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Haunted

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Lara gazed over the bar, a tall glass already half empty in her hand. It was a typical night, and though she hadn't been a regular for long, she felt she knew the usual crowd well enough. She took her drink and twisted around on the bar stool, resting her elbow on the mahogany.

She was aware of the many sets of eyes cast her way, Lara was not blind to her own beauty and was accustomed to the attention. She stood taller than most women, and this was only accentuated by her arrogant nature and strikingly defined features. She cast her gaze around, and her eyes met for a moment with Elise, causing a shiver to run down her back.

Elise caught the younger woman's stare and didn't look away. It could be easy to get lost in those dark eyes, but she was no stranger to meeting alluring women in bars, especially this one. Elise had her own beauty, though less sharp and brooding than Lara, she was elegant and seemingly untouchable, with strong features that displayed a almost ageless countenance. By her reputation and confidence, she generally had her choice of companions in the establishment. Lara had not gone unnoticed by her, but the woman had an edge to her that had made Elise pause, wondering what was behind her eerily calm exterior.

She held her attention on Lara for a long moment and then turned, relaxed but not dismissive, to the two young women already kneeling at her feet. The brunette brushed her fingers over the fairer one's blond hair, silently taking note of the other's impatient shifting. The latter would spend the better part of the night paying for it, but Elise was content to let her make her own mistakes for the moment.

Lara impulsively bristled as Elise looked away from her without a seeming second thought. She had been watching the older woman for a few nights, noting how strong she was. Lara had watched from the shadows as Elise had patiently and deliberately brought several women to their breaking point. There had been more than one who had come undone and ran, and Lara watched them go incredulously. It was these moments that made Lara notice, take interest, anticipate succeeding where the others had broken.

Lara brushed a lock of her raven hair away from her face pensively as she tried not to stare at Elise as she silently tugged the blond girl to her and began to unbutton her shirt, still ignoring the brunette still trying to stay impassive on the floor. Lara crossed her legs, having made up her min. She had come here weeks ago seeking something she couldn't quite put her finger on, and had yet to find someone who could show it to her. Whatever it was she was sure it wasn't easy, she had too much to forget.

Elise was still stroking the blond girl when a waiter approached with a drink and placed it in front of her. He nodded at the black haired woman at the bar. Elise glanced over, almost in disbelief at the presumptuous young woman.

The older woman stiffened slightly and closed her fingers on the blond's hair, pushing her back to her position next to the brunette. The Elise stood elegantly, her eyes not leaving Lara, knowing she was causing the rise of color in those almost pale cheeks. She knew the girl was new, and she hadn't seen her participate openly yet in any of the activities or displays at the bar.

If slightly flattering, Elise knew she couldn't let the gesture go uncorrected. She had not taken any other than a controlling role since....Elise mentally paused, pushing away the unpleasant memories...since Therese had shown her how adeptly one could be broken by incorrect assumptions. Lara was haughty, but obviously lacking in any sense of decorum. No one in the establishment would be so forward as to expect her to be the type one sends a drink to like a common patron, a prospect.

Elise strode over to the brooding younger woman and set the drink on the bar, stating succinctly, "I don't switch, not even for you." She faced the younger woman fully, slipping a finger under her chin and holding her gaze, searching her dark eyes for intent. Elise opened her mouth to conclude her statement, to inform her of her breach of etiquette but closed it again when Lara broke in and answered her levelly, "I didn't expect you to."

Elise was silent for a moment, not releasing Lara and hiding her slight amusement. She pondered how beautiful the slender woman would look at her feet, and then decided she needed to see it for real. Lara was more than a little in need of a lesson, that at least was apparent. Elise knew everyone had their reason for coming here, and some were only able to admit it after being pushed to the edge.

"I'm sure you didn't come here to sit alone at the bar all night," Elise gestured casually at the two young women still kneeling where she had left them. "They didn't either." She stepped back and turned away from Lara.

Elise could already tell that the young woman would have to war with herself to be so humble as to merely join the others on the floor, to get in line, and made it the first test. The older woman crossed the room, pausing briefly before she sat to slap the head of the fidgeting brunette for looking up as she passed her. The girl whimpered, but was ignored for the moment.

Elise casually crossed her legs and took a sip of her drink, noting out of the corner of her eye that Lara had moved from the bar and was crossing the room, trying to ignore the glances of the crowd. The raven-haired young woman stopped in front of Elise, asking for direction, challenging her to take the next step.

"Well?" Elise wasn't about to offer the comfort of asking Lara if she cared to join them, the young woman had made that clear enough already. She held the girl's arrogant stare for a moment and then nodded, expecting her to join Sasha and Vivian if she wanted to stay.

Lara recognized the silent command and sank to her knees between Elise's companions, settling almost proudly, ridged shoulders stretching several inches higher than the other women in front of Elise.

Elise pondered the women at her feet. Lara stood out, rigid and almost disdainful of her companions, while Vivian, head most likely still stinging, tried not to sneak glances at her and Sasha simply waited as patiently and sweetly as she had been before.

Still, Lara drew the eye with her quiet beauty, but Elise didn't linger too long on any of them. She finished her drink slowly, savoring it and taking in the room. It wasn't as polished, as beautiful as others, but it was respectable, it suited her needs. After a moment, she dangled her empty glass nonchalantly before the women, giving them a chance to quietly compete for the privilege of having it refilled.

Immediately, Lara saw the blond next to her stir to take the glass and moved more quickly, fixing the other girl with a venomous stare. She took the cup from Elise's fingers and stood smoothly, going to the bar without a further hesitation.

Sasha was unimpressed, and didn't bother to glare back at Lara. The new woman clearly didn't have any idea what she was doing and it wasn't her place to teach her manners. She leaned against Elise's leg and decided that ignoring Lara would be far less annoying.

It was rare that Elise had her attention so divided, and she had to admit that Lara was already starting to take more than her fair share. She watched the exchange, half expecting the outcome, a hand going to stroke Sasha's hair as Lara crossed the room. The tall woman had grace enough, but Elise decided that a small punishment was in order when she returned. All three of the women needed to truly be on equal footing.

Lara returned a moment later and knelt back down, placing the glass in front of Elise. She glanced at Sasha dismissively, already having decided the girl wasn't worth her attention. The blond was weak, just wanting the attention. If Lara had wanted to be comforted and amused all night she would have just gone and sought out a regular date, and she definitely wouldn't have had to kneel on a questionably dirty floor to get it.

Vivian for her part just shifted, unsure what exactly was going on and why Elise had brought a third person into it. It was hard enough to compete with Sasha, who seemed to be absolutely perfect in every way. But she tried not to look too disgruntled. And Elise wasn't even really looking at her anyway.

Elise was fingering her drink, looking severe. "Undress," she said. The command was clearly meant for Lara, and Elise was expecting to see a flicker of embarrassment at having to disrobe so publicly.

Lara paused, she had not been asked to do something so bluntly before. The few other women she had toyed with had treated her too carefully for her liking, too taken with her from the start. She felt a slight shiver run through her as she stood and began to remove her clothes as gracefully as she found possible under the circumstances. Not knowing what to do with her clothes, she dropped them to the floor near Vivian. When she finished, Lara waited, still on her feet for Elise's appraisal.

Elise did not stand and circle Lara as she might have done; there was something about the way the woman was soaking up the attention. She was as calm as if she had been doing this for years even though there were subtle, telling signs of awkwardness in her movements. But there was no bright flush of embarrassment on her cheeks, which intrigued Elise, leaving her slightly confounded.

There was something there, something behind those dark eyes, and Elise felt herself being drawn in. She considered the younger woman a moment longer, there was a hint of the exotic in her appearance, Greece? Further east? Something else entirely? It was hard to say, and Elise knew better than to ask, to show that much interest just yet.

As intrigued as she was, Elise knew not to call to much attention to Lara; even Sasha was beginning to shift under her feet. "Vivian is not there to fold your clothing," Elise said flatly; it was, however, more for Vivian, who seemed unsure.

Lara didn't let herself be put off by Elise's seeming lack of interest in her display. She simply folded back to her knees and took each piece of clothing from in front of the kneeling brunette and folded it, taking a moment to glance dismissively at Vivian, then turned her gaze on Elise levelly for an instant.

Though she had little formal knowledge, she knew she was playing the game, which is how she thought of it: a game. It would be so to her if and until Elise had the courage to make it more, as she hoped she would. Under the arrogance, the confidence, Lara had a need for this structure and purpose and she slowly lowered her eyes to the floor, hoping she had imparted that to the older woman.

Vivian withered a bit under the glance. She had been doing this for over a year, but she still lacked the self confidence and restraint to stand up to a woman with as much natural talent as Lara. And it was precisely that natural talent that Elise recognized in Lara's readiness. Sasha recognized it too and tried to push down the building sense of a threat; she would be the best she could be, and she hoped Elise would see that dedication. But Sasha rarely needed punishment, and she took them without relish. In Lara, Elise saw the potential for that raw enjoyment, and she felt a thrill in her chest. It was as if she was about to begin playing with fire, and even though she was confident that she could contain it, there was still that element of danger. "i think it's time to retire," she said, rising to her feet.

Lara didn't nod, didn't look up, she didn't feel it was necessary. The dark haired woman knew she had piqued Elise's interest and felt her pride rise, finally anticipating a proper challenge. She waited for Elise to rise so she could follow, it didn't matter where she was taken as long as the distraction would be enough to allow her release from her thoughts, if only for a night. As for the other women on the floor, Lara cared little if they were there or not, she knew Elise would be focused on her tonight, she would make sure of it.

Elise led them to her room, navigating the too dark corridors with an almost lonely sense of familiarity. The room was not a spacious suite, but it had a clean simplicity that spoke of Elise's prolonged presence. She watched each woman as they filed in. Lara stood the tallest, but Elise had a way of making herself seem taller than she was in reality. And Sasha seemed determined--a quality that Elise admired. She knew Sasha would immediately move to undress her, so she simply waited, again setting a small competition. It was the way in which she had been taught.

Lara looked around her, filing away in her mind the few details that seemed personal to Elise. She had an instinctive way of reading people by their small attributes and found that it was an asset in nearly every walk of life, to know what made someone act almost before they did. Not yet knowing what was expected of her she stood quietly with her hands behind her back, imposing in her calm demeanor.

Sasha however knew what would come next and moved immediately to Elise and started undressing her. Her movements were quick and practiced and it only took a moment for her to have Elise naked and her clothing folded and put away.

Elise merely nodded to indicate that she was pleased with Sasha's performance. There was fluidity to her movements that was calming. But Elise kept her eyes on Lara, knowing that she was watching more than just the display. Behind that dark calm, she could see that Lara was methodically collecting thoughts. "I think you deserve a reward for your patience thus far, Sasha." She looked pointedly to Lara, indicating that she would be the one to give it. There was an order, even if it had only been made in the circumstances of the night, but Elise wanted to see how Lara would adjust to the ways in which the enforced it.

Lara looked at Elise and coolly raised an eyebrow. She didn't mind going through the act if it was what Elise wanted, though Sasha didn't interest her in the least. She waited for an order.

At that, Elise fought not to return the gesture. She had given floggings for acts just as brazen, though more complex. But she wasn't ready to impose such a punishment on Lara just yet. Sasha would get the reward she deserved, and Elise would get a chance to simply observe Lara a bit more. "On your knees," she commanded of Lara, nodding towards Sasha, who was already bracing herself against the bed.

Sasha waited patiently for Lara to obey Elise, a slight smirk on her lips, just subtle enough that Elise would allow it. She tilted her hips forward in invitation and watched Lara crawl.

Lara nodded and silently moved over in front of Sasha, elegantly assuming the dictated position. She didn't acknowledge the blond's expression, or really her at all, choosing instead to glance at Elise again. She then turned back and began to lick Sasha methodically, not showing any hint that she was reluctant, Lara didn't want any of her companions to see her hesitate.

Elise sat on the bed, making it clear that she was taking her pleasure from watching Lara rather than from watching Sasha. There was something haughty and cold in Lara's willingness to obey, something that could be dangerous under the hands of the wrong mistress. But Elise was already planning a punishment for the dark haired woman's continued arrogance.

Sasha fully enjoyed Lara's attentions, but it annoyed her that Elise was ignoring her. That wasn't at all what she was there for and if it continued, she would have to find someone else to spend the rest of the night with.

Lara continued, and when she felt the blond's attention drift to Elise, she acted on instinct and moved her fingers to the girl's ankles, digging her nails into her skin. When the girl stiffened she licked her faster, making her choose where to focus. Lara hadn't considered if Elise would approve, in her mind she had only increased Sasha's reward.

Elise pursed her lips, but she let the action go unreprimanded, as she decided she would any that were not too far out of line before Sasha came. But the instinct she first recognized in Lara was showing itself again, and she had to wonder why the woman was willing to go to such lengths to simply be on her knees. It certainly wasn't to learn, and if it was simply because Lara craved attention, Elise would break her of that. Though, she knew there must be more.

Sasha came quietly, her hands in Lara's hair, pulling it. Once she pulled herself together, she looked to Elise, ignoring the woman at her feet.

Lara sat back and released Sasha's ankles, calmly noting the marks still lingering on her skin. She brought her hands nonchalantly behind her back again and waited.

"Very good, Sasha," Elise said before kissing her with quiet force. She slid off of the bed and walked around to face Lara. "You think quite a bit of yourself." Her voice was cold even though her eyes were lit with eagerness at what she would next do. "And yet I'll wager you haven't had half of Sasha's training." Elise lifted Lara's chin so she could look down into those eyes. "Stand and brace yourself against the bedpost."

Sasha was placated by the kiss and curled up on the bed to watch the punishment, hoping that it would be good. Vivian was still on the floor, content with being forgotten about.

Lara stood and did as she was told. She had little experience with real punishment, and less with someone who had the strength to stand up to her. The raven-haired woman didn't lean to brace, instead placing her hands along the bedpost, only lightly wrapping her slender fingers around it. She was ready to take whatever Elise was willing to give, and anticipated, needed it.

Elise pursed her lips as she watched, but something kept her from correcting Lara. If this was her first time, she would learn and learn quickly, for Elise spared no one when it came to handing out punishments. She retrieved the flogger herself, making sure that Lara could see her every move until she rounded her. The long, lean muscles in the dark haired woman's back were breathtaking, and they would be even more so the first time she tensed. Elise's face was impassive as she landed the first blow to the middle of Lara's back, fully expecting to finally see a break in the woman's calm.

Lara had seen Elise punish other girls in public, which was partly why she had sent her the drink in the first place. Elise was strict and methodical, and her girls cried. They cried and begged, out of both the severity of Elise's punishment and their desire to please. Lara didn't startle at the pain, having sought it and already mentally prepared. After a few more blows she let out a breath, more of relief than of surrender.

At the count of twenty, Elise stopped, knowing well that Lara could take more. She had whipped and flogged both women and men who had been quiet, who had absorbed each blow with only their rigid muscles as complaint. But they had all broken in the end, whether with silent tears or a forced cry. Lara, she now knew, would not be so easy. She stepped back and cocked her head. "Sasha, Vivian, thank you both. You may go."

Vivian was happy to be leaving, her earlier misbehavior would go unpunished. Sasha only pursed her lips before she followed Vivian out. She wasn't happy about being dismissed, but she would find someone else to pay attention to her.

Lara stayed where she had been put, well aware that her back was already red and striped from Elise's work. During the punishment her mind had finally been quiet, but now with the movement in the room and the temporary reprieve she came back to herself and felt a rising anger. The sting in her skin wasn't enough, and it surprised her slightly. She had hoped that Elise would offer a fix, a push past her walls, but was finding it wasn't so easy.

Elise turned her attention back to Lara's back, admiring it before running one of her nails down the stripes. The touch was light but deliberate enough to cause pain. As if seized by some sudden desire to posses and unravel Lara, Elise gripped the woman's hip firmly before pressing her fingers inside of her. She was warm, wet but not as wet as Elise had expected. "If I'm going to see you again tomorrow night, it had better not be over a drink," she said in a husky growl.

Lara had been focusing on Elise's nail and stiffened for an instant when the other woman pressed into her. She let out a small breath and didn't move against her, didn't' show any hint of pleasure though she could feel her body respond involuntarily. Lara just nodded coolly at the invitation, "Yes. Thank you."

"Good." Elise wanted to commit, to lay even more of a claim than that, but it was too early to tell. She felt her own ego prickle at just how calm Lara remained, but she knew if they continued, she could push her past that. There had been others, almost countless and some now faceless in her memory, but few had excited in Elise this kind of twofold desire. She began to thrust, laying claim with her actions, imparting to Lara that she wanted to be the only one the dark haired woman served.

Lara closed her eyes and tried to just feel, to take the possessiveness and commit it to memory. Her breath came a little faster and she itched to move her hands, to dig her nails into her own palms, sharpen the moment. Elise had been strong enough to offer her a few moments of peace and as if to reward that Lara started to let go and pressed back into her hand slightly.

Elise smirked at the subtle movement. It was enough, a sign that made her want to continue. she released Lara's hip and wrapped her arm around, pinching one of the woman's nipples between her fingers as she continued to thrust. Her arms were strong around the slender woman, and despite her own growing need, each of her movements was controlled.

Lara let out a sigh and pressed back again, finally moaning when her back rubbed against Elise, the pain in her skin and the stronger pull on her breast enough to send while streaks of focus across her mind behind her closed eyes. She kept her eyes shut and came quietly, the only tell being a wave of tension, and a slight catch in her breath.

Satisfied with that, Elise withdrew her hands. If they continued, she hoped to see more of a release, to press Lara to the point where she let go almost disastrously. The thoughts, images made her dizzy with pleasure, and she wanted her own release to be almost immediate. Tugging Lara along by grabbing the back of her neck, Elise crawled onto the bed, making it clear what she wanted when she lay back and spread her legs.

Lara felt a pleasant shiver as Elise forced her down. She moved to give Elise her release but paused, catching the older woman's eyes, leaving her waiting for a moment. Lara knew it was out of line, but as much as Elise was testing her that night, the dark haired woman had a test or two of her own.

Elise narrowed her eyes and was quick to twist one of her hands in Lara's hair, wrapping the dark locks until a different girl might have cried out. She hated being kept waiting even more than she hated bad form, and it was in that, that she shoved Lara's head down with quiet force.

Lara closed her eyes, stomach quickening at the swiftness of Elise's correction to her defiance. Her mind settled again, and she licked Elise intently, now honestly wanting to please her.

The immediate response and the breadth of its sincerity made Elise moan and arch up, though she firmly held Lara in place. She had rarely seen something come so naturally from someone. Just the thought of training Lara, of sharpening those instincts pushed her closer.

Lara continued, more and more surely. She brought her hands up behind her back and clasped them where Elise could see her posturing. She moved faster, wanting to hear Elise again.

Soon enough Elise's breath caught and came again with a loader moan. Lara was beautiful, self assured, and she was the most arrogant girl at the start that Elise had ever come across. She would take care of that. She could train the dark haired beauty, make her into something so close to perfect, to rival anyone else in Paris's Scene. And at that, her body tensed, releasing slowly as she twisted and twisted Lara's hair.

Lara closed her eyes again and pulled against Elise's hands, listening to her breath slow. She didn't move, letting her have a moment. She was almost smug, knowing that Elise had already forgotten the other women she had been with that night.

"Tomorrow night." Elise pulled Lara up before releasing her hair and taking her chin between her fingers. A whipping would be in order, she knew, for such self satisfaction. And Elise knew that there would be more after that. "Is this what you want?" She knew it was, but Elise followed decorum.

Lara met her stare unabashedly, looking through her, "Yes. Or I wouldn't be here."
Elise cocked her head only slightly at the answer, but she held Lara's stare. She wanted the woman to know that she was absolutely serious, that being there that night meant continuing to be there as long as the arrangement fit, until Elise thought she had done enough. "Don't be pert," she said finally, almost dismissively.

Lara didn't answer in words, but continued to look at Elise, letting her stare soften for a moment in reply. She waited, letting the moment linger. "What do you want with me tomorrow?" Lara had meant the question to simply ask when and where, but it came off with more edge and she didn't mind.

The edge caught Elise, even though she sensed the simpler nature of the question. Lara didn't need to know what Elise wanted of her, simply that she should be there. These little breaches in decorum might have gone unnoticed by anyone else, but Elise wouldn't let something like that pass. The next night was already forming in her mind. "Be here at eight. You may come to this room and undress, and then you may come find me."

Lara nodded, already anticipating in spite of herself. When Elise released her grip on her chin she slid back and off the bed. She didn't pause, didn't waiver, considering herself dismissed. The younger woman turned and dressed smoothly. She knew Elise was watching, and took her time, glancing back at her as she walked to the door.

Elise spent the rest of the night trying to distance herself a bit. She needed to clear her mind, to return to Lara the next night fresh, completely in control. But when that night came and Elise found herself enjoying a drink alone in the bar, she found that her thoughts continued to drift to the night before, to the possibilities and the realities. Each detail--from Lara's dark eyes to the haughty way she held herself--was sharp in relief against the last few months. And in remembering so acutely, Elise was already beginning to formulate Lara's punishment for her attitude.