The Mistress Files(2)

By: Tiffany Reisz

My wife won’t tie me up....

My boyfriend can’t touch me right....

My mother said I was sick....

I have these dreams every night that won’t stop....

I need to be hurt or I can’t come....

I need to be punished to feel loved....

A thousand reasons that could all be boiled down, stripped bare and divided into one of two real reasons...

I’m here because I want this.

I’m here because I need this.

The Mistress was no prostitute. She never let a client touch her, never let a client inside her. Never inside her body anyway. Sometimes on rare occasions if the client was particularly beautiful or especially broken, sometime The Mistress let the client inside her heart.

Sheridan had wealth from her acting career, and wealth meant power. But it was a powerless little girl who sat under the glass roof that night. And when a tender leaf on one of the orchids dropped off the plant and landed on the floor, Sheridan stood up and walked quickly to the sink by the cutting station and poured out her glass of wine before refilling it with cold water and pouring it into the plant.

The Mistress smiled to herself as Sheridan turned wine into water so she could give a little drink to a thirsty flower she’d never met before. And that’s when Sheridan first crawled inside The Mistress’s heart.

Digging into her pocket, The Mistress found her silver lighter and brought a cigarette to her lips. She snapped open the lighter and flicked on the flame. Sheridan gasped at the sudden noise and spun around so fast she dropped her empty wineglass onto the floor, where it shattered into a thousand glinting shards.

“Oh, God. I’m so sorry,” Sheridan said, raising a hand to her flushed forehead. She stared down at the glass on the floor, her face a mask of utter shock and self-loathing. It broke The Mistress’s heart to see such an ugly look on that beautiful face. Then and there she resolved to wipe the shame off that face for all eternity.

The Mistress made no move. Whatever happened, no matter how emotional the client got, The Mistress had long ago learned that she must remain calm in every situation. Even when screaming German curses while beating a client with a birch rod, she must be calm inside, at peace and always in control. They clients didn’t just pay for that, they deserved it.

As Sheridan looked down in horror at the broken glass, The Mistress merely brought the lighter to the tip of the cigarette, and lit it as she stepped forward out of the shadows.

“Leave it,” The Mistress ordered. “Just a wineglass. Kingsley has millions of them.”

“I’ll pay for it, ma’am. I promise.”

“You’ll do no such thing. I’ll make him pay you for daring to give you a glass that breakable. Now go. Sit over there and forget about the glass.”

The Mistress nodded toward a settee at the edge of the conservatory. From there one could look out and see a thousand windows lit from within by artificial lights and shining out, into the Manhattan moonlight.

Sheridan rushed to obey, nearly skidding on the slick floor in the process. She sat on the silk cushions and crossed her legs. Such a little slip of a thing... The Mistress wanted to gather her close and hold her until she stopped being so scared of herself. But The Mistress didn’t touch her, merely sat down next to her and took a long draw on her cigarette before blowing the smoke out.

“I don’t smoke,” The Mistress said as the last of the white cloud reached the glass roof.

“But...” Sheridan squeaked one word out before falling silent again.

“But I’m smoking? Well, yeah, you got me there. I have this client. Some music publishing company bajillionaire. Total masochist. He’s a human ashtray. All I have to do is use him as a footstool, smoke a cigarette and then put it out on his naked back. He orgasms so hard that Niagara Falls says ‘Damn. Someone get the mop there.’ Easy job. Fifteen-minute session. I charge him five thousand dollars for it. Plus twelve dollars for the plastic drop cloth.”

Sheridan blanched. Apparently the thought of putting a cigarette out on someone’s bare back didn’t sound like an “easy job” to her. But then again, that’s why The Mistress made that kind of money. She walked a fine line with every client—a line of morality, legality, sexuality. Any one of her clients could take his or her injuries, bought and paid for, to the police and report an assault. The Mistress took a risk with every client. The bigger the risk, the bigger the payday, and she did love payday.

The Mistress took one last draw on her cigarette before stubbing it out in the soil of the nearest plant. Sheridan’s eyes widened even more, and The Mistress had to use all her willpower not to kiss the poor thing.

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