The House of Elyot

Hard Bargains

Posted on: June 7, 2016

Mischief Books have just brought out this hot little anthology, which contains my story Open Minded, about a woman who flatshares with a dominatrix.

It contains a slew of other stories as well by the likes of Ashley Lister and Rose de Fer, so there’s plenty of bang for your buck.

Here’s an excerpt from mine:

The advert had asked for an ‘open-minded’ flatmate, and when I asked her what she meant by that, she replied with breathtaking frankness.

“I moonlight as a sex worker,” she said. “Specifically, kinky stuff, a dominatrix. But you don’t need to worry about weirdoes hanging around the place – I know all my clients very well and they’re 100% decent, respectful guys. Most of them pretty well-off, too. No shifty types in raincoats, I promise.”

It took me a while to reply to this. I needed to take stock of her answer. The fresh-faced thirtysomething woman sitting in front of me in sweats and a messy ponytail was a…?

“I know, it fazes most people when I tell them,” she sighed. “If it bothers you, that’s fine, I’ll readvertise…”

“Er, no, no, hang on,” I said. “So you’re saying you meet your clients here?”

“I’ll have made enough for a deposit on a serviced apartment in the West End soon,” she said. “The plan is to move operations out of here as soon as I can. It’ll just be for a few weeks, I hope, until I’ve made all the necessary start-up costs.”

“Start-up costs?”

“You know, marketing, a new web page, maybe some hush money for the concierge. That kind of thing. I’ve already got everything I need for the job itself.”

“The job itself,” I echoed. “You mean, like, whips and stuff?”

“Yeah. Thigh high boots, all that.” She grinned suddenly over the rim of her coffee mug. “I know I don’t look the type. You can’t picture it, can you?”

“I can’t really,” I confessed. Shona seemed such a very typical kind of London woman – gym, office, wine bar, home. Not gym, office, wine bar, walk all over a man’s back in stilettoes. But then, perhaps there was no ‘typical London woman’. It wasn’t as if I didn’t have my own secret dark side, after all. In fact, Shona and I could almost be birds of a feather. Perhaps it was right that we should flock together. “I thought you had to be about six foot tall and built like Wonder Woman.”

“Hey, are you saying I’m not built like Wonder Woman?” she said with a fake pout and a laugh. “No, you’re right. But you can dress up to look like anything, really. And it’s all about confidence. If you can say the right things in the right way at the right time, you can look like a Cabbage Patch doll and still get clients. OK, I might be exaggerating that last bit – you do have to make an effort with your appearance. But it’s not as prescriptive as you might think.”

There was a pause.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I can see this has knocked you sideways. I’ll let you get on.”

“No,” I said, shaking my head for emphasis. “No, it’s OK. Honestly. I said I was open-minded, and I am. I’m more fascinated than repelled, definitely.”

“So you might take the room?”

“Well, it’s a really nice one. And the location’s perfect, two minutes from the Tube. Price is right. I haven’t seen anything else half as good.” I muted my thoughts, to put the minus side to myself. “But it could be noisy, what with all the walloping and howling that might go on. And what if we get raided by the police?”

“It’s really a great area to live in,” Shona enthused. “The high street’s full of pubs and bars, there’s the cinema, loads of shops, leisure centre around the corner, park at the bottom of the hill…”

I made my decision. This was London. When it came to renting property here, there was always a compromise to be made. The question was only what it would be. I could cope with a few submissive blokes passing through now and then better than half an hour on top of my commute, or rising damp. Perhaps they’d even make me the odd cup of tea, or do the dishes for us.

“How often do you see clients?” I said.

“Not that often at all,” she said. “Two Saturdays a month, and one evening a week – usually a Wednesday, six till ten. I’ll always give you tons of warning. If you like, just go out for a drink on those evenings. Spend the Saturdays in town, or with mates, or whatever. It’s flexible, anyway. I’ll always take your needs on board.”

“OK, then,” I said. “I really like the room, and you seem really nice, and…and…OK then. Let’s do it.”

She clapped her hands. “Thank fuck!” she said. “Finally, somebody who knows what open-minded actually means.”

Hard Bargains: A Mischief Erotica Collection by [Mischief]

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