Sunday, June 1, 2014

Rook (Part 3)

In a British SUV, Moving Through Berkeley On A Friday Evening

"So, what is her name, anyway?"
"Are you speaking of Rook, Fred?"
"Who else?"
"I promised I would keep her name a secret, no exceptions.  I am keeping that promise.  That girl has had enough betrayal from the adults in her life for me not to."
"Aww, but...."
"I said no.  This is very important to her, I will not betray her trust, and this subject is closed."
Dad said, "I'm relieved, in a big way.  The people in that house weren't putting up a front at all.  What we saw is what we get."
"Okay, it's obvious they cleaned the house.... But it wasn't terribly dirty to begin with.  They've got street art on their walls, but that's a matter of taste.  Mostly it's all those people, though.  They weren't trying to be anyone other than who they were.  Remember Eddie Haskell from 'Leave It To Beaver'?"
"I was half-expecting that: a bunch of people so fake and polite you can't help but be suspicious of them.  Insteat we've got a bunch of people in their twenties jumping on the furniture like kids, and having a hell of a good time doing it.  They didn't try to hide the fact that they will behave like weirdos.  Hell, I'm not worried about them giving Richard more than a single beer: the way they act, they don't need drugs.  They aren't hiding anything.
Mrs. Sutherland looked at her husband and said, "Speaking of hiding things, why were you so interested in getting me out of the house?"
Mr Sutherland said, "So our son and his girlfriend could make out in privacy/"
"I said----- "
"I heard you!  And that doesn't bother you?"
"I'd be far more bothered if they weren't having any sort of fun together.  Think about it, Mel.  Wouldn't it bother you more if two adolescent kids were not petting or otherwise fooling around?  Wouldn't you find that that disturbing?  In fact, I'm going to put my foot down.  Unless he brings the subject up, Richard's sex life is his own.  He has a right to his his privacy.  He and Rook are intelligent enough to be safe.
"So are we going to be buying condoms for nim?"  Mrs. Sutherland still sounded irritated.
''No, he receives an allowance and can get them for free from the clinic.  Look, I have faith in our son to behave responsibly  We should keep this a non-issue."  He paused and said, "Please?"
Mrs. Sutherland waited a moment, then said, "All right.  He's nearly an adult.

Mrs. Sutherland said, "You know, with Richard gone, we do have the place to ourselves."
"Well, why don't we take advantage of the privacy?"
"What would---- Ooohhh, I see what you mean!"
"Thank God, it learns."
"We can finally get the kitchen painted without interruption!"
A cold silence filled the car.
"Honey, I was joking.  Just a joke."
"You know Fred, you worry me sometimes."
"Let me get three drinks in me tonight, and I'll terrify you."
"My vote is rather pedestrian, but practical.  A pint of Johnny Walker, delivery pizza, and a couple of smutty movies from Captain Video."
"Sounds wonderful, but make it three movies.  You know how I love the music in porn videos."
"You're worrying me again, Fred."
"Good.  That's m' job, baby."

Sitting Around A Kitchen Table in North Oakland On A Saturday Evening

There were good bands playing at Gilman, so the plan was to show up around nine or nine-thirty.  In the meantime, Rory, Rook and I had made a monstrous batch of vegetarian pasta for dinner, and made a liquor store run: a couple six packs of Sierra Nevada, two twelve-packs of Miller Draft, and some water and sodas.  Oh, and a six pack of Guinness for Rory.  Richard and Rook had been promised three beers each, period.  No begging, wheedling, or pleading would increase that number.  We figured that between their inexperience with alcohol and their light builds, three beers would be enough to get them a buzz, but not have them sloshed.... Or feeling like shit the next day.

Rory, on his third Guinness, decided to bring up a delicate subject, and do so in a direct manner: "So, Richard m' boy, there's a tale going 'round you've got quite the piece of equipment."
Richard said, "Huh?" not getting the implication.
Rook stabbed at Rory with her eyes, and said, "He's talking about your dick, babe."
Richard went a bit pink, but handled the response well.  "Umm.... Well, Rook says it's big.... I, um, don't have any way of knowing, I mean, what do you do, ask strangers on the street if you can make a comparison?"
Hawk (on his fifth Miller) said, "Hell, get it hard, whip it out.  We'll tell you."
"Umm.... What?"
Rook said, "If they're so fucking curious, let's show 'em.  Fuck them."
"Uhh.... Are you serious?  You want me to.... Just pull it out in front of everyone...?"
"In a couple minutes, yes.  All you'll have to do is stand up."
And Rook disappeared underneath the table.  We could hear the sound of a zipper, and a few seconds later a very unique rhythmic slurping sound.  Richard's face went from confusion, to blank, to his head leaning back and him sighing out a moan.
After about two or three minutes (during which there was dead silence around the table, just amazed glances) Rook's voice said, "Okay, stand up, baby."  And Richard stood up.

There was initially silence at the table: our eyes were open too wide to speak.  Someone muttered, "Holy Jesus."  I vocalized my opinion: "Well, I feel thoroughly shamed."  Mookie and Glare couldn't tear their eyes away, both having breathed, "Oh, woowww" in sync.  Mookie had a smile and a look in her eyes that could only be described as "predatory;" Glare had the facial expression everyone gets about ten seconds before an earth-shaking orgasm.  I learned that night it's possible to actually hear women get wet.
Rook had reappeared from under the table, and was sitting in her chair, gently using her hand to keep 'Jumbo' at full attention.  Richard had picked up the vibe and the comments, and had stopped being pink; he actually had a small (and confident!) smile.

Quite simply, Rook had not been exaggerating or trying to instill confidence: Richard had one helluva cock on him.  The damn thing needed its own zip code.  And it was attached to a sixteen year old kid, at the age where you shave every few weeks, whether you need to or not.  I hoped --- for his sake, and for the well-being of all womankind --- that this was a growth-spurt fluke, that Not-So-Little Richard was done growing.  Seeking out "size queens" meant using rather sleazy personals ads.  If he kept getting bigger, he was, ironically, destined for a lifetime of frustration and hand-jobs, as him getting bigger would result in hearing the phrase, "Like hell you're puttin' that thing in me, no way!" on a regular basis.  The kind of dick --- sorry to be crass, but it must be said --- that you could make a living with.  If not as a performer in porn, a high-end stud hustler, or a gigolo, then with a pest control company, beating raccoons and other medium-sized animals to death with it.

It was the kind of cock women either would step on other peoples' head to get access to, or would flee in terror at the sight of it.  Really, either response provides an answer to a question you never asked: "So, how and where is your cervix positioned?"

Richard managed to coil it back in, then had a brainstorm.  He whispered in Rook's ear, whose eyes widened, then a big smile crossed her face.  "Hey, what time are we leaving for Gilman?"
"In about forty-five minutes.  So make it a quickie!"

They put their half-finished beers in the fridge, then dived giggling into Rook's cubby hole.
Mookie speculated, "I wonder which would be more effective in Rook letting me borrow Richard for about six hours: violence, or bribery?"  I suggested bribery: Rook could use the money, lord knows.  "And for chrissake, wear normal clothes, not your work gear!  Men's penises don't work well when they're terrified!"  She pointed out that what she saw at work disproved that.

At A Rather Nice House In Albany On A Sunday Afternoon

The house had plenty of room to move around in.  Its sole occupant had seen to that, partially by luck, and partially by plan.  Now he could do anything he wished in his house, and did.  The hot tub had been a great addition: his ability to do anything he wanted now extended to the outside.  The bims were always impressed by the hot tub.  He'd learned one lesson, though: in the second month of owning the spa and fucking the bims, he discovered that cum could, and would, clog up the filter.  Flooded the goddamn patio because of his own cum.  Jesus.  And the repairman had sneered at him, even as he sold the man a box of extra filters and gave instructions on how to change them.  (The repairman was of the opinion that attempting coitus in chlorinated water should cause the genitals of the participants to dissolve like Alka-Seltzer tablets, forcing the species to have sex on dry ground only.  Twice a week he had to fix or replace filter systems because of people fucking in their spas.  He figured the only people who had to deal with more random jizz were the dudes who cleaned the viewing booths at porn shops.)

He was a highly conflicted man, but didn't know it.  He honestly believed he loved women.  In truth, he only loved certain parts of them: breasts, mouths, genitalia.  And he was ambiguous about the mouths, as they were a wonderful place to stick his penis, but when empty they would make sound, and often demanded he pay attention to the sound.  His categorization of women was simplistic.  Women in general: either "bitches" or "bims."  A woman he was actively trying to talk into coming home with him: "babe."  Women who turned him down: "cunts."
Actually, the category of "cunt" ran beyond failed mating partners.  Women who out-ranked him at work? Cunts.  His estranged wife?  Definitely a cunt, a Bible-whackin' cunt.  His daughter?  She of the weird hair and garbage music and strange friends?  A total cunt.  At least he'd run her off.  Heh.  Starting at age twelve, and continuing to this day, he was always amazed at what he could get done with his dick.

It was one thing he did miss about his daughter being around, though: her friends. God, what eye-candy.... Just-ripe young bodies clad in ripped jeans and leather.  Those mid-teen asses in leather pants, Jesus.  Get him hard enough to drive nails.  A six-pack of Smirnoff Ice would probably be enough to at least get sucked off, maybe even fucked.  Dodging his daughter (the cunt) would be hard, but he'd dodged his wife for years.
But no sense laying those sort of plans, when those hot little punker girls weren't around any more.  Then where?  The man despaired: he was smart enough to know he wouldn't blend in anywhere with bims like he wanted.  All those clubs in San Francisco and Oakland, and that one his daughter the cunt went to in Berkeley....  All stuffed with punker pussy, and they'd laugh at him if he tried to talk to them.  Such bullshit!  He was decent looking for his age, he was successful, he drove a----

He was successful.  Bingo.

Money can't buy love, but it sure as hell can rent it.

The man drove to the doughnut shop on San Pablo, and retrieved a copy of that week's SF Weekly.  The last ten pages were all ads for "services" and "special escorts;" they may as well have read, "Hookers!  We Got Hookers!"  He sat in his BMW, eating an apple fritter, and calmly scanning all the ads, both the cheap listings and the quarter-page panels.  Four pages in, he struck gold: a color, one-sixth size ad showing some bim in red and black leather with short hair, gritting her teeth for the camera  The whip in her hand was a nice touch.  Another nice touch: the service was based in Oakland, going by the phone number.  The header read, "We'll Make You BEG!!"  Or vice versa, the man thought with a smile.  (He lived under the delusion that he had made prostitutes achieve orgasm, and they weren't just faking it for the tip money.)  The man tore the ad out of the paper, threw the paper out of his car into the parking lot, and headed back home.

"Good afternoon, Domme Heaven, how may I help you?"
"Yeah, hi, I need you to send me over a girl," the man said.  (In his mind, he thought, Dumb Heaven?  The hell sort of name is that for an escort agency?  Oh well, maybe the girls were all really stupid: not a little slow, but grade-A morons.)
There was a brief pause.  "Care to elaborate, sir?"
"Oh! Sorry.  Um, to be honest, I'm really looking for a bi---- a girl like the one in your SF Weekly ad, with the short hair.  You know, the punker chick in the ad."
"Not a problem, sir, we've several, ah, 'punker' girls here.  Did you have a preference on hair color?"
"Nah.  Surprise me!"
"All right.  And what kink or kinks do you have?"
The girl on the phone repeated the question, only slower, as if she was talking to a dog.
"Umm.... Uh, leather, I guess.  You know, like the chick in the ad!"
Another pause.  "So just.... Leather.  And that's all."
The man said, "Hey, she can bring the whip along if she wants, hahaha!"
"Don't worry, sir, she will.  And when did you want to schedule for?"
The man was confused.  "Schedule?  Well.... Like, right now!  I'm down for some thrills!"
"I'm sorry sir, but we don't do immediate outcall.  It's hard to find anyone in this end of the lifestyle who will."
The man was becoming frustrated.  "Well.... Shit!  How long do I have to wait?"
"One moment, sir."  There was the sound of a keyboard clicking.  "Ah!  Sunday afternoon, just a few days from now.  And there's a girl available that day who should be exactly what you want: short hair, dyed red and white, she has fantastic leather gear.... And she's very good with the whip!"
The man paused briefly, then said,  "All right, let's do this!  Um, you take plastic, right?"
"That's all we take, sir.  However, tipping your mistress, while totally optional, must be done with cash.  We cannot process tips via credit cards."
They went through the rigmarole of payment, and the woman on the telephone confirmed the time and amount paid, "and prepare for very savage thrills."
"Hah!" the man exclaimed.  "I'm gonna thrill her!"
He wasn't sure, but he'd have sworn he heard the lady snicker before saying goodbye.

The man was feeling somewhat obsessed.  Arranging the "date" had brought back memories of the 13-15 year old girls his daughter was friends with and would bring to the house.  Recalling the tight underage bodies had a strange effect, one he'd been unaware of as a problem: he was able to achieve an erection, and masturbate to completion, without porn.  The man realized it had probably been years since he'd jacked off without XXX on the TV.  Now, hell, all he had to do was think of his (cunt) daughter's friends, and he'd have a raging hard-on, which wouldn't leave him alone until he jerked it into submission.  He wasn't sure if he was excited despite the youthful age of the girls, or because of it.  While his fantasies were pretty much straightforward, the fact that they were being aimed at thirteen year olds was made the man a bit uncomfortable.  He dismissed his discomfort by telling himself that those punker chicks start fucking, voluntarily, around the age of eleven.  Sluts to the last, unable to speak because of having a cock constantly shoved in their mouth, and usually masturbate twenty times a day, plus lots of fucking.... And on days when there's nothing to do, well....

Sunday arrived at last.  The man had forced himself to avoid acts of self-pleasure all of Saturday, his logic being the punker girl who showed up would want him to provide as much seminal fluid as possible.  Such is the reasoning of a man whose understanding of women (and their sexual interests) has been dictated by porn videos.  Those punker chicks are wild, man, she's totally gonna want a facial.... So he'd better save up a really big load.
She arrived in an old MG that had seen better days: the body was straight, the engine sounded healthy, but it was in desperate need of paint and re-chroming, plus an exhaust system.  The man was watching through the front window.  He was a bit confused at first: she'd opened the trunk and had hung various.... Things from a strip of leather around her waist.  Hah!  She had her whip with her!
He went through a mental list.  Good looking?  Check.  Wearing leather?  Check.  Fuck-me boots?  Check.... Holy shit, she already looked like a big girl (not heavy, just tall), in those damn heels, she was gonna tower over him.  No biggie, he'd just get her horizontal as quick as possible.  What was the stuff at her waist?  The man guessed it was probably a bunch of bondage stuff, wild equipment she wanted to be tied up with --- hey, not really his scene, but who knows?  It could be fun --- while he fucked her and she begged for him to make her come again, again, again, just like those hookers.

She knocked on the door, he answered it.  He was dressed well, in slacks, dress shirt (no tie, of course), and a $300 pair of shoes.  Instead of looking cheerful, though, she raised one eyebrow, stared at him and around the room before saying, "You uh, don't seem to be prepared."
The man leered and said, "I'm prepared all right!" and rubbed his hand down his crotch.  The shiny leather and cleavage had him half-hard already.
He didn't expect the response he got.  She shot an unimpressed glare.  "That's one.  You get three.  Three propositions for sex, and I walk.  I'm thinking you made a mistake."
The man sneered, "Bitch, I paid a lot of money to get you here.  What the fuck did you think I wanted, to play checkers?"  He took a few deep breaths and said, "Sorry.  Why don't we strip down and get in my hot tub?"
The woman replied, "Well, that's two.  Tell me, did you think you were hiring an escort?  Because I'm not a fucking escort, I'm a dominatrix.  What did you think all this gear was for?" she said, gesturing at the various objects around her waist.
"A dominatrix.... What, like beating guys and that sort of shit?"
"Yeah, you.... got.... it......"  The woman in leather was staring at two pictures above the bar.
The man used them as props.  One was of his "dead wife," and the other was of his "runaway daughter," who he would describe as being heavily involved in drugs and living in Oakland with a bunch of other druggies.  He kept them up to use as a sympathy ploy, to show how emotionally difficult his life had been.  He was a talented actor, able to fake a sniffle and lump in his throat while he told drunk bims about how hard things had been, how sometimes he needed to be held.  The bims would respond with, "You poor guy!  C'mere..." and the bim and he would embrace.  And things would move forward from there.  When he needed for it to work that way, he was champion of the mercy-fuck.
It was the second picture that fascinated the woman in leather: her eyes were locked to it; she stood completely immobile.  The girl was about ten or eleven when the picture was taken, but there was no mistaking the face.

The girl was Rook.  That would make the man her dad.

She decided to check first.  She asked the man, "Who is the girl, the one on the right?  She reminds me of someone."
The man sighed and said, "That's my daughter.  She got involved with drugs, and is living with a bunch of other druggies and losers in Oakland."  Hey, mercy-fuck it is then.  If he could shove the conversation towards his "dead wife," and how lonely --- in many ways --- he was without her, then pussy was definitely on the menu.
"Is she."
The man sighed again.  "Yeah.  Sometimes I drive around, trying to track her down...."
"Tell me, does she go by the name of 'Rook'?"
The man jumped.  "Um, yeah, why?"
The leather-clad woman, the one who had so recently been the source of a hard-on, began stomping towards the man.  This was not anger the man was looking at, but undiluted rage in her eyes.  He had never been afraid of a woman --- why worry about some bim? --- until now.  Now, he wanted to run out the door and not stop until he hit Orinda.
The leather woman said, "You are worthless.  As a man, as a human being.  Rook lives with me, and some other people.  We don't use drugs, and barely drink."  Her volume increased and she'd unhooked one of her whips --- she had two --- from her waist.  "We also don't jack off in front of children, or fuck strangers we meet in bars in front of children.  You wanted to be rid of Rook, and it worked!  Are you fucking satisfied?  ANSWER ME!"  He was against the wall, so the woman in leather pushed him halfway down with her hand, then shoved him to the floor with a boot on the shoulder, until he was sitting against the wall.  She was strong.  He was scared.
The man started to open his mouth, but was cut off.  "By the way, every time I think you're lying, you're getting hit with this ---- " she detached her flail from her belt "---- in the face.  Also, I'll be working out with this."  She let the eight-foot whip uncoil, stepped back, then swung towards the entertainment center.  She hit the DVD player just right, shattering the entire plastic casing.  The man's pornograph was now useless.

The man's mouth formed a perfect 'O' from shock and surprise.  Then he got angry.  "You goddamn crazy cunt!  What the hell's your problem!?"
The leather woman bent down in front of him, so their faces were inches apart.  Her eyes were still full of rage, but she had a smile that reminded him, crazily, of the Grinch.  She had a small line of drool coming from the corner of her mouth.  Normally this would have turned the man on; now all he could think was "Oh God, this psycho cunt has gone feral.  And she's dangerous."
The leather woman wiped her mouth carelessly and hissed, "You still haven't answered me."
"About what?"  His habit of ignoring anything women said was doing him no favors that afternoon.
She pushed the handle of her whip into the indentation below his Adam's apple with a fair amount of force.  "You got rid of your daughter by sexually abusing her.  You may have never laid a hand on her, but what you did was fucking sexual abuse: always fucking women from the bars, and never in your room, and your really charming habit of jacking off to porn while sitting right there ---- " she gestured at the sofa " ---- so she'd have to see you, have to watch you, whenever she would come in the house.  And since you seem to have a short attention span, I'll ask again: are you satisfied?"
The man had never, ever been afraid of a bim in his life.  He wasn't about to start now: a couple of backhands and she'd be running in tears for her old car.  He gave a mean grin and said, "Yeah, I am!  My daughter's a goddamn weirdo.  Have you heard the shit music she listens to?  She still have her hair dyed red?  All she was doing was jamming me up: I'd bring some bitch home from a bar, and she's giving me these sad accusing looks before going to her room and turning on her damn stereo.  And she was always leaving HIV/AIDS pamphlets out for me to read.  Shit, I'm no faggot, why would I worry about that?  I've had the clap a few times, but so what?
"You know what she was?  She was in my way.  This is my goddamn house.  I'll fuck some broad in any room I feel like, I'll jack off in any room I feel like.  I'll do anything I please, wherever I want, and if my daughter had a problem with that, it's her problem, so good riddance."

The woman in leather stared at him blankly; Roy Scheider was more expressive.  She said, "It's kind of a shame.  You know that old bit about how people should be forced to take a test before they're allowed to have children?  You'd have passed.  Sociopaths are really good at manipulating personality tests.
"You're on top of the fucking world, right?  House in Albany, BMW, good job, plenty of expensive toys....  And these things all belong to a biped --- not a man --- who's a sociopath, a narcissist, an egotist, a child abuser, and probably a rapist."
The man began to stand up, declaring, "Hey, I'm no rapist!  I---- "
Fwwsshh - KRAK!
The man grabbed his left shoulder, which suddenly stung like hell.  He took his hand away to see a rip in his shirt, and blood running down into his sleeve.
"Did I say you could get up?" asked the woman in leather.  "Be glad I don't put metal tips on my leather, else-wise I'd have taken a chunk of flesh off, instead of that nick you have.  Sit back down where you were.  You aren't moving from that spot.  You gotta take a shit, you're going in your pants.
"I was saying, you're probably a rapist.  Rook told me your pattern is to meet women in bars.  I'm sure some of them were pretty hammered when they agreed to come home with you.  So tell me, you ever have a chick pass out on you once you got here?  Did you go ahead and fuck her anyway?"
The man prided himself on controlling his appearance: of hiding his true feelings by not letting facial expressions and body English give him away.  But today he slipped, turning his head to one side and looking downwards.  Gestures of guilt.
Leather woman said, "I thought so.  So I'll add both 'rapist' and 'misogynist' to the list of your ugly flaws, the ones that announce to the world you have no soul to speak of.  You should have to wear a bell, like lepers did way back when, to warn people of your presence."
"Hey, fuck you.  I love women," the man declared in a low voice.
The leather woman started off with a low chuckle, which built into rollicking laughter.  After it died down some, she said, "Uh huh.  I'd bet my tip money for a month that it's more a case of liking parts of women.  Tits, pussy, ass, and mouth.  Those are the useful parts of a woman, right?  And the mouth is up in the air, because when it doesn't have a dick in it, it talks, and wants you to listen.  And you fucking hate that.  That's when women become what Rook said was your favorite word, cunt.  Correct me if I'm wrong, please."
The man said, "That was another reason my daughter had to go.  She spoke out of turn.  Pfft, she was a cunt too."
It happened so quick the man was barely able to figure out what happened.  The leather woman suddenly took on a truly feral appearance: huge eyes, bared teeth, and a hissing noise from the back of her throat.  Her eyes were on fire.
He'd been watching the whip on her right side, since it was the only one he'd seen her use; he assumed the one on the left was just a prop.

Never assume.

She had the five-foot whip out, uncoiled, and in play before the man realized what was happening.  He didn't even have time to process the Fwwsshh - KRAK! sound when he was grabbing the top of his head in pain.  He would need to change hair styles, because the woman in leather put a deep groove in his scalp, from the start of his hairline to the back of his head.  Head injuries bleed like hell, even when superficial; how superficial this one was is subjective.  The leather woman had carved a line where hair would never grow again, at all.  Blood was running down the side of his head, into his eyes, down his cheek and dripping off his chin.  The man thought crazily, Well, this shirt is trashed, I liked it too.
The leather woman stepped up to the man, who was holding his head with both hands.  She grabbed him by the hair on the non-bloody side and yanked up, so they were looking in each other's eyes.
"You will never call your daughter a cunt, ever again.  I don't care if you're hiding at the south pole, I will hear you, and I will punish you, and I will do things to you that will make that crease seem like dandruff."  Since she was already in the position for it, she decided to get the point across with less subtlety.  She began banging his head against the wall.  "Do you (*thunk*) understand me?  (*thunk*)  You never (*thunk*) speak like that (*thunk*) of your daughter (*thunk*) and my friend (*thunk*) again...!"

The man was now actively frightened.  He was trapped in his own house by a woman who looked like a wet dream.... And had no compunction about hurting him.  She didn't seem to take pleasure out of it, but she was able to use those whips to accomplish anything she wanted.  When she'd hurt him, she had a completely dispassionate expression, as if ripping open his scalp was a minor task she had to do, like washing dishes.  He finally figured it out: it was concentration.  Using those whips the way she was, with the dead-accurate aim, took both skill and incredible focus.  She straightened up, considered the blood running off his skull.  She strolled into the kitchen, located the paper towels, and threw the whole roll at him, saying, "Blood's a bitch to get out of carpet.  Here, mop up."
The man used a wad of paper towels on his scalp to staunch the bleeding, and a second wad to mop off his face as best he could.  "I have to ask...."
She looked up from examining her whip-ends.  "What?"
"The whips.... Are you aiming, or is it just luck?"
"It's aim.  Why, what did you want me to aim for?  I could put on a blade-clip and remove an ear if you like.  Or how 'bout an eye?  A good hard swing and I can get both the eye and chunks of your skull."  She had coiled and returned the shorter whip, and was loosely dangling the eight-footer in her right hand.  She was standing a short distance from him.  He'd noticed that: she would adjust her distance between herself and whatever she swung at.  He'd briefly considered charging her, but all she'd have to do is step back a few feet and swing.... And she'd hit whatever she wanted to.  He had a sickening feeling she'd just go for his crotch, which would certainly render him immobile.  He remained sitting on the floor, against the wall.

The leather woman was now crouched on her heels.  She fished in a tiny leather pouch sewn to her belt and pulled out a cigarette and a Mini-Bic lighter.  The man said, "There's no smoking in my house."  She looked up at him, then lit the cigarette.  She drew in and exhaled in the manner all smokers do when they really need one.  She stood up and began pacing back and forth.... Always within whip-range of the man.
The man said, "Look, what do you want?  Money?  Are you waiting for someone?  What the fuck, apparently I'm your hostage, so you must want something."
The leather woman stopped pacing and looked at him as though she'd forgotten he was there.  She puffed in a calm manner (knocking ash onto the carpet), frowned, and said, "I'm, uh, just mulling things over, decisions to make and all that.  Me, I don't want anything.  I know for a fact Rook wants her childhood back, but it's a little late for that, isn't it?"
The man made a grousing sound and grumbled, "All this --- keeping me hostage, hitting me with whips, talking shit to me, breaking my DVD player --- it's all about my daughter?"
The leather woman was pacing again.  "Partially, yes.  It also has a lot to do with you being a genuinely worthless and evil human being."  She chuckled briefly.  "You know what's a trip?  Right now, I actually feel bored.  I'd ask you for something to read, but I read enough porn at home, and I doubt you have much of anything else around.  From what I know of you, you've probably thrown out all of Rook's books.  Besides, it would mean you getting up, and I want you exactly where you are, immobile...."  She paused briefly, then grinned.  "Dude, you're gonna help me stop being bored.  Sit where you are and do NOT move a muscle.  Hee hee, you'll probably want to close your eyes, 'cos this will scare the shit outta you."
She uncoiled her long whip and stood directly in front of the man, about ten feet off.  She had the dispassionate look again, only briefly interrupted so she could say, "Seriously, close your eyes.  If you don't, you'll flinch, and you'll get hurt."
"You've already hurt me with your fucking whips."
"Yeah, but those were calculated; I could have done really terrible things to you if I'd wanted.  Right now you'd be risking losing an eye or having a chunk of your face torn off."
The man closed his eyes.

He wet himself, just a little, while the leather woman swung her whip.  He could feel the small burst of air as the whip cracked close to his head.  Very close.  And it happened, over and over and over, each crack seeming like it would make contact with him.  The cracks were very loud: she was using swings about as powerful as she could.
Even after the whip-cracks has stopped and he heard her declare, "Oh, yeah!" he still refused to open his eyes.  He finally did when she yelled, "Hey scumbag!  You gotta see this!"  He looked around, not sure what he was looking for.  "Behind you.  Take a look, but stay on your hands and knees."
He turned around on his hands and knees.  The drywall was now deeply scarred by the whip.... In the form of an outline, an outline of him sitting against the wall.  She had used her whip to trace him.
The woman in leather was nearly dancing.  She had a smile on her face, a smile of genuine happiness and pride.  She said, "Man!  That came out good!  I worked left to right, and damn if my wrist wasn't getting tired about three-quarters of the way through.  Still, it came off well!  Too cool!"  She was inspecting the working end of her whip.  "Huh.  No fraying.  Dude, where'd you buy your drywall, one of the recycle centers?"
The man remained where he was, staring at the outline.  She had made over fifty swings to accomplish her artwork, all striking within an inch of his head and shoulders.  One bad swing could have put another groove in his head, ripped an ear to hamburger, blinded him, punched a hole in his throat....  He fought back nausea....  Then gave up, launched himself sideways at the fireplace, and puked on the bricks.  The leather woman frowned and wrinkled her nose.  He kneeled there briefly, spitting and giving the occasional dry heave.
"Bad lunch?" asked the leather woman.
"No."  The man was angry, angry enough to irritate this psycho bitch, and if it got him another wound from a whip, so be it.  "I puked because I just realized what you were doing.  Jesus Christ, if you'd had just one bad shot with that damn whip, you'd have put a hole in me!  I am sick of this shit! God dammit, what do you want from me!?"
The leather woman raised her eyebrows, like you do when an eight year old explains matter-of-factly that he understands what a clitoris is, and its function.  "Well.  I want answers.  Two of 'em.... Actually, only one.
"My two questions are, first off, why do you hate your daughter.... Your wife too, I guess; I have a hunch they're connected, but I could be wrong.  The second question is, basically, what the fuck is wrong with you?  I know, that's pretty vague, and you don't strike me as someone given to self-introspection.  I'm not expecting an answer to that one; it'd probably take a team of shrinks five years to provide an answer.
"So yeah, that's really all it comes down to: I want you to tell me why you hate Rook, what about her that makes you despise her, your own goddamn daughter.  Please, sit where you've been sitting."

The man returned to his spot, seething.  He sneered at the leather woman, "Because my daughter is a goddamn weirdo outspoken nosy little c---- "  Fwwsshh - KRAK!  A chunk of carpet near his left shin just sort of evaporated.
The woman in leather was showing her teeth again.  "Holy shit, don't you ever learn?  What the fuck did I say about using that word to describe your daughter?  Do you ignore everyone, or just women?  Asshole.  Tell me now, do you want to be blind, or have chunks of your face ripped off?  I ask because I told you about using that word, and banged your head against the wall while I was doing it, and you still didn't fucking learn!  Shit, I should kill you right there, that's how sick I am of your stupidity.  It's really not a bad idea."  She pulled the flail off her belt; it had a five pound ball with the spikes missing.  (In the professional domme  world, it's considered a faux pas to kill the customers.  Some clients weren't happy without bruising, though, and a light swing of the flail would provide exactly that.)  "Fuck it, I'm crushing your skull."
It was a bluff, but she was sick of repeating herself.  She began walking towards him, spinning the ball of the flail on its chain fast enough that he could hear the swishing noise.  She must have forearms like Popeye, the man's brain babbled.
The man's mouth babbled, "Wait wait wait wait, let's talk this through, we can work something out here, don't get too crazy.  You wanted me to talk, that's fine, I'll talk about anything you want."
The leather woman caught the spinning ball in her hand.  She calmly said, "Okay, so answer me.  Why do you hate your own daughter?"

The man said, "Well... Like I was saying, she turned into such a little weirdo!  Just has to draw attention to herself, I guess.  Shit, here I am with a prospective client over for dinner and there she is with bright red hair cut all short and choppy, wearing a t-shirt for a band no one's ever heard of and tears in her pants and big clunky boots.... 'Yeah, I'd like you to meet my daughter, the thirteen year old reincarnation of Sid Vicious.'  She got into that punk rock shit when she was twelve and has looked like a freak ever since."
"So you hate your daughter because, basically, she began turning into a teenager?  Who doesn't push boundaries at her age?  I'm not buying this, you're not that ignorant or stupid."  The leather woman began pacing at her whip range again.  "I know your wife was gone by then.  You were having fellow business dorks over for dinner.  Tell me...."  The Grinch smile began to reappear.  ".... Who did the cooking?"
"Well.... She did.  I gotta hand it to her, she could make great meals, fancy stuff too.  And before you ask, I did help her clean up and do dishes, dammit.  But after she embarrassed the shit out of me, she got to eat in the kitchen."
"Why?  What did she do?"
The man gritted his teeth and said, "Okay, I've got two guys from the same ad agency over for dinner, right?  Their product, the one I'm repping, was.... Shit.... Oh yeah, deodorant for teenagers.  Pretty basic stuff, one kind for each gender.
"So we're eating our salads, waiting for the lasagna to come out of the oven.  We're talking about the product, about the ads --- we were doing print ads for magazines --- and looking at the proofs.  Out of the blue, she says, 'May I see the proofs, please?'  Before I could tell her to be quiet and mind her own business, one of the ad guys smiles and says, 'Sure, dear,' and hands them over.
"So my daughter lays them down in front of her and stares at them for, like, ninety seconds.  Then, do you know what she does?  She looks at the two reps and says, 'These won't work.'  I nearly blew a gasket.  I was so pissed off I couldn't get any words out.... Which only made things worse.
"One of the reps smiles at her and says, 'Why not, dear?'  And my daughter starts lecturing these guys about what was wrong with the ads: 'This first one looks just like a Benneton ad.  Even disregarding the content, there's too much skin for an ad aimed at teens, people think of Benneton, they think pricey.  It won't matter how much the product actually costs, everyone will just assume the product costs a lot, and not bother to pick it up.  It'd be like if Ferrari bought Toyota and put their logo on all the cars: people will just assume it's out of their price range, even though nothing's changed.'
"'This second one here?  Too much primary color, too many blocky shapes.  It reminds me of the Teletubbies; overall, it looks like it's aimed at children, not teens.  The people you want buying your product will skip over it in the magazines, because they'll think it's an ad for a kid's product.'  Then the timer went off, she excused herself, and went to dish up the lasagna.  I started to apologize.... And the goddamn reps have grabbed the proofs and are both staring at them, frowning.  One of 'em finally says, 'She's right.  By god, she's right, both of these would tank the product.'  The other says, 'Jeez, all the way back to thumbnails?'  And the first one says, 'Well.... Hell, better that than having print ads that flop.  We'll lose a little on having to redesign, but we'd lose that whole contract if we send ads that suck to press.  What do you think?'  This was directed at me.  What else could I do but agree with 'em?  However indirectly, these guys signed my paychecks."
"She comes back in with the lasagna --- she could do that carrying-multiple-plates thing like waitresses --- and one of 'em says, 'Honey, how'd you like a job?'  And he's only half-joking.  My daughter smiles and says, 'Sir, I'm only twelve.  Maybe after I'm out of junior high school I could work for you; it would beat Taco Bell.'  The reps roared with laughter.  Then she goes over to me, kisses me on the forehead, and says, 'Besides, my daddy's the professional,' hugs my shoulders and sits down to her plate."
The woman in leather smiled and said, "Aww.... That's sweet.  So.... Wait a minute.  Where's the point where she embarrasses you?  It sounds like she got your balls out of a vice, not to mention making a good impression with the other two dudes."
The man looked genuinely enraged.  "She made me look like a goddamn idiot in front of clients!  We'd narrowed twenty proofs down to two, and the little brat manages to kick the props out from the campaign while waiting on an oven timer.  We had to push everything back two weeks, which just over-fucking-joyed the manufacturer.  I should have made her eat in the fuckin' garage after that!"
The leather woman opened her mouth to yell at the man, then shut it.  She closed her eyes briefly, then opened them and calmly said, "So, how did the campaign come out?"
The man frowned at the floor.  "They went up 22% in the following quarter.  They zoomed.  You know, those bastards were coming over from the City in the afternoons just to talk to Arienne, get her fucking advice on new proofs!  Said they wanted the opinion of a 'real teenager.'  She ended up getting a thousand dollar 'Thank You' note from 'em!  They---"
"Hold on.  They talked to who?"
"My daughter.  They--- "
"What the fuck did you call her?"
"Arienne.  Why?"
"You named your daughter 'Aryan'!?"
"It's a slightly unusual name but th---- "
"So what the fuck is her middle name, 'Mengele'?  What the fuck is wrong with you?"
"What?  What's so bad about the name Arienne?"
The leather woman frowned.  "Say that again.  And spell it."
"Arienne.  A R I E N N E."
"So.... Errry - enn."
"And it never occurred to you that pronouncing her name quickly makes it sound like 'Aryan,' you know, Hitler, master race, all that.  I'm guessing around fifth grade she started taking a lot of shit from kids at school."
"Ummm.... Well, there were a few times where she came home crying because other kids called her 'Nazi Girl'.  She began insisting on being called 'Anne' until she was eleven and picked up that dumb 'Rook' moniker."
The leather woman rubbed her temples and squeezed her eyes shut.  "Jesus.  No wonder nobody knows her real name.  No damn wonder she hates it and keeps it a secret.  I think I'm now one of three people in Berkeley who now knows her real name.  The other two are the guys who did the paperwork to enroll her in Berkeley High.  Not even her boyfriend knows.  Not that you'd care, but her boyfriend Richard is a smart good-looking and well-mannered kid.  Those two are tight.  It's nice she has another person in her life who loves and cares for her," she said pointedly.
"Huh."  The man looked a little surprised.  Then he returned to his usual charm.  "Well, so long as she doesn't get knocked up, I guess.  I ain't helping her if she does."
"Oh, I'd never expect you to.  Besides, the intelligence of both Rook and her boyfriend are not in question.  The most they may get is a letter of thanks from the Durex company."
"Always preferred Trojans myself.  If I use 'em at all.  Some bitches insist; shit, I know how to pull out."

The woman in leather ignored this tangent.  "You know what?  If anything, I've been hearing a load of reasons for Rook to hate you.... But she doesn't.  She is angry with you, and feels very hurt and betrayed, but at the same time, she's a girl who wants her daddy back, and I get the impression the man she misses is not the man on the floor here who's going to get his fucking back up against the wall if he wants to keep both eyes."
The man had been edging forward on his ass-cheeks, a half-inch at a time, aiming for the table.  He could see his cell phone on the edge of the table, an electronic savior, possibly.
The leather woman saw what he was aiming for.  She made a contemptuous "Pfft" sound, picked up the phone, walked to the sliding glass door that led to the yard, and threw the phone in the hot tub.  She stood for a second and said, "Huh.  For some reason I thought those things would float."

The leather woman wandered back into her range.  She was absentmindedly, slowly running her fingers along the length of the whip, as if checking for imperfections.  She said, "You still haven't provided an answer to my question.  You've provided reasons, and shitty ones, for being angry at her briefly, but your antagonism towards Rook isn't anger, it's genuine hate.  And I want a fucking reason for it.
"Like I said, Rook is, in a lot of ways, still a little girl who loves and misses her daddy.  So these days she fucks her boyfriend and drinks beer on the weekends.  But that little girl is just under the surface: it's why everyone at our house is so protective of her.  Heh, her boyfriend had jump through some fuckin' hoops to get our approval.  Rook's a beautiful girl --- and, um, sexy too --- so we like to filter out the creeps.  Richard passed the test, so to speak; you see them together, it's obvious he truly cares about her, and isn't just after some pussy.  Hell, his friends are probably green with jealousy that he's dating her."
The man gave a small smile, and a genuine one.  "Yeah.  She was always good-looking, at any age. You know how people want to see the baby when you're pushing a stroller.  That never ended for her.  I'd have her up on my shoulders and total strangers would stop us, just to look at her and say, 'Hi, little beauty!'  Even as she got older and started turning into the tom-boy she is, we'd be at Safeway and people would crouch down to tell her what a darling she was.  Shit, it was like I wasn't even there."
The man stopped briefly, frowning at the middle distance.  Then he continued: "Yeah, between her good looks and clever wit, she never failed to impress.  Her mom, when she wasn't off at a Bible study or some other church event, was proud of her, even though she didn't, you know, actually do anything except look nice and say cute funny things, meanwhile I'm standing there with my hand up my ass, feeling like a goddamn moron, while people coo and giggle over my goddamn eight year old daughter.  Yeah, don't mind me, I just helped fucking make her,  yeah, she's cute, I'm just the asshole holding her hand so I don't fucking count, I helped create her, I worked my ass off to make sure she'd grow up in a paid-for house in a decent neighborhood, hey, I could fuck anything I wanted in college, I was good looking then and I still am how else would I get those bar-bitches to come home with me, no, it was always about my darling fucking little daughter, awwwww, isn't she cute, so I ain't shit, yeah I've called her a lot of names and I'll call her a fucking thief too because she started stealing attention away from me before she was able to goddamn walk, she would always draw attention away from me, like at that dinner, and just charm the fucking balls off of whoever was in the room, that wacko church stole my wife and my fucking daughter stole my goddamn spotlight,  you're goddamn right I hate her, she took away what was mine to use and used it for herself, all she did was be oh-so-fucking darling and say precocious shit, I had to earn my spotlight, and she just waltzes in and steals it, it's not fair, I loved her, she was fucking EVERYTHING to me, it's no goddamn fair, I'm educated and talented and good-looking and she just snatches all that away by being cute, it's not fair, it's not fair, it's not any goddamn FAIR."

The man stood up, ignoring the leather woman, and kicked the table.  And again, and again.  It fractured and caved in at the middle.  He somehow managed to kick several holes in the table: no mean feat, as he was wearing loafers and the table was of good quality.  The leather woman had holstered her whip in exchange for the flail, holding it behind her.  As he kicked the man bellowed incoherently.
When he was done destroying the table he turned to the leather woman and yelled, "You fucking get it now?  She stole my attention, she stole my spotlight, and every goddamn night I've got this darling little face looking up at me and telling me, 'I love you, daddy,' and meaning it.  Yeah? Then why does everyone ignore me now in favor of you?  If you loved me, why did you steal that from me?  Why the hell did you leave me with nothing!?"  Tears were running down his face.
"I used to be good-looking and smart.  I ain't shit now.  My own daughter stole it from me.
"My own daughter...."
The man gracelessly sat on the floor and began sobbing.

The leather woman stared at him a moment, then took her long whip off her belt.  She tapped him under the chin with it.  He looked up at her, fear in his eyes.  "Stand up," she said.
He stood slowly, expecting the whip to uncoil. Instead, she re-holstered it.  Then she held her arms out.
The man looked confused, then stepped into her arms and resumed crying.
The leather woman asked in his ear, "When was the last time someone hugged you?  I mean a real hug, not when you're fucking."
"Du-don't know."
The leather woman held him tighter and stroked the back of his head, as he continued to cry.

One of the marks of a good sex worker is being able to figure out the type of release the client needs.

"She hates me," the man said.  It was twenty minutes later.  He had cried the entire time.  He was now located on the sofa, staring at the floor several feet away.
"(*sigh*) No, she doesn't.  I told you that.  She is angry with you, she is very hurt, but no hate.  Like I said before, deep down she's a little girl who misses her daddy, the one she had when she was young.  You alluded to you and her being kind of a team when she was little.  I think she's hurt by losing that, and not just to age.  Honestly: do you want Rook back in your life?"
The man sniffled and said, "I do."
The woman in leather continued her pacing.  "Nothing is irreparable.  The biggest problem?  Dude, you fucked up.  A lot, and hard.  It's gonna take time, and the part you're gonna hate is that you're gonna have to do some crawling.  You hurt her on purpose, over and over.  And I don't know what to tell you about that, other than you need to genuinely apologize, and make it clear what it is you're apologizing for.  I mean, you don't need to provide exact details and dates, saying, 'On March 14th I fucked a bleach-blonde woman named Marcia here at the house; you came in while I had her bent over the arm of the sofa, then later had to contend with me yelling 'Suck it baby, make me come!' while you were trying to sleep.'  Just general information.
"Oh, and one of the things you're going to clear up first?  In fact, something you need to discuss with a therapist, among a lot of other things?  The whole jerking off on the sofa thing, knowing --- knowing --- she'd walk in on you, and you refusing to stop."  The woman in leather put a boot up on an arm of the sofa.  "See, that really pisses me off.  You may not have put a finger on her, but that was you sexually abusing your daughter.  No other way to put it, dude: what the ripe fuck were you thinking?"
The man looked cowed, and truly repentant.  "I swear on all that's holy, when I was doing that there was no sexual implications intended.  I couldn't--- she's my daughter, and that sorta shit is just sick and wrong."
"You didn't answer me."
The man sighed.  "Honestly, it was intended as the same sort of annoyance as a loud, smelly fart, y'know?  My only intent was to just gross her out.  My logic was, 'Well, what would be grosser to a thirteen year old girl than her dad's hard-on?  That'll send her running!'  All the sex I was having with random women in bars didn't really seem to work: it was the women who were embarrassed, and Rook was just kind of.... Annoyed.  And she'd leave more HIV/AIDS prevention literature on my desk."
The leather woman said, "Yeah, here's a news flash, Chester: she was worried about you, she cared about you.  That's why you got those pamphlets."
The man looked confused.  "But I'm not a fa---- I'm not into other guys."
The leather woman looked shocked, then angry.  The flames came up in her eyes.  "You're kidding, right?  Are you being  stupid again?"
"Oh Jesus Christ.  You can get HIV from anyone.  Abso-fucking-lutely anyone.  I'm not kidding, I'm not joking, and if I were you, I'd be a little worried, with your track record of fucking strange women and not using jimmy-hats.  You can contract HIV from a woman who was at a party and was offered the chance to shoot up some cocaine.... Which is, by the way, a zoom-ride.  Or a woman whose previous boyfriend had a blood transfusion someplace where they were lax in their sterilization procedures.  Or a woman who went to a cheap dentist, too cheap to buy an autoclave.  Are you getting the fuckin' picture?  Anyone can get it.
"I'd say some of your plans this week should include a trip to the clinic for a blood test.  No, I am not overreacting and no, this is not a game.  You've been playing Russian Roulette with your dick, pally.  And if me saying all this scares you.... Good.  I fuckin' hope so. Until you get your blood tests back, you keep it in your pants.  Afterwards, the words 'Durex' and 'Trojan' are going to be a basic part of your life.
"And in case you're wondering, three dead friends.  None of 'em gay, none of them banged their drugs.  Get me?"
The man looked worried.  "You're not exaggerating, right?  It really can happen that easy?"
She took her foot off the sofa, sighed, walked over to the man, and bent down to look him in the eyes.  Their faces were six inches apart, and the woman had her Grinch smile on again.  "Three.  Fucking.  Dead.  Friends.  Good people, who I loved.  No, I am not exaggerating.  Nor am I joshing, funnin' you, pulling your leg, or pulling the wool over your eyes.  Go to the clinic, and start searching for a therapist.  The former is a safeguard, the latter is a necessity."  She straightened up and leaned against the corner of the entertainment center, using it to scratch her back.
The man watched her in silence. In a quiet voice he said, "Do you really think I need a therapist?"
The woman in leather laughed.  "Oh, you're funny.  Since you obviously just got here, lemme explain.  About half an hour ago, a man went on a rant about how his kindergarten-age daughter was, and I quote, stealing his spotlight. It was quite a show; the dude opened up his brain, probably the first time in years it had gotten some air, and a bunch of fucking demons fell out.  These demons had been making him hate a little girl who loved him.  My tips for the month says there's still a bunch of 'em in there.  Anyhow, he then kicked a table to death --- wearing loafers, mind you, I'm guessing his foot is killing him ---- "
"Um, it really does hurt.  A lot."
"Then I suggest the nearest E.R.  And for chrissake don't tell 'em how and why it happened, just make up some shit.  Otherwise you might get a psych eval, and they'll put you in the puzzle factory, for sure.
"Anyway, dude kicked apart the table, then hit the floor crying.  I did the only thing that made sense...."  She walked across to him, stroked his cheek, and put a hand on his shoulder.  "I gave him a hug.  I was guessin' it had been a long time since anyone had done so."
"You were right," the man murmured.
The leather woman put a hand on his other shoulder.  "Find a therapist.  Please."
The man gave her a look that was partly fear, partly defensiveness.  "You think I'm nuts?"
She smiled.  "No.  I spend lots of time on Telegraph, so I know crazy.  People who are nuts don't live in expensive houses in Albany and drive Beemers and have hot tubs.  Um, sorry about your cell phone.  I'll replace it."
He gave a small smile.  "It's insured.  So.... If I'm not nuts, what would I need a therapist for?"
"Most people who go to therapists aren't nuts.  But they're like you.  I made that analogy to demons in your head before?  Yeah.  Dude, you let jealousy of your young daughter fester into anger and then hate.  All because she was getting attention you thought belonged to you, somehow.  Your egotism gave birth to the demons, and with every passing year they multiplied.  The analogous demons fed on your brain, eating away the love and companionship you felt with your daughter, and then there was nothing but hate.  You didn't drive your daughter away: if you were that big of a scumbag, you'd have landed in prison a while ago.  But your egotism did.  You felt threatened because your young daughter was darling.  And the demons saw that opportunity, that feeling of threat you had, and went marching on in."  The man realized that while her voice was clear and steady, tears were streaming down the leather woman's face.
"So you gotta kill the fuckin' demons, and check yourself, ya know?  That jealousy you had for Rook when she was little, where did it come from?  You say it was because she was 'stealing your spotlight.'  That sounds like bullshit.  There was something else going on, too.
"But I'm not a damn Ph.D, so I can't say whassup.  You need to see a therapist.  They'll help kill the demons, dude.  It won't be easy.... It's gonna suck a lot of the time, it's gonna hurt like hell and tear you up.  I can tell you, there'll be days when you leave your counselor's office feeling like total shit, worse than when you got there.  From what you said, you got a long row to hoe, and it's on rocky soil, y'know?
"Now it's just one simple question: do you want your daughter back, even if it takes a lot of time and a lot of very painful work?"
The man stared at the toe of his shoe.  Half a minute passed.  Then he burst out with "YES!" and began to cry again.
The leather  woman sat down next to him (annoyed, as always, by being poked with her equipment on her waist) and put an arm around his shoulders.  She stroked the back of his head until he'd quieted down.  "If you haven't guessed, I've gone through therapy.  My demons were harder to kill; my uncle was raping me when I was twelve.  My dad and a couple other uncles put him in the hospital for a couple months, then he moved away.  Heh, Southern justice.  But Southern justice doesn't kill demons.  I was lucky: my folks sent me to a therapist and not a church to get better."
"Good God," the man said.  "You were being raped at age twelve by your own uncle?  That's fucking sick!  I'm surprised they didn't just kill him!"
"Naw.  Kill him, he can't suffer."  The Grinch smile came out.  "Dude, think of the things you gotta do to someone where they get stuck in the hospital for two months.... And doesn't actually make 'em die.  From what I heard years later, my uncle has limited use of both hands, thirty percent vision in one eye, a leg that's two inches shorter than the other, chronic back pain... Get the idea?
"Remember, Georgia is not Atlanta, or Athens.  For better or worse, small-town living in Georgia lives up to the stereotypes.  And that's the thing: my uncle will be treated like a pariah wherever he goes in the South.  People will see his injuries and immediately think, 'That feller done pissed off some folks.  Fer all they done to him, it took a few of 'em, so it must have been bad, whatever he done.  Better keep an eye on that boy.'  And my uncle will be hard pressed to get a job mopping the floors at a Waffle House.  Again, more Southern justice.  Doesn't cost the state a thing, either."
The man stared at her briefly, then said, "Well, I'm assuming you don't plan to work for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce."  They both laughed.  Considering how the previous ninety minutes had gone, it was a freeing, cathartic sound.

The woman in leather said, "But see?  A counselor helped me recover from a serial rapist when I was twelve.  Don't be afraid of them, and don't hold anything back.  The temptation is there: telling anyone, even your therapist, that you had an orgasm about half the time when being raped?  Obviously I'm a complete sicko, I like being raped, blah blah blah."
The man said, "I've heard that... Um.... Physical stimulation isn't uncommon in rape."  He shook his head.  "What a dirty trick for the body to play."
"To be frank?  I always worried that Rook would tell us you'd, you know, fooled around with her.  That was my nightmare."
The man frowned and said, "No.  Shit no.  Jesus Christ, she's my daughter!  What kind of...."
She held her hand up.  "Whoa, whoa.  That was just a personal worry of mine.  Rook never suggested anything like that at all.  Although if it had, instead of Southern Justice, we'd have had East Bay justice."
"So, uh, what's the difference?"
"East Bay justice would have a lot more injuries on the part of the vigilantes: they'd go to swing at you, miss, and crack themselves in the shin with the axe handle.  Determination of guilt would be a big one, too.  I guarantee someone would bust out a copy of 'Robert's Rules of Parliamentary Procedure' to get the ball rolling.  And if there was any Mountain Dew in the house, it would all have gone missing."
The man laughed.  Again, it was genuine laughter, the sound of someone who was happy and amused.  "Good God.  Vigilante justice as directed by Mack Sennett."
The woman in leather laughed too.  "I was thinking more along the line of Monty Python's Flying Circus.  Something involving the Gumbys."  She paused briefly and got serious.  "One thing though, and it's advice you're gonna get from whatever therapist you choose.  Do not decide you're going to contact Rook right away.  You're going to need to wait at least two or three months."
"You need to start the process of killin' all them demons, for one.  Also, your first contact, and I recommend by mail, needs to show contrition, yes, but it has to be well organized.  Just writing her and saying, 'Sorry about all those broads I fucked on the kitchen table, sorry about jacking off in front of you all those times, can we get along again,' that ain't gonna cut it.  You'll need to explain your actions, why you were trying to hurt her, why you chose the methods you did, and how this goes back so far.  And ask her to please write back.  I know this sounds like an eternity, but if you're lucky, you may be well on the road to normalizing your relationship with Rook when she's old enough to drive.  Look at it this way: better to take the time and work with the therapist than go off half-cocked and accidentally alienate her again.  Know what I mean?"
The man opened his mouth to speak, but remained silent.  He stared at his shoes some more.  Then he finally said, "I understand.  I really do this time.  I want...."  He sniffed, and a tear ran down his cheek.  "I want my daughter back, my little girl.  I refuse to blow this.  The demons, as you call them, stole my love for my little girl.  I won't let them win."  He paused again.  "I love my daughter.  I never want to lose that again."
The man and the woman in leather hugged on the sofa while he cried.  When he had finished, he sniffed, smiled, and said, "I may be changing already."
"How so?"
"When you were hugging me, I didn't try to cop a feel.  Never even crossed my mind."
The woman in leather gave a small Grinch smile and said, "And a wise choice on your part."
She looked out the window, then down at her boots.  "So.... Shall I wait here for the cops, or have you give 'em my plate number, or my home address?"
The man stared at her for a moment, then went back to considering his shoes.  "Don't worry about it.  I ain't calling."
The leather woman started to ask why, got as far as opening her mouth, then closed it again.  Best to leave well enough alone.  She'd mentally calculated jail as being part of her day (and night, and day, and night, and....) since about five minutes after arriving, this was a gift to simply accept and shut up.  "I should probably get going now."
In a quiet voice, the man said, "I hope you have a good rest of the day.  May I ask your name?"
"Everyone just calls me Mookie."
"Thank you, Mookie.  Thank you very much, for everything."  He paused.  "Can you do me a favor?  Could you tell Ar---- Rook that I love her?"
Mookie stared down at her boots, then looked at the man.  "I can't do it, for a ton of reasons.  She'd want to know how I met you (and why I'm not covered in blood), there's the confidentiality agreements at my agency, Rook would assume you'd hired me for domme work.... Tipping my hand that I know who you are would fuck things up at my house, big time.  Anyone asks, you were just another client.  No name.
"Ultimately, it's up to you to tell her you love her, and I've explained that's a ways down the road.  But it will come, and when it does, it will mean something, and be honest.  You'll be on the path to having a daughter again."
The man rubbed his eyes.  "This won't be easy at all, will it?"
"I'm afraid not.  It's probably going to be painful and drawn-out.... Or at least feel that way.  But it'll be worth it.  Take care of yourself.  Skip work tomorrow and spend the day on the phone, looking for therapists... And get a fuckin' blood test!."  She looked at his foot.  "How's your foot feel?"
"Hurts like hell."
"Pfoo.  Dude, you gotta go to the E.R.  Your Beemer a automatic?"
"Sure is."
"Well, at least you can drive yourself.  Go to Alta Bates, they're the least ghetto hospital around.  Can you stand up?"  She watched him get upright, then begin pouring sweat and turning pale as soon as he put pressure on his left foot.  "Yeah, E.R.  You got some shit broken in there."

The woman in leather got to the door, then turned.  "Sir?"
"You take care of yourself, okay?  For your own sake, and for a little girl who still desperately loves you.  It's worth it."
The man smiled.  "I will, I truly will."  He paused.  "It is worth it, isn't it?"
"Betcher ass."  She went out.

She cut over to Marin, drove up the hill several blocks, and turned right on a random cross street.  Cruising slowly down the block, she saw what she wanted: a parking space under a nice shady tree.

She pulled in, hit the e-brake, killed the engine, and sat there and cried.  She didn't know why.  It just felt like the only sane thing to do.
After about fifteen minutes (plus another three to find a fast food napkin to blow her nose), she poured the MG back down the hill.  She could use a doughnut.


  1. Thanks for the story. I really hope it's true, and I hope it all worked out.

    1. "Rook (Part1)" and "Rook (Part 2)" are true. Part 3 (with Mookie, her whips, and Rook's dad) is an.... Exaggeration of a true interaction. "Mookie" really did meet "Rook's" father in the course of her work; he truly believed he was getting a call girl. Yes, the real Mookie was teaching herself how to use whips for the sideshows, and when she figured out who he was, threatened Rook's dad with her whips.... But not to the extent I wrote here. That was fictionalized. They did have a rather intense but ultimately constructive talk though.
      I know that Rook was back home by her senior year of high school, and she and her father attended counseling together every week. Wonders never cease.