’s happy to see her girlfriend’s hard work paying off.

But even when it pays off, as Victoria can now well attest, success still takes time and toil.

“He was banned from Chakras, and the other places I own,” says Émelise. “His money isn’t worth the trouble he could bring.”

Victoria: “Banned… because of something he did there? Or on rumor?”

GM: “Let’s simply say I know his tastes,” smiles Émelise. “He’s unpredictable. Sometimes all he wants is a blowjob or missionary.”

Victoria: Victoria lofts a brow.

“I’m impressed by your penchant for secrecy even with a client you never intend to see taken again.”

GM: Émelise simply laughs at that.

“He still takes partners, though. Men like him always find a way.”

Victoria: She grunts.

“…right. So you’d recommend I pass on him.”

GM: “He’s not worth it as a $500 a session customer. Financing a sale this large, though, could be another story. He’ll probably give you the best rate out of anyone, if you think the risk is acceptable.”

“If you do, I’d take precautions to ensure your safety that don’t rely on his goodwill.”

Victoria: “Precautions like…? I don’t think I’ll be able to reach for a gun if he has me tied up.”

GM: “Precautions that don’t leave you at his mercy. You’re a bright girl, I’m sure you can think of ways to do that.”

Victoria: She smiles faintly.

“The St. Johns don’t carry quite the same dark name, if similar tastes.”

GM: “The St. Johns are better at keeping it behind closed doors. They don’t hunt for new victims, like Simmons does.”

Victoria: “Mistress, I’d like you to answer one question honestly about Simmons.”

“Just one.”

GM: “Ask.”

Victoria: “Has he killed a girl?”

GM: “I’ve never seen him do so. But it wouldn’t surprise me.”

Victoria: She clicks her tongue. Nope. Not worth the risk.

GM: “He hosts play parties, sometimes. You might’ve heard of the ones up at Audubon? They’re his.”

Victoria: “Heard? Yes. Had the pleasure? Declined politely, for reasons discussed. I like my lips attached to my body.”

GM: “I suspect he doesn’t kill most of the girls he fucks, of course. Even he couldn’t get away with leaving a big enough trail of bodies. But for a ‘special’ occasion, with a girl he’s sure won’t be missed? I could see him doing it.”

Victoria: Victoria would be missed. That’s comforting.

GM: “No, I’m sure he’s done it, if he really thought she wouldn’t be missed.”

What would Anna do, if she never came home?

Her mother?

Victoria: "The worst you’ve heard the St. Johns do?

GM: “Necrophilia.”

Victoria: “That’s it?”

“I’m less concerned with them wanting cold pussy than making it that way.”

GM: Émelise regards her question with amusement.

“I haven’t heard of them murdering girls. Just doing things that would make amateurs blanch.”

“It’s easier for an amateur to say they’re into extreme things than to actually do them.”

Victoria: Victoria gives her a coy smile.

“Try me. What’s the worst you’ve done?”

GM: Émelise laughs at that.

“Oh, we need to work our way up to that, Ms. Wolf.”

“But as far as something to tide you over, well, I fucked my father.”

Victoria: That earns an inquisitive expression, but one with no judgment therein.

“That is a story for a glass of wine,” she answers, but leaves it at that. If Émelise isn’t entirely aware of Victoria’s curiosity in her—and there’s been plenty of evidence for that, both years ago and today—she is now. Victoria wants her, if only for an hour. Probably more.

“The St. Johns sound like a bundle of fun, if they’ll respect rules; which, I don’t expect them to do. Curious. Both them and Simmons are good friends to have if they see you as a repeated source of fun, I imagine; and if they see you as a renewable resource, I imagine they’re less likely to want to ruin you in one session.”

She thinks on that for a moment, tapping a midnight fingernail on the table.


GM: “What’s the worst you’ve done?” Émelise asks.

“Or something to tide me over, for now.”

Victoria: “Greg might be the cruelest I’ve been, but he wasn’t a client.”

Still, she savors the memory as much as she reviles it.

“The thoughts I have around you are, well…”

She allows that to remain unfinished; an implication and a mystery, both. Let Émelise follow the bait if she desires.

“Two brothers visited me over the winter. Previous college football players. Married. Conservative values. I made them finish into a pair of shot glasses, gave each the other’s, and told them to mix it without using their hands. They’ve never been closer than that.”

She pauses to drink, if only for effect, and smiles.

“They spat it into a bottle of textured wine and gave it to their mother for Mother’s Day.”

GM: Émelise smiles and sips her drink at the mention of those thoughts.

She laughs aloud at the story about the brothers.

“How delicious. There are so many stories about sisters getting fucked together. Or mothers and daughters. Why is it never brothers, or fathers and sons?”

The question sounds more rhetorical than anything, though, as she chuckles to herself.

“So did they both request a session together? Or did you talk them into that?”

Victoria: “We always talk them into more than they desire, because we know what’s best for them.”

She winks.

GM: “Truer words never spoken,” declares Émelise.

“As to your question, I think your assessment on the St. Johns is correct. They’re fairly slow to let new playmates into their circles, for a variety of reasons. But I imagine they’d be good friends to someone they fully let in.”

Victoria: She asks, quite serious, “Would I be in over my head if I take Simmons?”

GM: “As for Simmons, I think much of the fun for him lies in ruining his playmates. Still, he doesn’t ruin everyone who shows up to his play parties, or to the ones he’s invited to. So he can behave himself, if he’s sufficiently motivated.”

“Simmons is a risk. Whether you think he’s worth it is up to you.”

Victoria: She drums her fingers on the table, looking away.

“I find the prospect of taming the problem child enticing for attracting future prospects.”

GM: Émelise laughs.

“Oh, my dear, you won’t tame him. Let’s be clear on that.”

“I’ve never heard of him looking for a dominant partner. Exclusively submissives.”

“Everyone has it in them to be a switch, of course… but that’s not something I’d gamble on with a first meeting.”

Victoria: “When a zookeeper tames a tiger, it isn’t with a whip. It’s with food, and with respect. It’s not that I expect him to bend over and call me mommy. It’s that I hope to paint him such a promise of what I can bring him that he comes to me for his meals.”

GM: Émelise smiles.

“Just keep the whip handy, in case he gets any ideas about what his next meal is.”

Victoria: “Do you ever feel the need to bring security to a potential client?”

“Do you visit them in their homes?”

GM: “They usually come to me.”

Victoria: “Over and over again, I’m sure.”

GM: “Yes,” she agrees, casually, as though it’s a basic fact.

“I don’t think Simmons would appreciate the presence of security.”

Victoria: “He wouldn’t appreciate being dissuaded from his meal, but I don’t intend to be eaten. Sampled, maybe.”

She taps a finger to her lip.

“…it’d be symbolic to fuck him in Chakras, in a way. In its current state.”

GM: “Yes, it would be. Though good luck with that too.”

Victoria: She snorts.

“I can think of three reasons why it wouldn’t work. What’s yours?”

GM: “More freedom in how he plays with his food at home.”

Victoria: “I don’t think it’s a good idea to visit him in his home without a sacrifice.”

GM: “Smart girl.”

Victoria: Victoria is unhealthily focused on the promise winning over Paul might present. In other ways, being associated with him might damage her further. Maybe.

She sighs.

“Tell me it’s a terrible idea. You’ll get your loan no matter who I choose.”

GM: “I’d sooner let you make the decision yourself.”

“You’ve heard my thoughts on the various bankers.”

Victoria: She groans. The stress is easily apparent.

“Tell me about Whitney.”

“Would he ask me to wear a clown suit?”

GM: “I’ve not heard of a client requesting that before, but I’d believe anything in this business.”

“Whitney’s into fairly standard BDSM, from what I hear. Probably nothing you haven’t done before.”

Victoria: “Whitney is a client I’d like. I think, for this, I’ll go with the St. Johns.”

GM: “Have fun,” smiles Émelise.

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