Finally. Finally I can move into my new apartment. There have been the usual irritating delays but I paid a company that specializes in executive removals to expedite it, and here I am. About fucking time.
There’s a faint smell of fresh paint hanging in the air, even though I’ve opened every window. I wanted the whole place redecorated in white: cold, clinical, heartless. It suits me very well. I’ll have to get some damn furniture to go in here. I guess I’ll have to hire an interior decorator to take care of it: I have neither the time nor interest. As long as they keep it simple, I can live with it.
I’ve emailed a budget to Kirsten so she can decorate her room however she wants, within reason. Nothing too bright or weird or my nosy little sister will be asking questions. Better still, I’ll keep the door locked and say it’s a storage closet.
But there’s one new purchase that I intend to make myself: I can’t subcontract this job to any one – and I don’t want to.
So, on a Saturday morning in mid May, I find myself in front of Sherman Clay’s on Fourth Avenue, impatiently waiting for 10am to arrive. They’re two fucking minutes late opening up which puts me in a foul mood. How the fuck can these people run a business if they can’t fucking open on time?
But my irritation evaporates when I explore the Steinway showroom, filled with the most beautiful instruments. Each piano is built individually and the grands can take up to a year to produce. The wood, rims, tops, soundboards and actions cure for months in special kilns and conditioning rooms, stabilizing the moisture content. I’ve ensured that the air temperature in my apartment will be consistent and sympathetic. I may be a monster, but I can still appreciate a thing of beauty, like Caliban.
A salesman is watching me from a distance, a slight frown on his face. I don’t look like his usual customer; I haven’t bothered to shave, and I’m wearing old jeans and a plain, white shirt. It doesn’t bother me; why should it? The jeans no more represent who I am than the most exquisite, tailored Savile Rowe suit: it’s all a mask.
My decision should be fairly straight forward: either I’ll go for the Music Room Grand, an instrument that has tone, clarity and pitch consistency, and at seven feet, will fill some of the space in my cavernous apartment; or I’ll go for the Concert Grand, designed to work with a full symphony orchestra, and nearly nine feet in length. Excessive, perhaps, but a masterpiece of design and majesty. It would be $165,000 well spent.
But first I want to hear them: I won’t know until then which I prefer to play.
The salesman’s eyebrows disappear into his hairline when he hears my request.
“You… you wish to play them?”
Well, I’m not going to fucking tap-dance on them.
He tugs at his necktie and I can tell he doesn’t know whether he’s risking blowing off a sale that will ensure his bonuses for a year or risk letting a lunatic near a very expensive instrument.
“Sir is a pianist?”
“I play, yes.”
I can tell he wanted a more definitive answer.
I see him looking for back up.
“If you’ll just wait here, sir, I’ll check with the manager.”
It’s irritating to have to wait, but there’s nowhere else in the state that sells Steinways. For the best, I will wait, but I don’t have to fucking like it.
Three minutes later he returns with the manager.
“My name is Bellamy. I understand you wish to try two of our instruments, Mr…?”
He doesn’t recognize the name, but I’m not bothered by that. I’ve never understood people who feel the need to ask, ‘Don’t you know who I am?’ Why would I care? I don’t want anyone to know who I am. Ever.
“And are you intending to purchase an instrument, Mr Grey?”
“If I like it.”
He knows we’re playing a game and he gives a slight smile.
“Very well. Which instrument would you like to play first?”
“The Music Room Grand.”
He escorts me towards the beautiful, gleaming piano, and dons a pair of gloves to expose the keyboard.
I seat myself on the stool, making small adjustments to ensure the pedals are in the correct position for me, and that my hands are a comfortable distance from the keys.
I depress the piano pedal, listening to the soft thrum as the dampeners press onto the strings: it sounds like the instrument is waking up, starting to breathe.
I run my hands up and down in a series of arpeggios, listening intently to the quality of the sound, the tone and pitch, feeling my way.
It reminds me of touching a woman: listening to her body, feeling her swell under my careful fingers, knowing exactly how much or how little pressure to exert; knowing the exact movement and moment when she’ll fly over the edge, experiencing intense pleasure and release.
I know exactly what piece I want to play to hear to make this instrument sing: John Field’s Nocturne No. 10 in E Minor Adagio. It sounds simple but Field’s work is technically challenging. I begin to lose myself in the music, feeling rather than hearing the notes pour from my fingers. I’m also listening to the richness and clarity of the tone, the rise and fall of the pitch, trying to imagine how it will sound in my apartment.
Playing a beautiful instrument is not unlike running a company: the same dexterity is required; the same ability to listen and speak, hear and play; to know when less force or more is needed; to know when to hold back; to know when to go for the kill.
Too soon, the piece is finished and I find I am still in the real world, in a piano shop in Seattle. I can never fully lose myself – not for long. My shadow follows me wherever I go, mimicking me, mocking me.
“Mr Grey, that was… simply exquisite,” says the manager, smiling at me.
And I can tell he is a real music lover because at this moment, he no longer cares about the sale; he cares that one of his beloved pianos will have a home with someone who will nurture it.
“Would you care to try the Concert Grand now, sir?”
“Thank you, Mr Bellamy, I would.”
Again, I seat myself at the stool; again, I adjust it for height and distance from the pedals and keyboard; again, I warm up with a few arpeggios in both minor and major keys. The sound is astonishing, rich and full, designed for every note to be heard in a concert hall of 2,000 people.
I need a bigger piece of music to test its range. I begin to play Philip Glass’s Metamorphosis 2, the sad, sweet music ranging across the octaves.
When I finish, both the salesman and Mr Bellamy are speechless. But I’m not sure: I want to test this piano a little more. I begin Bach’s Italian Concerto but stop almost immediately.
“Ah, is there a problem, Mr Grey?”
“Not with the instrument, no.”
The truth is that piece is too light, too buoyant for my tastes. I need something darker… yes, Messiaen’s Regard Des Anges.
Something in my eye-line disturbs me. I look up, irritated and am annoyed to see that I’ve attracted an audience. What the fuck is wrong with people? Why do they always stare? And the stupid fuckers applaud. What do they think I am? Some sort of circus freak, turning somersaults for their entertainment? I’m filled with irrational rage. This is private: my music is private.
I stand up and stalk away from the instrument.
“Mr Grey?” Bellamy comes up behind me, looking concerned. “Are you quite well?”
His question knocks me off balance.
“Yes, I’m fine. I’ll take the Music Room Grand.”
I fish out my credit card and hand it to him. He looks bemused but takes it.
“You play very well, Mr Grey,” he says, hesitating, twisting my card in his hands. “Please don’t think me presumptuous, although of course, that’s exactly what I am, but if I might suggest: you should control the music; the music should not control you.”
For the first time I really see him. Not the manager in a suit, not the man who will take my money, not the man who is simply doing his job, but I see him – and he sees me. I can see that he is a good man; I think he can see that I am not.
“Thank you, Mr Bellamy. You are quite right. It has been… a long week.”
My parents were hurt and disappointed after out disastrous family lunch; Mia isn’t speaking to me; and Jessica went home in tears; and Daniel Roberts is trying to fuck over my latest acquisition. Yes, it has been a long week.
“I understand, Mr Grey. If you’ll follow me, I’ll have the paperwork completed for delivery of your instrument. A fine choice.”
I spend the afternoon in two local galleries selecting works to add some color to my apartment. I don’t really want decoration per se, but I know my family will expect it. My attempts at normalcy rarely work, but I will try. Besides, these are good investment pieces. From the James Harris Gallery I choose two wintery scenes by Tania Kitchell, an upcoming Canadian artist. In the Greg Kucera gallery, I’m intrigued by the erotica but don’t make a purchase.
I intend to have my own floorshow tonight – and my first proper scene with Kirsten. These things need to be thought about; you can’t just rush into them. Elena taught me that: planning, preparation, control. Works for me.
I haven’t had time to make a proper playroom but necessity is the mother of invention, right? And this is fucking necessary. The way I’m feeling right now, I feel like I’m burning inside. I have to get a fucking grip and this will help. But as it’s Kirsten’s first time here, I know I need to take it easy, build it up slowly. She needs to trust me before I explore her limits. Not that Elena took her time, but she could see what I was like. There are some things you have to build up to or risk injury: anal plugs, of course. But some of the bondage stuff needs preparation, too. I’ve seen people in clubs start to panic when they’ve been secured and find they can’t move at all. Full on fucking panic attacks in the middle of a club: not a good scene.
I plan out everything carefully including the music. Tonight it’s going to be Ástor Piazzolla: dark and moody, but not too heavy. A good introduction, I think.
I have a Sancerre chilling and some cold pasta for later. She’s an experienced sub, so I’m not expecting to have to feed her on arrival. But everyone is different; I can concede that.
My intercom buzzes at exactly 8pm. I’m glad she’s punctual – I fucking hate waiting.
Two minutes later, she knocks on the door of my apartment.
“Good evening, Kirsten.”
“Good evening, sir. Thank you for inviting me.”
Her hair is long and loose around her shoulders, falling in waves to the middle of her back, and she smells of soap and body lotion. I don’t like a lot of perfume on a woman. Kirsten already knows this: it was in my list of specifications. I’m pleased to see she’s taken note.
“Please, come in.”
She seems slightly keyed up, anxious perhaps. I must help her to relax.
“May I take your coat, Kirsten.”
“Thank you, sir.”
She undoes the buttons of her lightweight camel coat and I help to remove it from her shoulders. She seems surprised by the gesture.
Yes, I can behave like a gentleman – even if I’m not one.
“I brought you a house-warming present, sir,” she says, holding out a small, heavy box to me.
I’m taken aback.
I am supposed to provide for her, not the other way around.
“Thank you, Kirsten. That was… unnecessary, but very thoughtful.”
I open it and unwrap a simple, wax candle, like the kind you might find in a church.
“It’s unscented, sir, made from beeswax.”
I place it on my kitchen bar.
“Yes, thank you, sir,” she says gratefully.
“And would you like to see your room?”
She follows me through the apartment, pausing to look at my two new landscapes. I haven’t had time to hang them yet.
“They’re pretty,” she says.
Pretty? For fuck’s sake! Does she know nothing about art? Hmm, probably not. I let her comment pass, realizing she is trying to be pleasant.
Her room is undecorated and, for now, it’s furnished simply with a large bed, white duvet, white oak chest of drawers and matching dressing table.
She walks through the room in silence, her fingers drifting over the duvet and across the dressing table as if she’s absorbing the atmosphere itself.
“Thank you, sir,” she says, turning to smile at me.
“You can do what you like with this room, within reason. Order what you like.”
“May I see your playroom, sir?”
“I haven’t had time to organise one yet, but don’t worry, Kirsten; I think I’ve shown you already that I can improvise.”
She blushes beautifully and my cock gets hard looking at her heightened color, imagining, remembering how her ass will glow pink.
My designated playroom has dark red satin sheets and the curtains are open, with views across Seattle. I’m going to enjoy not having to close the curtains. Although this penthouse is only on the ninth floor, I’m not overlooked.
I’ve laid out my flogger, paddle, spreader bar and soft, leather cuffs. Nothing too intense.
I can see her running her eyes over the toys.
“We can go more intense whenever you like.”
She nods but doesn’t speak.
“Please answer when I speak to you, Kirsten.”
Her head snaps up but then she drops her eyes to the floor.
“Yes, of course, sir. My apologies. And, sir… I like ‘intense’.”
My blood heats just hearing those words.
“As you wish.”
From the trunk under the bed in my room, I bring out my two favorite rattan canes. Her eyes light up when she sees them.
Yes, I think Kirsten and I are going to get on very well indeed.
I take her glass from her hand and put it on the dressing table. Her dress is made from cheap, jersey fabric, so I can just pull it up over her head. Her breasts look beautiful in the pale pink bra, although, again, the material is second rate. Whoever her last dom was, he was a fucking cheapskate. I can fix that.
“Take off your bra and kneel by the door. Leave your shoes on.”
She obeys immediately, her face flushed with anticipation. I stand behind her and sweep her hair from her neck. She has beautiful skin, a soft olive, lightly tanned. I braid her hair until a long, silky rope hangs down her back.
“Very nice. Go and stand by the bed: take off your panties. Leave your shoes on.”
My eyes follow the lacy thong as it slides down her toned thighs. My cock is straining against my jeans, very badly wanting to be inside her. This is where the control comes in: delayed gratification = maximum pleasure. Yeah, I’m a fucking genius at math.
I fasten the spreader bar to her ankles and let her sit down on the bed.
“Put your hands above your head.”
I secure her wrists loosely, and run a finger down her throat, between the valley of her breasts, across her stomach and down to her pubic bone.
“Very nice, Kirsten.”
I take off my shirt and gently roll her onto her front and push her knees up, so her weight is also on her forearms. That’ll be a more comfortable position to hold for any length of time, as I know from experience. My own experience.
I choose the thinner of the canes and listen to it swish through the air. Kirsten trembles with a mixture of desire and anticipation. As it’s our first proper scene, I’ll let her make some of the decisions.
“Ten or fifteen, Kirsten?”
“Fifteen, please, sir.”
Oh, my fucking pleasure.
“Count with me. One…”
In between each, I stroke and massage her ass, bringing the blood to the surface, making the whole experience more intense.
By six, I’m really hitting my stride, so to speak, and she’s groaning with intense need. Her ass is beginning to glow nicely and I know how much pleasure she’s going to feel when I use the flogger after on her sensitized skin. Pleasure and pain: two sides of the same coin; I know that well. And, although most people don’t realise it, the ass has sensitive nerve endings that are, of course, close to the genitals. That’s why a spanking is such a fucking turn on.
When I get to fifteen, she moans softly and then I begin with the flogger and her wordless mewling becomes louder.
I give her one more, just to remind her of her place.
She quietens immediately but I can hear her breath becoming ragged. I alternate strikes from the flogger with more massages and some hand spanking. I want my hand to be as red as her ass – give me something else to think about tomorrow other than work.
Kirsten is really responsive and that turns me on even more. I can see that she’s really wet and more than ready for me, but I’m not finished with her yet.
I flip her over onto her back and take off my jeans, letting her see what she’s going to be getting. Her eyes get large and darken from hazel to almost black, her irises almost disappearing. Fuck, that’s hot. It makes me want her even more.
But first I want to taste that delicious pussy that is smiling up at me. I rachet the spreader bar further apart and I can see that she’s beyond aroused: she’s finding it difficult to stay still, rubbing her ass against the sheets, desperate to find some friction.
Oh, don’t worry, baby: plenty of friction coming up.
I kneel down and flick my tongue against her clitoris. She almost fucking levitates off the bed and I have to jump back. That’s never happened before. It’s almost fucking funny. I wonder if I can make her do that again? And I do: again and again and again, until she screams out and I can see the orgasm ripple through her, going on and on, the spreader bar forcing her to absorb all the pleasure.
I want her really fucking badly, so I pull on a condom and flip her back onto her knees again. Her thighs are trembling and her arms are shaking, too.
“Oh, Kirsten, you’re going to have to start working out, baby. Maybe we should get you a gym membership?”
She whimpers softly. I don’t know why: gyms aren’t that bad, although I prefer them when there’s no music.
I enter her slowly, really fucking slowly, so she can feel every inch. She’s hot and sweet and she clamps down on me, which feels so fucking good. I rub my hands over her glowing, sweet ass and pull out slowly, making her wait.
And in again. I do it eight more times: eight times of moving all the way in; eight times of moving all the way out.
Yeah, ten in total, baby. I like even numbers, what can I say?
And now I will let myself go: I will lose myself in her soft wetness. I fuck her hard and fast, plunging into her like a wild animal, hammering so wildly, she’s shunted up the bed until her face is against the headboard.
I come hard and the feeling is so fucking intense after having held back for over an hour. My mind empties as my body pours into her, and for the briefest most blissful of moments, I have no thoughts.
This is what I need: that moment of pure emptiness.
But it doesn’t last, it never does.
I pull out of her and remove the condom carefully. I won’t have to use these much longer, just another couple of weeks. I can’t wait.
I undo the spreader bar and her wrist restraints. Carefully, I pull off the hair tie and slowly brush out her hair, so it’s lying across the pillow like silk.
She looks so sweet lying there, all pink and fucked. Her hazel eyes blink up at me and she smiles.
“Time for bed, baby.”
I pick her up in my arms and carry her into her room, placing her under the duvet. She rolls onto her side and immediately falls asleep.
I watch her for a moment, then leave the room, closing the door softly behind me.
I clear up the make-shift playroom, replacing my toys in the trunk under my bed.
Yes, that was a very satisfactory first scene, though I say it myself. I’m looking forward to thinking up something for the morning. I’ll see how the mood takes me.
But now, I have to finalize my plans in teaching Daniel Roberts not to fuck around out of his league.
My first weekend with Kirsten has gone well. I’ve had to ask her leave before lunch on Sunday which is a pity because I was looking forward to seeing what she was going to cook. But nosy, fucking Elliot is insisting on coming over to see the new apartment.
I remove all traces of both playroom and guestroom, knowing he’ll want to poke around everywhere.
But when the intercom buzzes, it’s Mia’s voice that I hear.
“Surprise! It’s me, Christian! Well, and Elliot, but I know you’ll want to see me the most!”
Minutes later my annoying little sister is flinging her arms around my neck and charging through the apartment like a small wildebeest.
“Hey, bro,” says Elliot, lightly punching my arm. “Great pad you’ve got here. You could really have some swinging parties, if you were that way inclined, which you’re not. But if you ever felt like loaning out to your big bro…”
“Never going to happen, Elliot,” I say patiently.
He wanders around although it’s clear he doesn’t have much interest in looking at empty rooms with white walls.
“How’s Jessica?” I say, carefully.
“Nah, dumped her, man. She was always crying. You know what these sensitive musician types are like?”
He raises his eyebrows at me and smirks.
“She was such a wuss,” agrees Mia, who has opened every door, closet, cupboard and bathroom in the place. “She got sick, like, just stepping onto the sail boat.” She rolls her eyes. “Can you believe it? Elliot, you’ve got to get a cool girlfriend, someone who likes shopping?”
“I’ll see what I can do, sis,” he says pleasantly.
She pouts adorably.
“Christian, will you take me shopping. You’re good at clothes and stuff, not like Elliot. He’s such a boy.”
“Guess that lets you out, dude,” says Elliot, winking at me. “So, Mia, are you going to tell your second favorite brother why you’re here.”
“Oh, yes! Christian, what are we going to do for your birthday?”
“Nothing,” I say, firmly.
“Oh, but you have to!” she whines. “You’re going to be twenty-one! You have to do something special. It’s like, practically the law or something!”
“It’s not going to happen, Mia,” I repeat.
My patience is being sorely tested, but I feel calmer than usual, thanks to Kirsten.
“It’ll be fun, Christian!” she scolds, practically begging me. “You can invite all your friends and…”
She stops suddenly. We both know I don’t have any friends. She puts her hand over mouth, horrified at what she’s said.
“Maybe just a quiet family dinner, bro,” says Elliot, sympathetically. “Mom and dad would like that.”
“Maybe,” I say, neither agreeing or disagreeing.
But I don’t understand. Why would anyone want to celebrate the date of my birth?
I know I fucking don’t.