“Please, please, please, please [y/n]!”
Balancing the phone between your ear and your shoulder, you gather up the last of your papers, stuffing books into your bag as you go. “I told you, Jen, I really can’t - I’ve got a test to study for this week, plus two papers due by Friday. Tonight’s my one night off from the store and the club. Can’t you ask Em?”
“She can’t make it - she’s got a cram session all afternoon. You know what she’s like. C’mon, please - I’ll even take one of your crazy Saturday shifts, and I’ll cover your tab next time you want a night off. Tuesdays are dead quiet; it’s like being paid to study, honest.” Jen pleads. You roll your eyes.
If it’s that easy, why don’t you keep the shift and study while you’re working? “I like my ‘crazy Saturday shifts’. Do you know how many tips I get on a busy night? Plus, you know Saturdays are the best days for finding some hot, no-strings, sexy-” You grin at the loud groan Jen lets out. For someone who literally works in a bdsm club, Jen can be such a prude.
“I will cover your tab for three nights if you both cover my shift and never share details of your sex life with me again. You know I wouldn’t ask if this wasn’t an emergency…”
Sighing, you wave goodbye to the librarian as you make your way outside. She’s got a good point; in your two, nearly three years of working together, Jen had never asked for a last-minute favour outside of emergencies. “Fine. But I swear, if Tuesdays are like, messy play afternoon or some shit” you snort as your own words register with you “then you are paying for my dry cleaning. Got it?”
“Thank you! It’ll just be the odd regular, maybe one or two drop-ins too scared to come after sundown when the real fun begins. Honest. Nothing fun ever happens on a Tuesday. You’ve got my word.”
Banging on the dented metal back door, you send a cheery wave to the blinking security camera. Within moments, the door opens out, sending out a blast of pleasantly warm air.
“Heya Coco. I didn’t know you work day shifts” You greet the friendly dog monster. At nearly eight foot tall, Coco has to be one of the most intimidating monsters on staff. Despite her huge size and intimidating stature, she’s always been a bit of a fluff ball to you and the rest of the staff. “Here I was thinking we got you all to ourselves on the weekends.”
“Someone had to draw the short straw.” She shrugs, grinning down at you. Do not pet the giant, fluffy bipedal Pomeranian dog monster. Do not pet her. She could definitely snap me in two. You can’t help but grin as you see the corner of her pink, floppy tongue poking out between sharp canines. Too cute! “ Speaking of which - covering for Jen?”
You nod, slipping off your scarf and winter coat. While spring should be just around the corner, it still feels bitterly cold to you. “Big test coming up apparently.” Coco follows you into the employee changing room, guard with her back turned to you lest anyone else tries to enter whilst you get changed.
“Don’t you have the same big tests coming up?” She asks, sending a knowing look at you over her shoulder.
“Sure do! You know me though, I’m the queen of multi-tasking. Jen said it’d be an easy one; plus this way I don’t have to pay entry or back room fees for my next three nights out.” You declare cheerfully, as you shimmy out of your sweater and baggy jeans combo.
Coco snorts. “Staff don’t have to pay those during their off hours, [y/n]. You’re too soft with her. You shouldn’t let people take advantage of you like this.”
“Eh; it’s not taking advantage if it’s between friends, Co. Plus technically Jen’s doing me a favour; you know I need all the extra hours I can get. Would you mind?” You ask Coco, turning around so she can help lace you into the black and silver corset. Far from one of your favourite ones, you are just glad you left it on the back seat of your car after your last little night of fun. If you had tried making the trip back to your shitty studio apartment ten blocks from the wrong side of campus, there’s no way you would have made it back in time for your shift.
“We worry about you. I worry about you, [y/n]. You’re always working on something. Have you considered…” You cut Coco off before she can finish. It felt like you’d been over this a hundred times. It’s not like I haven’t been tempted.
You love your jobs. Well, you love working part-time at Sweet Release. You had found the place shortly after moving to town for University two, nearly three years previously. The first S&M club that allowed both monster and human clientele day-in, day-out without turning it into some kind of niche fetish night. You had known straight away that you wanted to spend every free moment there. Your small-town had been a bit… vanilla, for your tastes.
Snagging a part-time job behind the bar had been pretty perfect. Before you knew it, you were helping out with the busier weekend shifts, splitting your time between bartending, waitressing, and helping out in the public playrooms as an overseer to make sure safewords are being adhered to and house rules are being followed.
The money’s pretty good for part-time, but it’s still nowhere near enough to cover rent, classes, and expenses. You had picked up a second part-time job at the local grocery store not long after. You had your eye out for a third job if you could swing it, hopefully at the library, so it can fit around your already packed schedule.
This wasn’t the first time a well-meaning friend had suggested you try your hand at another type of job at the club. Being a House Sub, Slave, Domme or Switch would pay more than enough to cover your bills and then some if you picked up a few regulars. And therein lies the problem.
“No, Coco. You know I don’t do serious, or regular. One-offs and no-strings nights of passion are more my kind of deal. It’d be a disaster for everyone involved, I’d never be able to show my face here again, yadda yadda yadda, and then where would I go to get my regular kinky fix?” You smile at her to take the bite out of your words. You didn’t mean to snap, but the pressure was starting to get to you. If only I had someone to split the bills with, maybe things wouldn’t be quite as bad.
Shaking your head, you dismiss the thought before it can take root again. Snap out of it. You’re not ready for that kind of shit right now, and you know it. Just be happy with what you’ve got; it’s more than most people can say.
“Besides, I’ve been promised Tuesdays are practically dead.” Did Coco just laugh at that? Why... “What’s the worst that could happen?”
So far, so good. Three hours in, and you’ve barely seen a dozen customers in your end of the club. You can hear the tell-tale low thrum of chatter, music, and dull thuds of impact drifting across from the open play spaces just down the hall. Seems like all the day players come fully equipped and ready to go.
The bar was clean, the bottles practically sparkling under the dim lights. You had even cleaned every last glass and finished off the prep work ready for the evening shift. It can’t hurt to pull out just one textbook, right? Scanning the bar quickly, you eye the nervous guy - human, early 20s - sitting by himself at a booth in the corner, a single beer slowly having its label shredded as he eyes the corridor leading to the main playroom. A pair of monsters - a spider, you hadn’t caught either of their names, and a part-lizard, sat across from each other at another table off to one side, chatting nervously. First, maybe second date? Definitely negotiating hard limits going by that blush.
Ducking through the staff only door behind the bar, you grab a couple of books and a pen from your bag. Might as well get something productive done with the rest of my shift. Only... four more hours to go. Great. Letting out a sign, you tuck a stray strand of hair behind your ear. Might as well grab a snack while I’m here. Pulling out a packet of granola bars, you grab a couple to keep you going. I really should have picked something up after class.
You slip back into the bar, scanning the room for any new customers as you go. Placing your books under the counter, you keep an eye out. Couple still discussing limits? Check. Oh go new guy, looks like he finally got up the nerve to head into the fun zone. You smile to yourself, slipping around the bartop to grab the shredded remains of his bottle label. Good for him. Maybe I’ll just take a peek and see how he’s doing-
As you turn, you register a burnt, rusty orange glow and a lazy haze of purple smoke before you run face-first into a leather-clad... ribcage?
“Holy shit!” You swear, blush burning your cheeks. “Sorry about that; wasn’t looking where I was going.” You laugh nervously, as you duck back behind the bar. Discarding the rubbish quickly, you glance back over your shoulder. How the fuck did I miss him coming in? You berate yourself. Somehow, you hadn’t spotted the tall, slim skeleton monster. He’s got to be at least seven feet fall, easy. Biting your lip, you try to will away your blush. From the tip of his dirt-encrusted leather boots, to his fluffy hood topped head, he is… pretty much the epitome of a BDSM club cliche. If he's got a leather harness under that jacket, I might just lose it.
Slim, skinny-fit black jeans cling to his skeletal frame, a matching black and gold belt wrapped around his pelvis. Your eyes flick down to his fingerless glove-encased hands, as he unzips the black and gold fur-lined hoodie. A long, slender cigarette hangs from between wicked looking teeth. Are those gold incisors? Two long, sharpened gold teeth glint in the dull light. A puff of purple-tinged smoke lazily drifts out from between his jawbones.
“like what you see, darlin’?” His voice takes you by surprise. It’s deeper than you expected, his low, smoky timbre edged with a growl. You drag your eyes up his long, lean form. You pause when you reach his collar. A thick band of red leather with wicked gold spikes encircles his cervical vertebra, a simple gold tag with the word ‘Mutt’ stamped into it lays on his breastbone. Down, girl. No eye-fucking the customers. Forcing your eyes up, you take in his smirk, the orange-red glow of his eyelights watching you knowingly.
You snort. Great. Another poser wanting to play with the big boys. Jen’s gonna owe me double for this. “Sorry about that, I didn’t see you there. What can I get’cha?” You offer him your best customer service smile. You clench your jaw unconsciously as you watch him eye you in return, his gaze moving down to take in your corset-clag figure and tight black skinny jeans that looked nearly painted on. “Eyes up here, pal, or I’ll need to start charging you.” You joke, a sharp edge to your voice.
He looks like a big, lazy cat; all sharp teeth and no motivation, unless you poke him with a stick. You have to hold in a snort at the mental image. I guess he's the one who'd be doing the poking.
“i can think of a thing or two.” He winks at you. How the heck does it do that without any eyelids? You eye him curiously. You have never seen a skeleton monster in person before, much less so up close and personal. “know how to make a michelada?”
Wracking your brain, you eye the bottles behind you. Mexican beer, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce… do we have any soy sauce? Check. Just missing one thing. “No can do I’m afraid; we’re fresh out of hot sauce. I can whip you up a bloody mary if you’re after something a little spicy?” You offer.
His smirk seems to spread as he reaches into his pocket once again. “good thing i brought my own.” You look between him and the bottle incredulously. Who carries around their own hot sauce? Shaking your head, you quickly set about grabbing the right bottles, mixing a tall glass and adding a small twirl of lime to the rim. You pour a generous shot of hot sauce over the ice, sliding both bottles across to him.
“keep the change.” Your smile turns a touch more genuine as you pocked the generous tip. Turning back to put the bottles away, you hold in a sign as you see him settling in on a bar stall. A small pile of ash gathers beneath the tip of his cigarette, marring your previously immaculate counter. You slide an ashtray beneath it, making a point to clean up his debris as you go.
“You must be new here. Smoking’s only allowed in here and in room three, unless you go for one of the private rooms that allow fire play; then we’re usually a bit more lenient. You’ve picked a bit of a quiet day, but if you’re feeling nervous, I can get someone to show you around.” You offer, when it becomes clear he has no intention of leaving you to your books.
He lets out a low laugh. “that’s cute. i was about to offer you the same.” You watch incredulously as he picked up the hot sauce, drinking straight from the bottle. Did he mean to do that? Or is he just trying to play it cool?
“this your first night? i’d be happy to… show you the ropes.” He licks a stray drop of sauce from a glinting gold tooth. You roll your eyes, ready to reply when you catch Coco’s eye. You wave her off. Protective fluffball. “huh. not new then. i’ve never seen you around; i’d remember such a pretty face.”
“I could say the same to you; Mutt, is it?” You ask, reaching out to touch the tag hanging from his collar. Hard, cool fingers wrap around your own, squeezing out a warning. His bones feel rough, littered with tiny nics and chips. “No touching; gotcha. I usually work weekends, just covering for a friend today so no need to worry. I’ll be out of your way in no time.” You hold up your other hand in surrender. The longer he holds on, the more uneasy you begin to feel. Your eyes dart back to the side door, willing Coco to return.
“not the collar.” He slowly releases your hand, watching as you slowly take a step back, then another. “though i would love to feel those hands elsewhere if you’re offerin’” He winks, taking a long, slow drag on his cigarette. You watch the purple smoke as it puffs around him in a billowing cloud. “never seen echo flower cigs before?” You shake your head, reaching for one of the sealed bottles of water beneath the counter. The manager kept the staff well stocked with tiny bottles, so no-one had to risk going back to an open one they may have left unattended. “want one? they help you relax. the perfect thing to go with a little… fun in the bone zone.”
Snorting, you spit water on the bar. “Shit.” Wiping it up as you laugh, you can’t quite bring yourself to look at him without laughing again. “Has that line ever worked for you?”
He shrugs, slouching back to take up a second bar stall as he rests mud-caked boots on the corner of the bar. “usually i don’t have to try this hard.”
“You call this trying hard?” You laugh again. “Damn, I’d hate to see what your casual looks like.” He leans forward, eyeing you with unbridled curiosity.
“[y/n!]” Coco calls. “Bosslady is here; you can head home for the night.” She eyes Mutt warily, looking as though she wants to put herself between the two of you.
“Thanks Coco. See you on Friday?” You reach out to pet her arm as you slip around the bar, taking note of the way Mutt’s eyes narrow at your touch. She nods. “Well, it was nice meeting you, Mutt. If you ever drop in on a weekend, you’ll have to let me make you another michelada.” You wink, as you grab your books and head for the break room.
“sure thing, hot stuff. i’ll be seein’ you.”